A variety of conditions can result in reduced flow of saliva. This can result in symptoms of xerostomia and predispose to bacterial infection of the salivary glands. A variety of interventions often can provide adequate saliva flow.

Cause for Decreased Saliva Flow




proximal (to the oral cavity) parotid duct obstruction

duct dilatation with probe

drug related reduced secretion (such as anticholinergic agent_

discontinuation of offending drug


Additional interventions to increase saliva flow:

(1) sucking slowly on sour, non-sugar hard candies

(2) massaging the salivary gland to "milk" saliva

(3) use of a cholinergic agent as a sialagogue (pilocarpine, cevimeline)


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