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What Causes Dry Mouth?

We have all experienced some degree of dry mouth. Normal dry mouth commonly occurs in the morning when we wake as our saliva flow decreases when we sleep. Saliva is produced by 3 main salivary glands and many minor salivary glands that are scattered throughout the mouth. Dry mouth occurs when these glands do not function properly. If one suffers from persistent dry mouth, this can be debilitating and cause health problems. Saliva contains enzymes and proteins that help with food digestion, help control the balance of bacteria in the mouth and coupled with the dishwashing washing action of saliva, help in preventing tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. Those with dry mouth have difficulty tasting, swallowing and even speaking properly. They are more susceptible to cavities, oral infections and Periodontal (gum) disease.