Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Definition of Dry Mouth

A lack of salivary flow in the mouth due to damage to the salivary glands. Increased xerostomia can lead to increased risk of caries (cavities) and periodontal disease.

Dry Mouth Causes

  • Radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Polypharmacy (multiple medications)
  • Side effects of medication
  • Stroke
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Sjogrens Disease
  • Autoimmune Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep apnea

Treatment Options for Dry Mouth

  • To treat the symptoms of xerostomia we must first determine its cause. Once that has been established, there are a number of options available:
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Sip water regularly
  • Don’t use mouth rinses with alcohol
  • Limit caffeine intake
  • Stop all tobacco use
  • Use Fluoride rinses
  • Add moisture to the air at night with a humidifier
  • Avoid OTC antihistamines and decongestants
  • Breathe through your nose
  • Try over the counter saliva substitutes
  • Employ good homecare techniques: brushing twice daily for 2 minutes, flossing and rinsing daily
  • Visit your dentist regularly – every 3-6 months depending on your hygienist’s recommendation

Given the highly individualized nature of Xerostomia, we think it important to present our patients with a variety of treatment options. We’ve done some research and come up with a collection of products that have been well-tested and reviewed in the hopes that some combination of the below will help to alleviate each of our patient’s symptoms. Above and beyond looking for positive reviews from forums, online communities and dental professionals, we sought out products that used either Xylitol or Fluoride, ingredients that can stimulate saliva production and reduce the risk of decay. Please let us know which of these products winds up working for you!

How to Treat Dry Mouth

Given the highly individualized nature of Xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome), we think it important to present our patients with a variety of treatment options. We’ve done some research and come up with a collection of products that have been well-tested and reviewed in the hopes that some combination of the below will help to alleviate each of our patient’s symptoms. Above and beyond looking for positive reviews from forums, online communities, and dental professionals, we sought out products that used either Xylitol or Fluoride, ingredients that can stimulate saliva production and reduce the risk of decay. Please let us know which of these products winds up working for you!

  • BreathRx – xylitol, no fluoride, includes “Zytex,” a proprietary blend of Eucalyptus Oil, Thymol, Zinc Chloride
  • Oasis – no xylitol or fluoride but very positive reviews
  • ACT – both xylitol and fluoride
  • Biotene – a change to Biotene’s formulation actually prompted our research. We still recommend these products for their efficacy, but there has been a negative response to the new formula from Biotene users that is worth noting.
 
  • Spry – both xylitol and fluoride
  • Tom’s – both xylitol and fluoride
  • Epic – both xylitol and fluoride
  • Biotene – see Mouth Rinses tab
 
  • MI Paste – xylitol, as well as calcium and magnesium (not recommended for people with pure milk allergies, but cleared for those who are lactose intolerant). Most easily obtained from your dentist.
  • Biotene – see Mouth Rinses tab
 
  • Oasis – 100% xylitol
  • Spry – 100% xylitol
 
  • BreathRx – xylitol and Zytex (above)
  • Spry – 100% xylitol
  • Epic – 100% xylitol