Medication in elderly people: its influence on salivary pattern, signs and symptoms of dry mouth
Objective: To compare stimulated and non-stimulated salivary flow, pH, buffering capacity and presence of signs and symptoms of hyposialie and xerostomia in elderly patients, with senile dementia using medication and healthy elderly subjects not using medication.
Methods: Forty individuals (mean age: 68.5 years) were divided into two groups, according to the use (G1) or non-use (G2) of medication and the presence (G1) or absence (G2) of senile dementia. Data with reference to the general health condition, use of medication and the patient’s complaints were collected during anamnesis. Clinical examination identified signs associated with hyposialie and xerostomia. Stimulated and non-stimulated saliva flow, pH and buffering capacity were verified.
Results: The stimulated saliva flow in both groups was below normal parameters. The drugs used by individuals in G1 showed xerostomic potential. Individuals with a higher consumption of xerostomic medication presented with dry and cracked lips. A significant negative relationship was found between drugs consumption and the buffering capacity (p < 0.001), and the resting saliva flow rate (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: The use of medication increases the chance that an elderly person may present signs related to xerostomia and alterations in stimulated saliva flow and buffering capacity.