July 2016 Edition

DRY MOUTH – XEROSTOMIA

July. 25. 2016

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition related to the salivary glands, which help keep the mouth moist, thus preventing decay and other oral health problems. When the salivary glands do not work properly, the amount of saliva in the mouth decreases, resulting in dry mouth.

What causes dry mouth?
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause of dry mouth including anti-hypertensives, anti-depressants, painkillers, diuretics, and antihistamines. Other contributing factors include stress, anxiety, depression, and nutritional deficiencies.

What are the signs and symptoms of dry mouth?
symptoms of dry mouth may include the following:

  • Difficulty speaking and swallowing
  • A burning sensation or soreness in the mouth
  • Diminished or altered sense of taste
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis
  • Stale or bad breath

How can you improve your condition?
If you have any of the symptoms of dry mouth, it’s important to contact your dentist so that he or she can properly evaluate and diagnose the condition. A variety of methods are available to help patients manage dry mouth including using saliva substitutes and over-the counter mouthwashes, gels, and sprays. To ease discomfort, it is recommended to brush and floss twice a day, to chew sugarless gum, to drink plenty of water, and to maintain regular dental visits. In addition, it is suggested to avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking, citrus juices, dry foods, and overly salty foods.


FLUORIDE VARNISH AND DENTAL HEALTH

July. 8. 2016

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Everyday, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also helps speed reminalization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth. 

In What Forms Is Fluoride Available? 

As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinse. Getting topical fluoride vanish at a dental office is the most effective way to apply fluoride in higher concentrations.
The use of fluoride treatment is a widely accepted treatment for children during the regular dental visit. Childhood cavities is the number one chronic disease of childhood and is the root causes for most absences from school. 

But what about adults?
It was found that adults are just as susceptible to cavities if not more. Adults who receive fluoride varnish treatment at their regular dental visits have reduced needs of fillings by as much as 30 to 50 percent. The process is very simple and takes only a few minutes to paint on a fluoride varnish to all the surfaces of teeth. Prevention has always been a part of the dentistry world and we are on the forefront in helping prevent cavities.