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Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

An image of a mouth and tongue of someone with dry mouth.

What is dry mouth?

  • Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva (spit) to keep the mouth wet.
  • This can make tasting, chewing, swallowing and speaking difficult.
  • Dry mouth can also increase the chance of  cavities and infections in the mouth .

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What causes dry mouth?

  • Some medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Certain diseases such as Sjogren’s Syndrome

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How can I take care of my teeth and mouth when I have dry mouth?

In addition to daily dental care tips for natural teeth or  daily dental care tips for dentures  you can:

  • For Natural teeth:
    • Use a rubber tipped stimulator, special toothpicks, or a small pointed toothbrush if flossing is difficult.
    • Use moisturizing products available at a pharmacy.
    • Chew sugar free gum or suck sugar free candies.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • You may need to go to your dental professional more often.
    • Your dental professional can recommend products that will relieve dry mouth symptoms.
  • For Dentures:
    • Moisturizing products available in the pharmacy can be placed under the denture to ease soreness and pain.

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