The secretory senescence of the oro-pharyngo-laryngeal tract
Saliva is an essential body fluid. It is important in maintaining oral health, taste acuity, mastication, deglutition, digestion, regulation of oral flora, oral cleansing, voice acuity, and speech articulation. In the elderly, the glandular parenchyma undergoes involution of the cellular component, and this leads to a reduction in the production of saliva. Qualitative and quantitative alterations of this biological fluid can cause patient discomfort and quality of life decline. This often translates into xerostomia, whose real meaning is mouth dryness. We will discuss here causes of xerostomia in the elderly, such as drugs, head and neck radiotherapy, and autoimmune diseases.
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© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2020
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