Salivary secretion and oral health in narcolepsy: a pilot study

Spec Care Dentist. May-Jun 1996;16(3):128-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.1996.tb00846.x.


Complaints of dry mouth and poor dental health are common in persons with narcolepsy. The aim of this study was to investigate whether salivary secretion is reduced in narcolepsy. Persons using tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs) were excluded, since TCAs are known to reduce salivary secretion. Thus, two patient subgroups were studied, one on central stimulant (CS) treatment (medicated group, n = 12), and one unmedicated group (n = 8), representing all persons with narcolepsy living in the Oslo area meeting these criteria. The survey group and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy control persons without symptoms of dry mouth were examined with respect to the following parameters: unstimulated (UWS) and chewing-stimulated (SWS) whole salivary flow rates, citric-acid-stimulated parotid and submandibular flow rates, buffering effect, and number of some aciduric micro-organisms in the oral cavity. As a group, persons with narcolepsy had lower whole salivary flow rates, a lower buffering effect, and higher Candida albicans scores than the control group. When the patients were divided into the medicated and unmedicated groups, these differences were valid only for the medicated group. Whether the observed differences were effects of CS medication or reflected that these persons were more seriously affected by the disease has to be further explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcolepsy / complications*
  • Narcolepsy / drug therapy
  • Narcolepsy / physiopathology
  • Norway
  • Oral Health
  • Pilot Projects
  • Regression Analysis
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Salivation / drug effects*
  • Secretory Rate
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Xerostomia / etiology*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants