Do you suffer from Dry Mouth? You are not alone!

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is associated with salivary gland hypofunction where there is a reduced amount of salivary output. Many people with this condition are un-aware that it means more than just mouth discomfort or bad breath. Saliva is essential to lubricate and protect our teeth, tongue and tissues. It aids in chewing, swallowing and digesting food and also protects our teeth from decay. Saliva is 98% water but the other 2% is made up of essential electrolytes, mucous, antibacterial components and various enzymes. When we aren’t producing an adequate amount of saliva to lubricate the mouth, and neutralize the acids produced by plaque we become more prone to cavities.

Many people are at risk for having dry mouth, but are unaware that it can create an unhealthy environment for your mouth. In many cases, people that suffer from dry mouth are experiencing a side effect from some common prescription medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, anti depressants and high blood pressure medications. It may also be a sign of a disease such as poorly controlled diabetes or other systemic conditions such as anxiety, stress or dehydration. As harmless as dry mouth may seem, it is not a condition to be overlooked. Some common problems with dry mouth include a burning sensation, problems speaking, difficulty swallowing, oral infections, gum disease, bad breath and tooth decay. A dry mouth also irritates the soft tissues in the mouth making them more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effect of saliva oral health problems become more common.

If you suffer from Dry Mouth there are ways to manage the ill effects and protect your teeth from suffering decay as a result of lack of saliva production.

• Drink water frequently and sip on water throughout the day.
• Suck on sugar free candy or chew sugar free gum, gum containing xylitol can help stimulate salivary flow while preventing cavities.
• Avoid mouth rinses that contain alcohol and avoid alcoholic beverages because they increase dry mouth. There are mouth rinses on the market that are made specifically for patients that suffer from Dry Mouth.
• Limit intake of salty and spicy foods
• Quit smoking
• Use a soft bristle toothbrush and brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal and use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
• Floss your teeth daily
• Most importantly, visit us at least twice a year to ensure your mouth is in good shape. If you are more prone to decay due to your dry mouth, catching and taking care of cavities early can prevent more costly and painful procedures down the road. To ensure maximum protection we may recommend a prescription toothpaste with a higher fluoride content to keep your teeth strong and aid in the prevention of cavities.

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What is Conscious Oral Sedation?

Did you know?….

It has been brought to our attention that many of our patients are not aware that Dr. Glass is qualified to administer Oral Conscious Sedation. You may ask, “What is that?” Well, it allows our patients who are anxious about having their dental work done or have many procedures to complete, to receive their treatment in a comfortable, stress-free way. The “Conscious” part of it is what is most appealing. It means that you are not “put under” with an I.V. Instead, you’re awake, can breathe on your own, can talk and are responsive.
Its a very simple process. You are sent home with an oral medication (Halcion) to take on an empty stomach one hour before your scheduled appointment. You will need transportation to and from your appointment as you will not be alert enough to drive yourself. When you arrive we will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, and will determine if more oral medication needs to be administered before your procedure. As far as the actual dental procedure goes, not much will change. We still administer local anesthesia to keep you free from pain. Our patients tell us that it makes them feel like they are in a “dream like” state. Many of our patients don’t remember the procedure itself, and those that do, say it seemed like it only took a few minutes instead of the actual length of time. Once you are home, it typically takes a few hours for the medication to wear off and your dental work is done, anxiety free!