Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Biotene Formulation Changes

Are you familiar with GlaxoSmithKline's Biotene dry mouth products? Along with moisturizing agents, at one time these products contained enzymes which were intended to help replace those decreased or absent in dry mouth patients. It's interesting that their webpage specifically mentions Sjogren's syndrome.

I don't have a great deal of experience with Biotene oral gel, toothpaste, or mouthwash. I use a fluoride prescription toothpaste from my dentist, and although I have occasionally used their mouth spray, overall I don't like the slimy sensation of artificial.....spit. Especially at room temperature.

Sorry. Gross but true.

However. It appears that Biotene manufacturers have changed their formulation by removing the three enzymes previously used in their products, among other changes. I have heard from several sjoggies that the change in this product is noticeable -- and not for the better.

A member of one of the Sjogren's Syndrome newsgroups that I follow recently alerted me to the change, and included ingredient lists for old and new products:

BIOTENE formulation changes 
BIOTENE ORAL GEL 
OLD FORMULATION =96 ORAL BALANCE
Water,  Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Glycerol, Xylitol, Butylene glycol, Sodium polyacrylate, Polyacrylic acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sorbic acid, Benzoic acid, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Glucose oxidase, Disodium phosphate, Potassium Thiocyanate. Contains ingredients derived from milk and egg white.
Enzyme System: Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase 
NEW FORMULATION 96 ORAL GEL
Water, Glycerin, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium hydroxide, Propylparaben 
BIOTENE TOOTHPASTE 
OLD FORMULATION
Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate (0.14% w/v Fluoride Ion). Purpose: Anticavity. Inactive Ingredients: Sorbitol, Glycerin, Calcium Pyrophosphate, Water, Hydrated Silica, Xylitol, Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isoceteth-20, Cellulose Gum, Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Lactoperoxidase, Potassium Thiocyanate, Glucose Oxidase, Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Calcium Lactate.
Enzyme System: Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase 
NEW FORMULATION
Sodium fluoride, Water, Sorbitol, Hydrated silica, Glycerin, PEG-8, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Xantham Gum, Flavor, Sodium Saccharin, Sucralose, Titanium dioxide, Sodium hydroxide.
**Note the new formula does not contain Xylitol, but rather saccharin 85 
BIOTENE MOUTHWASH
OLD FORMULATION
Purified water, propylene glycol, xylitol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, poloxamer 407, hydroxyethylcellulose, sodium benzoate, flavor (peppermint oil), benzoic acid, disodium phosphate, zinc gluconate, lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase, potassium thiocyanate, aloe vera, calcium lactate, glucose oxidase.
Enzyme System: Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase 
NEW FORMULATION
Water, Glycerin, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Benzoate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methyparaben, Propylparaben, Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Disodium Phosphate
Do you use these products, and have you noticed the change?

Do you use other brands of dry mouth products?

34 comments:

Katherine Lovett said...

Thank you, Julia. I knew something was off. I used the spray for several months with great results last year after my dx. Suddenly last fall the bottle went from spraying to disgusting slimy streaming. And causing acid reflux too. I'm guessing it's just goodbye to the old refreshing spray and that really does (literally) hurt.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Julia! I noticed the difference right away. I use the toothpaste, mouthwash and Oral Balance gel. The new formulation makes my mouth burn. When I contacted the manufacturer, they said they changed the formulation to have a pH range similar to that of normal saliva. I question that. Why did they add Propylparaben? Many of us don't want that in our cosmetics and especially not in our mouths! I'm looking for alternative products.

mcspires said...

Julia, I had the exact same response as you did to the Biotene slime - ewwwwww! But the last straw was when I wasn't paying enough attention at work one day and picked up my potpourri spray instead of the Biotene and sprayed it in my mouth! OH MY GOODNESS! It contained some cinnamon oil, and in my dry sore mouth, you would not believe the pain! And that was on top of the taste of "Fall Harvest." I tried Salagen, but then switched to Evoxac. They both tend to make me a drooling mess at times, but I prefer that to the luke warm slime.

Amy Junod said...

Got a tip from my local Sjogren's support group to use Act's Dry Mouth rinse.

I noticed a big change. Great product and it's restorative as well. Not sure how it was helping my teeth but I noticed a quick change in my gums.

I haven't been able to find it in the stores anymore. Shelves were out of Biotene as well so I went with the store brand. Ouch.

I would recommend the Act brand since I've had such a good experience with it. (Just hard to find)

Julie said...

Hmm I have had good results using the oral rinse and toothpaste. S

My new bottle says, that "like the original formula, it also contains enzymes to help maintain the oral environment." I am just starting to use this bottle today, so I will have to see if I notice a difference.It says it has 2 additional enzymes. It is the Biotene PBF oral rinse with the green label.

Melody said...

I tried Biotene but it seemed to make my voice hoarse, which sounds crazy because it's supposed to increase moisture, but every time I would spray my mouth expecting relief from the dryness I would continuously clear my throat and feel like I was losing my voice.
I like Oasis mouth rinse. I got a sample of it at a Sjogren's support group meeting but haven't been able to find it in a store yet. I looked it up online and it says it's sold at Walmart and Walgreen's. Didn't see it at Walmart, haven't checked yet at Walgreen's. If I can't find it on the shelf I intend to write to them. It worked very well.
I also like Thayers Dry Mouth Spray. It comes in a citrus flavor that tastes...citrusy! I keep it on my nightstand and in my purse. I got it at a health food store.
And I chew gum constantly, my favorite is Orbit White Bubblemint. My dentist told me that even if my mouth doesn't really feel dry it IS dry so to keep using something!

Annette said...

I heard that with the enzymes a different type of approval was going to be necessary. Maybe it was just so much hassle for them they reformulated for the worse from what you say.

I am going to go to 6the stores and try to stock up. I'll let you know what happens here in Canada

Chris Marie said...

I'd been using the Biotene Mouth rinse to good effect. Did not notice the label change, but certainly noticed that the mouth rinse now causes a burning sensation. Also, the gel which was wonderful no longer lasts as long which is very disappointing.

Kelly said...

I tried the Biotene line and stayed only with the toothpaste. I use it only at night before bed because the middle of the night is when my dry mouth is really bad and I thought using it before bed might help. I use Supersmile in the morning and I love the way it keeps my teeth feeling smooth like they were just cleaned. It's really expensive and a bit harsh, but I have more saliva in the daytime.

As for the sprays and rinses...Biotene, YUCK! I use Rain oral spray with Xyltol from the Health Food Store, but I haven't even been using that as much lately as I did in the beginning of the dry-mouth phase about 5 years ago. I've mostly been toughing it out at night, massaging the Parotids to get some home-grown saliva circulating and trying to get back to sleep. Probably shouldn't do that, but anything else seems to wake me up enough that it's hard to get back to sleep.

For dryness in the daytime, I like Petit Deceit Stevia sweetened hard candies.

Ron Roberts said...

I'm new to Biotene and have tried toothpaste only. I'm quite satisfied with the toothpaste and just wondering whether I wanna buy its dry mouth mouthwash. Thanks for sharing and I may give it a try (since its formulation has changed).

Annette said...

I've been using the Biotene mouth gel every night for at least ten years. I put it between my lip and my teeth above the gum line.
The new product is useless. It does not stay in place, just turns to a liquid and runs away. I might as well spray a little water.

I phoned the GSK consumer number and they said this was a marketing decision and if I send the product back they will send me a refund.
So I will get my $25 back and have nothing to use anymore in the night.

I agree that propylparaben is not something I want in my mouth and I'm at a loss wondering why they would add sucrose and take out the xylitol in the toothpaste

I found the product manager's name on linkedIn so plan to call them direct. The consumer line is just to keep unhappy consumers away from executives

Anonymous said...

I am in Australia and have been using Biotene toothpaste for around 12 years,after having lost most of my saliva following radiation treatment for throat cancer.

I just brushed my teeth with the "new"formula.

I cannot stand it, it tastes like and now foams like any other other toothpaste.It is now completely useless to me.

I will be using a "normal" toothpaste in future for around 1/3
of the price of Biotene.

Shame on the fools that have done this.

Anonymous said...

So happy to read this blog and that the word is getting out about Biotene's new formula. I noticed that the Biotene website (.com) is still displaying the good reviews of the old formula, which they should remove as it's now false advertising.

I'm in Australia and the new formula for Biotene mouth wash (or rinse as it's called in USA) is simply awful and made my mouth go numb for a few minutes. I've found a good alternative named OralSeven which is basically the same as the old formula of Biotene. It has the enzymes :)

Unfortunately for anyone in USA, it doesn't seem to be available for you.

It's also available in Europe and some other countries. Perhaps a letter to OralSeven might lead to a better product over in USA.

J (Australia)

Mike said...

Here in NZ they have switched to the new formula - I stocked up yesterday on the rinse from my dentist, didn't notice until I opened and used a bottle - quite frankly, it is disgusting, it no longer has the lovely "soft" feeling in my mouth, tastes nasty and, if anything, burns - so unfortunately, GSK have dropped the ball and ruined a good product. J from Australia - I have read about Oral7 - and it seems to be a Sydney based company. I will talk to my dentist after the Easter break, and contact Oral7, but do you know if it is available in NZ?

Cheers.


Mike.

Yoda Downunder said...

My dentist told me to stop using Biotene if it has the new formulation. The enzymes were the important ingredients, promoting gum health in addition to improving dry-mouth.
After many, many years of loyalty to Biotene, it's bye-bye and out searching for an alternative. Any suggestion anyone. From Australia so WalMart only useful for youtube funnies, not as an outlet ;-)

Fountain John said...

Hi All - Getting to see this blog a bit late in the communication pathway, but the information I have may be of interest, especially for those in the USA.
I am the owner of Fountain Health and we are working with Oral7 International the inventor of a complete line of adult oral care products with natural
enzymes to reinforce your mouth's own defense system. Later this month we will submit our application to FDA with the hope of obtaining approval to
market in the USA by summer's end. This is an amazing product line and appears to be just what you are looking for.
Questions/info - contact John Canvin, canvinj@comcast.net. Keep smiling.

Cheryl said...

I was a Biotene mouthwash user from New Zealand as it was recommended by my Oncology dentist after having had radiation treatment for throat cancer.
The new formulation is useless for patients like us. I along with other Head & Neck cancer patients from my support group wrote to GSK and were basically "fobbed" off - the company saying that it was something that was happening worldwide with all these types of products - RUBBISH!!
My understanding from someone within their company is that they have had so many complaints worldwide that they are now considering reintroducing the enzymes back in. This would be great but for some of us who, out of necessity, have had to find alternatives, this comes too late.
Alternative recommended choices in NZ are BioXtra (needs to be ordered from UK for those of us in NZ) or my lovely chemist has just put me onto Oral 7 (if your chemist doesn't have it in NZ, ask them to get it in) as I'm just about to run out of the last of my old formulation Biotene.
Shame for you GSK - maybe you should have asked your consumers before you made such a big lapse in good judgement!!!

Antonio said...

It's true – the new formulas in all products are terrible and considerably more ineffective than the previous versions. Inexcusable product change. The oral gel now is watery, doesn't last very long, and tastes like carbolic acid when the residue is unavoidably swallowed – a major throat irritant.

Antonio said...

John – I cannot tell you how pleased I am to hear this news. I will definitely email you and request further status updates on your new product line. Thanks for coming to the rescue!

Ruth said...

I knew something was up when I went to reorder from Amazon.com. I originally paid around $14 for a 2pack of 4.4 oz Biotene PBF Gel toothpaste. However, when I went back to reorder, the price for just one 4.4 Oz tube was aproximently $26 each, and the 2pack was $52 !!! I was disgusted with the seller for price gouging people with few alternatives and said so in a review. They answered saying that they hadn't any problem selling it at that price. John, if you know, have the Oral 7 products for dry mouth reached the comsumer market yet? If so, do you know which stores are carrying them?

Antonio said...

@Ruth: Google ORAL 7 GEL, and you can see that there are a number of retailers Down Under who sell this product. I don't see why you couldn't have it shipped here, although the shipping costs might be quite high -- but maybe worth it. You might also scroll up this thread and read FOUNTAIN JOHN's post -- John is the owner of of Fountain Health, the company that is trying to bring Oral 7 products to the USA. His contact info is in the post -- you could ask him what the status is, as I have not yet had time to do so myself. His post indicates that Fountain had hopes to obtain FDA approval "by summer's end [2104]" -- that was a while ago. So explore those avenues, and report back! Meanwhile, if you MUST buy more Biotene Oral Gel to tide you over, Wal-Mart online is the least expensive source I have been able to find. Meanwhile, EVERYONE should post their complaint on Biotene's web page, FB page, and Amazon.

Dennis Cook said...

We just discovered this change in Boîtene oral rinse ingredients when, this week, my wife finished her bottle of the "old" formulation. She quickly noted the new stuff burned. That's when I Googled and found this blog to discover how much of a widespread concern this is.

So, for what it's worth, I found the CVS store brand of oral rinse for dry mouth still to be a close "copycat" of the original Biotene - including with enzymes. And she says it doesn't burn.

Antonio said...

Thanks Dennis -- good to know.

Also, there is a brand of oral products called OralSeven which you can obtain from Australia. The company says that their products should be available in the USA sometime after 05/01/15, following FDA approval -- scroll back up this thread to the post by FOUNTAIN JOHN for additional info. At this juncture the product is not as pleasant-tasting as the Biotene formula (more neutral-medicinal than sweet or minty), but it's not bad, it doesn't burn, has enzymes, and it is effective. It’s possible that the flavor may be tweaked by the time of the U.S. release. OralSeven also has complementary toothpaste and oral rinse products.

So while waiting for the U.S. release of the OralSeven products, I ordered 36 tubes of their "moisturising oral gel" from Australia, from a pharmacy called Towers Pharmacy-- www.towers.net.au/
-- I worked with Vanessa there, and she put together a nice bulk order pricing proposal for me, with 8-10 biz days delivery. Granted, going this route is expensive, but the gel tubes are larger than the Biotene gel tubes (1.76 oz. vs. 1.5), and presently the U.S. dollar is very strong vs.the Aussie ($1.00 US = $1.22 AU), so U.S. buyers get an immediate 22% discount – so that all helps.

So -- if you're desperate to get away from the horrible new Biotene formulations, this is an alternative.

Elena Pietersen said...

Oral 7 range of products contains the enzymes and ingredients that the original Biotene formula was based on. Oral 7 is available in Australia, New Zealand, most Asians countries and shortly to be released in the USA. For more information or samples please email info@oral7.com

Antonio said...

Indeed, Elena – I'm looking forward to the US release of the oral gel. Any idea as to the present timeline for that?

Anonymous said...

I used Biotene toothpaste at the recommendation of my dentist for dry mouth and it really helped then they changed the formula. It took literally seconds for the new formula to give me a migraine headache like I have never experienced before. I figured out how to identify the new from the old and purchased every bit I could find. Now I am on the last tube and searching for a replacement. The likely culprit was the artificial sweeteners they use. I have never received a response from Biotene other than they tried to send me a check. I sent it back endorsed as "I want my old toothpaste back, not your money." Coke tried to change their formula once and failed miserably, hopefully Biotene will see sales drop to a point they need to return to the old formula.

Anonymous said...

The new version tastes like alcohol mixed with artificial flavoring (which it is) and does not help my dry mouth, as recommended by my doctor. GSK has screwed this up....did they have a reason (eg regulatory use of ingredients?) or simply trying to make a cheaper product (which they certainly did).

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me if the Biotine "Gentle" formula is actually that? Is that one more closely akin to the original (enzymes aside)? The PDF formula does not make my mouth feel good. (SJ)

Does anyone know the real answer for formula change? I read it was because of FDA requirements, is this true? I read that they did "research" as to the enzymes not actually being helpful. I'd like to see the results of that research, has anyone seen it?

Any further info appreciated. THANK-YOU!!!

Antonio said...

I don't know about the toothpaste, since I don't buy that product (I find the toothpaste to be of dubious value as far as affecting dry mouth, at least for me), but I would imagine that, like the oral gel which has been discussed at length in this thread, my advice would be to pay no attention whatsoever to anything Biotene (now GlaxoSmithKline) says. It's all hype and lies. The "optimal" pH to which they have allegedly adjusted the oral gel product is total nonsense, as you can tell from your own experience, and everyone else's in this thread if you read way back. Their pH balance matches human saliva only if human saliva is composed of carbolic acid.

Most likely in my opinion: the reason GlaxoSmithKline removed those enzymes is because it's far cheaper to make this product without the complicated enzymes. However, as has been attested to throughout this thread, without the enzymes this product is worse than useless, because it is no longer effective and also irritates the lining of the mouth and throat.

So, what to do? I have switched to a moisturizing gel from a company called Oral7 -- recently only available abroad (not in the USA), and I order it in bulk online from a pharmacy in Australia called Chemist Warehouse. This gel is not irritating like the Biotene gel is, and it does contain the necessary enzymes for proper moisturizing function.

Oral7 also makes moisturizing toothpaste and mouthwash, just like Biotene, and I would strongly suspect that those products are superior to the Biotene products, and also non-irritating. You can go to the Oral7 web page for more information and to do your own research.

You can also obtain Oral7 products in the US from a company called Sterra Health (www.sterrahealth.com), but this source is actually substantially more expensive than ordering from Australia in bulk AND paying shipping! This is due to the favorable exchange rate between the US dollar and the Australian dollar (automatic 30% discount, as of this writing!).

Bulk orders reduce the shipping cost, of course, and shipping is only about five business days from Australia to your door in the US by international courier. You can also order more than the online limit (as I did) if you call the Pharmacy directly and arrange for them to send you a larger order in order, to maximize your savings on shipping. The international phone number is not available online – I had to discover it, but I can provide you with that if you are interested in pursuing this avenue.

Also bear in mind when considering the Ora7 versus Biotene cost/benefit analysis that the Oral7 gel tubes contain more product than the Biotene tubes. This may also be true of the other products in the Oral7 line – I am not sure, since as I mentioned, I do not purchase products other than the gel.

Good luck, and reach out again if you have any further questions.

vince R said...

The fact alone that Biotene has now been bought out by the disgusting, evil corporation GlaxoSmithKline means I'm done with Biotene, let alone the terrible new formula which is just artificial crap like most other mainstream products. Bye Biotene, and screw you, GlaxoSmithKline.

Anonymous said...

I used the new formula Biotene toothpaste recently because it does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which causes canker sores. Immediately I suffered a burning sensation in my mouth and tongue which I had never experienced with the old formula. I am sure this is due to the fact that the new Biotene formula does not contain enzymes as before and has added a new ingredient - Cocamidopropyl Betaine -- which is known to be an irritant similar to SLS. I had the same experience with Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening toothpaste, which now has a formula practically identical to the new Biotene toothpaste.

Lighthouse Health and Dental said...

For any of you who are in Canada or USA you may order BioXtra products from us on ldental.com. BioXtra is very similar to the old Biotene formulation

Anonymous said...

Biggest case of bait-and-switch in recent oral care products! They go from enzymes which work to cheap garbage and keep the prices still on the other side of $6 for $2 worth of generic toothpaste ingredients. I switched to The Natural Dentist as that makes my gums better with nothing held back.

Joyce said...

I have used Biotene products, both paste and rinse, for several years for sensitive nerves at my teeth, as recommended by my hygienist and dentist. I used the one with the PBF formula with the yellow label at the top of the bottle as it said it did extra for tartar, etc.

Then I noticed it was no longer available and a new bottle came on the market and said it had the same formula a PBF, but no longer made the same claims for treatment.

That usually means that it was found not to ever have worked and/or was stopped by the FDA and assessed a hefty fine.

So, I paid extra for the PBF formula for nothing.

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