Region Jnkpings ln Odontologiska Institutionen

Screening of the impact of dental status and salivary function in patients referred for investigation of dysphagia

Bergendal B, Mörner-Serikoff E, Wallquist J


The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of impairment of oral function in patients with severe problems of dysphagia.

Materials and Methods

All patients undergoing investigation of dysphagia at the ENT Department at County Hospital Ryhov, Jönköping, were referred for screening of dental status and salivation. The screening comprised a panoramic radiograph, a clinical interview and examination, and testing of salivary flow rates of unstimulated whole saliva for 15 minutes and stimulated whole saliva for 5 minutes. 


Thirty-seven patients, nineteen women and eighteen men with dysphagia were referred for dental examination. Thirty-three patients with a mean age of 6 years (range 14-91) participated. The most common medical diagnoses were cerebro-vascular lesion, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. The impact of dental status on dysphagia was judged severe in three cases, moderate in nine cases, and none in twenty-one cases. The impact of salivation on dysphagia was judged severe in eight cases, moderate in nine cases, and none in sixteen cases. The impact of dental status, salivation or both were judged moderate or severe in twenty-one patients (64%). 


  •  A dental screening is essential and ought to be included in the investigation of dysphagia.
  • Dental treatment and measures to stimulate salivary flow or use of saliva substitutes should be part of the treatment plan in the clinical management of dysphagia.

 Dental status, salivation, or both were found to have a moderate to severe impact on dysphagia in 64% of the patients.

Uppdaterad: 2013-04-03
Anna Thofelt, Avdelningen för odontologisk radiologi Jönköping, Folktandvården