The Many Roles of Saliva
Saliva is a vital part of the human digestive process. It is secreted by the salivary glands and works to both lubricate oral tissues and cleanse the mouth. Enzymes in saliva also get a head start on breaking down food particles for further digestion. Some other important roles for saliva:
- Helps prevent dental plaque build up
- Carries chemicals from food and drink to taste receptors
- Protects mouth from trauma while speaking, swallowing, and eating
Given the importance of saliva, a lack of it can lead to serious health issues. Roughly 20% of the general population struggles with xerostomia, or dry mouth. This is a common result of salivary gland dysfunction caused by medications, cancer treatments, underlying diseases, and other health issues. The reduction of saliva in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, mouth infections, an altered sense of taste or smell, difficulty swallowing, pain, and many other complications.
Benefits of Saliva Substitutes / Artificial Saliva
Saliva substitutes, also known as artificial saliva, are liquid or aerosol products that are sprayed into the mouth. They are designed to moisten and relieve the pain and discomfort from chronic dry mouth, especially with regular use.
While researchers are not currently able to perfectly replicate the complex chemical and physical structure of natural saliva, artificial saliva products typically do contain buffering agents, cellulose derivatives, and other elements that help temporarily promote moisture.
Limitations of Artificial Saliva Sprays and Gels
Saliva substitute provide temporary relief of dry mouth, but there’s one important consideration: how temporary? While many artificial saliva sprays and gels claim to work for up to 2 hours, many users require more frequent applications to maintain moisture in the mouth – a reality that can greatly interfere with a good night’s sleep and daily activity. This also results in a greater financial expense compared to more cost-effective alternatives.
Many saliva sprays and gels also have a reputation for strong and unpleasant flavors, though a recent increase in the use of naturally sweet xylitol has led to more tasteful alternatives.
XyliMelts for Dry Mouth
If you’ve tried and failed to find long-lasting relief of dry mouth from artificial saliva sprays, there’s an innovative and increasingly popular saliva stimulant that’s worth a try: XyliMelts for dry mouth.
XyliMelts are adhering discs – made from Xylitol, cellulose gum, and other natural ingredients – that provide a great alternative for those who have struggled to find sustainable relief with more traditional artificial saliva sprays and gels. The discs are placed in the mouth, adhering strongly to the gums or teeth, which allows XyliMelts to be used at night while sleeping, as well as providing discreet relief during the day.
One major benefit to XyliMelts is the long-lasting relief. The adhering discs last 6 to 8 hours at night and 3 to 4 hours during the day (though times may vary). Other benefits include:
- Increases flow of saliva*
- Moisturizes and coats the mouth for superior comfort*
- Freshens breath with mild mint flavor
- May reduce the risk of tooth decay
If you’ve been struggling to find the right treatment for your dry mouth symptoms, it may be time to make a change. Talk to your physician about the possible causes of your dry mouth, and try out a new saliva stimulant like XyliMelts to find temporary relief and rediscover the many comforts of a well-moistened mouth.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.