Challenge #4 Open Mouth

The study has been published in the journal Cancer,according to Time of India

Lorenzo Cohen and his team from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center examined 86 patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, out of which 40 were randomized to acupuncture while 46 to the standard of care.

The largest group differences in XQ scores were seen by the end of radiotherapy, but the differences persisted over time, and one month after the end of radiotherapy, 54.3 per cent of the acupuncture group reported XQ scores greater than 30, compared to the control group at 86.1 per cent.

Almost six months after radiotherapy, the numbers dropped to 24.1 per cent in the acupuncture group and 63.6 per cent of the control group still reporting symptoms of xerostomia.

Saliva flow rates were also greater in the acupuncture group, starting at three weeks into radiotherapy and persisting through the one and six month follow-up.

Xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, is not a disease in itself. Rather, it is a symptom of many other diseases and conditions. These conditions cause saliva production to decrease or stop.Xerostomia may be a symptom of a serious systemic disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, Sjogren's syndrome and hypothyroidism. A systemic disease is one that affects the entire body.

Nerve Damage Can Affect Dry Mouth.Dry mouth can be related to nerve damage from a head or neck injury. Certain nerves carry messages between the brain and the salivary glands. If these nerves are damaged, they might be unable to tell the salivary glands to make saliva. Without saliva, it's also hard to taste food because saliva carries the flavors in food to nerve cells in the mouth and throat.