Association between crack cocaine use and reduced salivary flow

Braz Oral Res. 2017 Jun 5:31:e42. doi: 10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2017.vol31.0042.


Crack cocaine use appears to have an impact on oral conditions. However, changes in the salivary flow among crack users have not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to compare stimulated salivary flow and the occurrence of hyposalivation between crack users and non-users. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 40 crack users and 40 controls matched for sex, age, and smoking habits. Interviews were conducted to acquire data on the perception of dry mouth (xerostomia) and drug use. Stimulated salivary flow was determined using the spitting method. A significant reduction in stimulated salivary flow was found among crack users in comparison to non-users (1.02 vs. 1.59 ml/min). A total of 42.5% and 15% of crack users had very low and low stimulated salivary flow, respectively. Moreover, 65% of users reported xerostomia in comparison to 37.5% non-users (p < 0.012). No significant association was found between xerostomia and hyposalivation (p = 0.384). A multivariate analysis revealed that individuals older than 26 years of age, those with a low household income, and crack users (prevalence ratio: 2.59) had a significant association with the occurrence of hyposalivation. A significant association was found between the use of crack and reduced salivary flow. The use of crack was associated with the occurrence of hyposalivation in the multivariate analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Crack Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Salivation / drug effects*
  • Salivation / physiology
  • Secretory Rate / drug effects
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use / adverse effects
  • Xerostomia / chemically induced*
  • Young Adult


  • Crack Cocaine