Stimulation of salivary flow with a powered toothbrush in a xerostomic population




The purpose of this study was to determine if using a Sonicare* toothbrush was a beneficial treatment of xerostomia. Sixty-one subjects with medication-induced xerostomia were randomly assigned a Sonicare CSC) or manual toothbrush (MTB). Subjects were followed for four visits (one month apart); after two months, the MTB group crossed over to using a SC. At each visit, saliva flow was measured by subjects expectorating for five minutes at four collection periods. For the first sample subjects were asked to spit while brushing for three minutes and for two minutes after brushing. Five-minute saliva collections were taken at 15-, 30-and 45-minute intervals. Questionnaires were administered at the end of the study period and three years later.

Paired analysis on the MTB group that crossed over to SC showed significant increase in salivary flow at all post-brushing collections (p<0.01). The end-of-study questionnaire showed that 96.4% of subjects found the SC comfortable to use, 98.2% had enhanced salivary flow, and 92.7% would use it to increase salivary flow. After three years, subjects rated the cleaning effect of the SC more than 4.5 (where 5=excellent).

The Sonicare toothbrush may help in the treatment of xerostomia. The use of a Sonicare resulted in a statistically significant increase irr post-brushing salivary flow rates in persons with medication-induced xerostomia.