Xerostomia: The Fancy Name for Dry Mouth

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Usually, you are only reminded of your saliva production when you catch a whiff of a delicious smell, like a roast in the oven, or fresh baked bread. Then the juices get flowing and you realize you are drooling. Imagine for a moment if you didn’t have that necessary lubrication.

When a person doesn’t produce enough saliva, they can be affected in many ways they had not realized. Let’s take a look at what happens when you have xerostomia, more commonly known as “dry mouth.”

The amount of saliva that the healthy person produces in a day can fill around three pints. That’s almost half a gallon! Thinking about a half gallon of spit is kind of gross, but that is the quantity needed to do the many jobs that your saliva does every day. What kinds of jobs, you ask? Well, the kind that everybody takes for granted, of course!

Eating – Saliva lubricates the mouth and helps you wash it down the esophagus.
Digestion – Enzymes in saliva break down food in the mouth and aids in the digestion process.
Breath Freshening – Washing out your mouth and breaking down food helps stop bad breath from developing.
Speaking – Dry mouth makes it difficult to speak. That is why public speakers always have a bottled water next to them.
Dental Decay – Saliva sweeps away food particles and keeps acids off of teeth.

If you feel you may have dry mouth, come and see Dr. Chris Pallotto and our helpful team at Oak Dental Associates for an evaluation. Phone: 708-422-1900, or come by our office in Oak Lawn, Illinois.