Importance of Saliva

Saliva offers natural cleansing and helps rid harmful bacteria in the mouth. If the production of saliva is decreased you may experience: dry sticky feeling in mouth and throat, difficulty swallowing, mouth sores, cracked lips, dry and red tongue, burning sensation, bad breath, and other problems and discomforts. Even further damage than these irritations can occur from chronic dry mouth if left untreated, such as: gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common side effect of many medications. Discontinuing medications for illness or disease is usually not an option, which leaves only two courses of action: find ways to increase salivary production and eliminate specific things that are likely to cause dry mouth.

Dry mouth can be caused by medications used to treat:
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Hypertension
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Asthma
  • Parkinson’s Disease

It can also result from the use of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

Certain diseases and infections that may cause dry mouth include:
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • HIV
  • Alzheimers
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hypertension
  • Parkinson’s Disease Stroke
  • Mumps
Dry mouth can be the result of certain medical treatments, nerve damage, dehydration and lifestyle choices including:
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Head and Neck Injury
  • Smoking & Tobacco

Eliminating the cause to dry mouth would be ideal, but there are instances where that is not an option.

Here are a few steps you can take that can help to boost your salivary flow: 
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum
  • Drink Plenty of Water
  • Breath Through Your Nose
  • Use a Room Vaporizer
  • Use an Over-the-Counter Saliva Substitute


Contact Palm Harbor Premier Dental at (813) 289 – 0560 for further information if you are suffering from dry mouth or would like to make an appointment. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you!


Further Reading on Dry Mouth Causes and Solutions:




Most of us encounter stressful periods at some point in our lives. We are all aware that stress can have negative effects on our emotional health, but stress can also have significant negative effects on our oral health.

We know that stress can be a major contributing factor to the following conditions:


Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of your teeth that often occurs while you sleep. Daily stresses can bring on the pattern of Bruxism and can cause your teeth to become worn, cracked, and loose.

Periodontal Disease

Long-term stress can cause the immune system to weaken. This increases the risk of having the gums infected by plaque and developing Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease.

Canker Sores

Although these shallow lesions have an unknown cause, research suggests several factors including the likelihood of being stress induced. Canker sores are generally harmless, but they can be quite painful.


Stress contributes to temporomandibular joint disorders, known as TMJ or TMD. Stress and Bruxism are common causes of TMJ disorder. The trauma from grinding the teeth as well as anxiety and depression are common triggers.

Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, more commonly known as Dry Mouth, occurs when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Dry Mouth can result from conditions caused by stress or the medications used to treat anxiety and depression.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome by definition is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips gums or palate. Though the direct cause is unknown, stress is one of the triggers for burning mouth syndrome.

Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus of the mouth produces white, lacy patches or lines in the mouth. It is believed to be a reaction to viral infections triggered from stress.

All of these symptoms show the indirect ways stress can influence your oral health. Stay vigilant on your daily oral hygiene routine during periods of high stress. If you are concerned that stress is affecting your teeth and gums, contact SouthPalm HarborSmiles at (813)289–0560.






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