Why Measure Saliva Flow?

Why Measure Saliva Flow?

Just like how blood pressure is an important measure of overall health, saliva flow is an important indicator of oral health.

Why Measure Saliva Flow?

Xerostomia is a leading cause of serious oral health problems, like:

It’s true that xerostomia is closely linked with oral health problems. But it may surprise you to learn that xerostomia is often one of the first recognizable symptoms of other diseases that are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Sjogren’s Syndrome and lupus—for example—are often misdiagnosed by doctors. Low saliva flow may be the only symptom of these diseases that clinicians recognize. Diagnosing dry mouth can improve patient’s quality of life and often help patients recognize and treat any underlying diseases.

Why Should Dentists & Health Providers Measure Saliva Flow?

  • Diagnose & prevent oral diseases & infections (including xerostomia)
  • Identify which medications cause dry mouth, or make dry mouth worse
  • Improve patient quality of life & satisfaction (especially for older patients)
  • Increase revenue from preventive oral health appointments & procedures

Spot Signs of Non-Oral Health Diseases

Xerostomia is a major symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome and Lupus.

  • 4 million adults have Sjogren’s
  • Many people with Sjogren’s are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed

By diagnosing dry mouth, you can help your patients get treatment for underlying health conditions.

Identify Medications That Cause Dry Mouth

Over 500 medications can cause xerostomia. Some include:

  • Anti-depressants
  • Statins
  • Inhalants
  • Antihistamines
  • Antacids
  • Hormone replacements
  • Diuretics

Some patients are willing to put up with dry mouth as a side effect of their medication. But others aren’t. Measuring how different medications affect your patient’s saliva flow can improve your patient’s quality of life and lead to increased patient satisfaction, especially for elderly patients.

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