Dry mouth is a common condition that often goes unnoticed. It is crucial to identify its causes, symptoms, and available treatments. As a dental professional, it is my responsibility to look for signs of dry mouth and ask my patients if they are experiencing any related symptoms.

It can be difficult for patients to recognize the signs of dry mouth/xerostomia on their own. Below are the signs that you may have a dry mouth.

  • Frequently thirsty
  • Sticky tongue
  • Cracked lips/corners of the mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Increase in tooth decay
  • Change in taste
  • Lipstick sticking to teeth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Uncomfortable dentures
  • Waking up during sleep to drink water
  • Dry mouth when waking up from sleep

Understanding Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, affects a significant portion of the population, leading to discomfort and oral health issues. It’s crucial to understand that dry mouth is not only a condition but often a symptom of various factors, including;

  • Medication use
  • Medical treatments
  • Systemic diseases
  • Medical conditions
  • Age
  • Lifestyle choices

The importance of saliva to maintain oral health

Saliva is vital in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, aiding digestion, and preventing infection. Its reduction can increase the risk of dental caries, gum disease, and discomfort.

The optimal approach to the management of dry mouth

I recommend a comprehensive approach to managing dry mouth, focusing on patient education, symptom relief, and addressing underlying causes. This includes:

  • Hydration: Encouraging regular water intake and avoiding dehydrating substances such as caffeine
  • Stimulating Saliva Production: Using products like xylitol-containing gums and lozenges, which have been proven to stimulate saliva and reduce caries risk.
  • Specialized Oral Care Products: Incorporating saliva substitutes, specialized toothpaste, and alcohol-free mouth rinses of neutral pH level to alleviate dry mouth symptoms and protect oral health.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Recommending changes in diet and habits to enhance oral moisture and reduce dry mouth symptoms.

Specialized Oral Care Products for Dry Mouth

It is important to remember that not all products are made equally or regulated to ensure they have the amount of xylitol to have a therapeutic effect.

X-PUR’s high quality medicinal grade xylitol is the only Health Canada approved product to stimulate saliva.

Here is the link to purchase it in Canada: https://en.boutique.oralscience.com/collections/x-pur-gums-pastilles/products/x-pur-gums-pastilles-100-xylitol-small-bottlesOpens in a new tab..

In the United States, X-PUR is not distributed, but EPIC xylitol gum is, and it has the same amount of xylitol per piece of gum as the X-PUR brand. Here is the link on Amazon. Opens in a new tab.

The product will not be as effective if there is not enough xylitol.

It’s important to be discerning when selecting products to address the effects of dry mouth. You want to ensure that you get the maximum benefits from your purchase and not waste your money on low-quality or poorly regulated products.

Below is a selection of clinically proven products that provide relief and support for individuals suffering from dry mouth that I recommend as a dental hygienist:

Xylitol products I recommend to my patients and family

Reducing caries risk and stimulating saliva production

XyliMelts are one of the best dry mouth products to have been created. I go into more detail about them below.



Other essential oral care products for xerostomia


  • Gengigel Hyaluronic Acid Oral Gel 20mlOpens in a new tab. Amazon link (ideal for mouth sores and irritation to accelerate healing)
  • This product helps with healing sores in the mouth and any areas of irritation. It decreases healing time and is a pleasant cooling gel to relieve the mouth.


Did you know that regular fluoride toothpastes need your saliva to activate?

So, when saliva production is reduced, fluoride toothpastes do not reach their potential. Nanomedical hydroxyapatite does not need saliva to be activated and will help remineralize teeth.

But you must purchase a hydroxyapatite toothpaste tested and approved to reduce caries.

Many companies that sell these types of toothpaste are not regulated, so you do not know the size of the hydroxyapatite particle or the concentration/what is bioavailable.

The toothpaste linked below is the ONLY nanomedical hydroxyapatite toothpaste in Canada to have Health Canada approval to be sold as an anti-cavity/tooth remineralizing toothpaste.

In the United States, if you are looking for hydroxyapatite toothpaste, reach out to the company to ensure they can provide scientific studies, they 3rd party test for heavy metals and accurate concentration of hydroxyapatite, and that the particle is rod shaped.

Professional Guidance

Consulting with dental professionals is crucial for tailored advice and effective treatment plans, ensuring optimal care for individual needs. Please see your dental professional and medical doctor to discuss your oral health status.


If you have a dry mouth at night or if it is disrupting your life, XyliMelts is non-negotiable. I have had patients come back to me and thank me for introducing them to this product, which has been life-changing for them.

A sample package of XyliMelts (you can see I have already used one – one is missing). The brown side is the part you adhere to the tooth.

They are discrete tabs that adhere to your tooth, which is perfect for situations where you don’t want to be constantly sipping water.

Also, sipping water rinses away the nutritive properties of the saliva (even if you only have a small amount).

The XyliMelts work over a few hours, slowly releasing xylitol to help moisten the mouth and prevent cavities!


Having a humidifier by your bed can make a huge difference in how your mouth feels when you sleep. It adds moisture to the air you breathe in, preventing your nasal passageway and mouth from drying out.

A big issue with humidifiers on the market is that they are hard to clean, which can increase mould and bacteria within the humidifier. So, finding one that is easy to clean is essential.

I hope I have helped you find some things that will help alleviate your dry mouth and help you achieve better oral health! 🙂