8 Tips For Combatting Xerostomia

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Constant thirst. Bad breath. Mouth sores. A burning, tingling sensation in your mouth.
Any of these symptoms sound familiar? These are all signs that you have dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.

So what exactly causes all these uncomfortable symptoms? It’s all because your mouth isn’t making enough saliva. And you need saliva to cleanse your mouth and digest the food you eat, so not only does reduced saliva production make your mouth dry and uncomfortable, it also increases your chances of developing gum disease, mouth infections and tooth decay.

As uncomfortable as dry mouth is, it is fairly easy to treat. If you think you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist and try to determine the cause. Here are eight ways to treat dry mouth and eliminate the discomfort it brings.

1. Look at the medications you’re taking. Dry mouth is often listed as a medication side effect, for both prescription and nonprescription drugs that treat a variety of issues from depression to allergies. Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking, and find out if they might be the cause. He or she may be able to change your dose or find another medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth.

2. Talk to your dentist. If you have dry mouth symptoms, talk to your dentist about what you’re experiencing. He or she will likely prescribe an oral rinse that’s designed to restore your mouth moisture. If the rinse doesn’t work, your dentist might have you try a prescription medication. This medication should help you increase saliva production and alleviate your symptoms.

It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly. Talking with your dentist about dry mouth, or any dental problems for that matter, will help lead to a solution. Don’t put off visiting your dental clinic in the hope your symptoms will just magically go away. Dentists know the causes and best treatments for dry mouth, and can help you find relief.

3. Drink lots of water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help keep your mouth moist and alleviate symptoms.

4. Try adding sugar-free candy to your diet. Sucking on sugar-free candy will help improve saliva flow. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help.

5. Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth can actually make dry mouth worse. Focus on breathing through your nose as much as possible instead.

6. Use a room vaporizer. Putting a room vaporizer in your bedroom will add moisture to the air, and that will help conquer dry mouth.

7. Add fluoride. When you brush, make sure you use fluoride toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to use a fluoride rinse.

8. Find a saliva substitute. You can also use an over-the-counter saliva substitute to treat dry mouth. You might want to ask your dentist from recommendations.

If you have dry mouth, you know how uncomfortable the symptoms can be. And whether it’s medication you’re taking, a medical condition you’ve been diagnosed with, a recent medical treatment you’ve completed or a host of other potential factors causing dry mouth, your dentist can help you find a way to eliminate it.

Do you have any tips for eliminating dry mouth? Leave them in the comments below….

Tips for Selecting a Dentist

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It is said that first impressions are everything. Your smile, and your teeth by extension, contributes to your aesthetic appearance. You might, therefore, want to keep your teeth looking good as they can get through maintaining proper oral hygiene. To help you in every step of the way, you have to find a dentist who is a seasoned professional in matters surrounding oral and dental care.

Dentist

Considering the fact that dentists are often your partner (medically speaking) for the long term, you have to choose your dentist carefully. You have to select the right dentist who not only gets the job done but lets you enjoy the interaction while giving you value for your money.

Let’s cut to the chase. Check out the tips for selecting a dentist:

Where are they located?

With today’s tight work schedules, it is imperative that you find a dentist closer to your home or workplace. Tooth problems can pop up anytime. A dentist who has flexible operating hours should definitely top your list. Sometimes you just want a quick lunchtime procedure to your teeth. Why don’t you do it at your convenience with a dentist who is located at some place nearer to you?

Ask for recommendations

Word of mouth is by far the greatest testament to a person’s service. A dentist who gives exemplary services will obviously be famous for all the right reasons. On the other hand, you will know a non-performing dentist by asking around. Consult your friends, family, neighbors or colleagues who have sought a similar service before. You will be surprised how they ease the search process.

Are they members of the dentist’s body?

Medical boards require that all doctors should be registered with them before operating. This is to ensure that at the very least, they meet the minimum standards set by the regulating bodies. Further, there are three codes of operation, some of which are voluntary, but should form a basis from which you can select your dentist or not. They are The Advisory Opinion, Code of professional conduct and The Principle of Ethics.

Is the doctor available for an emergency?

Any of your family members can have teeth problems at the most unexpected time. What provisions has the facility taken to ensure that you are covered in case of an emergency. Dental matters are far-reaching. If you have ever had a painful tooth, then you understand the situation. You cannot sleep due to an excruciating pain. You cannot even go to work. So, you must have someone you can call at any time of day or night to get the situation fixed.

How flexible is the payment system?

Most health institutions submit claims to all insurance providers. Some, however, do not. These days, you have to pay prior to getting the dental services. Inquire if they have other payment systems to allow you to pay for the services conveniently. Besides the payment system, you need to know what they charge for their services. Of course, you would expect cosmetic procedures to cost more considering that a lot of time and other medical investments go into the operation.

Finally, does your dentist have appreciation plans for current patients? A little discount goes a long way to show that your doctor values you. Introductory discounts, few free checkups and exams are good incentives that are worth looking out for.