|Abstract (english)|| |
Background and objectives: Hyposalivation is a state of reduced secretion of saliva which
can be caused by drugs, by radiation to the head and neck in order to treat head and neck
cancers, and can occur in some systemic diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, etc.
Hyposalivation is a very annoying symptom for patients as it is constantly present, thus
preventing speech, chewing and swallowing. In addition to these, there is a stronger tendency
to develop caries, gingivitis and candidiasis due to lack of saliva. In the literature around the
world there are various local and systemic preparations to facilitate the symptoms of dry
mouth in patients, although each of them has advantages and disadvantages. The aim of this
study was to compare the efficacy of acupuncture, low level laser therapy (LLLT) and water
in 67 patients with hyposalivation caused by drugs.
Methods: Before therapies each participant filled out a questionnaire on the quality of life in
the Croatian language (OHIP-14 CRO) and the amount of saliva was measured by simple
method of ejecting saliva into calibrated tubes for 5 minutes in the morning between 8 and 11
A.M. Both procedures were repeated after the completion of each therapy. Low Level Laser
Therapy (GaAlAs, 830 nm wavelength; dose 1,80 J/cm2; power 35 mW, area 4 cm2,
frequency 5,20 Hz, pulse 800 ms; period 1 ms) was carried out every working day in the
course of 14 days and each session lasted 15 minutes on the skin area above the major
salivary glands in 28 patients. In 16 participants of the control group, LLLT was conducted
with laser device which was switched off. Acupuncture was performed by use of needles
(0,16x10mm) inserted on the following points; Shen Man, Point Zero, Autonomic Point,
Thirst Point, Salivary Gland F on both ears while the participants were sitting for 30 minutes
at the acupuncturist. After the participants got press needles (0,16x1,4 mm) on one ear at the
points Shen Men and Thirst Point till the next session. Second acupuncture session was one
week after the first one and the remaining three every seven days. Statistical analysis was
performed by use of Student t test for dependent and independent samples.
The results of this study have shown that acupuncture was superior in comparison to the
LLLT and switched off LLLT on the basis of increased salivary flow rate and the quality of
life questionnaire. LLLT increased salivary flow rate, however, there was no significant
improvement in scores of the quality of life questionnaire. LLLT, when switched off, did not
increase salivary flow rate nor OHIP-CRO scores significantly.
We might conclude that salivary gland stimulation by use of acupuncture increased salivary
flow rate in patients with drug-induced hyposalivation as well as improved scores of OHIPCRO.
Switched on LLLT also increased salivary flow rate in these patients, however OHIP
CRO scores were not signifiantly different. Switched of LLLT neither increased salivary flow
rate nor improved OHIP-CRO scores.