Older patients, who often have a their natural teeth or even crowns and porcelain veneers and are in the hospitals or assisted living homes are often given lozenges or mints to help combat dry mouth or bad taste. This sugar along with dry mouth can and does cause rampant tooth decay that can often not be treated. Our office sees this often and it is truly sad. What transpires is sugar candies, lollipops, or mints are given to patients to suck on for comfort and the sugar acids sit on the tooth roots and cause the decay especially with dry mouth. Unlike decay on the enamel or tooth surfaces which we can see, root surface decay will occur between the teeth and is most often not visible! Be sure to let your family and caretakers recognize this.
An alternative is to use sugar free candies or mints which are easy to find. Another choice is to try Grether's Pastilles which is soothing and sugar free. Biotine is another toothpaste for dry mouth and helps many patients. I hope this helps others as root decay is very difficult to treat and often results in tooth loss.