Sequential salivary gland scintigraphy with 99mTc-technetium pertechnetate (Tc-99) is a safe, minimally invasive test for study of major salivary glands. However, its relationship to salivary function has not been investigated in detail. We have investigated the relationship between major salivary gland flow rates and Tc-99 scans and developed a new rating scale using scans of a control group with normal salivary function. Salivary flow rates and Tc-99 scans were obtained from healthy, non-medicated subjects (n = 33) and from xerostomic patients (n = 22). There were significant differences between the groups for salivary flow rates and Tc-99 ratings. Significant correlations were found between salivary flow rates and Tc-99 ratings in the control and xerostomic groups. The Tc-99 rating scale proved reliable in assessing salivary dysfunction, and showed a high inter-examiner correlation. These results demonstrate the usefulness of salivary gland scintigraphy in assessing major salivary gland flow rates and the utility of a new rating scale.