Symptoms and Complications

What is dry mouth?

We all need saliva to moisten our mouths, as well as to digest food. Saliva keeps the mouth healthy and prevents infection as it controls bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Saliva is essential to enabling you to taste what you eat and drink. It rinses food away from your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. If your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva, you might suffer from dry mouth.

Saliva is made by the salivary glands. The major salivary glands include the large parotid glands, which are located just behind the ears, the submandibular glands, and the small sublingual glands, which are located on the mouth floor.1-3

Saliva does a lot more than most people think it does!

Aquoral is an FDA approved protective oral spray proven to lessen the effects of dry mouth with an excellent safety profile.

It’s important to understand that dry mouth is not a disease, but is a symptom of oral problems and may arise from one of several different causes. The most common trigger of dry mouth is as a side effect of medical treatments or due to a specific medical condition. If you think you may be experiencing dry mouth, speak to your doctor. With proper treatment, dry mouth may be managed well without changing other medications you may be taking, which could be causing the condition, or lowering your quality of life.

The Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, can give rise to a wide range of symptoms of varying severity. People with dry mouth often complain of a sticky, dry sensation in the mouth.4,6 This dryness may also be felt down into the throat.

People with dry mouth often complain of difficulty with chewing and swallowing food.4,7 They need to drink fluids while eating to help swallow – some carry fluids at all times to moisten their mouths and aid with speaking or swallowing. Pain is a common complaint.

Because dry mouth is not a disease, it is not given a separate diagnosis. However, a physician may ask a patient who is complaining of symptoms the following types of questions:

  • Do you have difficulty swallowing?
  • Does your mouth feel dry when eating?
  • Do you have to sip liquids when swallowing dry foods?
  • Do you feel like there is too little saliva in your mouth?

Aquoral can help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth

Complications from dry mouth

For some with dry mouth, the onset of dental decay is rapid and severe.9

The symptoms of dry mouth range from mild to severe. They can include dry or cracked lips and tongue, oral or dental pain, mouth and gum infections, trouble eating and speaking, and sore throat or acid reflux. Dry mouth can make it difficult to wear dentures. At their worst, the symptoms of dry mouth can lead to decreased quality of life, inadequate nutrition and weight loss, difficulty sleeping, and social isolation (avoidance of social activities is usually due to difficulty speaking and eating; bad breath may also be a factor).8 Perhaps the best known complication of dry mouth is increased dental decay.


  1. Marieb EN. Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology. 8th ed. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings; 2006.
  2. Parker S. The Human Body Book. New York, NY: DK Publishing; 2007.
  3. Burgess J. Meyers AD. Salivary abnormalities in dentistry. MedScape. Jan 2013.
  4. Data on file. OGT Spray: A Clinically Proven New Option for Treating Xerostomia. Laboratoires Carliène.
  5. Grisius MM, Fox PC. Salivary gland diseases. In: Greenberg MS, Glick M. Burket’s Oral Medicine Diagnosis and Treatment. 10th ed. New York: BC Decker Inc. 2003;235-270.
  6. Cassolato SF, Turnbull RS. Xerostomia: clinical aspects and treatment. Gerodontology. 2003;20:64-77.
  7. Guggenheimer J, Moore PA. Xerostomia: etiology, recognition and treatment. J Am Dent Assoc. 2003;134:61-69.
  8. Data on file. OGT Spray: A Clinically Proven New Option for Treating Xerostomia. Laboratoires Carliène.
  9. Burgess J. Meyers AD. Salivary abnormalities in dentistry. MedScape. Jan 2013.