This investigation was supported in part by USPHS Research Grant DE-07381 from the National Institute of Dental Research. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.
Xerostomia and associated factors in a community-dwelling adult population
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2006
Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume 24, Issue 5, pages 312–316, October 1996
How to Cite
Billings, R. J., Proskin, H. M. and Moss, M. E. (1996), Xerostomia and associated factors in a community-dwelling adult population. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 24: 312–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1996.tb00868.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2006
- Accepted for publication March 15, 1996
Abstract Xerostomia is the subjective sensation of dry mouth. Estimates on the occurrence of xerostomia in community-dwelling adults have ranged from 10% among persons over age 50 to 40% for persons over age 65. Virtually no data are available for persons under age 50. To begin to establish a database on the occurrence of xerostomia and factors associated with it, a cross-sectional assessment of self-reported symptoms and salivary function was conducted across a broad age-range of generally healthy community-dwelling adults. A convenience sample of 710 adults who ranged from 19 to 88 years of age was drawn from various sources in the greater-Rochester, New York area. Study volunteers were administered a standardized questionnaire on general and oral health, which included questions on the symptoms of xerostomia, and were provided an oral screening examination, which included measurement of unstimulated and stimulated whole saliva flow rates. Overall, the observed prevalence of xerostomia was 24% among females and 18% among males. While xerostomia was more commonly observed in women than men, this association was only clear after age 50. Xerostomia was associated with: use of medications with hyposalivatory side-effects; difficulty with dry foods; cracked lips; dry eyes; difficulty swallowing; and, among males, current cigarette smoking. Results indicated a tendency for salivary flow rates to be lower for older persons, particularly the stimulated flow rate. There was a tendency in the younger cohorts for flow rates to be lower among individuals who reported sensation of dry mouth than among those who did not. This tendency was not apparent among older persons, suggesting that younger persons may be more likely to experience symptoms of oral dryness when salivary flow was low while older persons may relate symptoms of dry mouth to a more complex constellation of factors where salivary flow is only one component. These findings need to be examined further.