Preventive/Therapeutic Strategies

Treatment of salivary gland dysfunction is initially focused on addressing the underlying cause or causes (e.g., medical management of diabetes or autoimmune disease, reducing exposure to xerogenic medications). Unfortunately, such a direct approach is not always feasible and may be medically contraindicated for many patients. For such cases, treatment goals are focused on relieving symptoms and reducing possible sequelae.4,5

Traditional measures to reduce caries risk (e.g., meticulous oral hygiene, dietary modification, topical fluoride) must be reinforced. A more in depth review of caries and it prevention is available elsewhere.6 Specific therapies targeting salivary dysfunction consist of lubricating agents and saliva stimulants.