Dry Mouth

Solutions to Common Dental Problems

Dry Mouth

If your mouth feels dry and uncomfortable, your lips and tongue have cracks or feel dry, you might be suffering from Xerostomia – or dry mouth. This is a relatively common condition.

Dry mouth occurs when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva…and that’s a problem. It can mean a greater risk of cavities and gum disease.

Saliva is very important for your dental wellbeing. It protects teeth and without saliva you lose protection against tooth decay.

Saliva also cleans and moistens your mouth, helps in food digestion and prevents infections such as bacteria and fungi in your mouth.


There are many reasons why you may have dry mouth. It is usually due to some underlying reason. These can include:

  • a side effect of certain medications.
  • reaction to the use of illicit drugs
  • Sjogren syndrome - an auto immune disease which affects many parts of the body including causing the lack of saliva
  • medical conditions such as diabetes, anaemia and hypertension
  • dehydration
  • dental infection where the salivary glands may become swollen and blocked
  • lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol and smoking
  • certain cancer treatment
  • nerve damage arising from injury around the neck and head region
  • damage to the salivary glands directing impacts the quantity and quality of saliva production

Impacts On Oral Health?

To understand how a dry mouth can adversely impact your oral health, it is helpful to understand the important role of saliva.

At the most level, saliva keeps your mouth moist. It enables food and drink to be chewed and swallowed. It helps in food digestion, and cleansing your mouth by washing away food which reduces the opportunity for food deposits to remain and fester on your teeth.

Saliva helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay and helps keep teeth and gums healthy. Saliva acts as a buffer by neutralising the acid in your mouth.

FAQs about Dry Mouth

Reducing plaque and tartar


There are many possible treatment options, which are dependant on your individual circumstances and needs. These may include:

  • using artificial saliva (saliva substitute) or special moisturisers
  • on consultation with your doctor, an adjustment of medication could be recommended
  • take medicines that stimulate saliva flow

Managing Your Dry Mouth

It is important to understand the cause for your dry mouth. By treating the cause you may be able to get it under control.

Your own management may include:

  • maintain good oral health - such as twice daily brushing of your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly
  • drink more water - regularly sip water to remain hydrated
  • consume less fruit juices, alcoholic drinks, and other sugary drinks.
  • avoid coffee and tea
  • have regular check-ups and scale and cleaning of your teeth and gums
  • chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva production
  • chew 'chewy' foods that help in the production of saliva

What You Can Do

It is important to understand the cause for your dry mouth. By treating the cause you can get it under control.

The dentist will look for causes and check for tooth decay or gum disease.

Seeing your doctor and dentist will help in understanding the causes and possible treatments.

To find out more about treating your dry mouth, call our friendly staff at Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic on (08) 8268 5422 or request an appointment online.

49 Woodville Road

Woodville, SA 5011

(08) 8268 5422

Call us today!

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