Salivary function and glycemic control in older persons with diabetes

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2000 Mar;89(3):305-11. doi: 10.1016/s1079-2104(00)70093-x.


Objective: There is no consensus on the possible association between diabetes and salivary dysfunction in older persons with diabetes. This study's purpose was to investigate the effect of diabetes and glycemic control on salivary function in an older population.

Study design: Twenty nine persons with type 2 diabetes and 23 nondiabetic control subjects participated (age range, 54-90 years). Diabetic status was determined by a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) test and a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. Poor glycemic control was defined as HbA(1c) >9%. Unstimulated whole saliva, unstimulated parotid, and stimulated parotid flow rates were measured, and subjects completed a standardized xerostomia questionnaire.

Results: Persons with poorly controlled diabetes had lower (P =.01) stimulated parotid flow rates than persons with well-controlled diabetes and nondiabetic control subjects. There were no significant differences in xerostomic complaints based on diabetic or glycemic control status or salivary flow rates.

Conclusions: These results provide some evidence that poorly controlled diabetes may be associated with salivary dysfunction in older adults who have no concomitant complaints of xerostomia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / etiology
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism*
  • Secretory Rate / physiology
  • Xerostomia / classification
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A