Photoguide: Signs and symptoms of xerostemia
1. Depapillated tongue: Soreness of the tongue, or more usually inflammation with depapillation of the dorsal surface of the tongue (loss of the lingual papillae), smooth and erythematous (reddened) surface
2. Fissured/coated tongue: Cracks, grooves or clefts appear on the top and sides of the tongue. Fissures may vary in depth (up to 6mm) and may connect with other grooves, separating the tongue into small lobes or sections.
3. Absence of saliva on mouth floor: Gives appearance of a dry shiny mucosa, with no characteristic saliva pool on the floor of the mouth.
4. Loss of stippling of the gingiva: Characteristic ’orange peel’ appearance lost. Stippling is a consequence of the microscopic elevations and depressions of the surface of the gingival tissue due to the connective tissue projections within the tissue.
5. Multiple dental restoration: When present in addition to any of the signs and symptoms above, can indicate that a patient is suffering from dry mouth.
Courtesy of Anwar R Tappuni and Nairn Wilson