Andy Wolff, Philip C. Fox, Stephen Porter and Yrjo T. Konttinen Pages 5515 - 5521 ( 7 )
Hyposalivation, often symptomatically manifested as xerostomia (dry mouth sensation) may indicate the presence of altered salivary gland function and places patients at a higher risk for oral complications. Diverse symptoms and consequences have been associated with hyposalivation, such as difficulties with speaking, swallowing and tasting and a significant increase in dental caries and other oral infections. Although hyposalivation may be caused by a variety of conditions (head and neck radiotherapy, Sjögren’s syndrome, medications, etc.), its hallmark symptom, xerostomia, is common to all such disorders, and varies only in intensity. Therefore, treatment is generally non-specific, and similar therapeutic approaches are used in all cases.
In the present paper, available palliative oral care in the form of saliva substitutes, such as mouthwashes or gels, is detailed. Also salivary flow stimulants, such as certain pharmaceutical or gustatory preparations, acupuncture and electrostimulation are reviewed. Finally, other approaches, currently under investigation, such as biological and gene therapies, are discussed. The degree of evidence of the best known methods and their intended use are analyzed.
Hyposalivation, xerostomia, dry mouth, mouthwashes, pilocarpine, cevimeline, acupuncture, electrostimulation, salivary gland function, gene therapies.
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