Xerostomia

A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: What is Your Mouth Telling You?

Posted on August 15, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Gum Surgery, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandWhen it comes to your overall health, your mouth is a good indication of what may be going on on the inside. Head on over to the mirror every week or so and take a peek. Changes in your gums or saliva could point to some unseen health issues.

If your gums are bright red, puffy or have small abscesses it could mean that you have gum disease. If there is pus or blood when you brush you may have some sort of bacterial infection which could be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist will want to take a look to confirm if you are having serious issues.

Stick your tongue out! If it’s pale in color, you most likely have iron-deficiency anemia. If you think you may be anemic your doctor can confirm this with a simple blood test. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, seafood, meat and beans (or a vitamin supplement) will help increase your iron.

Prescriptions and over the counter drugs could be causing dry mouth. If your saliva is thick or stringy, then you have dry mouth (xerostomia). If dry mouth is left untreated it can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and oral yeast infections. You will want to talk to your dentist or doctor about your dry mouth and medications.

If you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to stop by or call me or Dr. Stewart at the dental office here in Columbia.

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: Fluoride Varnish

Posted on July 11, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Fluoride Treatment, Fluoride Varnish, General Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Beth at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride varnish is a sticky substance that is painted on to the teeth with a tiny brush to prevent new cavities and stop cavities that have already started. It is quick, painless and doesn’t have a bad taste. The protection from fluoride varnish can last for several months after application.

Who should get Fluoride Varnish Treatments?

Fluoride is safe and recommended for children of all ages – you should know children as young as 12 to 18 months can get cavities!

But fluoride isn’t just for children. Adults can also benefit from fluoride varnish. Some reasons adults may require additional fluoride:

  • Tooth decay in the past (susceptible get more)
  • Head and neck radiation / Xerostomia patients (more susceptible to decay because of the lack of saliva)
  • Gum recession (roots are exposed and could be targeted by bacteria)
  • Bridge or crowns (margins can be hiding places for bacteria that cause decay)
  • Braces (catch food and bacteria that can harm and discolor the teeth)

We know now that people can keep their teeth for much longer than was previously possible. With the use of fluoride and good oral hygiene practices you can ensure that your teeth remain healthy as you age. Start today – ask your favorite Smile Savers dental hygienist for a fluoride varnish!

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A Word From Dental Assistant Carolyn: Spit Happens!

Posted on June 27, 2012. Filed under: Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: |

Dental Assistant Caroyln at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandYou may not realize it, but saliva has some important functions in the mouth. Saliva kick-starts the digestive process and helps cleanse the teeth. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, happens when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Most people experience this at some point, but constant dry mouth requires further investigation. People with dry mouth may experience constant sore throat, problems swallowing and difficulty eating. The lack of saliva to wash away food particles and neutralize the plaque in your mouth may lead to bad breath and an increase in tooth decay.

Antihistamines, decongestants and almost 400 other medications can cause xerostomia. A quick call to your pharmacist will tell you if your medications cause this. There are also diseases that trigger dry mouth so it is important to seek medical advice from your dentist and doctor. There are rinses, toothpastes, moisturizers available to help with the symptoms. You can also drink more water through the day, avoid salty/spicy foods and use a humidifier at night. Although these tools won’t cure the problem, they help a great deal and will make you more comfortable.

For answers to your additional questions about dry mouth, contact Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City, MD.

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