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Problems caused by lack of saliva or chronic dryness

The more serious consequences and complications of poor salivation and chronic dryness may not be immediately recognized. Patients may find their mouth has become sensitive or painful, which could be caused by the thinning and irritation of oral mucosa.

Patients may find redness and crusting in the corners of their lips. They may suffer frequent fungal infections (i.e., patients with SS tend to present more often with erythematous candidiasis than typical "thrush"). In susceptible individuals, an overgrowth of this organism can cause their tongue to become red, grooved and feel raw (i.e., burning tongue).

Bad breath (halitosis) can develop from a build-up of odor-causing bacteria. People may have trouble with dentures because their tongue, from lack of oral lubrication, keeps pushing them out of place.

Progressive deterioration of teeth, increased cavities, particularly those found along the gum line of teeth, and increased periodontal disease are other frequent problems linked to chronic dry mouth.