A clinical study, recently published in the Journal of Oral & Dental Health, titled “Dental Erosion, GERD, and Salivary Stimulation,” reports that OraCoat® XyliMelts® oral adhering discs, manufactured by Seattle-based OraCoat, when used while sleeping, reduce reflux of stomach acids in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes tooth erosion.
XyliMelts are intended for dry mouth.
In patients with GERD, the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid long enough to cause symptoms. GERD is estimated to occur in 10% to 30% 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.
Saliva is believed to play an integral role in combating 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 keep the acid down.
The randomized, double-blind, controlled trial involved 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. XyliMelts 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 calcium carbonate to neutralize acidity.
Results of the study showed 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 received reflux. XyliMelts were found to be generally more effective in reducing GERD symptoms than the gel, and significantly more effective in improving heartburn.