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by Abigail Van Buren

Quick Relief for Dry Mouth Brings Smiles to Many Lips

DEAR ABBY: I am writing to thank you for an article that you ran recently that has given me more relief and comfort than I can describe.

I am 83, male and reasonably healthy, but in recent years I've been terribly troubled with a dry mouth -- especially at night. I complained to my doctor. He just shrugged his shoulders. Then I read your column in the San Francisco Chronicle, and my prayers were answered! In response to a letter asking why a person would use a mouth spray in public, you quoted a dentist who said that as a result of disease, medication, radiation therapy or simply aging, a number of people suffer from "xerostomia" (dry mouth).

I immediately phoned my druggist, and he had never heard of a saliva substitute, so I told him to call his supplier and order it.

He did, and the next day I picked it up and used it. Abby, I will be eternally grateful to you and that dentist. No more dry mouth! God bless you. -- GRATEFUL IN PARADISE, CALIF.

DEAR GRATEFUL: I'll print your letter for the benefit of others who suffer from dry mouth and are not aware of saliva substitutes.