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Dry mouth (xerostomia)

Dry mouth is a normally seen condition in older people. Negative changes in the saliva constitution can lead to this condition. The condition of hyposalivation (low saliva amount) can lead to such a condition. This condition can also be caused due to the side effects of various medications. The phenomenon of mouth-breathing can lead to this condition in many cases. Other conditions like radiotherapy, dehydration, damage to the nerves etc can also lead to this condition. In some cases, this condition can also occur without any major etiological factors.


For diagnosing this condition, consultation with a doctor is very much necessary. A comprehensive review of the medical history of the patient is required. The patient may also be required to take blood tests, imaging tests of the salivary glands etc may also be necessary.

If the doctor finds that certain ‘taken-in’ medications can contribute to this condition, then he/she may either decrease the dosage of such medications or may even replace this medication with another medicine that does not have such side effects. In certain situations, the dental professional may even resort to fill the teeth with a particular sort of substance such a fluoride to wear during night hours.



Authored By Dr. Vinamra Dhariwal - Dentist, Chennai

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