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Battery-powered gum shield ‘could end dry mouth misery’

Posted by Yvonne Wallace

People in Yorkshire affected by a dry mouth are getting the chance to test a new battery-powered gum shield that could help them.

Dr Jim McCaul, a consultant maxillofacial surgeon at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation, explained it can be difficult to speak and hard to chew with a dry mouth, which is often a side-effect of radiotherapy for cancer of the head and neck.

Speaking to the Telegraph and Argus, he said: “Patients worry about things like eating out in public and can’t taste their food as saliva facilitates taste. There is also an immune function in saliva.”

The pacemaker device works by using minor and painless electric shocks to trigger saliva production in the mouth, with 15 patients recruited in Bradford to test it.

This comes after the British Dental Health Federation claimed individuals who smoke and drink to excess are increasing their chances of developing mouth cancer by 30 per cent.

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