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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-19

The effects of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) on salivary flow: A study

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Chandra Dental College and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Periodontist, Chandra Dental College and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Rungta College of Dental Sciences, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India
4 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Babu Banarsi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dipti Singh
48, MIG, Shekhupura, Awas Vikas Colony, Aliganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-1363.167068

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Aim: This study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) as a means of stimulating salivary function in healthy adult subjects. Materials and Methods: Fifty healthy adult subjects with no history of salivary gland disorder were enrolled in the protocol. The TENS electrode pads were placed externally on the skin overlying the parotid glands. Unstimulated saliva was collected for 5 min into graduated tubes. TENS unit was then activated and the stimulated saliva collected for an additional 5 min. Statistical Analysis Used: A paired "t" test was applied to look for statistically significant differences as a group between the amount of unstimulated and TENS-stimulated samples of saliva. Results: Forty-three out of 50 subjects demonstrated increased salivary flow when stimulated via the TENS unit. The mean unstimulated salivary flow rate was 0.354 ml/min (SD 0.19) and the mean stimulated salivary flow rate was 0.49 ml/min (SD 0.24). Statistical analysis of flow rates utilizing the paired t test demonstrated the difference to be statistically significant (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The TENS unit was effective in increasing the salivary flow in two-thirds of healthy adult subjects. A further study in a cohort of patients with salivary gland disorders is warranted.

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