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Acta Stomatol Croat. 2015 Dec;49(4):309-15. doi: 10.15644/asc49/4/6.

The Effect of Tobacco Smoking on Salivation.

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Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Gundulićeva 5, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
Division of Molecular Medicine, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.



The purpose of this study was to examine the detrimental effect of smoking on the function of the salivary glands.


The study was conducted on 60 patients who were divided into two groups: a test group which included smokers and control group represented by non-smokers. Each group included 30 patients. General information was collected from all the respondents via a questionnaire as well as the data on the duration of smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day. Saliva was collected by spitting method in a graduated tube and the amount of unstimulated and stimulated saliva was measured and recorded in ml per minute. Stimulated saliva was collected immediately after rinsing the mouth with a 2% aqueous solution of citric acid which is carried salivary stimulation. The presence of pigmentation on the teeth and coated tongue were recorded during clinical examination. The degree of oral hygiene was determined by plaque index. All the obtained data were statistically analyzed with significance level p <0.05.


The results showed no significant differences in the amount of saliva between smokers and non-smokers, however, the amount of saliva decreases significantly with the duration of smoking and increasing age of smokers. Also proven was the difference in the quality of saliva: smokers have thick saliva and nonsmokers predominantly serous. In addition, smokers have poorer oral hygiene status than non-smokers, and demonstrated a positive correlation between the level of oral hygiene and length of smoking tobacco.


This study has proven that smoking adversely affects salivation: long-term smoking reduces the secretion of saliva and changes its quality.


Saliva; Salivation; Smoking; Tobacco Use Disorder; Xerostomia

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