Evaluation of Xerostomia in Different Psychological Disorders: An Observational Study ZC24-ZC27
Dr. Suresh Kandagal Veerabhadrappa,
Faculty of Dentistry, SEGi University, No. 9, Jalan Teknologi, Taman Sains, Petaling Jaya,
Kota Damansara, Selangor - 47810, Malaysia.
Introduction: Psychiatric diseases like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are increasing at an alarming rate. These diseases can affect the quantity and quality of saliva leading to multiple oral diseases. Although many researchers have evaluated xerostomia in general population, its prevalence is not been assessed in patients suffering from different psychological disorders.
Aim: To investigate the prevalence of xerostomia and to assess the correlation between xerostomia and dryness of lip and mucosa in different psychological disorders.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted over a period of six months in Department of Psychiatry and Department of Oral Medicine. Patients with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as diagnosed by an experienced psychiatrist, were given a questionnaire to evaluate the xerostomia. Patients with symptoms of xerostomia were subjected to oral examination by a skilled oral diagnostician to check for dryness of lips and mucosa. One hundred patients from each group of psychiatric diseases were included in the study using a consecutive sampling technique. An equal number of healthy individuals reporting to oral medicine department for routine oral screening were included as control group after initial psychiatric evaluation.
Results: In this study statistically significant increase in the xerostomia in psychiatric patients was recorded when compared to the control group (p<0.01). Xerostomia was significantly higher in anxiety patients (51%) followed by depression (47%), bipolar disorder (41%), schizophrenia (39%) and control group (27%). The majority of the psychiatric patients had ‘moderate’ to ‘severe’ xerostomia whereas the control group had ‘mild’ xerostomia. Xerostomia was significantly higher in younger age group (18–49 years) than in older age group and females patients had higher xerostomia than male patients. Psychiatric patients had significantly more dryness of lip and mucosa than healthy controls. A moderate to strong spearman correlation (r=0.72) was observed between xerostomia and psychological alterations.
Conclusion: A positive association was established between psychological alterations and xerostomia and dryness of lip and mucosa. Emotional alterations may act as a precipitating factor that could influence the salivary secretion resulting in multiple oral diseases. Psychiatrists can screen for xerostomia and collaborate with dentists for comprehensive management of xerostomia in psychiatric patients.