Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (Salivary gland hypofunction) - Provider

Xerostomia, the subjective complaint of dry mouth, and hyposalivation remain a significant burden for many individuals. Diagnosis of xerostomia and salivary gland hypofunction is dependent upon a careful and detailed history and thorough oral examination. There exist many options for treatment and symptom management: salivary stimulants, topical agents, saliva substitutes, and systemic sialagogues.

Chronic xerostomia remains a significant burden for many individuals. In particular, it may affect speech, chewing, swallowing, denture-wearing, and general well-being.

Xerostomia secondary to hyposalivation may also result in rampant dental caries, oral fungal infections (e.g., candidiasis), taste changes, halitosis, or burning mouth. The most frequent cause of hyposalivation is the use of certain medications (such as anticoagulants, antidepressants, antihypertensives, antiretrovirals, hypoglycemics, levothyroxine, multivitamins and supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid inhalers) followed by radiotherapy to the head and neck, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Other factors include depression, anxiety and stress, or malnutrition.” (Villa,2015)


Additional Resources to help guide healthcare providers in the treatment of xerostomia and hyposalivation:


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Image reference: Dry tongue in Sjogren's syndrome. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.quest-eb-com.ccriezp.idm.oclc.org/search/132_1268119/1/132_1268119/cite. Accessed 25 Sep 2021.