Xerostomia in head and neck malignancy

Oral Oncol. 2010 Jun;46(6):460-3. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 Apr 18.


Xerostomia (dry mouth) as a consequence of treatment of head and neck malignancy is almost always due to radiotherapy. The resultant salivary gland dysfunction can adversely affect oral and systemic health as well as lessen quality of life. While the present management of radiotherapy-associated salivary dysfunction is challenging there have been striking advances in preventative strategies and a number of possible treatment options may be over the near horizon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiation Injuries / complications
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Salivary Glands / radiation effects*
  • Xerostomia / etiology*
  • Xerostomia / therapy