Dry Mouth

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a direct result of the lack of saliva and its protective effects. Some patients become xerostomic because of the medications they may be taking or post-radiotherapy, while others may be suffering from immune-related problems such as Sjogrens syndrome. This latter group require careful ongoing review to intercept the development of other auto-immune disease as well as the small number who will develop lymphoma.
The reason for the dry mouth must be determined first, and this is followed by outlining a suitable management strategy to help the patient overcome their dryness and to protect the oral tissues including the teeth. Several commercially available products can be used. Patients may also require the use of sialogogues to stimulate salivary flow and lifestyle modification where appropriate.

Dry mouth showing lack of saliva and fissuring of the tongue.

 

  2005 Oral Medicine and Pathology