Dry mouth, or xerostomia (say "zee-ruh-STO-mee-uh"), is a condition in which the mouth doesn't produce enough saliva. Saliva helps neutralize the acid caused by plaque. And it helps flush away sugars that stick to teeth.
Xerostomia has many possible causes. But it is most often a side effect of medicine.
Mild or moderate dry mouth can usually be improved by taking frequent sips of water, chewing sugar-free gum, or sucking on sugar-free hard candy. Mouth lubricants and saliva substitutes can help to moisten the mouth and throat. More severe dry mouth symptoms may need treatment with medicine.
People with dry mouth need to be especially attentive to their dental care.
Current as of: June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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