Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Also known as xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah), dry mouth is due to a lack of saliva flow or changes in the amount of saliva your body produces.
Symptoms of dry mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Thick, stringy saliva
- Dry nasal passages
- Sore throat
- Dry, sore, cracked lips
- Oral thrush
- Problems talking
Why do we need saliva?
Saliva is vital for our oral health; it’s our body’s natural defence against tooth decay. Produced by salivary glands, saliva washes away harmful acids produced by bacteria, plaque and acidic foods. It helps prevent fungal infections. Additionally and it also contains enzymes, lubricants and minerals such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride – which all help strengthen your tooth enamel.
In summary, saliva:
- lubricates the mouth
- moistened and breaks down food
- washes away harmful sugars and acids caused by plaque and bacteria
- remineralises the tooth enamel
What causes dry mouth?
Many conditions or medications can cause dry mouth, such as:
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Blood pressure medication
If you have dry mouth, speak to your medical or dental professional.
What can I do?
As dentists, we want you to look after your dry mouth, as dry mouth can cause cavities and gum disease. If you have dry mouth, speak to your medical or dental professional. If your dry mouth is due to medications, they may suggest alternative options. And, if you’re dry mouth is caused by a medical condition, treating the condition may alleviate your symptoms.
In the meantime, here are some tips to relieve a dry mouth:
- Chew sugar-free gum – this will stimulate saliva production
- Sip water frequently throughout the day
- Sip water with meals to make chewing and swallowing easier
- Avoid mouth rinses containing peroxide or alcohol
- Minimise alcohol consumption
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco products
- Minimise the amount of tea and coffee you drink – caffeine can dry the mouth
- Avoid salty or spicy foods as these may be painful for a dry mouth
- Use ‘saliva substitute’ available from the chemist
- Use a humidifier at night
How can I keep my teeth healthy?
- brush twice a day using a small, soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- floss once a day
- Swish your mouth with water throughout the day
- avoid acidic or sugary foods and beverages
- maintain regular checkups with your dental professional
Book An Appointment
Our Preferred Providers
Dr Stephen Jiang
Dr. Stephen Jiang is a highly skilled and experienced dentist with over 20 years of private practice experience. He obtained his dental degree from the University of Adelaide, where he excelled in his studies and received comprehensive training in various dental procedures. He also holds a PhD in medical and dental research.
Prior to establishing SJ Dental, Dr. Jiang worked in the public sector where he provided dental care to the general population. He has a passion for oral health and prevention, and he is committed to educating his patients on how to maintain optimal oral health.
Dr. Jiang has a broad range of expertise in all general dentistry, and he has a keen interest in oral surgery and complex dentistry. He is also experienced in both orthodontics and implant dentistry, and he is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental technology and techniques.
Outside of work, Dr. Jiang enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family and grandkids. He believes in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and he brings that philosophy to his practice by creating a warm and welcoming environment for his patients.
Patients describe Dr. Jiang as a compassionate and skilled dentist who puts their comfort and well-being first. With so many years of clinical experience behind him, he is sure to provide the best care for the entire family. Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, you can trust Dr. Jiang to provide the highest quality dental care while keeping your overall well-being in mind.
Dr John Xu
Patients have always appreciated Dr. Xu's gentle and polite personality, and many have found him to provide excellent service for all aspects of dentistry. Dr. Xu has a keen interest in preventative care, root canal treatment, and Invisalign treatment, and he is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental technology and techniques.
Outside of work, Dr. Xu enjoys cooking, and he has worked as a Japanese chef in the past during his university years. He continues to pursue his passion for cooking in his free time. He also enjoys spending time with his young children and family.
Patients describe Dr. Xu as a caring and skilled dentist who puts their comfort and well-being first. With his gentle approach and dedication to excellence, he is sure to provide the best possible care for all of his patients. Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, you can trust Dr. Xu to provide the highest quality dental care while keeping your overall well-being in mind.
Dr Louise Chew
Dr. Chew has a keen interest in preventative dental care, cosmetic procedures, and Invisalign treatment. Patients appreciate her gentle touch and compassionate approach to dentistry, and she is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care to all of her patients.
Outside of work, Dr. Chew enjoys spending time with her family, and she loves to travel with them. Her passion for exploring new places and cultures has taken her to many different parts of the world, and she brings that same sense of adventure and curiosity to her work as a dentist.
Whether you need routine dental care or more complex treatments, Dr. Chew is committed to providing the best possible care for all of her patients. With her gentle touch, compassionate approach, and dedication to excellence, you can trust Dr. Chew to help you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.