Common brand names: Moi-Stir, Mouth Kote, Optimoist, Saliva Substitute, Salivar, Salix, Xero-Lube.
Dental uses: Saliva substitutes are used for the symptomatic relief of dry mouth and dry throat in patients whose saliva levels are low or absent. These often are patients who received radiation therapy to the head and neck, or patients with Sjogren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder).
Dosage for dental purposes: Saliva substitutes are taken as often as needed, usually in the form of a spray. There are no specific dosage guidelines.
Concerns and possible side effects: Patients with a chronic dry mouth are at increased risk for dental decay and should see their dentist for treatment. Most saliva substitutes contain the sugar sorbitol, which can also increase the risk of dental decay. Topical fluoride treatments administered to protect the teeth in patients with a chronic dry mouth should also protect the teeth from any problem posed by sorbitol.