Acupuncture helps “dry mouth”

Acupuncture Eases Radiation-induced Dry Mouth In Cancer Patients

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2009) — Twice weekly acupuncture treatments
relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia – severe dry mouth – among
patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer, researchers
from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in
the current online issue of Head & Neck.

Xerostomia develops after the salivary glands have been exposed to
repeated doses of therapeutic radiation. People who have cancers of
the head and neck typically receive large cumulative doses, rendering
the salivary glands incapable of producing adequate saliva, said Mark
S. Chambers, M.S., D.M.D., a professor in the Department of Dental
Oncology. Saliva substitutes, lozenges and chewing gum bring only
temporary relief, and the commonly prescribed medication, pilocarpine,
has short-lived benefits and bothersome side effects of its own.


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