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What is Xerostomia? That is the fancy, medical term for chronic dry mouth disease–when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to consistently lubricate the mouth. There are many jobs, besides just making it easier to eat, that saliva does that you probably do not realize. Let’s take a look:

Eating and Digestion

Your saliva glands are triggered every time you smell something good to eat. This is your brain telling your tummy to get ready. Saliva lubricates the mouth, breaks down the food to prepare it for digestion, and washes it down the esophagus. Whee!

Breath Freshening

While it won’t bestow a minty fresh smell, without your saliva constantly washing away food particles and cleaning out your mouth, bad breath would be much, much, worse. Think about that every time you forget to brush your teeth in the morning.


As mentioned above, dry mouth makes it difficult to speak. That is why public speakers always have a bottled water next to them–to keep from croaking like a frog. Ribbit.

Keeps Away Dental Decay

This is the most important job of saliva according to your dentist. Saliva sweeps away food particles that can get trapped in teeth, and it washes off acids that can eat through tooth enamel. Thus saliva is an ally against tooth decay and gum disease.

If you feel you may have dry mouth, come and see Drs. Pape, Ramjit, Michael, and Sundeen and our helpful team at Isle Smile for an evaluation. Phone: 305-293-1660, or come by our office in Key West, Florida.