J Oral Rehabil. 1997 Mar; 24(3): 204-8.
The influence of acupuncture on salivary flow rates in healthy subjects.
Department of Cariology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
This study investigated the influence of acupuncture stimulation on the salivary secretion of eight healthy subjects. The salivary flow of each subject was measured before, during and after every acupuncture session. The unstimulated, chewing-stimulated and citric acid-stimulated flows were investigated, in combination with manual and electrically stimulated acupuncture. The results showed a significant increase of the unstimulated salivary flow both during and after the manual acupuncture stimulation as compared to baseline levels. There was no effect on the unstimulated salivary flow with electro-acupuncture. The stimulated salivary flow was not affected by manual acupuncture, while the electrically stimulated acupuncture led to a significant decrease of the chewing-stimulated salivary flow. The improvement of the unstimulated salivary secretion in healthy subjects was in accordance with our previous findings in xerostomic patients. It is possible that the salivary secretion is influenced by the augmented release of neuropeptides caused by acupuncture. Some neuropeptides have been shown to affect salivary secretion as well as capillary blood flow.