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Xerostomia.

Synonym.—Dry Mouth.

Definition.—A defect or arrest of the salivary and buccal secretions.

Etiology.—In some cases it is undoubtedly a neurosis, the large majority of cases occurring in females. In many cases the cause is unknown. Diabetes is frequently attended by great thirst and dryness of the mouth, and should be considered as a causal factor.

Symptoms.—The mouth is dry, red, or parched, resulting in difficulty in mastication, deglutition, and talking. Digestion is more or less impaired, and gastric symptoms may be present.

Diagnosis.—The patient calls our attention to the unpleasant condition of dryness, and inspection reveals the condition.

Prognosis.—This depends upon our ability to remove the cause.

Treatment.—Jaborandi given in large doses has been found beneficial. Galvanism promises more, perhaps, than drugs. In one very persistent case, that of an old gentleman, I recommended him to chew Yucatan gum, and this was followed by greater relief than that afforded by medicine.


The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.



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