Study yields positive results for xerostomia patch

A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association (October 2010, Vol. 141:10, pp. 1250-1256) confirms the safety and efficacy of a new, novel method for controlling xerostomia.

The double-masked, randomized, controlled, crossover study concluded that use of a unique mucoadhesive patch, affixed to the hard palate inside the mouth, provides statistically significant and sustainable improvements in salivary flow rates and subjective moistness for dry mouth sufferers, according to a press release.

This research, conducted at New York University's College of Dentistry, comes on the heels of a study published in March 2010 that showed these patches provided better performance for dry mouth sufferers than a leading over-the-counter dry mouth spray.

The mucoadhesive patches tested in the study are available to consumers under the brand name OraMoist (Quantum Health) and sold over the counter at retailers such as Rite-Aid and Walgreen's nationwide. Approximately 1 cm in diameter, the patches can adhere to any oral mucosal surface, such as the roof of the mouth or inside the cheek.

The researchers found that the OraMoist patch can yield a "statistically significant improvement in baseline subjective and objective measures of dry mouth for up to 60 minutes -- and possibly longer -- after application." In addition, after two weeks of daily use, participants experienced a statistically significant improvement in baseline subjective and objective measures of salivary flow, the researchers noted -- suggesting a sustained effect.

"One of the results was that after two weeks of use of the patch, the amount of saliva in the mouth had increased even during times when there was no patch in the mouth," said lead author A. Ross Kerr, D.D.S., M.S.D., clinical associate professor at New York University College of Dentistry, in the release. "In other words, the patch would seem to have a cumulative beneficial effect."

According to Dr. Kerr, OraMoist provides an appealing and convenient alternative to other dry mouth treatments, which are usually in spray, rinse, or gel form and require the user to replenish when necessary -- sometimes up to every 20 minutes. Overnight, the sustained effect is of particular benefit.

"The OraMoist patches offer a pleasant-tasting and longer-lasting option for the management of dry mouth, which becomes a quality of life issue for sufferers," said Dr. Kerr. In this and the previous study, approximately 70% of participants stated they would use the patch again.

The placebo mucoadhesive patches used in this study were made using the same patented technology as the OraMoist patches. Unlike the unloaded placebo patch, the loaded patch, OraMoist, is enhanced by natural ingredients including natural lipids, oral enzymes, citrus oil, sea salt, calcium carbonate, natural lemon, and xylitol. The patented mucoadhesive patch technology was developed by Abraham Domb, Ph.D., of Hebrew University, and has also been successfully adapted for the treatment of aphtous ulcers, according to Quantum Health.

Copyright © 2010

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