Dry mouth: Diagnosis

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Diagnosing dry mouth

Useful tools to help you recognise reduced saliva flow and dry mouth in patients

Who is at risk?

History taking

If you suspect a patient is suffering from dry mouth, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has highlighted four questions for which a positive answer is associated with salivary hypofunction:5,7

  • Does the amount of saliva in your mouth seem too little?
  • Does your mouth feel dry when eating a meal?
  • Do you sip liquids to aid in swallowing dry food?
  • Do you have difficulty swallowing?

ADA Council on Scientific Affairs xerostomia guidelines

Diagnostic tests

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs outlines three diagnostic tests that you can use to support a dry mouth diagnosis7

Diagnostic tests
Salivary flow measurement Periodic evaluation of salivary flow rate that provides a tool for monitoring dry mouth symptoms
Blood tests Biomarker testing for when dry mouth is suspected to be related to systemic
Biopsy Minor salivary gland biopsy can be used to identify any underlying pathological changes associated with dysfunction

Offer your dry mouth patients a solution that suits their different needs, both day and night

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Management

Explore an overview of dry mouth management.

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Dry mouth

Find out more about dry mouth.

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Causes and mechanism

Find out more about the causes of dry mouth.

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Impact on patient quality of life

Find out about the impact that dry mouth has on patients’ daily lives.

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The Biotène range

Find out how the Biotène range can help your patients.

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Patient care resources

Download resources for your patients.

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