Objective: To provide a description of surface electromyography (sEMG) of spontaneous saliva swallowing (SSS) and monitoring of swallow rate in patients with salivary gland diseases.
Study design: Numbers of SSS obtained during 2 hours of sEMG monitoring were compared with sialometry data for healthy volunteers (n = 100), patients with Sjögren syndrome (n = 10), and patients after parotid gland (n = 15) and submandibular gland (n = 16) surgery.
Results: Normative: 1 SSS every 2 minutes and 15 seconds; Sjögren: 1 SSS every 13 minutes (P < 0.001); parotid gland surgery: 1 SSS every 3 minutes and 24 seconds (P = 0.26); submandibular gland surgery: 1 SSS every 5 minutes and 04 seconds (P < 0.05). Sjögren patients and patients after submandibular surgery had hyposalivation correlated with less SSS.
Conclusion: The established normal rate of SSS makes this modality applicable for evaluating salivary flow for potentially identifying and ruling out abnormalities. Parotid gland surgery does not significantly affect salivary flow rate. Sialometry combined with sEMG monitoring give a clinician more reliable data to evaluate salivary gland disorders than sialometry alone.