A quantitative test for xerostomia. The Saxon test, an oral equivalent of the Schirmer test

Arthritis Rheum. 1985 Oct;28(10):1128-32. doi: 10.1002/art.1780281008.


We describe a simple, reproducible, and low-cost test for xerostomia, which involves chewing on a folded sterile sponge for 2 minutes. Saliva production is quantitated by weighing the sponge before and after chewing. Normal control subjects produced greater than or equal to 2.75 gm of saliva in 2 minutes. Three of 32 consecutive, unselected outpatients in allergy-immunology clinics and 9 of 38 patients in rheumatology clinics had decreased saliva production, which was significantly different compared with controls (P less than 0.01). The presence of sicca symptoms was highly correlated with quantitatively abnormal tear and saliva production, according to the results of the Saxon and Schirmer's tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Salivation*
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Tears / metabolism
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis*