Saliva is essential within the oral cavity and necessary to maintain the health and well-being of the hard and soft tissues in the mouth. Reductions in the quantity and quality of salivary in a patient’s mouth often go unnoticed, and failure to recognise this problem can lead to an increase in oral and dental concerns which may impact directly upon their quality of life. While the importance of saliva may be overlooked when examining patients, there are simple techniques which can be incorporated into daily practice to enable a thorough clinical assessment of the saliva and can help influence management decisions. This presentation will provide information on how the oral health professional can assist patients in evaluating and managing their dry mouth condition, and will share clinical hints and tips for maintaining a healthy oral environment and thereby improving quality of life.
- The importance of saliva in the oral environment
- Understanding the terminology - salivary gland dysfunction, hypo-salivation, xerostomia, dry mouth syndrome.
- How an individual’s general health, medications, diet, and lifestyle can affect their saliva
- Clinical assessment of salivary function and related risks to the hard and soft tissues
- Clinical management of presenting oral conditions and minimising ongoing risk
- At-home strategies for ongoing health