If you're not producing enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time:
- Dryness in your mouth or throat
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
- More frequent tooth decay
- Gum irritation and gum disease
In women, dry mouth may result in lipstick sticking to the teeth.
When to see a doctor
If you've noticed persistent dry mouth signs and symptoms, make an appointment with your family doctor or your dentist.
May 10, 2014
- Dry mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/drymouth/drymouth.htm. Accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
- Dry mouth? Don't delay treatment. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm254273.htm. Accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
- Xerostomia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/symptoms_of_dental_and_oral_disorders/xerostomia.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
- Furness S, et al. Interventions for the management of dry mouth: Non-pharmacological interventions. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009603.pub3/abstract. Accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
- Slippery elm. National Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Feb, 11, 2014.
- Electroacupuncture for radiation-induced chronic dry mouth. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/featured/trials/MAYO-MCS285. Accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
- Bader JD, et al. Results from the Xylitol for Adult Caries Trial (X-ACT). The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2013;144:21.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 10, 2014.
- Bergstrom LR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 10, 2014.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 10, 2014.
- Ship JA, et al. Safety and effectiveness of topical dry mouth products containing olive oil, betaine, and xylitol in reducing xerostomia for polypharmacy-induced dry mouth. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2007;34:724.
- Marshmallow. National Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Feb. 11, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.