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One of the most frequently used saliva substitutes is water. Water can be used as a saliva replacement however, it does not moisten and lubricate the oral mucosa and teeth adequately – something which is critical to provide relief to patients with dry mouth. In addition, saliva plays a larger role in the mouth than just providing water.
As dry mouth is rarely associated with systemic dehydration, consuming large quantities of water does not overcome xerostomia but only provides temporary relief from the symptoms of dry mouth. Patients who compensate through frequent sipping of water, particularly at night, often report a decrease in sleep quality due to the increased frequency of urination.
Furthermore, drinking excessive amounts of water could potentially promote the loss of electrolytes and result in electrolyte imbalance. Hyponatremia, for example, is caused by drinking too much water, diluting the sodium in the blood and overwhelming the kidney’s compensation mechanism.