Age- and flow-dependency of salivary viscoelasticity

E. Zussman, A. L. Yarin, R. M. Nagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Measuring salivary viscoelasticity (by relaxation times) is of paramount importance, since salivary rheology behavior has been associated with the development of oral disease conditions (such as dental caries) in animal and human model studies. In addition, novel and improved methods to evaluate salivary distribution and lubrication are of clinical interest. We used a novel method for measuring the viscoelasticity of saliva secreted from the different glands, at rest or under stimulation and at different ages, all conditions where different viscoelastic properties might be clinically important. Submandibular/sublingual salivary viscoelasticity was significantly higher than that of parotid saliva, especially under stimulation. In addition, an age-related reduction in flow rate (by 62%) was demonstrated, accompanied by an increase in both relaxation time (by 54%) and protein (by 48%). Increased salivary viscoelasticity results in compromised salivary rheology and lubrication properties, which may render the oral cavities of the elderly and other xerostomic persons more vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar


  • Elongational viscosity
  • Relaxation time
  • Rheology
  • Saliva
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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