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Dry Mouth

Does your dentist know which medications you are taking?
Are they causing your dry mouth and other oral concerns?

Chronic dry mouth is a common problem that affects about 25% of all adults.
It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and many others.

Dry mouth, also called xerostoma, results from an inadequate flow of saliva. Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. This is the first line of protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease. Without saliva, extensive tooth decay can also occur.

Some of the most common and irritating problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages.

Other symptoms of dry mouth include:
– Bad breath
– A sticky, dry or sore mouth
– Cracking at the corners of the mouth
– A red and parched mouth
– Blisters and mouth ulcers
– A pebbled look to the tongue
– Difficulty eating dry or spicy foods
– Waking up with a dry mouth at night

After a thorough examination, including a review of medications and lifestyle habits, your dentist can accurately determine the cause of your dry mouth and the right course of treatment for you.

We recommend our patients to bring in a current list of their medications and vitamins dosage and frequency. This allows us to review which medications could cause or contribute to dry mouth.

Your dentist or hygienist can recommend various methods to restore moisture. There are numerous treatment options, including artificial saliva, oral rinses, sprays, toothpastes, gels, gum, lozenges, and patches that can help restore moisture. We recommend drinking water frequently. In some cases, we recommend that the patient use a custom-made tray containing fluoride.

Due to risk of tooth decay, it is essential to treat teeth with fluoride. There are many different types of fluoride available. Your dentist and hygienist will help provide the best option for your needs.

If left untreated, chronic dry mouth can increase your risk for developing cavities. Other risk factors that can increase cavities may include, but are not limited to:
– Active decay or cavities in previous 12 months
– High tiers of cariogenic bacteria
– Poor oral hygiene
– Cariogenic diet – carbs and sugars
– Many multi-surface restorations
– Irregular dental care
– Suboptimal fluoride exposure
– Presence of exposed root surfaces
– Xerostomia (medication, radiation, or disease-induced dry mouth)

Applications of fluoride are more effective in preventing decay and new cavity formations than regular oral hygiene practices alone. Suggested oral hygiene practices include: brushing, rinsing, and interproximal aids. The dental hygienist will help determine which products will be most useful according to your needs and instruct you on how to use them properly. Routine dental appointments offer oral health benefits as well as overall health benefits.

Consuming optimally fluoridated water throughout life helps prevent tooth decay no matter your age. Village Dental offers many products and services to help aid you in maintaining optimal oral health. We can recommend specific oral care products that fit your needs.

Village Dental
352-205-7667 or 352-753-7507

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