Salivary Flow in Systemic Erythematosus Lupus Patients
Objectives: To evaluate the frequency of clinical symptoms of xerostomia, salivary flow alterations and their correlation of symptoms of xerostomia to salivary flow alterations in Systemic Erythematosus Lupus (SEL) subjects.
Material and Methods: We investigated in 54 SEL patients the symptoms of dry mouth, dry eyes and taste disturbance.
All patients were submitted to conventional non-stimulated and stimulated salivary flow test. Salivary volume, pH and turbidity were described for each patient and correlated to clinical symptoms of xerostomia.
Results: Dry mouth was reported by 55.5% of the patients, 27.8% dry eye and taste disturbance. Low non-stimulated salivary flow was observed in 38.9%, with total absence in 16.7%; while 56.6% showed low stimulated flow. Only 5.6% normalized salivary flow after mechanical stimulation. Unstimulated saliva presented acidic pH, higher viscosity and turbidity. After mechanical stimulation pH normalized. The symptom of mouth dryness, eye dryness, and taste disturbance were correlated with hypo-salivation in stimulated salivary flow.
Conclusions: A reduction of the salivary flow and disturbance of its quality are frequently found in SEL patients. The investigation of xerostomia and salivary flow should be performed routinely to prevent oral diseases and improve the quality of life in these patients.