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Symptom Management

Dry Mouth

The sensation of a dry mouth, in medical terminology known as xerostomia, is a common symptom in palliative care.

A dry mouth can be caused by:

Erosion of the mucous membrane lining the mouth
Depression or anxiety
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer
Many medications, including some pain relievers, antidepressants, diuretics and tranquilizers

The sensation of a dry mouth can sometimes be relieved by simple measures, including:

Drinking lots of fluids
Good oral hygiene
Providing humidified air
Sucking on ice or vitamin C tablets
Chewing sugarless gum

If necessary, other treatments can include:

Artificial saliva, provided in a spray form


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