World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI: a systematic review of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction: prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment

Alessandro Villa, Andy Wolff, Doron Aframian, Arjan Vissink, Jörgen Ekström, Gordon Proctor, Richard McGowan, Nagamani Narayana, Ardita Aliko, Ying Wai Sia, Revan Kumar Joshi, Siri Beier Jensen, Alexander Ross Kerr, Colin Dawes, Anne Marie Lynge Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Objectives: Medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction (MISGD) causes significant morbidity resulting in decreased quality of life. This systematic review assessed the literature on the prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of MISGD. Materials and methods: Electronic databases were searched for articles related to MISGD through June 2013. Four independent reviewers extracted information regarding study design, study population, interventions, outcomes, and conclusions for each article. Only papers with acceptable degree of relevance, quality of methodology, and strength of evidence were retained for further analysis. Results: There were limited data on the epidemiology of MISGD. Furthermore, various methods were used to assess salivary flow rate or xerostomia. Preventive and therapeutic strategies included substitution of medications, oral, or systemic therapy with sialogogues, use of saliva substitutes or of electro-stimulating devices. Although there are promising approaches to improve salivary gland function, most studies are characterized by small numbers and heterogeneous methods. Conclusions: Physicians and dentists should identify the medications associated with xerostomia and salivary gland dysfunction through a thorough medical history. Preferably, health care providers should measure the unstimulated and stimulated whole salivary flow rates of all their patients so that these values can be used as a baseline to rate the complaints of patients who subsequently claim to experience xerostomia or salivary gland dysfunction as well as the possibilities of effectively treating this condition. Clinical relevance: MISGD remains a major burden for the population. This systematic review provides a contemporary in-depth description of the diagnosis and treatment of MISGD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1580
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 19 2015


  • Medications
  • Saliva
  • Salivary gland dysfunction
  • Xerostomia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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