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Research Letter
October 15, 2020

Prevalence of Xerostomia Among Cochlear Implant Recipients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Diego
  • 3The Permanente Medical Group, Santa Clara, California
  • 4Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • 5Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online October 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.3409

The chorda tympani nerve provides parasympathetic innervation to the submandibular gland and is pivotal in basal salivary production.1 Adequate salivation is critical to oral health, and gland hypofunction may lead to xerostomia, increasing the risk of dental disease.2 In cochlear implant (CI) surgery, the chorda tympani nerve is at risk when opening the facial recess and may intentionally or unintentionally be sacrificed. Although dysgeusia is discussed,3 to our knowledge, there is a lack of literature regarding the association of middle ear surgery with salivation. Furthermore, the effect of either injury or sacrifice of the chorda tympani in the CI population is not well characterized. The purpose of this study was to calculate the prevalence of xerostomia among a population of adult CI recipients.

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