Over thirty years of practicing dentistry has led me to the realization that
dry mouth is a common problem (known medically as xerostomia). My
main goal is to ensure that each of my patients has the best possible oral
health, because dental issues can lead to many other serious health issues.
Dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a
major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth, as well
as your appetite and enjoyment of food. Saliva is important in preventing
tooth decay, limiting bacteria growth, and aiding in digestion. Because
saliva is so important, dry mouth can lead to much more serious health
The best way to treat dry mouth is to know what’s causing it. If you
frequently have a dry mouth, taking these steps to protect your oral health
may also help your condition:
•Sugar-free gum or sugar-free hard candies can stimulate the flow of saliva.
•Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.
•Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.
•Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
•Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Look for products containing
xylitol, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or ones
containing carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethyl cellulose, such as
Biotene Oral Balance.
•Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth. Especially one that contains
xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry
Mouth Rinse, which also offer protection against tooth decay.
• Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies because they increase the risk of
If these steps don’t improve your dry mouth, please talk to me or my staff about it on your next visit. The cause could be a medication or another
condition. Medications are one of the most common causes of dry mouth.
Long-term relief from your dry mouth may mean stopping or changing
your medication or its dosage, or addressing underlying health issues.
Dr. Charles S Barotz DDS