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drymouth

The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah)

What do I need to know about dry mouth?

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while—if they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.

Dry mouth…

• can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking
• can increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth
• can be a sign of certain diseases and conditions
• can be caused by certain medications or medical treatments

Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician—there are things you can do to get relief.

What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.

Symptoms include:

• a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
• trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking
• a burning feeling in the mouth
• a dry feeling in the throat
• cracked lips
• a dry, tough tongue
• mouth sores
• an infection in the mouth

Some people feel they have a dry mouth even if their salivary glands are working correctly. People with certain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke, may not be able to feel wetness in their mouth and may think their mouth is dry even though it is not.

Why is saliva so important?

Saliva does more than keep the mouth wet.

• It helps digest food
• It protects teeth from decay
• It prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth
• It makes it possible for you to chew and swallow Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth. You also might not get the nutrients you need if you
cannot chew and swallow certain foods.

What causes dry mouth?

People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.

• Side effects of some medicines. More than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. Medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth.
• Disease. Some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sjögren’s Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease can all cause dry mouth.
• Radiation therapy. The salivary glands can be damaged if they are exposed to radiation during cancer treatment.
• Chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
• Nerve Damage. Injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.

What can be done about dry mouth?

Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.

• If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage.
• If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better.
• Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet.

What can I do?

• Sip water or sugarless drinks often.
• Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth.
• Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food.
• Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
• Don’t use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth.
• Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth.
• Use a humidifier at night.

Tips for keeping your teeth healthy

Remember, if you have dry mouth, you need to be extra careful to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure you:

• Gently brush your teeth at least twice a day.
• Floss your teeth every day.
• Use toothpaste with fluoride in it. Most toothpastes sold at grocery and drug stores have fluoride in them.
• Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterwards.
• Visit your dentist for a check-up at least twice a year. Your dentist might give you a special fluoride solution that you can rinse with to help keep your teeth healthy.

dental-hygiene-2

Ask your dental hygienist.

The recent surgeon general’s report on oral health confirms the importance of oral health to total health.

babyPremature, Low-Birthweight Babies

Studies have found that expectant mothers with periodontal (gum) disease are seven times more likely to deliver premature, low-birthweight babies than women who don’t have the disease.

cancerHeart disease

Cardiovascular disease affects 57 million people in the 5.3. And kills almost a million people each year. Recent studies have shown that a patient with periodontal (gum) disease is twice as likely to develop heart disease as one without the condition.

Untitled-4Oral cancer

Cancer is more common than Leukemia; Skin Melanoma; Hodgkin’s disease; and Cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid gland, stomach, ovaries, and cervix; and is typically caused by long-term use of tobacco products and alcohol. One of the most important parts of a regular oral health exam is a thorough oral cancer screening.

diabetesDiabetes

Periodontal disease is one of the major complications of diabetes. In fact, approximately 95 percent of Americans who suffer from diabetes also have periodontal disease.

October of this year will be national dental hygiene month – a great time to visit your registered dental hygienist for a thorough mouth exam and to learn more about how oral conditions affect your overall health.

Content courtesy adha.org

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People used to think that as you got older you naturally lost your teeth. We now know that’s not true. By following easy steps for keeping your teeth and gums –healthy plus seeing your dentist
regularly—you can have your teeth for a lifetime!

Plaque: What is it?

Plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth.

  • Some types of plaque cause tooth decay.
  • Other types of plaque cause gum disease.

Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, the tissues holding the teeth in place are destroyed and the teeth are eventually lost.

Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it’s stained, You can stain plaque by chewing red “disclosing tablets,” found at grocery stores and drug stores, or by using a cotton swab to smear green food coloring on your teeth. The red or green color left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque—and where you have to brush again to remove it.

Stain and examine your teeth regularly to make sure you are removing all plaque. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if your plaque removal techniques are o.k.

Step 1 – Floss

Floss Use floss to remove germs and food particles between teeth. Rinse.

floss-steps

Step 2 – Brush Teeth

howtobrush

Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but do not scrub hard back and forth. Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well. Rinse. To prevent decay, it’s what’s on the toothbrush that counts. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is what protects teeth from decay. Brush the tongue for a fresh feeling! Rinse again. Remember: Food residues, especially sweets, provide nutrients for the germs that cause tooth decay, as well as those that cause gum disease. That’s why it is important to remove all food residues, as well as plaque, from teeth. Remove plaque at least once a day—twice a day is better. If you brush and floss once daily, do it before going to bed.

Another way of removing plaque between teeth is to use a dental pick— or a thin plastic, metal, or wooden stick. These picks can be purchased at drug stores and grocery stores.

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_89638212_sugardrinks

Health officials in Liverpool are tackling “an alarming level” of child tooth decay in the city by publicising brands with high amounts of sugar.

A new campaign names leading brands such as Lucozade, Coca-Cola, Tropicana, Capri-Sun and Ribena – warning how many sugar cubes are in each drink.

It will target hospitals, GP surgeries, children’s centres and hospitals.

About 2,000 children in the city will have had tooth extractions by the age of five, health chiefs say.

More than a third have suffered from tooth decay and a 14-year-old recently had 15 adult teeth removed, Public Health Liverpool said.

The “Is your child’s sweet tooth harming their health?” campaign highlights that 500ml of Lucozade contains 15.5 cubes of sugar, while an equivalent bottle of Coca-Cola has 13.5 cubes.

The maximum daily allowance of sugar for children is five to seven cubes, depending upon their age.

Dentist shocked

Rotten teeth

Director of Public Health Liverpool, Dr Sandra Davies, said they are “the first local authority in the country to name how much sugar is in specific brands” to help people “make healthier choices.”

“Many of us are not in the habit of studying labels on drinks… people don’t realise how much sugar is in them.”

Hidden sugar and the frequency at which young people consume drinks are big problems, said Sondos Albadri, consultant in paediatric dentistry at the University of Liverpool.

“It is quite shocking for me as a dentist… I’ve just listed a two-and-a-half-year-old to have eight teeth removed under general anaesthetic.”

Poster

“We are increasingly seeing children aged between 12 and 16… I had to remove 15 adult teeth on a 14-year-old recently, and while that is an extreme case it is by no means a rare occurrence.”

Councillor Tim Beaumont, mayoral lead for wellbeing, said it was also “contributing to the obesity issue” in Liverpool, where “one in four children starting primary school are overweight, rising to 38% for secondary school age pupils.”

Gavin Partington, from the British Soft Drinks Association, said soft drinks companies were “taking practical steps to help consumers” including “reducing the sugar in their products”.

“If this were a genuine education campaign to reduce sugar intake then surely it would look at all sources of sugar consumption and not just target soft drinks, which is the only food category where sugar intake is actually falling year on year,” he said.


The number of sugar cubes (each containing 4g of sugar) in popular drinks, according to Public Health Liverpool:

 

15.5 – Lucozade (500ml)

13.5 – Coca Cola (500ml)

12.7 – Frijj chocolate milkshake (471ml)

8.25 – Capri-Sun (330ml)

7.5 – Tropicana orange juice (330ml)

7.25 – Ribena (288ml)

5.75 – Volvic flavoured water (500ml)

Content courtesy bbc.com

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