February 12, 2007
Polypharmacy is a common cause of salivary hypofunction, producing symptoms of dry mouth or xerostomia, especially among older populations. As the number of older people continues to increase, polypharmacy-induced salivary hypofunction is becoming an increasing problem. Many over-the-counter products are available for relieving symptoms of dry mouth, but few have been tested in controlled clinical investigations. This industry-supported study was entirely designed, conducted, and analyzed by the NYU’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research. The results were published on-line in the February 2007 volume of the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.
The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a group of topical dry mouth products (toothpaste, mouth rinse, mouth spray and gel) containing olive oil, betaine, and xylitol. Forty adults were entered into this single-blinded, open-label, cross-over clinical study, and 39 completed all visits. Subjects were randomly assigned at baseline to using the novel topical dry mouth products daily for one week, or to maintain their normal dry mouth routine care. After one week, they were crossed over to the other dry mouth regimen. The results demonstrated that use of the novel topical dry mouth products increased significantly unstimulated whole salivary flow rates, reduced complaints of xerostomia, and improved xerostomia-associated quality of life. No clinically significant adverse events were observed. These data suggest that daily use of topical dry mouth products containing olive oil, betaine, and xylitol is safe and effective in relieving symptoms of dry mouth in a population with polypharmacy-induced xerostomia.