Comparison of a saliva wetness tester and a moisture-checking device in patients with maxillary obturator prostheses
Examination of dry mouth in postoperative oral tumour patients should ideally be performed simply and quickly at the chair side. Moisture-checking devices and saliva wetness testers are available for such moisture measurement. Previous studies have reported that moisture-checking devices are useful to examine dry mouth in patients with maxillary obturator prostheses. However, because the measurement principles of saliva wetness testers differ from those of moisture-checking devices, diagnosis by the two devices may result in diagnostic disagreement. The purpose of the present study was to compare the usefulness of a saliva wetness tester with a moisture-checking device for patients with maxillary obturator prostheses.
Oral moisture was measured with a moisture-checking device and a saliva wetness tester in 30 subjects with maxillary obturator prostheses. These measurements were performed five times at the lingual mucosa, and mean values of each measurement were calculated. The reference value for moisture measurements with the moisture-checking device was 29%, and that with the saliva wetness tester was 3 mm. Subjects were classified as having dry mouth when their moisture measurements were less than the reference values.
The diagnostic results of the saliva wetness tester were in agreement with those of the moisture-checking device. The respective moisture measurements showed a significant positive correlation (r = 0.88, p < 0.01).
The results of the present study demonstrate that saliva wetness testers are as useful as moisture-checking devices to examine dry mouth in patients with maxillary obturator prostheses.