Xerostomia Diagnosis – A Narrative Review

Ayesha Khalid1            BDS
Savaiz Elahi2                BDS
Arsha Qurban3             BDS
Saira Atif 4                    BDS, BSc, M.Phil



Xerostomia can be defined as a feeling of dryness of mouth, which may or may not be accompanied with reduced salivary
secretions. Xerostomia may result in localized and systemic disturbances within the body. The overall global prevalence of
xerostomia is 22% with wide variation among different countries due to difference in target population. This review presents
the recent literature on the diagnostic methodologies that are present in recent times through subjective and objective corridors.
The most commonly used subjective methods for the xerostomia diagnosis include: Fox questionnaire, Visual Analogue Scale
(VAS), Xerostomia Inventory (XI), and Shortened Xerostomia Inventory (SXI). Objective xerostomia diagnostic tools include
salivary flow rate assessment. Aside from this, there are numerous radiographical modalities that can be used especially in
diagnosing salivary gland disorders or radiation exposure due to oncological treatments which can also provide the added
information to diagnose or monitor xerostomia. These radiographic tools include computer tomography (CT), scintigraphy,
sialography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasonography. Different combination of tools gives a better xerostomia
assessment, selection of which also depends on the age and health condition of the patient.
KEYWORDS: flow rate; hyposalivation; diagnosis; oral dryness; salivary gland dysfunction
HOW TO CITE: Khalid A, Elahi S, Qurban A, Atif S. Xerostomia diagnosis - A narrative review. J Pak Dent Assoc 2022;31(1):
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25301/JPDA.311.49
Received: 30 April 2021, Accepted: 16 November 2021

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