• saliva substitutes;
  • hyposalivation;
  • oral flora


Salivary substitutes are sometimes valuable for elderly people and radiotherapy patients, and may be used indefinitely. It is possible that this change in the ecology may effect the oral flora.

Objective: To analyse the presence of micro-organisms on oral mucous membranes during use of saliva substitutes.

Design: Cross-over single-blind study.

Setting: Clinic for Maxillofacial Surgery, Malmö University Hospital and Department of Oral Microbiology, Malmö University.

Subjects: 19 patients with low salivary secretion who had been radiated for cancer in the head and neck region. Intervention Two saliva substitutes: linseed extract and a carboxymethyl cellulose preparation (Salinum and MAS-84) were used for 3 week periods.

Measurements: Microbial samples taken, processed and analysed.

Results: No differences were observed when comparing baseline values with the results after the saliva substitutes and no significant differences between the use of different agents.

Conclusion: The study suggests that use of linseed extract and carboxymethyl cellulose preparation during periods of weeks does not influence flora commonly related to caries, periodontitis or infections in the oral mucous membranes.