Risk factors, hyposalivation and impact of xerostomia on oral health-related quality of life
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To determine xerostomia-related frequency, factors, salivary flow rates and Oral Health-Related Quality of Life (OHRQoL) of patients attending the Universidad Andrés Bello Dental School Clinic, in the city of Viña del Mar, Chile. The study involved 566 patients assessed with xerostomia, based on a single standardized questionnaire. The severity and impact of xerostomia on OHRQoL was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the short version of the Oral Health Impact Profile Questionnaire (OHIP-14sp), respectively. Stimulated and non-stimulated salivary flow rates were obtained from a sample of patients. Xerostomia was reported in 61 patients (10.8%), comprising 50 women (83.3%) and 11 men (16.7%) (p < 0.013). The prevalence was 13% among the women and 6.1% among the men. Gender, age and medication were found to be independent risk factors for the development of xerostomia. Hyposalivation was found in 10 of the 35 patients with xerostomia (28.6%) and in 2 patients without it (p < 0.011). Patients with xerostomia had a reduced OHRQoL, compared with patients without xerostomia, as shown by the total OHIP-14sp score (p < 0.001). Xerostomia was a common, potentially debilitating condition with a major impact on the OHRQoL of a patient population attending a university-based dental clinic. Hyposalivation was present in almost 30% of the patients who complained of xerostomia. It is important that general dentists be aware of this condition, so that they can provide patients with a good diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.