An article about a recent clinical study, “Dental Erosion, GERD, and Salivary Stimulation,” published in the Journal of Oral & Dental Health, February 2018, reports that OraCoat® XyliMelts® oral adhering discs used while sleeping reduce reflux of stomach acids, in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes tooth erosion. In patients with GERD, the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid long enough to cause symptoms.
GERD is estimated to occur in ten to thirty percent of the population in developed countries and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn (chest pain), sore throat, mucosal pathology, bruxism, and tooth erosion. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a detrimental effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life. Saliva is believed to play an integral role in combatting symptoms of GERD by protecting the esophageal lining by way of diluting and neutralizing stomach acid that enters the esophagus through reflux. However, saliva production normally decreases at night and, when the body is prone, gravity no longer helps to keep the acid down.
The study was conducted as a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial involving two over-the-counter products currently on the market for use in the management of dry mouth symptoms, one a sweet gel, and the other XyliMelts oral adhering discs that contain 550 mg of xylitol for sweetness to stimulate saliva flow, cellulose gum to slow dissolution and lubricate the mouth, a layer of acacia gum to adhere to gingiva or teeth, and a small amount of calcium carbonate to neutralize acidity. XyliMelts used at night while sleeping is the most effective per gram delivery of xylitol to maintain an adequate concentration of saliva in the mouth to reduce tooth decay.
Results of the study revealed that nightly use of both XyliMelts and the sweet gel remedies significantly reduced symptoms associated with GERD, including reflux acid taste, nighttime heartburn, morning hoarseness, and perceived reflux. Moreover, XyliMelts were found to be generally more effective in reducing GERD symptoms than the gel, and significantly more effective in improving heartburn. These study results carry important implications for dentists treating erosion associated with GERD, and offer a viable remedy for GERD sufferers to combine with dental restorative care and medical intervention to manage erosion and all the problems of acid reflux while sleeping.
No significant side effects were reported from any participants during product use.
XyliMelts are available over the counter at CVS, Rite Aid, and are coming to Walmart in March 2018. For more information on XyliMelts, visit www.oracoat.com