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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2019 Mar 1;24(2):204-210. doi: 10.4317/medoral.22729.

Effects of treatments for drooling on caries risk in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

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Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, Rua Constantino de Sousa, 454, apto 141, zip code: 04605-001, São Paulo - SP, Brazil,



Neuromuscular impairment makes individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) more prone to drooling. Among the treatment options, there are procedures that interfere with saliva production. It is imperative to evaluate the effect of the different modalities since the reduction in salivary flow rate/production may exacerbate the risk of dental caries.


The aim of this study was to compare the effects of different treatments for drooling on caries risk and salivary parameters in children and adolescents with CP.


A total of 142 children and adolescents with CP, aged 6 to 18 years, were assigned to groups based on the different treatments they had received for drooling: G1-anticholinergic drugs (n = 18), G2-botulinum toxin injection (n = 16), G3-salivary glands surgery (n = 16), G4-no treatment (n = 42), and G5-non-drooling subjects (n = 50). All participants were evaluated on the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index, and for the prevalence of dental caries (decayed, missing, and filled teeth index and white spot lesions). Unstimulated whole saliva was collected, and salivary flow rate and osmolality were measured. Chi-square, ANOVA and Poisson regression were calculated. Prevalence ratios and their respective 95 % confidence intervals were obtained. The significance level was fixed at 5%.


No differences were found in the decayed, missing, and filled teeth index (p = 0.128) and Simplified Oral Hygiene Index (p = 0.674) among the different groups. G3 presented significantly higher percentages of WSL (p < 0.001), lower values of salivary flow rate (p < 0.001), and higher values of osmolality (p < 0.001). The white spot lesion prevalence ratio was higher only for G3 (Prevalence ratio = 14.36; IC 95% = 4.64-44.40; p < 0.001).


Children and adolescents with CP who had received surgical treatment for drooling exhibited higher number of white spot lesions because of the reduced salivary flow rate and higher salivary osmolality.

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