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Definition of Xerostomia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Xerostomia: Dry mouth. Xerostomia can be associated with systemic diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis; and it can be a side effect of medication and poor dental hygiene. Xerostomia results from inadequate function of the salivary glands, such as the parotid glands. Treatment involves adequate intake of water, use of artificial saliva, and good dental care. Untreated, severe dry mouth can lead to increased levels of tooth decay and thrush.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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