Electrostimulation relieves xerostomia

2010 01 21 15 43 33 498 Salivary Glands 70

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An intraoral electrostimulation device (GeniNarino, Saliwell) increases salivary output and relieves other xerostomia-related symptoms, researchers report in a September 29 online paper in Arthritis and Rheumatism.

They're also convinced that this may be the best way of tackling the problem. Dr. Andy Wolff told Reuters Health by e-mail that "our findings open a new horizon for millions of people suffering from dry mouth. The tested device is both effective and free of adverse effects."

Xerostomia treatment is usually achieved by increasing oral moisture using over-the-counter oral comfort agents or by systemic sialogogues. The GeniNarino produces electrical current of low intensity to the lingual nerve and is not felt by the patient.

In an initial crossover trial, the team studied 114 patients with xerostomia due to Sjögren's syndrome and other sicca conditions. They were randomized to one month of active therapy with a properly functioning remote control and one month of sham therapy in which the remote control didn't trigger an active response. The device was used for 10 minutes at a time.

Compared to sham therapy, active therapy prompted a significant improvement in patient-reported xerostomia severity, xerostomia frequency, quality of life impairment, and swallowing difficulty.

During this time, visual analogue scale changes in xerostomia severity from baseline were around 6 mm during sham stimulation and about 9 mm with active treatment.

In total, 99 subjects then went on to a 3-month open phase in which an active remote control was used exclusively. This confirmed the findings and showed that the treatment had a cumulative effect. There was also a significant improvement in oral discomfort, speech difficulty, sleeping difficulty, and resting salivary flow rate.

Overall 70% of patients had a response in terms of xerostomia severity and 63% had an improved salivary flow rate. In fact, at the end of the study, saliva could be collected from 7 of 9 patients who at baseline had zero resting and mastication-stimulated salivary flow.

The GeniNarino, the investigators conclude, "appears to be a physiologically sound, beneficial and safe therapeutic option for the alleviation of xerostomia."

"In addition," added Dr. Wolff, "it is cost-effective as much heavier expenses would be needed to achieve the same effect with other treatment options."

By David Douglas

Source: https://link.reuters.com/huc42q

Arthritis Rheum 2010.

Last Updated: 2010-10-26 17:32:16 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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