Influence of ethanol consumption in salivary glands [Abstract in English]

Vinicius Coelho Carrard, Marina Mendez, Josué Nolde, Luciana Duarte Alves, Anna Christina Medeiros Fossati, Manoel Sant'Ana Filho


Aims: To perform a literature review about alcohol effects on salivary gland.
Source of data: Articles were retrieved from Medline data base using the key-words alcohol/ethanol and salivary glands.
Summary of findings: Increase in ethanol consumption has been observed in people, and it causes alterations in several systems. Enlargement of salivary glands and salivary flow decrease have been observed in alcoholics. The decreased salivary flow results in increased susceptibility of injuries to the mouth, like those related to caries and periodontitis, because saliva has protective properties. Morphology alterations like adipocytes infiltration, ductal hyperplasia and decrease in acinar cells ratio can be observed. The ethanol consumption reduces salivary flow, and immunoglobulins and antioxidants levels decrease in saliva. Ethanol degradation generates toxic metabolites, like acetaldehyde, that can modify the salivary gland function. There is a possibility that saliva helps on acetaldehyde distribution in the mouth, improving ethanol consumption damage. In addition, other mechanisms are included in this damage like decrease in prostaglandins, malnutrition, immune system alterations and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may be involved in pathogenesis of several chronicdegenerative diseases, like cancer.
Conclusions: The alcoholics must receive a special attention in oral care because its local and systemic conditions improve susceptibility to oral illnesses, such as caries, periodontitis and cancer.

e-ISSN: 1980-6108 | ISSN-L: 1806-5562

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