Xerostomia and Dental Problems in the Head and Neck Radiation Patient

  • Arjan Vissink
  • Fred K. L. Spijkervet
  • Michael T. Brennan


Head and neck radiotherapy is accompanied by deleterious effects of radiation to healthy tissues. The clinical consequences of the effects of radiotherapy on the salivary glands include hyposalivation, deterioration of mucositis and taste loss, and the life-long threat of developing radiation caries and osteoradionecrosis. While mucositis and taste loss are reversible consequences that usually subside early postirradiation, hyposalivation is normally irreversible. This chapter focuses on the long-term effects of radiotherapy on the salivary glands and dentition. The clinical picture of xerostomia and xerostomia-related dental caries is described, and guidelines are given how to treat xerostomia and how to prevent dental caries.


Salivary Gland Dental Caries Oral Mucosa Dental Hygienist Gingival Recession 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjan Vissink
    • 1
  • Fred K. L. Spijkervet
  • Michael T. Brennan
  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity Medical Center GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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