Dry Mouth Syndrome treatment
June 20 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Lack of saliva is a common problem that can affect enjoyment of food and the health of teeth,
Dry mouth affects quality of life, including difficulty with speech or swallowing, and also causes aspiration pneumonia and, respiratory infection. Moreover, dry mouth closely relates to taste dysfunction, resulting in malnutrition, a common risk of nursing care in the elderly.

Dry mouth cause
There are several causes to a dry mouth, including aging, diseases such as rheumatoid conditions (example: Sjogren's Syndrome), hormonal disorders such as diabetes, neurologic disorders such as Parkinson's disease, and surgical removal of salivary glands.
   Dry mouth is also associated with dehydration, radiation therapy of the salivary gland regions, anxiety, the use of drugs (such as atropine and antihistamines), vitamin deficiency, various forms of parotitis, or various syndromes (such as Plummer-Vinson syndrome).

Symptoms and signs
Common symptoms include a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth; frequent thirst; sores in the mouth; sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips; and a dry feeling in the throat.

Dry mouth treatment
Dry mouth treatment depends on the cause of the problem. If it is caused by a medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage. If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better or you may use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Suck on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum.
Drinking plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist
Breath through your nose rather than through your mouth, as much as possible
Using a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air.
Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute. Use an oral rinse to restore mouth moisture.
A medication that stimulates saliva production, called Salagen, is sometimes given by a doctor.

Depress Anxiety. 2013 Feb. The efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing 1% malic acid in patients with antidepressant-induced dry mouth: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. One of the most important antidepressants side effects is dry mouth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing 1% malic acid on patients affected by dry mouth caused by antidepressants drug. This research took the form of a double-blind, randomized clinical trial at Faculty of Dentistry of University of Granada (Spain). Seventy participants with antidepressant-induced dry mouth were divided into two groups: for the first "intervention group" (35 subjects) a topical sialogogue spray (1% malic acid) was applied, while for the second "control group" (35 subjects), a placebo spray was applied; for both groups, the sprays were applied on demand during 2 weeks. The dry mouth questionnaire (DMQ) was used to evaluate dry mouth symptoms before and after product/placebo application. Unstimulated and stimulated salivary flows rates, before and after application, were measured. Dry mouth symptoms improved after 1% malic acid topical spray application. After 2 weeks of 1% malic acid application, unstimulated and stimulated salivary flows rates increased significantly. A sialogogue spray containing 1% malic acid improved dry mouth feeling of the patients suffering antidepressant-induced dry mouth and increased unstimulated and stimulated salivary flows rates.

Emails
Q. My mother is a senior citizen and she has had problems for several years with her mouth not producing enough saliva. She has to frequently keep a bottle of water nearby to keep her mouth moist. Is there any natural herbs that she can take to help relieve her dry mouth? Thanks.
   A. We have not seen any studies with diet and supplements regarding dry mouth, but we keep our eyes open if we come across such information.

Q. I have had a dry mouth condition for about 2 months due to oral thrush. My condition has improved slightly after 3 bottles of Nystatin and a dental oral wash but symptoms persist. Would oil of oregano in capsule form help eliminate this issue or is the liquid version better?
   A. We have not seen any studies with oregano oil regarding dry mouth.