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Keywords:

  • xerostomia;
  • saliva;
  • dysphagia;
  • geriatric conditions;
  • eye;
  • dryness

Objective:  To assess the prevalence of xerostomia and the related oral and extraoral dryness symptoms in Hungary, to evaluate the association of those symptoms with the unstimulated whole saliva (UWS) flow rate, and to find correlation between the level of UWS flow rate and the oral health status of the questioned patients.

Subjects And Methods:  A total of 600 patients between the age of 18 and 92 years, 265 male, 335 female, were selected in accordance with the current regional age and residence distribution scheme of the Hungarian Statistical Office. A questionnaire was designed to determine the subjective presence or absence of the sicca symptoms. UWS flow rate and the dental and periodontal status were determined.

Results:  The percentages of subjective symptoms in the questioned subjects were oral dryness, 34%; reduced salivation, 11%; mucous saliva, 15%; dysphagia, 13%; glossopyrosis, 7%; dysphonia, 31%; dysgeusia, 9%; nasal dryness, 32%; ocular dryness, 21%; itching, 40% and xeroderma, 60%. Vaginal dryness was 14%, vaginal itching was 16% in the interviewed women. The grade of xerostomia, dysphagia, tiredness, and additionally the gingival bleeding index showed a negative correlation with the UWS flow rate. After all decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMF-T) mean values, gingival bleeding index and plaque index were significantly higher in hyposalivators, compared with those who had normal flow rates

Conclusion:  This cross sectional study, representative of the Hungarian population, clearly shows that one-third of the adult population suffers from xerostomia. The clinical severity of the xerostomia demonstrated a strong relationship with the lower levels of UWS flow rate. Reduced levels of UWS flow rate in this study were also shown to be associated with dysphagia, fatigue, and increased DMF-T numbers. The data show that oral dryness, its associated desiccation symptoms and its clinical manifestations are significant health problems in Hungary.