Clinical assessment of oral dryness: development of a scoring system related to salivary flow and mucosal wetness

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2012 Nov;114(5):597-603. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a clinical oral dryness score (CODS) for routine use in assessment of xerostomia patients and determine its relationship with salivary flow rates and mucosal wetness.

Study design: CODS was determined from 10 features of oral dryness, each scoring as 1 point for a total score of 0-10. CODS, salivary flow rates, and mucosal wetness were measured in 100 patients and 50 healthy control subjects. The reproducibility of CODS was 0.89-0.96 (intraclass correlation coefficient).

Results: The mean ± SD CODS in patients was 6.0 ± 1.6 compared with 1.0 ± 0.9 for control subjects (P < .001), and the highest mean value was in the primary Sjögren syndrome group. There was a general inverse relationship in patients between mean CODS and salivary flow rate (P < .01) and mean CODS and mucosal wetness (P < .01).

Conclusions: The CODS was found to be useful, easy to use, and reliable for routine assessment of the severity of dry mouth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis*
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology
  • Young Adult