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The Null Effect of Chewing Gum During Hemodialysis on Dry Mouth

Duruk, Nazike PhD, RN; Eşer, Ismet PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000234
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Aims and Objectives: The study was conducted to determine the effect of chewing gum during hemodialysis on dry mouth and its symptoms.

Background: The imposition of fluid restriction and the use of medications that reduce saliva production may lead to dry mouth.

Design: This study is a randomized, controlled, single-blind, crossover experimental study.

Methods: The subjects consisted of 61 hemodialysis patients recruited from 4 dialysis centers in southern Turkey. The data were collected using a Patient Identification Form, a Form for Assessing the Symptoms of Dry Mouth, and a Patient Follow-up Form. Saliva samples were obtained for analysis of flow rates.

Results: The salivary flow rates of the patients increased during the first hour on the day when gum was chewed, and this increase was statistically significant. However, no significant difference was found between the salivary flow rates at the 0- and 4-hour time points on the day when gum was chewed (P > .05). In addition, the salivary pH values were in the normal range on both days, although the pH values tended to be more acidic on the day when gum was not chewed.

Conclusions: Overall, it was found that chewing gum for 15 minutes each hour during a hemodialysis session did not increase the saliva amount, maintain the pH value of the saliva within a normal range, or control dry mouth symptoms.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Duruk), Faculty of Health Sciences, Nursing Department, Pamukkale University; and Professor, Fundamentals of Nursing (Dr Eşer), Ege University Faculty of Nursing, Bornova/Izmir, Turkey.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Nazike Duruk, PhD, RN, Faculty of Nursing, Nursing Department, Pamukkale University, Kinikli Campus, Denizli, Turkey 34100 (nduruk@pau.edu.tr).

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