Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I frequently have a dry mouth. What can I do to relieve this problem?

The best way to treat dry mouth — known medically as xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh) — depends on what's causing it. You can do some things to relieve dry mouth temporarily. But for the best long-term dry mouth remedy, you need to address its cause.

To relieve your dry mouth:

·         Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people, xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.

·         Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.

·         Don't use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.

·         Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.

·         Sip water regularly.

·         Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth — especially one that contains xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Rinse, which also offer protection against tooth decay.

·         Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.

·         Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.

·         Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Saliva is important to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. If you frequently have a dry mouth, taking these steps to protect your oral health may also help your condition:

·         Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies because they increase the risk of tooth decay.

·         Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.

·         Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.

·         Visit your dentist at least twice yearly to detect and treat tooth decay or other dental problems.

If these steps don't improve your dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist. The cause could be a medication or another condition. Medications are one of the most common causes of dry mouth. Long-term relief from your dry mouth may mean stopping or changing your medication or its dosage, or addressing underlying health issues.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

5 Worst Drinks for Your Teeth

Any of these drinks can be a tooth's worst nightmare

They say that diet soda is as bad for your teeth as a meth or cocaine addiction, but sodas aren't the only kind of drink that can seriously harm your pearly whites.

5 Worst Drinks for Your Teeth

Just because we brush our teeth every day (and sometimes floss), doesn’t mean certain drinks can’t still hurt them. The enamel (hard surface) protecting our tooth isn’t as tough as it looks; it’s actually quite prone to discoloration and wear. And sugar in drinks quickly turns into plaque that eats away at our teeth.

Most of us have heard that coffee and soda aren’t the best drinks for maintaining white teeth, but there are a few others, including tea, alcohol, and energy drinks, that can be a nightmare for your teeth as well, causing discoloration, cavities, and even gum disease. Over time, these drinks can wear away enamel, stain your teeth, and cause gum disease.


The caffeine may wake you up, but the dark brown color of coffee can, over time, turn white teeth yellow if they’re not taken care of.


All teas, particularly black and other dark blends, have a staining effect similar to that of coffee.


Alcohol: Wine, Beer, Liquor

With its high sugar content, alcohol, including wine, beer, and liquor, can damage tooth enamel as well as cause gum disease. And if consumed frequently, wine — red wine in particular — and beer can stain teeth over time. 


High amounts of sugar combined with high levels of acidity, both of which make soda so tasty, can cause tooth enamel to wear over time, making teeth more vulnerable to staining and possibly leading to decay and cavities. 

Energy and Sports Drinks

Like soda, energy and sports drinks contain high levels of sugar and acidity, causing enamel to break down and a higher risk of tooth decay and cavities.