Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mouth Dryness Underlying Cause

Xerostomia is caused by a lack of saliva. Saliva is produced by saliva glands in the mouth and the neck. The largest saliva glands are the parotid glands, which are located under the skin in front of the ears. Saliva production normally decreases with age.

Functions of saliva include:

  • Lubricates food before swallowing
  • Helps with digestion
  • Rinses the mouth
  • Reduces the risk for mouth infections
  • Protects the teeth:

Causes of xerostomia include:

Mouth Dryness Drugs

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mouth Dryness References
  1. Atkinson JC, Grisius M, Massey W. Salivary hypofunction and xerostomia: diagnosis and treatment. Dent Clin North Am. 2005 Apr;49(2):309-26. [15755407]
  2. Cassolato SF, Turnbull RS. Xerostomia: clinical aspects and treatment. Gerodontology. 2003 Dec;20(2):64-77. [14697016]
  3. Mignogna MD, Fedele S, Russo LL, Lo Muzio L, Wolff A. Sjogren's syndrome: the diagnostic potential of early oral manifestations preceding hyposalivation/xerostomia. J Oral Pathol Med. 2005 Jan;34(1):1-6. [15610399]
  4. Morganstein WM. Acupuncture in the treatment of xerostomia: clinical report. Gen Dent. 2005 May-Jun;53(3):223-6. [15960483]
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