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J Am Dent Assoc. 1997 Aug;128(8):1128-33.

Manifestations and treatment of xerostomia and associated oral effects secondary to head and neck radiation therapy.

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  • 1Univesity of Miami School of Medicine, Fla. 33015, USA.


Xerostomia is one of the most common side effects of head and neck radiation therapy. Other oral effects are mucositis and radiation caries. Because xerostomia resulting from radiation therapy may be of a more permanent nature than xerostomia resulting from other causes, treatment is typically more extensive. Numerous regimens treat symptoms of xerostomia and associated caries and mucositis. Among them is the daily application of a fluoride gel, recommended to prevent or minimize dental caries. For patients with severe, chronic xerostomia who have some residual salivary tissue, the use of a sialagogue can promote an increased flow of saliva and treat the symptoms.

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