Saliva Production and Enjoyment of Real-Food Flavors in People with and Without Dysphagia and/or Xerostomia

Angela M. Dietsch, Cathy A. Pelletier, Nancy Pearl Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Non-food gustatory stimulation has multiple potential therapeutic benefits for people with dysphagia and xerostomia. This study examined palatability and saliva flow associated with dissolvable flavored films. Taste strips with real-food flavors dissolved on the tongues of 21 persons with dysphagia and/or xerostomia and 21 healthy age- and sex-matched adults while sublingual gauze pads absorbed saliva over randomized 3-min trials. Participants rated taste enjoyment for each trial on a hedonic general labeled magnitude scale. Flavored strips elicited more saliva than baseline for both groups, and production was higher for controls than patients (M = 2.386 and 1.091 g, respectively; p = 0.036). Main effects of flavor were observed for saliva production (p = 0.002) and hedonics (p < 0.001). Hedonic ratings and saliva production were weakly correlated (r = 0.293, p < 0.001). Results support dissolvable taste strips as a tool for providing low-risk taste stimulation in dysphagia and for eliciting an increase in saliva flow that may provide temporary relief from dry mouth symptoms. The preferred flavors were, on average, also the ones that elicited greater saliva production. Taste strips have the potential to be beneficial for swallowing-related neural activity, timing, and safety in dysphagia. Further, they may ameliorate complications of xerostomia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Dysphagia
  • Salivary flow
  • Taste stimulation
  • Xerostomia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Saliva Production and Enjoyment of Real-Food Flavors in People with and Without Dysphagia and/or Xerostomia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this