May 30, 2018

Frequently Asked Dental Questions

By Carole Ferch, RDH
I-Smile Silver Coordinator
Scott County Health Department

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT DRY MOUTH?

  • Saliva helps to prepare your food for digestion. If you do not have enough saliva, the digestive process is altered from the very beginning.
  • A dry mouth makes it harder to swallow, taste and even speak properly.
  • Saliva helps to “wash” away food and bacteria. When you do not have enough saliva, you are more likely to get tooth decay (cavities).
  • Saliva has lots of minerals to help strengthen weak tooth enamel.

WHAT CAUSES DRY MOUTH?

Some of the common causes of dry mouth are:

  • Medications
  • Cancer Treatment
  • Radiation Treatment
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol Use
  • Smoking
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Age

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP WITH DRY MOUTH?

  • Inform your dentist or physician
  • Brush regularly
  • Sip water throughout the day
  • Use sugar-free or *Xylitol containing gum and mints
  • Do NOT use cough drops or hard candy with sugar
    (this will increase your risk for tooth decay)

Use special products made for treating dry mouth:

  • Biotene, ACT, and Spry are a few common brands that help relieve dry mouth. These products come in several options including rinses, gels, toothpaste, sprays, mints, and gum.
  • Avoid alcohol containing products as they can be harsh and even painful on dry tissues.
  • *Xylitol is a natural sugar found in fibrous fruits and vegetables, hardwoods and corncobs.

Contact the I-Smile™ Silver Coordinator for dental referrals, resources or questions at 563-326-8618.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness