Dental professionals: Do you recommend Biotene products to your patients, especially those with xerostomia (dry mouth)? If you do, I have some important information. I was given this information from a fellow hygienist and felt it was important to pass along.
Before recommending Biotene products to patients, we need to find out if our patients have either egg or dairy allergies. Biotene products contain both egg and milk derivatives and could be potentially problematic for patients with these specific food allergies.
While I was looking into this matter, I came across another tidbit worthy of sharing. I also found that Biotene may not be suitable for those patients with GERD. The issue here is the peppermint oil. Peppermint oil can relax the esophageal sphincter and when this happens, acid reflux increases. Over prolonged use, peppermint oil can lead to esophageal erosion and pain. Upon reading this, I quickly consulted my husband on this issue to see if he had any knowledge of this (he is a pharmacist). He stated that there is indeed an association with peppermint oil, and possibly other mint oils, and GERD. It’s great having such a knowledgeable resource under the same roof!
An increase in acid reflux can occur with any dental product that contains peppermint oil, but especially mouthrinses since the rinse can contact the esophagus during swishing or gargling. Advise patients with GERD to check dental products and other items such as mints, lozenges, etc. for peppermint oil to help reduce their acid reflux. Helping patients control their acid reflux any way we can is vital since we know the detrimental erosive effects of acid exposure on tooth enamel.