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Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is the feeling of insufficient saliva in the mouth. Every once in a while we all experience a dry mouth, especially when we are nervous, upset or under stress. However, some patients experience it more frequently than others and if not treated it can be highly uncomfortable and can impact on oral health.
Saliva plays several important roles when it comes to keeping our mouths healthy. In addition to its role in digestion, saliva helps to cleanse the oral cavity, facilitate oral processing and swallowing of food, maintaining a neutral pH and preventing tooth demineralisation.
Patients who suffer from xerostomia may experience any of the following symptoms;
These symptoms can create difficulties such as impaired taste, issues with mastication and swallowing without fluids, speaking and digestion. A dry mouth can also lead to other dental problems, including caries and periodontal disease.