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J Natl Med Assoc. 1995 Feb;87(2):131-5.

Major salivary gland flow rates in young and old, generally healthy African Americans and whites.

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  • 1Department of Oral Medicine/Pathology/Surgery, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor.


Saliva is essential to maintain and preserve oral health. Previous studies of primarily white populations demonstrated that salivary gland flow rates are age-stable in healthy adults, but there are little data on African Americans of different ages. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between age, gender, and race in unstimulated and stimulated parotid and submandibular salivary gland flow rates and to evaluate subjective responses to questions regarding salivary dysfunction. Sixty generally healthy, middle socioeconomic class African Americans and whites between the ages of 20 to 40 and 60 to 80 years were evaluated. The results indicate, in general, that objective and subjective measurements of major salivary gland flow rates are independent of age, gender, and race. Further studies are required using larger populations. These results suggest that signs and symptoms of dry mouth in the elderly regardless of race or gender should not be considered a normal sequela of aging.

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