In the body there are a series of endocrine glands that secrete substances into the bloodstream that act on one or more target organs. These substances are called hormones and are involved in the maintenance of the body’s homeostasis and in the regulation of cellular metabolism. Sometimes they can cause alterations in the oral area and may have a salty mouth sensation due to the thyroid.


Endocrine diseases are due to a hypo or hyperfunction of these glands or to an alteration in the response of the organ on which the hormonal stimulus acts.

The effect of the disorders that derive from the dysfunction of some of the endocrine secretions causes metabolic alterations, which affect the whole organism.

What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is located in the anterior region of the neck, in front of and below the cricoid cartilage, and its fundamental mission is the secretion of thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin. These hormones are involved in the regulation of numerous metabolic processes throughout the body.

The alteration in the secretion can be manifested in Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. The majority of patients who suffer from thyroid disorders and who come for consultation, are already diagnosed and controlled by specialist doctors.


Thyroid gland disorders can be divided into two:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism


Hyperthyroidism is a situation of generalized metabolic hyperactivity of the organism as a consequence of an exaggerated production of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Oral clinical manifestations are translated. Children have a premature loss of primary teeth and an early eruption of permanent dentition. There is a tendency to osteoporosis of the alveolar bone. These patients appear to develop tooth decay and periodontal disease that progress at a very rapid rate. Its explanation possibly lies in a large consumption of sugars to meet the demands of your metabolism.


Hypothyroidism is characterized by a deficit in the secretion of thyroid hormones and consequently a slowdown in metabolic activity.

Oral manifestations usually appear in childhood, resulting in delayed tooth eruption and enamel hypoplasia, enlargement of the tongue (macroglossia) with atrophic papillae, malocclusion (secondary to macroglossia, can cause diastema), skeletal delay, gingivitis and significant tooth decay (due to mouth breathing), secondary to macroglossia, since they cannot close their mouths and impaired immune response -decreased- and development of chronic candidiasis, having a sensation of a thyroid dry mouth or thyroid salty mouth.

In adulthood, oral symptoms and signs do not usually affect teeth or supporting tissues that are already formed.


Dry mouth due to thyroid is a subjective sensation of oral dryness that, if clinically verified, we will call objective xerostomia. It usually manifests when there is a 50% or more decrease in salivary flow.

Manifestations of thyroid dry mouth

The main manifestations of presenting this dry mouth or thyroid dry mouth are those shown below:

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Nutritional commitment
  • Increased drug intolerance
  • Increased incidence of bacterial glossitis, candidiasis, angular cheilitis, halitosis, and sialadenitis
  • Decreased resistance to loss of tooth structure due to attrition, abrasion and erosion
  • Loss of ability to buffer the buccal environment
  • Increased susceptibility to mucosal trauma
  • Difficulty using mucosa-supported dentures
  • Major rampant cavities
  • Worsening quality of life of patients
  • Depressive syndrome



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