Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)


Cortney Davis, RDH

 

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

            Xerostomia is a medical term meaning dry mouth due to the lack of saliva present in your mouth. Individuals that have a dry mouth don’t have enough saliva to keep their mouth moist. Saliva is important because it is a person’s primary defense against tooth decay and helps maintain the health of hard and soft tissue in the mouth. Saliva also is important because it washes away small food particles and debris that would sit on the teeth, has shown to protect against gum disease, helps carry minerals that help rebuild he enamel surfaces of teeth, and can also help neutralize acids in the mouth during and after eating.

What causes dry mouth? Dry mouth is a common side effect of many non-prescription and prescription drugs including drugs to treat anxiety, pain, allergies, colds, depression, etc.. Another common cause of dry mouth is side effects from certain medical treatments. Many people undergoing radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy have damage to the salivary glands and it reduces the amount of saliva produced. The last common cause of dry mouth is from side effects from infections and diseases including but not limited to Sjorgrens Syndrome, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes.

Common symptoms of dry mouth include; frequent thirst, a sticky dry feeling in the mouth, problems speaking, chewing and swallowing, bad breath, and a dry red tongue.

If you have dry mouth make sure you drink plenty of water every day to help stimulate saliva flow, talk to your healthcare provider to find the cause of your dry mouth and what your treatment options are, keep up good dental care by brushing and flossing and going to your dentist for routine check-ups, try over-the-counter saliva substitute’s containing xylitol, and try mouth washes and toothpaste designed for dry mouth such as Biotene.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Adult/GeneralInformation/22,DD205

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-dry-mouth#1

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What is Xylitol?

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

What is Xylitol?

What if I told you there was a sugar that actually prevents cavities?  Would you believe me?  Well, you should!  And it called Xylitol (pronounced zai-li-tall).

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in plants, fruits, and vegetables.  It looks and tastes just like sugar (sucrose).  Xylitol has about a third the calories as table sugar, and is a healthy alternative for diabetics. Not only does it make an excellent sugar substitute, but it aids in the prevention of dental caries, and reduces plaque formation.

How does it help prevent cavities?

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth all the time.  Bacteria is highly attracted to the sugars found in the foods and beverages that we eat and drink.  Most people think this means sweets, candies, etc.  While that is true, it also can mean carbohydrates (which are complex sugars) or fruit (which has fructose, a sugar) or any number of things.  The bacteria in our mouths eat all those sugars and excrete acid.  That acid is what causes cavities.

Now bacteria is way more attracted to xylitol than regular sugar.  The Bacteria head right for xylitol!  But bacteria cannot break down xylitol.  Meaning if they can’t “eat” it, they can’t excrete it.  The bacteria dies not able to make acid to cause cavities.  That is how xylitol can help prevent cavities!

How does it help dry mouth?

Many things, including prescription medications, can cause dry mouth.  But why is dry mouth such a big deal?  Dry mouth can effect you quality of life!  It decreases your ability to taste.  It can cause bad breathe.  It can make eating difficult.  It can make talking difficult.  It can even significantly increase your susceptibility to getting cavities!

Xylitol has a cooling effect, quenching the burning of dry mouth.  Xylitol also stimulates saliva flow, which fixes all of the problems previously mentioned.  Xylitol is also an humectant, which means it attracts moisture.  And Xylitol neutralized saliva’s pH.  An acid pH leads to dry mouth, a basic pH can lead to an overgrowth of plaque bacteria.  Nice neutral pH is where your mouth is the happiest!

Who can have Xylitol?

Xylitol is safe for all ages!  Great for the whole family!

Even diabetics can use xylitol.  “The body does not require insulin to metabolize xylitol. For this reason polyols like xylitol produce a lower glycemic response than sucrose or glucose. This has made xylitol a widely used sweetener for the diabetic diet in some countries. If you do have diabetes, however, it’s important to consult your doctor or diet professional before incorporating xylitol into your daily diet. (1)”

And, like chocolate, onions, raisins, or avocados, xylitol is not safe for our 4-legged furry family members.  Please do not share it with them.

Where can you find Xylitol?

Xylitol can be found in a wide array of products.  Most commonly, chewing gum, candies, and mints.  It is also found in tooth pastes, mouth sprays, and even as granulated crystals to replace table sugar.

Hope this has been informative and you have found a new way to incorporate the many benefits of Xylitol in your life!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.xylitol.org

http://www.xlear.com

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

            I know we live in a desert, but our mouths don’t have to BE a desert of dryness!  The first step is to figure out where is the dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is coming from.  There are several factors that can contribute to dry mouth including damage to the salivary glands, medications or medical conditions, and life style habits such as smoking, drinking, or alcohol or caffeine use.  There are so many variables and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of factors.

Often times, there is nothing you can do to reverse dry mouth, however, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (1):

  • Be sure to REGULARLY take sips of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Practice good Oral Hygiene – brushing 2x daily and flossing 1x daily. You can also use mouth rinses WITHOUT alcohol in them.  The alcohol will dry out the mouth and makes symptoms worse.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Chew Sugar-Free gum or suck on Sugar-free lozenges
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake

There are several companies that provide products that aid in dry mouth relief.  Some products and brands work well for some while others work better for others.  It truly is a trial and error process to see what works best for you.

Biotene is one of the biggest companies that focus on relieving dry mouth.  They have an array of products ranging from mouth rinses to chewing gum to saliva substitute.  It is sold in several stores, including Target and Walgreens.  Xylitol also has a variety of products that you can order including nose sprays, toothpastes, mints, and artificial sweeteners. (2) And of course, there are natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms as well.  Here is a good website that has a variety of things you can try to see if they alleviate any discomfort. (3)

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Dry mouth is NEVER easy to deal with, but hopefully with time and a little patience you’ll find something that will work for you.  If you need more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or dentist for other solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-health-impacts/dry-mouth-relief/
  2. http://www.epicdental.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=xylitol-products
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime

KarenK

Karen Kelley RDH

Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime

Our dental practice has more over 50 year olds than under 50.  As aging adults, we need to be aware of certain things that can keep us from retaining our teeth our entire lives.

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Judith Ann Jones, DDS, a spokesman on elder care for the American Dental Association and director of The Center for Clinical Research at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine spoke about 5 things that are especially important to the over 50 crowd.

Tooth Decay:  Contrary to what many people believe, adults keep getting cavities!  I’m always surprised when people are stunned to learn they have a cavity as an adult.  Areas of the teeth that have never had a cavity can decay, but  areas  where we see more problems are where an old filling is leaking and at the base of an older crown.  The best prevention is brushing well each day along the gumline.  An electric toothbrush is very helpful in accomplishing this as well as the use of fluoride.  An over the counter fluoride rinse nightly is great and in our office we have special prescription strength fluoride that is wonderful for cavity prevention as well as help with sensitivity.
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Dry Mouth:  Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime We see so many people with this problem.  “Saliva protects our teeth.  The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth”, Jones says.  Many drugs cause dry mouth as well as some diseases and as we get older, we are on more medications thus we see this commonly in older adults.  This is a difficult one to deal with for those affected.  The best thing is to drink lots of water, use saliva substitute and try xylitol products.  Also, if you smoke, stop, it just makes your mouth drier.

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Gum Disease:  If your gums are swollen, red, or bleed easily, you have gum disease.  If left untreated, gum disease (gingivitis) will become more serious and will cause deterioration of the bone that holds the teeth, we call this periodontitis.   If this condition continues without treatment, it can cause the loss of the teeth.  The best way to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth well each day with brushing, flossing, and use of interdental cleaners like soft picks or go betweens. And of course, seeing your friendly dental hygienist as often as recommended.  We can remove the mineralized bacteria from your teeth that you can’t remove with brushing.

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Tooth Crowding:  “As you age, your teeth shift”, according to Lee W. Graber, D.D.S., M.S, Ph.D., Past President of the American Association of Orthodontists. And “that can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean, leading to more decay.  It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone”, Graber says.   “Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster.”   If your teeth have really shifted, and you find you are having a difficult time keeping your teeth clean and food keeps getting caught in certain areas, ask our doctors about orthodontics.  We offer Invisalign to our patients and we’ve had patients in their later years choose to straighten their teeth.  I just finished with my invisalign treatment.  I had braces when I was a teenager but my teeth had shifted and I was experiencing these problems I just mentioned.  I decided to do Invisalign.  It’s easy to do and my teeth are so much straighter.   They are now in the correct alignment and my teeth and gums will be healthier.   If you choose not to do orthodontics, more frequently exams and cleanings may be necessary.

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Oral Cancer:  According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it.  “Oral cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older”, Jones says, and “is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use.”   Jones also said, “Only about half of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease.”   If discovered early, there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years.  When we do your periodic exams when you come in for your cleaning, you will be checked for oral cancer.  We also offer Velscope, Identafi, or Oral ID technologies to help in finding oral cancer earlier.

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Keep brushing, flossing and smiling!  We want to help you keep your teeth healthy your entire lives!

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Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/common-dental-problems-_n_5844434.html

https://aga.grandparents.com/

Electronic Cigarettes

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS) that consist of a cartridge containing nicotine and propylene glycol, an atomizer, and a battery (Figure 1). When a user inhales, a pressure-sensitive circuit is activated, which heats the atomizer and vaporizes the liquid as it is brought through the mouthpiece. The vapor consists of a fine mist that does not contain smoke or carbon monoxide and disperses more quickly than traditional cigarette smoke. The act of using ENDS is often called “vaping” and users are termed “vapers.”

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The nicotine cartridges used in ENDS come in a variety of flavors, including vanilla, cherry, java, piña colada, and menthol.  As the demand rises there are some ENDS stores opening with over 1000 flavors.  They are also offered in a myriad of nicotine strengths. When e-cigarettes are inhaled, light-emitting diodes are illuminated. Originally, these lights were red, but now they are often blue or another color to differentiate them from traditional cigarettes.

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There is a lot of stir about the introduction of e-cigarettes and unknown health issues that they may cause. For the mouth, e-cigarettes seem to have some positives and negatives. It is a better option than regular tobacco cigarettes, but worse than not smoking altogether. Here are a few of the effects of e-cigarettes on the mouth.

Unfortunately, research on e-cigarettes is still very minimal. Because they are a new product, research that can space several decades is still unavailable. However, there are several chemicals and clues that help determine what e-cigarettes can do to the teeth.

Just like any cigarette, the main purpose of an e-cigarette is to inhale nicotine. Studies have shown that nicotine can slow down the production of saliva in the mouth. The more nicotine you intake, the less saliva the body is able to produce. Saliva is a main deterrent to harmful bacteria and food particles in the mouth. Low saliva levels can cause quicker tooth decay, sore gums, and eventually a loosening of the teeth. One positive of smoking e-cigarettes verses normal cigarettes is that you can control the amount of nicotine the e-cigarette will release into the body. This will slow down the eventual effect of lowered saliva levels, at least.

Another effect of nicotine in an e-cigarette or a tobacco cigarette is it acts as a vasoconstrictor, which prohibits blood flow to the mouth. This results in a fewer number of white blood cells capable of fending off infections and bacteria that harm your gums. Fewer red blood cells are also sent to your mouth tissues, which lead to faster deterioration of the tissue and your teeth.

Another concern for e-cigarettes is that they contain diethylene glycol, a highly toxic substance. However, at the current point in research, scientists have not determined how much of the substance is needed to be considered harmful to the body, especially seeing e-cigarettes use a very low amount.

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Dental hygienists should continue to support tobacco cessation through evidence-based methods, such as counseling and medications. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s (ADHA) “Ask, Advise, Refer” program is a national tobacco intervention initiative designed to promote cessation by dental hygienists. Available at askadviserefer.org, this program follows the most successful steps to aid patients in quitting smoking, including: an in-depth presentation on the effects of tobacco and nicotine; step-by-step guide on questioning smokers; tips on advising them of why quitting is recommended; specific referrals to local quit lines; and options for Web-based cessation programs. Also, a variety of in-office handouts and reference sheets is available for immediate download or by request from the ADHA website for clinicians.

The “Ask, Advise, Refer” program recommends offering some type of smoking cessation medication in addition to a behavioral program. One option is a traditional nicotine replacement therapy, or pharmacotherapy. FDA-approved traditional nicotine replacement therapy products include gum, lozenges, transdermal patches, nasal sprays, and oral inhalers. There are several success stories of individuals sucking on hard candy day after day.  Unfortunately this may cause cavities, but if this can stop someone from using tobacco products then it is a success.  Bupropion SR and varenicline are medications used to aid in cessation.

E-cigarettes have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the levels of nicotine or other chemicals they contain are unknown. The FDA is concerned that e-cigarettes are sold to young people and do not contain “health warnings comparable to FDAapproved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.” The administration is developing a strategy to regulate this emerging class of products.

Conclusion

In response to the decreasing number of adult cigarette smokers, the tobacco industry is trying to attract young people with “healthier” tobacco products in hopes of expanding the market. None of these products is free of carcinogens, and most still contain enough nicotine to pose an addiction risk. All of them increase users’ risk of oral cancer.

The challenge for dental professionals is to identify users of these products as they may lack the typical signs of tobacco use, such as tobacco stains and odor, and the appearance of tissue changes in unusual areas, such as under the upper lip. Clinicians can play a critical role in educating patients about the nicotine content and potential harmful effects of these new tobacco products. Not only can dental professionals provide cessation support or referral for counseling, but they can also help prevent nicotine addiction in the first place.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Polosa R, Caponnetto P, Morjaria JB, Papale G, Campagna D, Russo C. Effect of an electronic nicotine delivery device (e-cigarette) on smoking reduction and cessation: a prospective 6-moth pilot study. BMC Public Health. 2013;

American Lung Association Smoking Cessation: The Economic Benefits. Available at: lung.org/stop-smoking/tobacco-control-advocacy/reports-resources/cessation-economic-benefits/states/united-states.html. Accessed April 21, 2014

US Food and Drug Administration. FDA and Public Health Experts Warn About Electronic Cigarettes. Available at: www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/ Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm. Accessed September 1, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013 Smoking and Tobacco Use. Available at: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/economics/econ_facts/index.htm. Accessed September 1, 2013

http://www.askadviserefer.org/

Hydrogen Peroxide

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Lora Cook RDH

 Is Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouth Rinse Safe?

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Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action!  When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in.  Best of all it is inexpensive. 

 However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long.  It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush.  Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections. 

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers. 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/hydrogen-peroxide-as-mouthwash.html

http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/tooth-whiteners/l-3/6-tooth-whitening-side-effects.htm

http://www.healthline.com/health/thrush#Symptoms4

Stay Hydrated …and Keep Smiling

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Ann Clark RDH

     For a lot of people, summer fun means time in the sun and chilling in the pool.  While cool water might feel good on the outside, it won’t lower your core body temperature.  To do that, and avoid dehydration, you need to get enough water and other fluids inside your body.
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     Did you know that if you are thirsty or feel worn down, you are already dehydrated?  Other symptoms include light-headedness, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, or dry mouth.  Diet beverages although thought to make you hungrier and dehydrate you, actually do hydrate you and bonus…make you less hungry says a recent clinical trial published in the June issue of “Obesity”.  Also consuming fruits and vegetables higher in water content can also aide in proper hydration (watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes etc).  Staying hydrated can also reduce the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, exercise asthma and hyperglycemia.   Not only is a dry mouth uncomfortable while wearing a sport’s mouthguard, for example, but changes in your saliva’s composition can diminish it’s natural ability to buffer against decay-causing bacteria.
     So keep our summer smile happening!  Drink plenty of fluids-especially water-before, during, and after your fun in the sun!
Information from the American Beverage Association 7/24/14
Referenced-  “3 Tips to Staying Hydrated This Summer”
pic source: www.alsplumbing.com

Dry Mouth

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Ann Clark RDH 

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Is due to inadequate function of the salivary glands.  It can be temporary due to stress, nervousness or being upset, but if it is continuous it can lead to serious health problems.  Your saliva works in your mouth to help:  talk, chew, spit, wash away food, lubricate for eating, buffers acids, remineralize tooth enamel, and to aid your taste buds.  When your salivary production shuts down your mouth is greatly affected. Saliva is needed to moisten the mouth and digest foods.  It keeps you healthy and prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth.  It is essential to help you taste what you eat and drink.  If untreated, severe dry mouth can lead to increased levels of tooth decay or thrush, an infection of the mouth.
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Causes for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. Most often xerostomia is a side effect of the increased amounts of medications people take as they age. However, it can be a sign of a possible systemic disease like Sjogrens. Lots of times dry mouth is caused by the medications used to treat the ailment. These may include asthma, urinary incontinence, parkinson’s, epilepsy, stroke, mumps, alzheimer’s, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis C, lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, hypothyroidism, depression. The most common medications that cause dry mouth are related to high blood pressure, relaxants, depressants, heart disease, and antihistamines. Dehydration, fever, diarrhea, burns, exercise, blood loss, vomiting, radiation, menopause, surgical removal of glands and cigarettes can also cause dry mouth.
What can I do?
If dry mouth is effecting you it is critical to support your existing healthy oral pH. Dry mouth can cause an increased acidic environment which leads to a higher risk for dental decay. Here are some tips to help with dry mouth:
  • moisten the air overnight (humidifier)
  • avoid sugary and acidic foods
  • use Fluoride toothpaste
  • use Fluoride gel or rinse before bed
  • limit coffee
  • eliminate rinses with alcohol
  • stop tobacco use
  • drink water regularly
  • chew sugarfree gum over candy-the xylitol ingredient promotes production of saliva
  • breath through your nose
  • avoid histamines and decongestants
  • use OTC salivary substitutes: Mouth Kote and Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray contain xylitol. Cellulose containing products like Biotine Oral Balance
  • use rinses like Biotene or Act Total Dry Mouth
  • possibly alter your medication or dosage…always consult your medical doctor first.
  • visit your dentist regularly for exams, 2 exams per year
  • come in for your cleaning schedule treatment planned by your dentist

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

 

Sources:

1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424

2. http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_mouth/article.htm

3. http://www.aquoral.com/

4. gnackdds.com for picture source 

Fluoride: It’s not just for the kids.

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Andra Mahoney BS RDH
 
When someone says fluoride, most of us automatically think children. While it is true that fluoride is an important part of our children’s oral health, it is also a necessity for adults as well. Adults, just like children, get cavities. So adults, just like children, should receive fluoride.In fact, there are many age related problems that increase our need for fluoride.Some examples include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Drug or Alcohol abuse
  • Lack of regular professional dental care
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Exposed root surfaces of teeth, recession
  • Decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
  • Poor diet
  • Existing fillings
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Undergoing head and neck radiation therapy

I’d like to address recession and dry mouth specifically, since those are very common problems.

Recession- Recession is when the gums have receded below the crown of the tooth, exposing the root to the tooth. 

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This creates two main problems. First, the roots of the teeth do not have enamel, they are covered by cementum.

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As we all know, enamel is the hard material that protects the surface of the tooth. Enamel is 70 times stronger than cementum. This, unfortunately, means that the roots of the teeth are more prone to decay than the crowns of the teeth. The best recommendation for recession and the prevention of decay is fluoride. Make sure you are using a soft bristled brush with soft brushing (to prevent further recession) in combination with fluoride toothpaste. Also, you may received fluoride treatments at your dental appointments. The most beneficial would be fluoride varnish. Your hygienist is able to apply this for you at each appointment. The varnish coats the tooth in a protective layer of fluoride to aid in the prevention of decay.

The second problem that recession creates is sensitivity. When the root is exposed tiny little tubules open up on the tooth and the chances for sensitivity increase. This makes eating or drinking cold or sweet things painful. You will often notice a sharp zing when the area of recession comes in contact with cold or sweet items. The best recommendation for sensitivity due to recession is fluoride. Sensitivity toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, contain an increased amount of fluoride (as opposed to regular toothpaste) to assist in the prevention of sensitivity (and decay).

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Fluoride varnish is also helpful as it coats the tooth and temporarily closes the tubules decreasing the sensitivity. 

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Xerostomia

The last topic that I wanted to address is dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Many adults take medicine and the most common side effect of many medications is dry mouth. A decrease in saliva increases your risk for decay. Saliva is important in washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids created by bacteria, as well as containing minerals that help prevent tooth decay. If you are having problems with dry mouth, try rinsing with a fluoride mouth was or a saliva substitute.

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All these reasons and many more show the importance of fluoride use for adults. If you have any other questions about the other problems that fluoride can help with, feel free to make an appointment with us and we’ll answer all your questions! 

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com/

 

References:

Fluoride Treatments in the Dental Office ADA: http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_72.pdf

Can Fluoride Help Adults? Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Adults/Adult-Maintenance-and-Care/article/Can-Fluoride-Help-Adults.cvsp

Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Pictures:

http://www.drneal.com/pages/library/images/clip_image002.jpg

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http://www.m.sensodyne.com/?redirectfrom=www.sensodyne.us+R-https%3a%2f%2fwww.google.com%2f

http://pics2.ds-static.com/prodimg/380812/300.JPG

 

Mouth Breathing

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Julie West BS RDH

Parents take heed; if your child breathes through his mouth instead of his nose, he can have more problems than bad breath!

     Mouth-breathing contributes to: sleep disorders, changes in posture, jaw deformity, lowered immune function, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Mouth-breathing causes the jaws to grow in an altered fashion, resulting in long faces, tooth crowding, and an altered head posture. The lower jaw remains too far behind in its growth, producing a small chin, an abnormal bite, and a distorted profile.

Sleep disorders can be caused by the lower jaw and tongue being positioned too far back, constricting the upper airway.  Enlarged tonsils and adenoids due to chronic allergies may also constrict the airway to such an extent that normal nasal breathing becomes impossible.

Nasal breathing produces a hormone that regulates normal blood circulation. It also filters, warms and moisturizes the air. The lack of oxygen in mouth breathers, who usually snore at night and struggle for air, weakens the immune system, disrupts deep sleep cycles, and interferes with growth hormone production.  Children may be fatigued and less attentive in school due to this disruption in sleep.

Saliva helps to naturally cleanse the tissues of the mouth.  Salivary flow is disrupted by mouth-breathing, leaving a dry environment that irritates tissues and leaves them susceptible to infection such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, as well as contributing to bad breath.

If you notice that your child breathes through his mouth, you can get help before these problems arise.

     Typical treatment options include myofunctional therapy to help retrain your child to breathe through their nose and the use of orthodontic appliances to help move the lower jaw forward.   The earlier mouth-breathing is addressed, the better the outcomes of treatment will be.

Below is a picture of a patient before and after treatment for mouth-breathing.

http://mcgannfacialdesign.com/before-after/

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/OMD.htm