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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery
Minerva Stomatologica 2003 September;52(9):455-64
language: English, Italian
The patient with xerostomia: medical therapy, prosthetic therapy
Branchi R., Fancelli V., Durval E., De Salvador A.
The condition of xerostomia has significant consequences on both the hard and the soft components of the oral cavity, and can compromise functionality. Furthermore, this clinical complication produces negative changes in eating habits, frequently causing the loss of several kilograms of body weight. This article aims to provide as complete as possible an overview of therapeutic possibilities. Alongside medical therapy, the article will report on an experimental treatment designed for patients who are scheduled for radiation therapy to an area including a major salivary gland (in particular the parotid gland). The treatment consists in autologous transplantation of a portion of glandular tissue to a site outside the irradiated area. Lastly, a particular method for prosthetic rehabilitation, the so-called ''reservoir'' denture, is presented. A complete denture is produced with conventional techniques but has a small container for artificial saliva. For mandibular dentures the container is sub-divided into 3 inter-communicating chambers and is situated in the lingual flange; for maxillary dentures, a single chamber is situated in the palatine concavity. In our opinion, the mandibular reservoir denture presented here has better characteristics than other devices that have been reported in the international literature.