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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

February 2004
Volume 35 , Issue 2

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Diagnosis and treatment of salivary gland disorders

Gwen Cohen-Brown, DDS/Jonathan A. Ship, DMD

Pages: 108-123
PMID: 15000634

The keystone of the architecture of the oral cavity is saliva; however, it is rarely acknowledged as a vital physiologic secretion. Saliva plays three major roles in oral and systemic health. It provides host protection, assists in the initiation of food and fluid intake, and enables communication through speech. Without adequate salivary output augmented by a rich assortment of salivary proteins and electrolytes, oral and pharyngeal health declines as well as a person’s quality of life. This article will provide a brief summary of the function of saliva, oral and systemic etiologies of salivary dysfunction, and methods to treat and prevent salivary disorders. Oral health care professionals can play a vital role in identifying patients at risk for developing salivary dysfunction and should provide appropriate preventive and interventive techniques that will help preserve oral health and function.

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