Tongue Dryness

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rann

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My mom has ALS and is having issues with tongue pain and dryness. During the day she salivates (unable to constantly control jaw) and uses handkerchiefs to absorb the liquid. She uses lidocaine during the day for the tongue pain. At night my dad preps dampened, folded squares of paper towels that she puts between her tongue and cheek I believe.
I suspect the paper towels could be exacerbating the issue. What do you have experience with?
 

lgelb

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I would try a mouth spray for dryness and try another option for the excess saliva.
 

KarenNWendyn

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I also have intolerable dryness which is mostly a problem at night. I use Xylimelts discs which are placed between my lower row of teeth and cheeks. They work great. Unfortunately they only last about 4 hours. Since I don’t want to wake anybody up to put in new ones at 3 AM and I don’t have the hand function to do it myself, the second half of the night is rough. I have not found sprays or gels to provide lasting relief.

I would think the dampened folded squares of paper towels would dry up after about an hour and then exacerbate dryness by absorbing saliva. I would recommend the Xylimelts, but be aware they only last about 4 hours. If she wears a BiPAP mask, make sure the mouth is kept closed.

It can be a real delicate balance between choking on excess saliva and the torture of extreme dry mouth. Best of luck.
 

lgelb

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I would also play with humidification, rann, both in the room and the machine humidifier settings.

This is a weird thought, Karen, but have you ever tried coating your tongue with a neutral seed oil like safflower, before bed, before placing the discs?
 

KarenNWendyn

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This is a weird thought, Karen, but have you ever tried coating your tongue with a neutral seed oil like safflower, before bed, before placing the discs?
Yes, I’ve tried coating it with coconut oil. The benefit is very transient.
 

rann

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Thank you all! I will pass on the information!
 
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