Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why is my mouth so dry?

Everyone has had times when their mouth feels a little dry, usually from lack of hydration, but for some this feeling is consistent or even constant. Does your mouth feel like this?

Dry mouth or xerostomia refers to a condition where your salivary glands do not produce adequate saliva to keep the mouth wet. Saliva is important as it makes it easier to chew and swallow. It also buffers the acids produced by bacteria which can damage your teeth leading to cavities.

There are multiple causes of dry mouth including physiological or disease related causes including:

  • Aging
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Poorly controlled diabetes

There are also lifestyle causes including:

  • Use of alcohol
  • Use of tobacco
  • Consumption of excessive caffeine.

By far the most common cause of xerostomia is as a side effect of medication. Some of the more common medications that cause this are ones used to treat:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cold symptoms (antihistamines and decongestants)
  • Pain
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Muscle relaxants                

Relieving Dry Mouth

  • Sipping water
  • Sucking on ice chips
  • Use of lip lubricants
  • Chewing sugar free gum
  • Sucking on sugar free candy
  • Avoiding salty, spicy foods
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night

Dental Recommendations

  • Brush teeth at least two times daily
  • Floss teeth daily
  • Dental visits at least two time a year
  • Use of a prescription flouride toothpaste or gel
  • Possible use of a prescription medication to increase salivary flow

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Is Brushing Damaging Your Teeth?

Take it easy on your teeth and gums,
don't brush too hard

People often brush their teeth using too much pressure or with a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard. This can be damaging to your teeth and gums.

What problems can result from brushing too hard?

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loss of enamel, especially at the gumline
  • Gum recession
  • Loss of supporting bone around teeth

How to properly brush

The main purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove the plaque that builds up on the teeth. This is an accumulation of bacteria and food residue. Since it is soft, initially, you don't need to use a lot of force to remove it.
Use small circular motions with your brush focused at the gumline.
Make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles - a firmer toothbrush does not get your teeth cleaner, but it can cause more damage.
Using an electric toothbrush can also keep you from brushing to hard, just let the toothbrush do the work.
my favorite toothbrush

If your teeth are overly sensitive or your gums are bleeding you should visit your dentist.