Drugs or disease: evaluating salivary function in RA patients

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Oral complications of RA may include temporomandibular joint disorders, mucosa alterations and symptoms of dry mouth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the salivary gland function of subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) comparing it to healthy controls. Subjects with other systemic conditions known to affect salivary functions were excluded. A questionnaire was applied for the evaluation of xerostomia. Resting and chewing-stimulated salivary flow rates (SFR) were obtained under standard conditions. There were 145 subjects included of the study (104 RA and 38 controls). About 66.7% of the RA subjects and 2.4% in control group presented xerostomia. The median resting SFR were 0.24 ml/min for RA subjects and 0.40 mL/min for controls (p = 0.04). The median stimulated SFR were 1.31 mL/min for RA subjects and 1.52 ml/min for controls (p = 0.33). No significant differences were found between resting and stimulated SFR of RA subjects not using xerogenic medications and controls. There was significantly higher number of subjects presenting hyposalivation in the RA group than among controls, even when subjects using xerogenic medications were eliminated from the analysis. In conclusion, hyposalivation and xerostomia were more frequent among RA subjects not using xerogenic medication than among controls, although there were no significant differences in the median SFR between groups.




Torres, S. R., Pedrazas, C. H. S., Correia, M. P. V., de Azevedo, M. N. L., Zamprogno, T., Junior, A. S., … de Souza Papi, J. A. (2016). Drugs or disease: evaluating salivary function in RA patients. Brazilian Oral Research, 30(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2016.VOL30.0106

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