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New discovery may lead to better treatments for dry mouth
Updated: 6/3/2011 4:59:54 PM

Researchers may use new information to develop a treatment for dry mouth Many people experience dry mouth either from sleeping with their mouths open, as a side effect of prescription medications or a symptoms of a health condition. While it may not seem serious, a lack of saliva can cause bad breath and promote cavity formation, which is why researchers have investigated numerous methods of increasing saliva production in individuals who have this problem.

Recently, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research uncovered a type of fat molecule called PtdIns(3,4)P2, which may aid in sorting proteins within the salivary gland that travel along seven different pathways.

The researchers said that this discovery may help scientists form new treatments for individuals with dry mouth.

The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that some methods of stimulating saliva flow include chewing sugar-free gum and using artificial saliva or oral rinses.

The organization states that some symptoms of dry mouth include chronic dry throat, burning sensations in the mouth and problems with speaking and swallowing.

Moreover, saliva is needed to wash away leftover food debris in the mouth and neutralize acids that are produced by plaque, the ADA says.

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