Symptoms and Finding Relief
Most adults mistakenly believe that they should no longer be at risk for cavities. A relatively new problem that we are seeing many times daily in our dental practice for our patients is dry mouth. It can be caused by many medical conditions but where we are seeing by far the biggest issue is with medications that people are taking.
There are over 400 of some of the most commonly prescribed medications that will cause significant issues with dry mouth.
Dry mouth can have a big impact on your ability to eat and speak and unfortunately also puts you at a very high risk for cavities, and those cavities can develop rapidly. It is not uncommon to have a patient who has been coming in over the years with a healthy mouth, come back for their next routine dental check up 6 months later with multiple cavities. The culprit- they have been placed on a medication that causes extreme dryness in their mouth. Because of this we have become much more proactive in recommending in office and at home fluoride treatments for our adult patients to aid in preventing or decreasing the amount of cavities. We use fluoride routinely for kids and we are now finding it is just as important in adults.
If you have dry mouth we recommend you try the following steps.
- That you inform us of any changes in your medical history and keep us up to date on medicines you are taking
- An in office fluoride treatment at all teeth cleaning appointments
- A prescription fluoride toothpaste for daily home use
- The possibility of more frequent teeth cleanings and exams in order to monitor you more closely and catch any problems early
- Do not sip on sugary beverages or suck on sugared candies or mints. Also avoid the sugar free sweetener sorbitol.
The good news is that we can manage many patients with changes to their lifestyle and habits. At your visit to our office we will provide you with an extensive handout with recommendations to help alleviate some of your symptoms and give you suggestions to modify your daily routine.