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Background: Dysphagia is one of the problems in elderly persons in this aging society. The inhibition of the secretion of the antimicrobial proteins could lead to oral dryness and oral dryness could lead to swallowing problems. The aim of this study was to examine salivary levels of antimicrobial protein in relation to the salivary flow rate and swallowing function.
Methods: In all, 26 patients with subjective oral dryness taking some medicines were studied. The unstimulated salivary flow rate was examined by ejecting gathered saliva from the mouth into a test tube for 10 min. The chromogranin A level was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Swallowing function was evaluated using the repetitive saliva-swallowing test. Correlations among the salivary chromogranin A level, salivary flow rate, and swallowing function were analyzed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient by rank.
Results: Statistically significant correlations were found between the salivary chromogranin A level and the unstimulated salivary flow rate (r = 0.735, P < 0.01) and between the salivary chromogranin A level and swallowing function (r = 0.459, P < 0.05). There was also a correlation between the unstimulated salivary flow rate and swallowing function (r = 0.585, P < 0.01).Conclusion: The results of this study suggested that the salivary antimicrobial protein chromogranin A level was related to both the salivary flow rate and swallowing function. This result suggested that the inhibition of the secretion of the antimicrobial proteins could lead to oral dryness and oral dryness could lead to swallowing problems.
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