This website is intended for healthcare professionals and clinical researchers only. All of the treatments using LED phototherapy devices that are discussed on this website are in various stages of investigation and have not been approved by the FDA except where specifically stated.
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is the condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. Xerostomia can lead to significant dental issues including halitosis, increased tooth decay, and infections of the mouth such as thrush. It can also make chewing, swallowing, and eating significantly more difficult, often contributing to poor nutrition.
Xerostomia is a common problem. It is frequently a side effect of medication, which may improve with a new prescription or an adjustment of dosage. However, other more serious causes include Parkinson’s disease, Sjorgen’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes; additionally, certain cancer treatments may affect the salivary glands.
Current Treatments and Issues
- Medications such as Pilocarpine and Cevimeline may be prescribed to stimulate the production of saliva. While these drugs may be effective, there are several side effects such as excessive sweating, nausea, and diarrhea. Plus, medications aren’t suitable for everyone and must be avoided by those who have asthma or glaucoma.
- Self-care. Patients can sip non-carbonated, sugarless fluids often to help keep the mouth wet. Artificial saliva substitutes and oral lubricants containing glycerin can help while eating and speaking.
- Light therapy. Light therapy is a painless, drug free, non-invasive treatment alternative that provides relief from the symptoms of xerostomia. Clinical studies have shown light therapy to be a powerful tool – learn more about treating xerostomia with light therapy.