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Electrostimulation therapy for dry mouth

 

– Although there are currently no available cures for the conditions, several treatment options give hope for patients, says NIOMs Aida Mulic.

– Interestingly, patients who had undergone head and neck radiotherapy experienced increased salivation after having acupuncture.

Feeling of dry mouth, often called xerostomia, is not considered a serious medical condition in itself, but it can cause complications like tooth decay and mouth sores. Treating it is therefore imperative for good oral health. A recent paper explores electrostimulation as a treatment option.

Xerostomia is usually associated with decreased salivary gland function so called hypofunction. This can include both changes in the composition of the saliva and a reduction in the amount secreted.

– Although there are currently no available cures for the conditions, several treatment options give hope for patients, says NIOMs Aida Mulic.

Mulic is a senior scientist at NIOM, and one of the authors of the paper: Therapeutic Strategies for Dry Mouth Management with Emphasis on Electrostimulation as a Treatment Option – Review Article.

Treatments
– A number of patients showed promising treatment outcomes, Mulic says.

While both electrical stimulation (ES) and acupuncture have been reported to have some adverse effects, these are considered mild and short-termed.

– Interestingly, patients who had undergone head and neck radiotherapy experienced increased salivation after having acupuncture.

However, in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, the effects of electrostimulation devices seem to be elusive. Moreover, due to the instability of the findings in relation to longevity of clinical effect, patient satisfaction, quality of life, and clinical effectiveness of such treatments, the results remain unclear.

 By istockphoto by tharakorn: Tongue inflammation as a consequence of dry mouth.

Reference:

Therapeutic Strategies for Dry Mouth Management with Emphasis on Electrostimulation as a Treatment Option
Tulek A, Mulic A,Hogset M, Utheim TP, Sehic A
International Journal of Dentistry Volume 2021, Article ID 6043488, 21 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6043488. Link 

NIOM Newsletter Juni 2022