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The influence of medication on salivary flow of the elderly: preliminary study


Dr Miriam F. Zaccaro Scelza, Avenida 28 de Setembro, 44/704, Vila Isabel, 20551-031 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The influence of medication on salivary flow of the elderly: preliminary study

Objective:  This study was to evaluate the influence of medications on unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow in elderly men and women.

Background:  Several diseases and conditions are associated with decreasing salivary flow. Medications can be risk factors for hyposalivation due to the effect particular drug categories.

Methods:  Seventy-five elderly of both gender (sixty years old or over) from the Geriatric Dental Clinic at the Federal Fluminense University Dental School, were interviewed about their health status and chronic use of medication. After the interview, unstimulated and stimulated saliva were collected from each subject. The collection time was five minutes, and the flow rate was calculated as ml/min.

Results:  The mean unstimulated salivary flow was 0.25 ml/min for women and 0.30 ml/min for men, while the mean for stimulated salivary flow was 1.23 ml/min for women and 1.31 ml/min for men, without both differences being non-significant (p > 0.05). The difference between the mean production of unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow was statistically significant, regardless of gender (p < 0.01). A significant reduction of stimulated salivary flow was observed with the usage of cardiovascular agents (p < 0.05).

Conclusion:  Drugs used in cardiovascular disease influence the flow of stimulated saliva.