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What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth is a condition that results from a decreased volume of saliva in the mouth. Dry mouth is also called xerostomia. Xerostomia can make it difficult to speak, eat, and digest food and can lead to malnutrition. Extreme dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction can produce significant anxiety, permanent mouth and throat disorders, and can impair a person's quality of life.

Return to Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Dancer, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I had a dental implant procedure 5 years ago. I had mild nerve damage leaving me with a tongue that feels like cotton. My lower lip feels puffy. I am not sure if I have dry mouth or just a loss of feeling. I sip water or more often use ice chips which really make my mouth feel good. I take Arimidex for breast cancer which also dries out the whole body. I also have dry eye which is treated with Restasis. I am hoping in 2 years when I go off Arimidex that some of the dry mouth sensation will improve. My eye doctor says it will not change the dry eye problem, but I think it should get a little better! Why not!

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Comment from: Revj, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

In 2003, I was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the right parotid gland, which had metastasized to 9 out of 51 lymph nodes that were tested. Treatment consisted of surgery, followed by six weeks of radiation therapy. I have been cancer-free since 2003, but I have severe dry mouth, which I treat with several Biotene products including, mouth rinse, toothpaste, oral spray, gel, as well as Act dry mouth lozenges. I eventually had to have all my teeth removed and I have a full set of dentures. Whenever I have needed other than routine dental care, I have had to undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatment for several weeks. Because of a problem with my lower dentures, I am considering dental implants, but doctors are divided on whether I would need hyperbaric oxygen treatment again before I have implants. My surgeon recommends it as a precaution, but the chief physician at the hyperbaric oxygen facility says he is not sure if it is worth it for a third time. I don't know.

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Comment from: Beth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I've had dry mouth for about 6 months now. Everything I read steered me to my medications being the cause. Surprise! It was my toothpaste. I switched to Crest Sensitive. It contains sodium lauryl sulfate which helped my gums but gave me a dry, burning mouth. Thank goodness I finally figured this out!

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