Evaluation of unstimulated and stimulated parotid salivary flow rate in Israeli healthy subjects aged 60 years and older

H. Elishoov, A. Wolff, A. Volovikov, M. Gorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Saliva plays a critical role in the maintenance oral health. Clinical studies showed that 25% of the elderly population suffers from oral dryness and its related complaints. Studies that measured parotid gland salivary flow rate, both unstimulated and stimulated, in healthy older individuals did not find age-related functional changes. However, histological studies have revealed an age-dependent reduction in the parotid acinar tissue component. To our knowledge there are still no reports of the parotid salivary flow rate in the elderly population in Israel. The goal of this study was to evaluate the rate of the parotid unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rate among healthy Israeli people aged over 60 years old--the findings may serve as basic standard values to be compared to data collected from patients with complaints of xerostomia and to data reported in other studies. Thirty healthy volunteers aged 60 to 77 years (average 64.7), 23 females and 7 males, were evaluated. Twenty five of the subjects used to live in kibbutzim and 5 lived in a city. The mean unstimulated parotid salivary secretion rate was 0.044+/-0.063 ml/min and the mean stimulated secretion was 0.163+/-0.291 ml/min. Those rates were found to be lower than the unstimulated and stimulated parotid salivary flow rates reported in most other studies. Fourteen (43.3) of the subjects had zero flow rate at rest. This figure was higher then the 20% zero flow at rest that was reported by others among persons with a broader age range. No significant differences were recorded in the parotid salivary flow, both unstimulated and stimulated, between subjects living in the kibbutzim compared to those living in the city. Similar to other studies the differences in the secretion rates between men and women were non significant. The low mean unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates, and the high prevalence of no flow at rest can be explained by the fact that saliva collections were done during the very warm Israeli summer and it is speculated that the subjects might be dehydrated. General dehydration can be observed in warm climate areas. No significant differences were found in the parotid salivary flow rates, (unstimulated and stimulated), between the city subjects compared to those from the kibbutzim. Further similar studies in different weather conditions (winter-summer) are needed to establish data of the normal parotid salivary secretion in the over 60 years old Israeli population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48, 86
JournalRefuat Hapeh Vehashinayim
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


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