Surgery or radiation to the tongue or mouth can damage the glands that make saliva and keep your mouth moist. Most people will get most of their saliva back, but this can take one year or more. In the meantime, there are things you can do to protect your mouth, reduce dryness, and stimulate saliva production.

Resources for management of dry mouth

Saliva replacement products

BioXtra adds moisture to your mouth and contains an ingredient that has been shown to help your mouth make more saliva. The spray or the gel are the most recommended products. BioXtra is available from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre pharmacy or online HERE. You may also be able to find it at some drugstores or other websites.

Biotene adds moisture to your mouth, but does not help the mouth make more saliva. It is generally easier to find in large drugstores than BioXtra, and is available on websites such as Amazon or

Xylimelts are lozenges that stick to your gums to help relieve dry mouth. They can be purchased at the Princess Margaret pharmacy or online. You can also look for other candy, drops or gum that is sugarless and contains the ingredient “xylitol”.

Mouth Care Guidelines from Cancer Care Ontario

What to Expect While Receiving Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer

Find help with dry mouth

You are encourage to connect with your dentist for possible solutions for your dry mouth, and to manage your overall dental health.