Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(10):811-824. doi:10.7150/ijms.12912 This issue


Salivary Secretory Disorders, Inducing Drugs, and Clinical Management

Jaume Miranda-Rius1✉, Lluís Brunet-Llobet2, Eduard Lahor-Soler1, Magí Farré3

1. Departament d'Odontostomatologia. Facultat d'Odontologia. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2. Servei d'Odontologia. Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3. Clinical Pharmacology Unit. Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol-IGTP and Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM). Facultat de Medicina. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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Miranda-Rius J, Brunet-Llobet L, Lahor-Soler E, Farré M. Salivary Secretory Disorders, Inducing Drugs, and Clinical Management. Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(10):811-824. doi:10.7150/ijms.12912. Available from

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Background: Salivary secretory disorders can be the result of a wide range of factors. Their prevalence and negative effects on the patient's quality of life oblige the clinician to confront the issue.

Aim: To review the salivary secretory disorders, inducing drugs and their clinical management.

Methods: In this article, a literature search of these dysfunctions was conducted with the assistance of a research librarian in the MEDLINE/PubMed Database.

Results: Xerostomia, or dry mouth syndrome, can be caused by medication, systemic diseases such as Sjögren's Syndrome, glandular pathologies, and radiotherapy of the head and neck. Treatment of dry mouth is aimed at both minimizing its symptoms and preventing oral complications with the employment of sialogogues and topical acting substances. Sialorrhea and drooling, are mainly due to medication or neurological systemic disease. There are various therapeutic, pharmacologic, and surgical alternatives for its management. The pharmacology of most of the substances employed for the treatment of salivary disorders is well-known. Nevertheless, in some cases a significant improvement in salivary function has not been observed after their administration.

Conclusion: At present, there are numerous frequently prescribed drugs whose unwanted effects include some kind of salivary disorder. In addition, the differing pathologic mechanisms, and the great variety of existing treatments hinder the clinical management of these patients.

The authors have designed an algorithm to facilitate the decision making process when physicians, oral surgeons, or dentists face these salivary dysfunctions.

Keywords: Saliva, Drugs, Xerostomia, Sialorrhea, Drooling