Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dry Mouth Woes

I believe I've talked here before about my issues with dry mouth (known as xerostomia).
My dry mouth issues are made soooooooo much worse by use of the CPAP machine.  That machine just sucks everything right out of me.  It was such an issue that, when I first started using it, I was waking with severe headaches and was prepared to abandon using the unit altogether.
My respirologist encouraged me to stick with it and advised me to try various products that help with dry mouth.  He recommended a few such products and I bought the first one that I found.  
Mouthkote.  It's a spray that I was told to use on my way to bed.  It would help keep me salivated.  It tastes great.  But I still woke every two to three hours, parched.  Had to struggle to "wet my whistle," as it were.
It became such an issue that, a year ago, I stopped using the CPAP altogether.  I was simply waking too frequently and it was more of a hassle to use the machine than not.
Fast forward to this past October when my family physician and I were discussing my desire to have this tummy tuck surgery and I expressed my concerns about the anaesthetic.  She encouraged me to start using my CPAP machine.  She was concerned that I wasn't using it and felt strongly that I should be.
I revisited the respirologist to have my CPAP machine checked out (it had been "stored" for some ten months by this point) and started over in my search for something that might help with the dry mouth. Clearly, the Mouthkote wasn't doing the trick so my respirologist offered the names of a few other products that might offer better relief.
This time, I did some serious research before making another purchase.  One of the recommended products was Biotene and it was during my research of that product that I discovered that the sprays are designed to only last two to three hours.  Duhhhhh!  Biotene offers a gel that is meant for overnight use.
Sounds promising, I thought.  So I went on a mission to find a tube of Biotene oralbalance Gel.  That proved to be a little more difficult than I would have thought.  Eventually I found a supply at Shoppers Drug Mart, where I also found a new product, OraMoist Dry Mouth Patch.  It too is supposed to offer overnight relief.
I decided to buy both the gel and the patch to give them each a try to see what worked better.
Having used the gel and patch a couple of times now, I can honestly say that the Biotene Gel wins.
No contest.
A small amount of gel is applied to the tongue and worked throughout the mouth.  The taste is not at all unpleasant.  And its effects truly last all night. While the CPAP machine still sucks everything out of me, when I waken at various intervals, I have no difficulty re-establishing salivation.  (One night, I actually slept seven hours straight through, presumably having managed salivation without waking.)
The patch, on the other hand, is a small disc that affixes to the roof of the mouth.  It dissolves over the course of the next two to three hours.  It tastes awful.  It feels dreadful.  And when I awaken at those three hour intervals, I have great difficulty garnering any salivation.  Apparently, it works for the first three hours. That's it.  Yet, when morning comes and I hit the bathroom to brush my teeth, there is still a residue of the disc left on the roof of my mouth -- I'm guessing whatever is used to affix it to the mouth.  It still felt horrid. And I had to fight to peel it off.  Not a fun experience at all.  I would not recommend the OraMoist Patch for overnight use.  In fact, I don't think I'd want to use it during the day, so uncomfortable is the disc on the roof of the mouth, not to mention the unpleasant taste.
So, having tried all three of the above products, I can readily recommend Mouthkote for daytime use.  I know that Biotene also has a spray (as well as toothpaste and rinse) but I have not tried them so I can't attest to their efficacy.  To my knowledge, Biotene oralbalance is the only product meant for night time use that in fact works for that purpose.  Don't waste your money on OraMoist.

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