Patients of often wonder why they are suddenly getting cavities when they have not had this issue in the past. Dry mouth is a very common cause of cavities in older adults as well as being a side effect of hundreds of medications including high blood pressure, cholesterol, and allergies. There is currently no holy grail for dry mouth.
Sadly, many older patients have these issues and will present with root decay sometimes to the extent that the teeth need to be extracted and dental implants considered. Another concern is that many patients are not advised by their physicians not to suck on mints or lozenges that are not sugar free and this exacerbates an already bad situation. In fact, the teeth can look perfect above the gumline and patients not be aware of the decay until there is pain or the tooth breaks.
Some suggestions to try for dry mouth are:
-Over the counter products such as Biotene toothpaste and spray
-Drink more water throughout the day
–Sugar free gum, mints, or lozenges
-ask your physician about alternate medications if yours is causing problems
-Ask your dentist to apply fluoride varnish at your preventive appointments
-Avoid carbonated beverages, alcohol, and acidic fruit juices.
-Saliva Max is a prescription that some find helpful
-Some patients have reported that certain natural substances have helped
These suggestions go hand in hand with home care and professional care. It is usually not enough to just have good home care. Please look after your loved ones and friends with this issue, as some of the cases that we see are tragic and avoidable.
If you have any questions regarding Houston Cosmetic Dentistry or Houston TMJ treatment, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA, 713-668-2289