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Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia

versión On-line ISSN 2386-8201versión impresa ISSN 1699-695X


GONZALEZ JIMENEZ, Emilio et al. Xerostomia: Diagnosis and Management. Rev Clin Med Fam [online]. 2009, vol.2, n.6, pp.300-304. ISSN 2386-8201.

Xerostomia is a condition in which the patient perceives a scarcity or total lack of saliva in his/her mouth. Also called dry mouth, it is not a disease in itself, but rather a direct manifestation of glandular dysfunction. As such, it may have a wide range of causes. For example, xerostomia may be a symptom of an underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus or primary and secondary Sjögren’ syndrome, which affects the auto-immune system. It can also be caused by certain medications, especially chemotherapy drugs or treatments which apply ionizing radiations (radiation therapy). Generally speaking, and despite the obvious discomfort suffered by the patient, xerostomia has not been the focus of much research because it has always been regarded as a secondary symptom or effect. However, due to increased survival rates, many patients (especially cancer survivors) perceive it as a potential enemy that significantly lowers their quality of life. The aim of this review is to provide an update of the physiopathological aspects of this condition as well as the different procedures presently used for its diagnosis and clinical management.

Palabras clave : Xerostomia; Physiopatology; Diagnosis; Disease Management.

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