Dental Tips Blog

Oct
9

Do You Have a Salivary Gland Disorder?

Is it a passing case of dry mouth, or something more?

Your saliva glands are small and easy to take for granted. Yet, they play a big role in dental hygiene by keeping your mouth clean, healthy, and comfortable. So, when something goes wrong with a saliva gland, it’s hard to ignore.

There are three major disorders that commonly affect salivary glands:

  • Sialolithiasis
  • Sialadenitis
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome

The first condition is where a salivary stone obstructs a saliva duct. The second is inflammation of the duct that often follows as the result of a stone blockage, but it may happen independently. Lastly, Sjogren’s Syndrome is a set of symptoms that affect moisture-producing cells all over the body.

Additionally, viral infections and tumors can also cause problems with your salivary glands.

Signs You May Have A Salivary Gland Disorder

If you have a stone blocking a saliva duct you may feel a small lump in the area. It will probably hurt more when you eat because food stimulates saliva flow, but the fluid has nowhere to go.

An infection in the salivary gland may present with some pus and even a fever.

Swollen glands can indicate a variety of diseases and are also characteristic of diabetes and excessive alcohol use.

Have Dry Mouth? What You Should Do

If your discomfort is accompanied by fever or swelling that makes it hard to swallow or breathe, contact a doctor right away.

A simple case of dry mouth in itself may not be quite as serious. Plan a visit to your local dentist to find out whether your lack of saliva is due to medication or a serious medical condition.

Posted on behalf of:
The Grove Family Dentistry
6200 Center St Suite I
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 350-8592

Nov
22

The Top Three Causes of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth affects some 10% of Americans and tends to affect women more than men. If you suffer from dry mouth, then you know how frustrating it is to deal with. You may find yourself drinking a lot of water, but all that seems to accomplish is more trips to the restroom! Determining the root cause of your dry mouth may help you to cope with it. We’re going to talk about the three most common causes of dry mouth.

Medications

Whether prescription or over-the-counter, there are many drugs on the market which have dry mouth as a side-effect. This may be the most easily altered cause of dry mouth. Talk with your doctor if you feel that a change in your medication may help to alleviate this side-effect.

Symptom of Another Medical Condition

It is not uncommon for a number of medical conditions to have dry mouth as an accompanying symptom. Such common conditions include diabetes, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis. It may not be so easy to eliminate the cause of your dry mouth in such a case, but you can still take good care of your oral health and manage the effects of dry mouth.

Damage to the Salivary Gland

If you have ever had invasive surgery around your saliva ducts or perhaps were on a course of radiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment, then your saliva gland could have been damaged. This was likely unavoidable and now irreversible. Here, again, you can still deal with the symptom of dry mouth by collaborating with your dental team.

Ask your dentist about the techniques and products he or she recommends for keeping your mouth moist, comfortable, healthy, and free of dry-mouth induced tooth decay.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jan
28

Prescription Drugs and Dry Mouth

Posted in Gum Disease

If you are one of the millions of American adults taking prescription medications, you should be aware of the sometimes serious oral complications of dry mouth, a common side of effect of such drugs.

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands stop producing saliva and the mouth becomes extremely dry. Sores and cracks can appear. You might have a raw, red tongue. You could become very thirsty and dehydrated.

But beyond the general discomfort, a dry mouth can eventually lead to more serious problems, such as tooth decay or gingivitis and gum disease. That’s because saliva helps break down food for digestion and, more importantly, helps to neutralize sugars and starches that can lead to plaque build-up and decay.

Common drugs that cause dry mouth include those used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, allergies and colds. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants, sedatives and chemotherapy.

If you are on medication that dries your mouth, the solution is very straightforward. You should definitely talk first to the doctor or dentist who prescribed the medication. Sometimes, the dosage can be reduced, eliminating negative side effects, or there may be a safe alternative to the drug that is just as effective, but doesn’t have unwanted side effects.

Other remedies to mitigate the long term effects of dry mouth could include chewing on sugarless gum or sugarless candy to increase the flow of saliva, or drinking more fluids to keep the mouth moist. There are even saliva substitutes available over the counter or though your doctor or dentist.

Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott

Google

Mar
28

Asthma Medications and Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

If you have asthma or other breathing problems such as emphysema or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) you may use inhalers on a regular basis.  Many medications make you more susceptible to mouth problems, and oral inhalers are one of them.  These inhalers may contain some oral steroids, making you more susceptible to yeast type infections in the mouth.  Yeast infections in the mouth, called oral candidiasis or thrush, show up as white spots on your mouth and tongue.  It can be painful.

Other side effects that may occur when you use inhaled medications include dry mouth, an increase in the number of cavities you may see, sores or ulcers in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontal disease and taste changes.  You may also notice a bad or funny taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath.  The cause of all of these problems is a lack of saliva; this lack of saliva makes your mouth and teeth more prone to infection, cavities, and other oral health problems.

Some common ways to help prevent these problems include rinsing your mouth after medications, sucking on sugar free hard candies, and chewing sugar free gums.  Eating smaller, but more frequent meals may also help stimulate increased saliva production.  All of these will help improve the saliva in your mouth and help decrease the problems you may be experiencing.

If you use an oral inhaler for any type of breathing problem, share this with your dentist.  He or she can help provide you with tips and techniques to help keep your mouth and teeth healthy during your treatment.

Mar
28

Medications and Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

If you are taking any type of medication on a regular basis you may have noticed a change in the way your mouth feels, or food tastes.  This article will talk about how to take care of your mouth and oral health if you are taking any medications on a regular basis.

Many medications that you may take on a regular basis may cause dry mouth.  This is a very common side effect, and while you may just consider it an annoyance, severe dry mouth can cause dental problems.  Dry mouth is caused from a lack of saliva.  Saliva is what helps keep your food from becoming ‘stuck’ in your teeth, and helps keep plaque from developing.  If you suffer from dry mouth, you are more likely to have increased cavities, plaque, periodontal disease (gum disease) or tooth decay.  Your gums and tongue can also become dry making it hard to swallow and more susceptible to small tears, sores or bleeding.

Medications that can cause dry mouth include over the counter cold medications, medications that may be prescribed for motion sickness, dizziness or vertigo, and some medications that may help with urinary incontinence.  Other medications called anti-cholinergics may also cause dry mouth.  If you are using any of these medications on a regular basis, you should make sure to talk to your dentist about how to prevent and treat dry mouth.

If you have dry mouth on a regular basis, talk to your dentist about ways to help keep your mouth moist.  A moist mouth helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Posted on behalf of Crabapple Dental Associates

Google

Feb
27

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Posted in Gum Disease

We have all had occasional bouts of dry mout – when it felt like no matter how much you had to drink, your mouth was full of sandpaper, and dry and itchy.  Many times, this is from some temporary medications you may be taking but other times, it can be a sign of other diseases.

The most common cause of dry mouth is over the counter cold medications.  If you have a dry mouth and have had a cold, and are taking a decongestant or anti-histamine, try simply chewing a piece of sugarless gum or eating a piece of sugar-free hard candy.  This will help stimulate saliva flow, eliminating the dry mouth, and making you a bit more comfortable.  As you end your cold medications, your dry mouth will disappear.

If, however, your dry mouth does not seem to be associated with an over the counter medication, you should contact your dentist.  Severe dry mouth is called xerostomia and results from a lack of saliva.  Saliva is important because it makes your mouth more comfortable, but it also helps keep your mouth rinsed out, helps eliminate acid production associated with tooth decay, and helps fight diseases.

If your mouth is dry for a long period of time, you may notice that you have a constant sore or ‘tickling’ throat sensation, have a hard time swallowing or speaking, and may even have sores or bleeding in your nose or gums.  This is a problem because no or extremely limited saliva production, you are also at risk for increased tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease (gum disease).

Your dentist can provide you with mouthwashes and rinses, or drops if you have chronic dry mouth to help eliminate these problems.  He or she will also work with your regular physician to help determine the cause and provide you with the best possible treatment.

If you are experiencing excessive dry mouth, contact your dentist today for an appointment and evaluation.

Posted on the behalf of Flat Creek Family Dentistry

Google

Oct
16

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is called Xerostomia. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also damage your teeth and cause you to need additional dental care. A variety of factors can cause xerostomia, but typical reasons include common prescription medications, alcohol-containing oral hygiene products, smoking, radiation therapy, illegal drug use and salivary gland pathology. Our mouth is meant to secrete saliva throughout the day, to help cleanse the tooth surfaces and keep them lubricated. When there is an absence of saliva, the teeth are more susceptible to decay and enamel erosion. Decay occurs at a much quicker rate in a dry mouth, because there is no saliva to help flush away the sugar and acid byproducts on the teeth.

Medications cause many side effects, and one of the most common ones is dry mouth. While this isn’t a reason to drop your medication and stop taking it immediately, it does signal a red flag to start preventing what can happen if the condition is persistent. Alcohol use, or alcohol-containing mouth rinses can also reduce saliva flow in the mouth. Radiation therapy or pathology of salivary glands will cause the glands to stop secreting saliva, and illegal drug use causes the glands to dry up while also causing the person to crave sugary drinks (which further advance tooth decay).

Using alcohol-free mouth rinses and mouth lubrication products can help create a more lubricated environment in the mouth. It’s best to avoid mints or other candy because even though the increase saliva flow, they create an acidic environment in the mouth. Drinking plenty of water and chewing gum that contains Xylitol can help keep the mouth lubricated while also fight against tooth decay.

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