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Explorative study on mucosal and major salivary secretion rates, caries and plaque microflora in head and neck cancer patients

Journal article
Authors Annica Almståhl
Caterina Finizia
Anette Carlén
Bodil Fagerberg-Mohlin
Torgny Alstad
Published in International Journal of Dental Hygiene
Volume 16
Issue 4
Pages 450-458
ISSN 1601-5029
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Pages 450-458
Language en
Keywords head and neck cancer patients, hyposalivation, minor gland secretion, plaque microflora, radiation, radiation-induced hyposalivation, oral ecosystems, nasopharyngeal, carcinoma, sjogrens-syndrome, different origins, southern chinese, minor, gland, flow-rate, therapy, radiotherapy, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Dentistry


Objective: To analyse mucosal and major salivary secretion rates, caries and plaque microflora in connection with treatment for cancer in the head and neck region. Methods: Thirty-three patients were included and the number of teeth, filled surfaces and caries lesions registered. The labial and buccal gland secretion and stimulated whole salivary secretion rates were determined. Supragingival plaque microflora was analysed using cultivation technique. Data were collected pretreatment, during treatment and 6 months, 1 year and 2 years post-treatment. Results: Two years post-treatment, 36% had new caries lesions, which had been restored. The labial secretion was comparable with pretreatment, while the buccal secretion was lower (P < .001). The stimulated secretion rate was lower compared with pretreatment (P < .001) and was 0.7 mL/minute for 50%. Growth of lactobacilli increased during treatment (P < .001) and remained increased (P < .001), while growth of mutans streptococci was decreased (P < .01) 2 years post-treatment. Growth of Candida increased over time and was higher 2years post-treatment compared with pretreatment (P < .001) while growth of Prevotella was lower (P < .01). Conclusions: Two years post-treatment, the stimulated salivary secretion rate was substantially decreased, acid-tolerant lactobacilli and Candida increased, acid-sensitive microorganisms decreased, and the caries prevalence was low.

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