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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2008 July-August;57(7-8):343-8

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

The effect of acupuncture on salivary flow rates in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia

Braga F. P. F. 1, Sugaya N. N. 1, Hirota S. K. 1, Weinfeld I. 1, Magalhães M. H. C. G. 2, Migliari D. A. 1

1 Department of Oral Diagnosis School of Dentistry University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 2 Department of Oral Pathology School of Dentistry University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


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Aim. This study evaluated the effect of acupuncture on salivary flow rates in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia.
Methods. Twelve patients with severe xerostomia were treated with acupuncture after radiation therapy. The baseline data were obtained preceding acupuncture treatment, and used as reference values. Acupuncture was performed in 12 sessions, 20 min each, twice a week, during a 6-week period. Clinical response was evaluated objectively by saliva collection measuring resting and stimulated whole salivary flow rates, and subjectively by a visual analogue scale patients’ self-evaluation questionnaire. Statistical analyses were performed with a repeated-measures analysis of variance by using a mixed-effect modeling procedure.
Results. The results showed a statistically significant improvement for salivary flow rates on both objective and subjective evaluations (P<0.05). On objective evaluation there was an increase for resting salivary flow of 142.2% (mean=0.04 mL/min to 0.12 mL/min) and of 73.5% (mean=0.09 mL/min to 0.21 mL/min) for stimulated salivary flow. On subjective evaluation, visual analogue scale raised 36 points (mean=18.4 to 53.8) for sensation of more saliva production.
Conclusion. According to the results of the present study, acupuncture showed a significant effect on saliva production, suggesting this therapy as a useful treatment for patients suffering from radiation-induced xerostomia.

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