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J Prosthodont Res. 2015 Jan;59(1):6-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jpor.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Dry mouth: a critical topic for older adult patients.

Author information

1
Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California, 925 West 34th Street, DEN 4339, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, United States. Electronic address: phuuhan@usc.edu.
2
Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California, 925 West 34th Street, DEN 4202, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, United States. Electronic address: suarezdu@usc.edu.
3
Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California, AT & T Building, 1149 South Hill Street Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States. Electronic address: mulligan@usc.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Diminished salivary flow, or dry mouth impacts the oral health of many older adults, dentate and edentulous. As a result typical oral conditions can prove more challenging to both the patient's comfort and home care and the treatment selected by the clinician. This paper will review issues of dry mouth from a clinical and symptomatic perspective and will include the condition's causes, treatment and prevention.

STUDY SELECTION:

We performed a review of PubMed using the words: older adults, dry mouth, xerostomia, radiation-induced xerostomia, and salivary gland hypofunction. We selected 90 articles with a clinical application perspective.

RESULTS:

When it comes to treatment of dry mouth conditions, either objective or subjective, there are no easy answers as to the best course of action for a specific individual. While most of the cited studies have examined the most difficult cases of dry mouth (e.g., Sjögren's syndrome, and that seen during and post head and neck cancer treatments), there are many older adults who demonstrate dry mouth from the use of multiple medications. This paper presents a summary of the etiology, diagnosis, prevention, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of dry mouth (salivary hypofunction and xerostomia in older adults).

CONCLUSIONS:

It is important to understand the causes of dry mouth and to educate our patients. Starting a prevention program as early as possible considering the most practical, cost effective and efficient treatments with the best risk-benefit ratio will help to diminish dry mouth symptoms and sequelae.

KEYWORDS:

Dry mouth; Older adults; Salivary gland hypofunction; Treatment; Xerostomia

PMID:
25498205
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpor.2014.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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