What is the Best Saliva Substitute?
By: Nona M. Lizada, PharmD Candidate 2022
Belmont University College of Pharmacy
What is Saliva Substitute?
Saliva substitute is a manmade form of the mucus secretions normally produced by salivary glands in the human mouth. They are often used for dry mouth to help create artificial saliva when the body can’t produce enough saliva on its own. Dry mouth, also referred to as xerostomia is any condition that causes your oral cavity to be unusually dry. Common causes of dry mouth include: a variety of autoimmune disorders, dysfunction of salivary glands, repeated tobacco use, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, Sjögren’s syndrome and medications. Common signs and symptoms of dry mouth: dryness of oral cavity, mouth sores, loss of taste, difficulty swallowing, and decaying of teeth over time. Lasting effects of untreated dry mouth – difficulty speaking and swallowing, gum disease, tooth loss, and constant sore throat.
Commonly Used Saliva Substitutes
SalivaMAX: is a supersaturated calcium phosphate powder that when dissolved in water can be used as a rinse that has been clinically proven to help reduced hyposalivation, xerostomia and mucositis. It’s a partial substitute for natural saliva that moistens, lubricates and cleans the oral cavity. This allows you to be more comfortable when drinking, chewing and speaking.
NeutraSal: a prescription rinse that can help restore a healthy oral environment by replacing and mimicking natural saliva. It can relieve dry mouth symptoms, improve ability to swallow, drink, eat, taste and talk as well as supports healthy teeth by restoring calcium phosphate. It comes in single-use packets of dissolving powder that can be mixed in water to create a soothing oral rinse. It’s used for dryness of the mouth (hyposalivation, xerostomia) and dryness of the oral mucosa due to medications that suppress salivary secretion.
Mouth Kote: a natural oral moisturizer spray that relieves dry mouth and throat that can be caused by medications, disease, surgery, radiation treatment, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and aging. This is the first and only product to contain all-natural Yerba Santa, a plant known for its moisturizing benefits. It is naturally sweetened with xylitol, which can help prevent tooth decay. It relieves dry mouth and moisteners gently and naturally, with a pleasant lemon-lime taste. This dry mouth spray is sugar-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free and not tested on animals.
Biotène: the line of dry mouth products (moisturizing gel, oral rinses, mouth spray) is specially formulated to manage dry mouth symptoms and can provide lubricating comfort and lasting relief. All products have a balanced pH similar to natural saliva.
- Biotène Dry Mouth Oral Rinses
- Soothes and moisturizes for up to 4 hours
- Freshens breath
- Alcohol-free and sugar-free
- Provided balanced pH
- Can be used up to five times a day
- How to use: use 15 mL (1 tbsp), rise for 30 seconds and then spit out
- Biotène Dry Mouth Moisturizing Gel
- Small tube for discreet application
- Concentrated formula
- Soothing and moisturizing relief
- Lasts for up to 4 hours
- Alcohol-free, sugar-free, flavor-free
- How to use: place half-inch length of gel on the tongue and spread thoroughly indie the mouth
- Biotène Dry Mouth Moisturizing Spray
- Soothing and moisturizing dry mouth symptom relief
- Freshens breath
- On-the-go convenience
- Mild mint flavor
- Can be used multiple times per day
- How to use: spray directly into your mouth, tongue, and thoroughly inside the mouth
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I increase my saliva naturally?
Proper oral hygiene is essential for those with dry mouth since it can prevent tooth decay and cavities. Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, acidic, spicy, salty, dry, sugary foods and beverages. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and worsening of dry mouth symptoms. Breathe through your nose and not your mouth. Use a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom if you breathe through your mouth at night.
What foods stimulate saliva production?
Chewing and sucking can help stimulate saliva flow – ice cubes or sugar-free ice pops, sugar-free candy or sugarless gum (containing xylitol), water and other sugarless fluids sipped frequently throughout the day.
What medications cause dry mouth?
Antihistamines, decongestants, antibiotics, antidepressants, antidiarrheal, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, diuretics, gastric medications, muscle relaxants, pain medications, urinary incontinence drugs. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about your medications.
What can I use instead of saliva?
Any of the products mentioned above are very helpful in relieving dry mouth symptoms.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia). Cleveland Clinic. Updated March 2, 2021. Accessed October 22, 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10902-dry-mouth-xerostomia
- Forward Science. Updated 2021. Accessed October 22, 2021. https://forwardscience.com/salivamax
- What is neutrasal. Neutrsal. Updated 2021. Accessed October 22, 2021. https://www.neutrasal.com/about-neutrasal
- Mouth Kote Dry Mouth Spray. Parnell Pharmaceuticals. Updated 2021. Accessed October 25, 2021. https://www.parnellpharm.com/mouth-kote-oral-moisturizer
- Biotène Dry Mouth Products. Biotène. Updated 2019. Accessed October 25, 2021. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-products/