A simple technique for the determination of salivary gland hypofunction

Andy Wolff, Dan Herscovici, Mel Rosenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Present volumetric or gravimetric techniques for measuring saliva output are often cumbersome and, therefore, not generally used. In the present study, a simple approach to study the weight loss of a standard hard sugar candy after 3 minutes of passive incubation between tongue dorsum and palate was tested. Study design. Subjects (n = 59), 27 of whom had a subjective complaint of dry mouth and the rest who were healthy control subjects, were tested with this procedure, together with gravimetric measurements of stimulated and unstimulated saliva output from various glands (parotid, submandibular, and sublingual). Correlations between a decrease in candy weight and salivary flow rate were determined for the 2 groups of subjects, taken separately, as well as for the entire subject population, by using the Pearson product moment correlation. Results. In most cases, highly significant associations were found, particularly when comparing candy weight loss with stimulated parotid and submandibular and sublingual saliva. Data were submitted to dichotomous analysis and divided according to salivary flow rate by using a cutoff 0.23 g for candy loss; the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were 92%, 85%, and 82%, respectively. Conclusions. The candy weight-loss test is a simple, rapid measure of salivary hypofunction, which correlates with saliva output and reports of subjective dry mouth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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