If you, like millions of other people, suffer from dry mouth, there’s hope: Scientists have created artificial saliva that mimics the effects of the natural substance. According to the American Dental Association, artificial saliva comes in both aerosol and liquid forms, and is often sold over the counter in drugstores. Although it’s still not a perfect substitute, artificial saliva can bring relief to people who are experiencing the painful symptoms of dry mouth. The “saliva” helps moisten oral tissues and increases a person’s ability to chew, swallow and speak. In coming years, researchers hope to create artificial saliva that includes the important enzymes and minerals found in natural saliva. These components only make up 1 percent of saliva, but they are critical in protecting a person’s oral health.
One of the drawbacks of artificial saliva is its fleeting nature. It is quickly used and swallowed, making it necessary to spray new saliva frequently. However, with regular use, it can help a person’s mouth feel moist and comfortable. When purchasing artificial saliva, it is important to look for the ADA’s seal of approval. This lets you know it has been tested for safety and effectiveness. If you can’t find it on the shelves, ask your pharmacist. You should also talk to a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan before starting any at-home treatments for dry mouth.