Dry Mouth

Do you have a dry mouth?


Signs and Symptoms

-Dry mouth when eating a meal?

-Difficulty speaking due to a dry mouth?

-Frequent sipping on liquids to help you swallow dry foods?

-Chewing on gum or suck lollies to relieve dry mouth?

-Feeling like the amount of saliva in your mouth is too little, thick and stringy


Saliva is important because it:

-Prevents tooth loss

-Helps you to speak, chew, swallow and digest food

-Protects your teeth and gums from bacteria and acids that can lead to dental cavities

-Helps prevent infection by balancing the number of bacteria in your mouth.


If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to:

Dental pain and loss of teeth

Difficulty chewing, swallowing and speech

Dental decay and caries

Periodontal (Gums) and mucosal disease

Oral infections, e.g. candidiasis, gingivitis

Difficulty wearing dentures, denture sores

Oral discomfort

Bad breath (Halitosis)

Altered or reduced taste sensation

Dry and cracked lips

Burning sensation of the mouth and tongue

Disturbed sleep

Pharyngitis and laryngitis

Speech and eating difficulties can result in a loss of appetite and malnutrition, a reluctance to socialize, an inability to take medicines, diminished quality of life and poor general health.




What should I talk to my GP about?

Medical conditions that can cause dry mouth

Medicines that can cause dry mouth

Quit Smoking Advice


What should I talk to my dentist about?

Dry mouth increases your chance of getting cavities and other oral health issues.

Annual visits to the dentist can ensure that your teeth, dentures (if you have them), gums and mouth stay healthy.

Our dentists can also give you advice about how to help manage dry mouth and which products are best to use.


What else can I do?

-Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, use dental floss daily, and rinse your mouth with a non-alcoholic mouthwash. Talk to your dentist about which products are best to use.

-Minimise sugary and acidic foods and drinks such as fruit juices, cordial, soft drinks, alcohol, sports and energy drinks.

-Sip on plain water, suck on ice chips or spry water into your mouth. Some people find using a humidifier at night while sleeping helpful.

-Use a water-based lip moisturizer if your lips are dry

-If you smoke, talk to your GP or pharmacist about the options for quitting. For support to quit and a personalized quitting plan contact the national Ouitline on 13 78 48 or at: www.quitnow.gov.au

-Eat foods that require chewing to stimulate saliva production, especially at breakfast, and chew suger-free gum or sugar-free lollies between meals

-Ask your pharmacist or dentist about products for dry mouth. Specialized toothpaste, mouthwash or antibacterial