Periodontal health in patients with or without dry mouth: A retrospective study

As our first line of treatment, patients to our office with a diagnosis of periodontal disease undergo non-surgical scaling and root planing (SRP) by our team of periodontal hygienists.  Following this initial treatment, patients return for their regular and ongoing periodontal maintenance appointments.

We have long known that our saliva, specifically our salivary flow rate (how much saliva we are able to produce) has an essential role in oral health.

Therefore, the goal of this study was to ask the question “Do patients with dry mouth maintain similar clinical outcomes as patients without dry mouth 1-5 years after their initial deep cleaning?”

What we found: Probing depth (mm), the main clinical indicator for periodontal health, was similar in patients with and without dry mouth 1-5 years after their initial treatment.

This is great news for patients who suffer from a condition known clinically as xerostomia, or dry mouth.  As long as patients with xerostomia continue to attend their regular and ongoing maintenance appointments, they see no difference in their oral health status compared to those with a normal salivary flow rate.

Written by: Taylor Sparrow, Peter C. Fritz, Philip Sullivan, and Wendy E. Ward