Heightened interest in oral health has lead to an increase in patients complaining of xerostomia, which is associated with various oral mucosal disorders. In this study, we investigated the relationship between Candida species and oral mucosal disorders in patients with xerostomia. We evaluated whole salivary flow rate and presence of oral mucosal disorders in 48 patients with xerostomia and 15 healthy controls. The number of Candida species was measured as colony-forming units after propagation on selective medium. Identification of Candida at the species level was carried out by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. We then examined the relationship between Candida species and oral mucosal symptoms. Compared with controls, patients with xerostomia exhibited significantly decreased whole salivary flow rate, increased rate of oral mucosal symptoms, and higher numbers of Candida. Salivary flow rate negatively correlated with the number Candida. Among patients with oral candidiasis, Candida albicans was isolated from the tongue mucosa and Candida glabrata was isolated from the angle of the mouth. These results suggest that particular Candida species are involved in the pathogenesis of oral mucosal disorders in patients with xerostomia. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.