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Clinical evaluation of a commercially available oral moisturizer in relieving signs and symptoms of xerostomia in postirradiation head and neck cancer patients and patients with Sjögren's syndrome



Clinical evaluation of a commercially available oral moisturizer in relieving signs and symptoms of xerostomia in postirradiation head and neck cancer patients and patients with Sjögren's syndrome



Journal of Otolaryngology 29(1): 28-34



A major complication of irradiation therapy for head and neck cancer is salivary gland dysfunction and xerostomia. The purpose of this clinical investigation was to evaluate the effects of a commercially available oral moisturizer (Optimoist) on salivary flow rate, symptoms of xerostomia, oral pH, oral microflora, and swallowing in postirradiation head and neck cancer patients (XRT) and patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). Subjects who were post-XRT and subjects with SS (n = 24; mean age = 54.1) discontinued their use of any salivary substitute or moisturizer for 2 weeks prior to entering the study. Baseline whole unstimulated saliva was collected for 5 minutes using a standard sialometric technique. Candida albicans and Lactobacillus cultures were performed using kits from Orion Diagnostica, Inc., and a pH analysis was performed on the salivary sample using a Markson (model 00663) pH meter. Swallowing was assessed by clinical measures by videofluoroscopic techniques. Several subjective assessments were performed to evaluate symptoms of xerostomia. Subjects were instructed in the use of a daily diary and to use only the provided article ad libitum for a period of 2 weeks. After the 2-week period, the results indicated significant subjective and objective improvements in signs and symptoms of xerostomia. Whole unstimulated salivary flow rate improved from (mean +/- SEM) 0.1150 +/- 0.02 to 0.2373 +/- 0.09 mL/min. Salivary pH did not change. Global subjective improvement in xerostomia improved in 58% of the subjects. Candida colonization decreased in 43% of the subjects. There was no change in Lactobacilli colonization. Swallowing objectively improved in 75% of subjects. These results indicate significant improvement in both signs of hyposalivation and symptoms of xerostomia with the use of Optimoist in postirradiation head and neck cancer patients and patients with SS.

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Accession: 045534213

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PMID: 10709169


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