The effects of COVID-19 on salivary flow and xerostomia (dry mouth) have yet to be fully studied. Typical causes of dry mouth can include mouth breathing, medications, autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, nerve injury, and stress/anxiety. One study1 looked at the effect of stress, anxiety, and depression on unstimulated salivary flow, and it found a 40% drop in flow rates when compared to patients without these factors.
COVID-19 has been a tremendous source of depression, anxiety, fear, and stress among the population as a whole. Combined with mouth breathing from mask use, COVID-19’s impact on dry mouth can be substantial. Having the ability to objectively diagnose dry mouth is important for the dental professional to provide the most effective treatment to the patient.
In this video, Perio-Implant Advisory’s Editorial Director Scott Froum, DDS, demonstrates the BokaFlo salivary flow measuring device from Boka Sciences that is more accurate and expedient than traditional spit-cup flow measuring methods.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Perio-Implant Advisory, a newsletter for dentists and hygienists that focuses on periodontal- and implant-related issues. Perio-Implant Advisory is part of the Dental Economics and DentistryIQ network. To read more articles, visit perioimplantadvisory.com and subscribe at this link.
- Gholami N, Sabzvari BH, Razzaghi A, Salah S. Effect of stress, anxiety and depression on unstimulated salivary flow rate and xerostomia. J Dent Res Dent Clin Dent Prospects. 2017;11(4):247-252.