Aim. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the inpatients with dry mouth and the associated risk factors.
Background. Dry mouth is defined as the excessive decrease in the amount of saliva. Hyposalivation may lead to rapid deterioration in oral health and may facilitate the development of opportunistic oral infections. Oral hygiene and evaluation of oral health are basic nursing activities.
Participants. The sample size was determined to be 90 inpatients according to the power analysis calculated for the patients with dry mouth who were able or unable to take oral liquids. The study was completed with 247 inpatients in the Internal Medicine Clinic.
Methods. A patient information form was used to collect the data for the present study. Saliva samples taken for analyses of flow rates.
Results. The amount of saliva of patients who were unable to take oral liquid was 10·7 times lower than those taking >1500 ml of liquids daily. The amount of saliva of patients receiving humidified oxygen was 2·3 times lower than those not receiving humidified oxygen. The amount of saliva of those receiving anticholinergic drugs was 3·64 times lower than those not receiving anticholinergic drugs.
Conclusions. Inability to take oral liquids and receiving humidified oxygen and anticholinergic drug therapy were significant factors for the development of dry mouth.
Relevance to clinical practice. The results are important for determining the risk factors for dry mouth. Being aware of dry mouth and knowing the associated risk factors are valuable information for nurses to initiate required procedures, as well as to prevent the development of oral health problems.