Xerostomia in patients undergoing anticancer therapy
Keywords:Xerostomia, saliva, chemotherapy, radiation damage, salivary glands, saliva substitutes
Xerostomia, commonly referred to as dry mouth syndrome, is the result of a decrease or absence of salivary flow, producing mucosal thirst. It is usually caused by systemic autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, neurological disorders and Sjögren's Syndrome, however dry mouth itself is associated with a variety of mood disorders and anxiety disorders and their treatment; and, several medicines are reported to cause xerostomia in at least 10% of users. Therapeutic options include agents that act as saliva and mimic and provide temporary relief of xerostomia, however they do not promote the production of salivary and
are therefore considered a cure for alternative restorations.
Medications such as chemotherapy, pain medication, anti-depressants, diuretics (water pills) can cause xerostomia. When caused by damage to the salivary gland, it can be a lifelong problem and requires patience in treatment. Radiation also causes dry mouth when salivary glands are exposed to radiation.This article summarizes xerostomiain patients undergoing anticancer therapy.