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Keywords:

  • flow;
  • humans;
  • oral complaints;
  • saliva;
  • stimulated;
  • unstimulated

Abstract – Saliva plays an important role in maintaining oral health and functions. In the present study, unstimulated and stimulated whole salivary flow and various oral complaints were surveyed in 1427 individuals, 669 men (47%) and 758 women (53%). These individuals, aged 20 to 69 years and from different socio-economic backgrounds, were recruited from 2000 randomly selected men and women in the register of the public dental health service in northern Sweden. The unstimulated salivary flow rate ranged from 0 to 2.07 mL/min (mean 0.33±SD 0.26) for men, and from 0 to 1.35 mL/min (mean 0.26±SD 0.21) for women. The stimulated salivary flow rate ranged from 0.17 to 7.3 mL/min (mean 2.50±SD 1.06) for men, and from 0 to 6.40 mL/min (mean 2.02±SD 0.93) for women. Women over 55 years of age had a reduced unstimulated salivary flow (P<0.05). Individuals with many teeth had a higher stimulated salivary flow than those with fewer teeth (P<0.001). Male smokers had a lower unstimulated salivary flow than male non-smokers (P<0.05). Women with oral lesion complaints had a lower unstimulated salivary flow (P<0.05), and women with burning mouth had a lower stimulated salivary flow (P<0.01). Individuals with subjective oral dryness had reduced salivary flow, both unstimulated (men P<0.01, women P<0.001) and stimulated (P<0.001). Subjective oral dryness was associated with complaints of burning mouth (P<0.001), muscle pain (P<0.01), taste disturbances (P<0.01), and dry eyes (P<0.05). Individuals with subjective oral dryness had fewer teeth than individuals with no such complaints (P<0.001). Information regarding salivary flow rate in adults is important in understanding and evaluating the relationship between salivary flow and various types of oral complaints in patients.