Ｑ 1：What is dry mouth?
Ａ 1：Dry mouth or xerostomia means not only a decrease in salivary gland secretion but also the symptom of a dry feeling in the mouth.
Ｑ 2：What causes dry mouth?
Ａ 2：There are several reasons for a decrease in salivary gland secretion resulting in dry mouth. (1) side effects from medication (2) decrease in saliva production due to aging (3) mental stress (4) mouth breathing (5) illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, rheumatic diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome (6) radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants, etc.
Ｑ 3：Can the nose and mouth become dry at the same time?
Ａ 3：This occurs often as a side effect from medication. Another reason could also be an autoimmune disease.
Ｑ 4：Is it dry mouth when your throat hurts when breathing?
Ａ 4：When saliva decreases, the throat can also become dry. It could also be from a swollen throat or infection so a thorough examination is recommended.
Ｑ 5：Is bad breath caused by dry mouth?
Ａ 5：When the mouth is dry, tooth decay occurs, bacteria increases and this can cause bad breath. Also, gastrointestinal problems can cause bad breath.
Ｑ 6：How does dry mouth cause tooth decay?
Ａ 6：When saliva decreases and the mouth becomes dry, bacteria cannot be washed away and thus remains. Also due to the decrease in antibacterial agents which are contained in saliva, bacteria increases. These conditions cause an increase in tooth decay.
Ｑ 7：Is a cracked tongue due to dry mouth?
Ａ 7：When the mouth becomes dry, the tongue's mucous also dries up causing the tongue to crack. Other possible causes are infection and swelling.
Ｑ 8：What happens if you drink too much water to quench your thirst?
Ａ 8：There is no real problem in drinking a lot of water. However gastric juices become diluted and this could cause gastrointestinal problems. Also the feeling of fullness could affect eating enough nutritional meals. Rather than drinking water, it would be better to gargle.
Ｑ 9：Taking medication makes me thirsty. Is this dry mouth?
Ａ 9：If your mouth doesn't feel dry when not on that medication then it is probably not xerostomia (dry mouth) but a side effect from the medication which is causing your mouth to feel dry.
Ｑ 10：Why is lip biopsy necessary?
Ａ 10：Sjogren's syndrome is a disease in which a person's own immune cells attack the glands that produce tears and saliva. The best way to tell whether it is this disease or not is through blood tests and by taking a small amount of salivary gland tissue to see if attacking cells are present or not.
Ｑ 11：Why is an eye exam necessary?
Ａ 11：Sjogren's syndrome is a disease in which a person's own immune cells attack the glands which produce tears and saliva. If the mouth and eyes are dry, then there is even more possibility of this disease. By also checking the amount of tears, it is possible to determine whether or not it is this disease.
Ｑ 12：I'm taking herbal medicine but it is not working. Is there any good treatment?
Ａ 12：There are cases where herbal medicine work and cases where they don't. Herbal medicine does not work quickly and so you should keep taking it for a prolonged time or try other medication. It would be best if you discuss this with your physician.
Ｑ 13：My medication for high blood pressure makes me thirsty. Do I have dry mouth?
Ａ 13：If you are not thirsty when not taking the medication then rather than the disease xerostomia (dry mouth), it is more likely to be a side effect from the medication which is causing your mouth to dry.
Ｑ 14：I have diabetes and my mouth gets dry. Is there any good treatment?
Ａ 14：In diabetes, persistent high blood sugar level can cause a decrease in the amount of saliva thus resulting in a dry mouth. The most important thing is to control your blood sugar level. Consulting a specialist is recommended.
Ｑ 15：I have kidney disease and my mouth gets dry. Is there any good treatment?
Ａ 15：There are many disorders involving the kidneys but a dry mouth could be due to Sjogren's syndrome. However just having a dry mouth is not a determining factor and a medical examination would be necessary. Consulting a specialist is recommended.
Ｑ 16：What is a Schirmer test?
Ａ 16：In the Schirmer's test, a small strip of filter paper is inserted into the corner of the eye, tears are collected and the amount is measured. This test is done to diagnose dry eye and Sjogren's syndrome, a disease where the mouth and eyes become dry.
Ｑ 17：What is a Saxon test?
Ａ 17：This is a procedure where gauze is placed in the mouth and chewed on for a certain length of time. The amount of saliva in the gauze is then measured to see if the saliva is being secreted normally or not.
Ｑ 18：What is a gum test?
Ａ 18：This is a procedure where gum is chewed for a certain length of time. The amount of saliva produced during that time is measured to see if the saliva is being secreted normally or not.
Ｑ 19：Why are saliva secretagogues effective?
Ａ 19：Saliva secretagogues (saliva secretion stimulants) directly stimulate the weakened salivary gland. In this way saliva secretion can be increased even if salivary glands have decreased or become weak.
Ｑ 20：Does xerostomia mean that the nerves are damaged?
Ａ 20：Except in cerebral infarction or where there is damage to the brain, xerostomia does not affect the nervous system.