Strategies for Addressing Sialorrhea
By Anna Matthews, RDH, MS and Sandra Stramoski, RDH, MSD
Thanks to its complex biochemical composition and physical properties, saliva is an essential player in a variety of physiological processes, including taste and smell sensation, digestion, food bolus formation, mastication and swallowing, and articulation of speech. It provides protection of oral tissues by lubricating and forming a mucin layer, buffering the effects of food and drink with variations of temperature and pH. Additionally, antimicrobial effects of the many salivary proteins and peptides maintain the balance of oral microflora and keep the pathogenic microorganisms at sufficiently low levels to prevent oral disease.