Healthcare professionals

Chronic diseases

Many chronic diseases may lead to Dry Mouth1. More than 40% of diabetics have these problems. They can be caused by polyuria,  high blood sugar levels or medication.  Other medical conditions that may cause xerostomia are heart and vascular diseases, autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, SLE and rheumatoid arthritis, prolonged stress and anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.


Most cases of  xerostomia  are the side effect of the use of medication2,3. There are hundreds of prescription and non-prescription drugs associated with xerostomia2. A few specific categories of drugs that can lead to this condition are:

  • Anticholinergics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antihypertensives
  • Appetite suppressants
  • Chemotherapeutic agents
  • Neurological agents
  • Overactive bladder medication
  • Psychotropic drugs

Simultaneous use of 3 or more different types of medication increases the likelihood of developing xerostomia by 40%.

Radiotherapy or surgery in the head- and neck region may cause severe disturbance in the saliva production, leading to serious discomfort for those patients.
Clinical studies show that the use of bioXtra significantly improves the symptoms of xerostomia and reduces its impact on Quality of Life. 4,5,6,7

Special needs patients

Wherever possible, patients should be encouraged and supported to carry out their own oral care. However, when they are unable to do this, maintaining patients’ oral hygiene is an essential nursing duty and is considered a fundamental aspect of healthcare8.

Aspiration of bacteria in oropharyngeal secretions is an important risk factor for pneumonia in the young and elderly. Poor oral health may also contribute to the development of pneumonia. Raised education and awareness of oral health and its links to pneumonia are imperative in its prevention and treatment9.

Download list of drugs


  1. Hopcraft, M. and Tan, C. (2010), Xerostomia: an update for clinicians. Australian Dental Journal, 55: 238–244.
  2. Gordon J. Christensen, Common Prescriptions associated with xerostomia. Clinician Report; volume 5,Issue 10: Addendum.
  3. Ann Eshenaur Spolarich (2005), Medication Use and Xerostomia- Treating Drug-induced Dry Mouth. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene ;3(7): 22-24.
  4. Shahdad SA, Taylor C, Barclay SC, Steen IN& Preshaw PM (2005), Double-blind, crossover study of Biotène Oralbalance and BioXtra systems as salivary substitutes in patients with postradiotherapy xerostomia. European Journal of Cancer Care 14, 319–326.
  5. Gookizadeh A, Emami H, Najafizadeh N, Roayaei M (2012). Clinical evaluation of bioXtra in relieving signs and symptoms of dry mouth after head and neck radiotherapy in cancer patients in Seyed-al-Shahad Hospital, Isfahan, Iran. Adv. Biomed Res 2012; 1:72.
  6. Dirix P, Nuyts S, Vander Poorten V, Delaere P, Van den Bogaert W (2007). Efficacy of the BioXtra dry mouth care system in the treatment of radiotherapy-induced xerostomia. SUPPORT CARE CANCER.
  7. Bakhshi M, Manifar S, Azizi N, Shabestari SB, Mardi AH, Shirinbak I, Mehdipour A. Efficacy of BioXtra Spray and Mouthwash in Patients with Radiation-induced Xerostomia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Int J Experiment Dent Sci 2014; 3(1): 19-23.
  8. How to provide effective oral care – Nursing Times 15.02.11 / Vol 107 No 6.
  9. Oral health and pneumonia: a case study analysis – Dental Nursing January 2014 Vol 10 No 1.