PSP Association

Has anyone had experience with a dry tongue?

My wife frequently complains that her toungue is very dry and feels like plastic in her mouth. I see a lot of complaints about excess saliva, mucous, etc. But none about dry mouth. My wife is in early to mid stage, and her speech is impacted by PSP, but she can still communicate, and she has started to cough a little, and clears here throat frequently, but has not started to aspirate, as far as I can tell. Are these early stage symptoms of swallowing difficulties?

Thanks to all,


11 Replies

Oddly enough I saw a programme on TV this morning where a man was complaining of that. He didn't have PSP but don't imagine it matters? The doctor prescribed a spray for his mouth. So maybe you should tell the doctor and see if they suggest anything?

Good luck with it.

Marie x


Many meds cause extremely uncomfortable dry mouth. My guy used Biotene mouth wash frequently when he was suffering from that.


Hi Dickson

There is an article in the PSP Matters magazine page 10 under managing your oral health. Article Molly and jim’s Story. She had dry mouth that went into ulcers. Is your wife on Amitriptyline? It seemed it was a side effect of that drug for molly. It does say that you must not just stop taking this. You need doctor guidance and advice of alternative. Although your wife may not be on this drug. Hope this helps.


1 like

Sorry I did type Dickwin but computer changed it to Dickson



Jeanie70, where does a person get a copy of PSP Matters. I have not heard of it before.? Joyce


Hi johns65

Sorry for late replied, I’m not sure how I got set up with this. My husband was only diagnosed last August and I got the leaflet on PSP from my consultant. I telephoned the PSP helpline and had a booklet sent out to me. I requested a number of leaflets to be sent to me, maybe I signed up for the magazine. Telephone the helpline on 0300 0110 122. They are so helpful.

This is in the uk



I experience dry mouth and tongue almost daily. The doctor says it is a result of medications. I have some communication issues since my voice became softer and less audible. When my mouth is dry it's nearly impossible to understand me. As EC said there is a product... Biotene that will help with the issue. The spray doesn't work for me, but the toothpaste does.


According to mayo medical.

Lifestyle and home remedies

In addition to the advice from your doctor, these tips may help relieve your dry mouth symptoms:

Sip water or sugar-free drinks or suck ice chips throughout the day to moisten your mouth, and drink water during meals to aid chewing and swallowing.

Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies. Products that contain xylitol may also help prevent cavities. However, in some people, xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause gas or diarrhea if consumed in large amounts.

Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes that contain xylitol, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or that contain carboxymethylcellulose (kahr-bok-see-meth-ul-SEL-u-lohs) or hydroxyethyl cellulose (hi-drok-see-ETH-ul SEL-u-lohs), such as Biotene OralBalance Moisturizing Gel.

Breathe through your nose, not your mouth. You may need to seek treatment for snoring if it causes you to breathe through your mouth during the night.

Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Moisturize your lips to soothe dry or cracked areas.

Avoid products that can make your symptoms worse. These include:

Caffeine and alcohol. These products can cause dryness and irritation. Don't use a mouthwash that contains alcohol.

All tobacco. If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop, because tobacco products can dry and irritate your mouth.

Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. These can worsen your dry mouth.

Sugary or acidic foods and candies. These increase the risk of tooth decay. Also avoid spicy or salty food because they can cause irritation.

Saliva is important to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. Taking these steps to protect your teeth may also help your dry mouth condition:

Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth. Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste, toothpaste containing betaine, or a tooth gel to neutralize bacteria acids.

Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.

Not sure if it helps.

Dee in BC


Dry mouth is often caused by medications. Can you speak with the pharmacist?

1 like

Thank you all. There are many good and practical tips here. I really appreciate it. My wife is not on any prescribed medications, but she does take Osteobiflex and Multivitamins every day (BTW, she feels that the Osteobiflex helps here a great deal with limb rigidity and muscle pain). We spoke with my wife's neuro yesterday. She noted that my wife's issues are at the back of here toungue, and that her salivary glands were functioning well, so she suggested sucking on hard candies and trying biotene. We are in Chicago, where it is very cold and dry in the winter. I think I will try the in room humidifier too.

Thanks again,



My wife chews sugar free gum all day because of this problem. Over the next few weeks she is coming off Amatriptaline 10mg and replacing it with Melonin. Let's hope it works

🙂 Billy


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