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    Dry mouth is a condition in which your mouth is unusually dry. Dry mouth is a common problem that may seem little more than a nuisance. But a dry mouth can affect both your enjoyment of food and the health of your teeth. The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (zeer-o-STO-me-uh).

    A result of reduced or no saliva, dry mouth can lead to problems because saliva helps prevent tooth decay by limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.

    Although the treatment depends on the cause, dry mouth is often a side effect of medication. Dry mouth may improve with an adjusted dosage or a new prescription.

    Apr. 07, 2011