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Single-unit, wireless device for salivary stimulation
  1. Rajkumar K,
  2. Ramya R,
  3. SwarnaLakshmi R
  1. Oral Pathology, SRM Dental College Ramapuram, Ramapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ramya R, SRM Dental College Ramapuram, Ramapuram 600089, Tamil Nadu, India; drramya268{at}gmail.com

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Summary box

What is already known?

  • Therapeutic goal of xerostomia is symptom alleviation and prevention of complication.

  • TENS aids in stimulation of salivary flow.

What are the new findings?

  • Cost-effective device, non invasive, wireless and user friendly TENS for patients with xerostomia.

  • Three-dimensional printed flexible headrest suitable for all users.

Introduction

Saliva is an imperative watery liquid which is secreted by glands, providing lubrication for chewing, swallowing and aiding in digestion. Saliva acts as a ‘mirror of the body’s health’. Majorly constituted by the secretions of three paired major salivary glands: parotid, submandibular and sublingual. It also contains the secretions of the minor salivary glands.1 This critical fluid acts as a lubricant to keep the mouth moist, helps in appreciation of taste, a cleanser by protecting the mouth and teeth free of food debris and the digestive enzymes help in digestion of the food to some extent.2

Xerostomia, commonly referred to as dry mouth, is defined as the reduced or mere absence of salivary flow. It may be described as a subjective sensation of dryness of the oral mucous membrane but not always associated with the objective evidence of significantly decreased salivary flow.3 Xerostomia is however not a disease by itself; it is an indicator of various medical conditions (autoimmune disorders), as an aftereffect of radiation to the head and neck region, or a side effect of a wide variety of medications. Few other non-specific causes are mouth breathing, nasal destruction, smoking, stress anxiety, and so on.4 One another major reason contributing to hyposalivation is physiological changes at old age. Ageing causes atrophy of salivary glands which further leads to hypofunction causing a decrease in salivary flow.5 6

Treatment strategies for xerostomia include use of lubricants, salivary substitutes, saliva replacement gels, and so on. Medication includes sialagogues (pilocarpine and cevimeline) but has its own side effects. And …

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Footnotes

  • Contributors RR, contributed to conception, design, data analysis and interpretation, drafted and critically revised the manuscript; RK, contributed to conception, design, data analysis, interpretation and critically revised the manuscript; SLR contributed to design,data acquisition, drafted and critically revised the manuscript. All authors gave final approval and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding Department of Science of Science and Technology (DST) TIDE/SEED/126/2016.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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