The effect of a linseed extract Salinum and a sodium carboxymethyl cellulose preparation called MAS-84 was compared with regard to its effect on the symptoms of dry mouth. Twenty patients with xerostomia, who had been treated for cancer in the head and neck by radiation were recruited from the clinic for maxillofacial surgery, Malmo University Hospital. Following radiation treatment the salivation was severely reduced. The symptoms of a general feeling of a dry mouth, difficulties in chewing and swallowing, taste disturbances, problems with speech and mouth burning were registered on a subjective verbal rating scale. In addition plaque index and gingival bleeding were determined. The study design was crossover and performed single blind. The experimental period was 7 weeks. The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group used Salinum and the other MAS-84 for 3 weeks. The fourth week was a wash out period and for the next three weeks the patients shifted preparation. Each of the preparations was used ad libitum. Registrations of the various parameters were undertaken on days 0, 7 and 21 of the respective period. At the initial examination all patients reported considerable disturbances from mouth-dryness. These symptoms were reduced in 15 patients during the Salinum period and in 9 during the MAS-84 period. The relief was significantly more pronounced during the use of Salinum compared to that during the use of the methyl cellulose preparation. On day 21 plaque and gingival bleeding were significantly reduced during the Salinum period but not during the MAS-84 period. The results of the present study confirm those of a previous pilot study and indicate that the linseed mucilage significantly reduced the symptoms of dry mouth. This effect increased with increasing time of saliva substitute use. The linseed mucilage Salinum appeared to be a suitable saliva replacement in mouth dry patients.