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All Posts in Category: Conditions

Dental Emergencies During Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak is changing everything. A lot of aspects of life are being affected, mostly on the negative side. Social patterns have been affected the most, with the worry over the economic impact still looming overhead. Even though the medical aspect was not as severely affected, it seems that only a dental emergency is worthy of scheduling an appointment with your dentist.

Generally, our patients are used to visiting our dental clinic on scheduled appointments, but at the moment, routine care has to be put on hold. According to the American Dental Association and the CDC, oral offices should hold on non-urgent surgeries and appointments that don’t require immediate attention. If the covid-19 caught you off-guard and you had not yet gone in for a routine check-up, it seems that you will have to wait for a few weeks, or maybe more. This move is an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The primary reason you are not allowed to visit your dentist regularly is based on covid-19. How so, you ask? Coronavirus, the virus responsible for spreading covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Whenever you sneeze or cough, these droplets fly through the air, and should someone breathe them in, the individual can get sick.

Furthermore, the disease causing virus is also present in the saliva and mucus in your throat and mouth. On a typical day, your oral care provider and their tools will come into contact with these fluids. There is a high chance of these tools spraying the droplets around.

Even though dental offices are medical spaces, not all of them are designed for high levels of protection. Most Long Island oral clinics lack:

i. Enough N95 face masks

ii. Isolation rooms

iii. Individual rooms for clients

Furthermore, by skipping routine treatments, the dentists can focus on emergency dental care. This reduces the workload for the health workers at the hospitals since they only have to deal with covid-19 patients and acute treatments. More so, they will be reduced the use of personal protective equipment. As the epidemic continues to rage on, health care workers are running short on PPE’s.

Elective procedures, cosmetic dental procedures, or non-urgent treatments are dental procedures that will not affect your health immediately if not fixed as scheduled. Therefore, you can reschedule them as far off as possible. Examples of elective oral procedures provided in New York include:

• fixing cosmetic issues

• X-rays

• Check-ups for braces

• teeth whitening

• teeth examinations and cleaning

• minor treatment like tooth removal and fixing cavities

Visiting oral clinics is not entirely restricted, so you can still see your 3V Dental dentist for severe problems. According to the ADA, emergency treatment is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate treatment. The dentists get to decide what defines emergencies. Most urgent cases reported in New York involve:

• if parts around and in the mouth are swollen, e.g. neck, gums, face

• you need relief from severe pain

• signs of infection

• broken teeth that are painful and have caused tissue damage

• the tissue in need of biopsy

• cancer-related dentist work

• painful braces

• dentures that do not function right

• a broken or lost temporary crown

• post-surgery care you are unable to do alone

Make sure to call or contact our Port Washington office first to confirm what is covered. Visit a hospital or an emergency care centre if the dentists can’t see you. Nonetheless, there is no need to go into the ER as the first resort.it is critical to differentiate between mild oral discomfort that can wait and emergencies that are a threat to your health.

According to recent statistics, about 23% of the population has experienced oral or dental pain the past half-year. This is an indication of how common oral emergencies crop up. Nonetheless, not every dental discomfort is an emergency. Oral emergencies involve the need for saving a tooth, pain relief, stop bleeding, and treat an infection.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, you are at risk of contracting covid-19 every time you leave your house. Health care providers are expected to adhere to health guidelines and regulations, and your dentist’s office is no exception. Most oral clinics in Long Island are taking extra steps that might help to curb the spread of covid-19. For instance:

• individuals working at the dental office should ensure always to wear protective gear

• ensure to disinfect tools and contact surfaces constantly

• clean and cover tools between uses, and safely dispose and replace necessary tools and equipment

• everyone should cover their mouths with rubber dental dams

• furthermore, the clinic should space appointments and schedule them appropriately to avoid overcrowding

• they should ensure to take the patient’s temperature and ask about recent travel schedules

If an emergency visit to your oral service provider can’t be avoided:

• ensure to use personal protective equipment

• stay six feet apart from other patients

• If you require follow-up appointments, discuss with your oral caregiver to create a custom treatment plan.

During an epidemic, it is better to keep safe in every way possible. Even though you cannot have routine dental check-ups, it does not mean that you cannot practice common oral hygiene to prevent the need for immediate medical attention. Standard practices to carry out without the dentist’s help include

• Paying attention to your oral health- check for signs of oral disease, or infection

• Be proactive- brush your teeth, floss and eat the right food

• During sports activities, ensure you wear a mouthguard. This way, your teeth will not be broken, knocked out, or chipped.

• do not chew on hard food that may fracture your teeth

• Before travelling for indeterminate periods or extended vacations, ensure you get a routine check-up. Your oral care provider will ensure that you do not have decay, loose teeth or crowns, and any infections.

• if you are experiencing any discomfort, they will check for the cause and give you proper treatment

Nonetheless, it is almost impossible to avoid an oral-related emergency, so it is better to be prepared. A small dental kit would come in handy at such a moment. It should include:

• Acetaminophen (ibuprofen and aspirin should not be used since they act as blood thinners. Thus they will cause excessive bleeding)

• Handkerchief.

• gauze

• the name and phone number of your oral care provider

If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency, or have questions as to what might be a dental emergency, contact our office and we would be happy to assist.

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A Guide To Common Dental Emergencies

You could deal with a dental emergency at any time, but you need to know what to do when it happens. If a dental emergency should arise, contact 3V Dental immediately. We provide immediate dental emergency service in Port Washington and surrounding local Long Island communities. Some emergencies are worse than others, and that is why you should use these tips to protect yourself before you get to the doctor.

Respond To The Emergency First

You should call your dentist when you experience a dental emergency, but you also need to deal with the emergency as it is happening. You can provide yourself with immediate care that will make the pain and discomfort easier to manage, and you can even wait for the dentist to open the next day when needed.

When responding to your emergency situations, you should try to ice the area, pack the area with gauze or tissue, flush your mouth with water, and try not to irritate the area. You can take over-the-counter pain medication for some quick relief, and you should try to rest.

Follow Your Dentist’s Orders

When you call or contact the 3V Dental office, our team can provide immediate instructions. We will do our best fit you into our schedule. If you have an after hours dental emergency, we will advise on the best pat forward depending on the situation.

Common Dental Emergencies

These common dental emergencies happen every day, and many of them do not require immediate care. You can see the dentist the next day or that week when you have time for an office visit:

  • Broken tooth
  • Broken crown
  • Loose filling
  • Lost or loose veneer
  • Broken bridge
  • Cracked dentures
  • Abscesses
  • Intense toothaches
  • Lockjaw

If you have broken a tooth or a crown, you can wait until you see the dentist to get treatment. You should make certain to flush your mouth with water and pack the area with gauze if it is bleeding. Otherwise, you should try to eat on the other side of your mouth. If you have lost a tooth, you can pack the area with gauze until you see the dentist, and you can remove your dentures to prevent further cracks. IF you lose a veneer or it is loose, you should try to peel it away carefully. If it does not move, you need to come to the office immediately.

Intense toothaches, abscesses, and lockjaw should be treated right away. You can ask the office for a time to come in, and they might fit you into their schedule that same day. Broken bridges might present a problem if you can feel the appliance moving in your mouth. Ask when you can be seen so that you do not need to eat around the bridge or try to remove any broken pieces.

Calming Children Who Have Dental Emergencies

There are times when your children need attention because they have a broken tooth or their mouth is bleeding. You can use these tips to help your kids when they are scared and their mouth is bleeding. You should have their wash out their mouth, and you can help them pack the bleeding area with a tissue. Kids do not need to come to the office if they have lost a tooth, and you can tell them about how you lost your teeth when you were a kid.

If your child has broken a baby tooth, they can have it repaired in the office. These teeth will eventually fall out, but the office can help your kids have a normal smile until that happens. If something happens to your child’s permanent teeth while they are still young, you can work with the office to schedule a cosmetic procedure when the child is old enough.

You can use children’s medication to help them relax if they feel any discomfort. This might be the easiest way to help them calm down after a traumatic experience.

What Do You Do If You Are Out Of Town and Not Close to Our Port Washington Dental Office?

When you are out of town, you can call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to get information on local dental offices. In some cases, the nurse line or concierge service can call the office for you. If not, you can call the office, tell them why you are in town, what the problem is, and ask for help. This is the best way to get the care you need because you should not try to travel home while experiencing any serious pain or discomfort.

If you must go to an office in a city you have never visited, you should ask the office for directions. They can tell you the best way to get there, and you might want to use a ride-sharing service to get there. Ask the office to give you a treatment that will help you get home. They can send your records to your regular dental office back home, and you can follow up with the people you know when your trip is over.

If you are in a foreign country, you should contact their national health service. Most developed nations have a national system that provides medical care to the public. You can reach out to their system for help, and they can refer you to someone who can see you the same day. You should be prepared to pay their out-of-network costs, but many of these systems keep their costs very low.

Some Emergencies Are Symptoms Of Other Dental or Oral Conditions

You may notice that your teeth hurt or your mouth feels odd because you are getting sick. You should consider the other medical conditions that you might be dealing with before calling an emergency hotline. There is quite a big difference between someone who has a chipped tooth or a broken filling and someone who is simply getting the flu or a head cold. You can use over-the-counter medication to handle most of these symptoms, and you can call the dental office only when you think the situation is not getting any better.

Nothing feels worse than spending money on a visit that you did not need. You do not want to turn your life upside down unless you know that you have a major problem.

Conclusion

You need to seek medical attention the moment you realize you have a problem with your teeth. You can go to the office that you visit twice a year, or you can call your insurance company to find an office that is near your location. Try to take a deep breath, wash your mouth out with water, and pack the bleeding area with gauze. You can take over-the-counter medications for the pain, and you can call the office for assistance. You can get on the schedule that day, or you can wait until the next day if the problem is not serious. You can take the same approach when you are out of town or offering your children some relief.

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Gum Disease: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Causes of gum disease

Gum disease is also known as periodontitis and refers to inflammation of the gums (also called gingiva) which may become severe and cause loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. This process starts as a sticky film known as plaque that is constantly created on your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth mix with saliva.

This bacterial plaque accumulates on your teeth and turns the sugary and starchy foods you eat into the energy they need and create acids as a by-product. The sticky nature of the plaque keeps this acid attached to your teeth’s surface and causes the gradual breakdown of your tooth enamel. Most of these acids are created after eating each meal or snack; your teeth will tend to build up more plaque in as little as 20 minutes.

The bacterial acids which destroy the tooth enamel will also create an infection in your gingiva and the bone around your teeth. If this bacterial plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens into a substance called tartar. The build-up of tartar creates an environment in which bacterial plaque can thrive.

The build-up of tartar and plaque causes the following signs and symptoms:


• Cavities – Holes is in the teeth that destroy the structure
• Gingivitis – includes bleeding, inflamed, sore, and swollen gingiva
• Periodontitis – damage to the bone and ligaments that support the teeth and results in tooth loss
• Bad breath – known as halitosis
• Pain, abscess, and inability to use the teeth
• Serious health problems ranging from preterm labor to heart disease.

The first stage of periodontitis is referred to as gingivitis. When this occurs the gums become swollen, sore, red, and may bleed easily because of the plaque attaching to the gumline of the tooth and causing inflammation around the teeth.

When plaque and tartar buildup is not removed from underneath the gumline, the bacterial toxins will start attacking the ligaments and bones that surround the teeth.

As periodontitis becomes more advanced many severe related conditions are experienced. Common signs and symptoms include:
• Bad breath odor
• Loose teeth
• Gaps between the teeth and gingiva
• Tooth sensitivity
• Shiny looking gums
• Gums are reddish-purple or bright red
• Gums are tender to the touch but otherwise painless
• Brown green-white or yellow hard deposits on the teeth
• Shifting teeth
• Swollen, sore gums

Prevention of periodontitis

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontitis. At times some additional medical and dental treatments may be necessary.

Good oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice every day after meals and before bed for about 2 minutes each time. Manual or electric toothbrushes can be used depending on your preference.

Using a soft bristle toothbrush is recommended and attention should be paid to the plaque at the gumline. You should replace your toothbrush frequently, and when it becomes worn or frayed. Worn toothbrushes will not clean properly and may harbor bacteria.

Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth to aid prevention of bacterial growth and to decrease inflammatory reaction in the mouth.

Using fluoride toothpaste helps protect and strengthen your tooth enamel and protects against bacterial acids. Your dentist will advise you of different sources of fluoride you may use including fluoridated water, mouthwashes, and supplements.

Floss your teeth or use interdental brushes daily, before brushing your teeth. If the spaces between your teeth are too tight for you to use interdental brushes, flossing is a good alternative.

Your dentist will advise you of the best way to floss your teeth if you are unsure. Care should be taken not to floss too aggressively as doing so will damage the gingiva. Regular flossing removes debris and plaque from hard to reach areas in the mouth before the plaque hardens into tartar.

Eating a healthy diet that is low in refined sugars will help reduce the quantity of sugary starchy foods available for bacteria to thrive on and produce acids that cause periodontitis and tooth decay. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and whole grains.

Non-surgical gum treatments are also available, so speak with your 3V Dental dentist or hygienist for more information.

Complications of smoking

Smoking puts you at great risk of developing periodontitis regardless of the form of tobacco you use. Cigarettes, pipe, and smokeless tobacco all raise your risk of developing periodontitis. The more cigarettes you smoke, and the longer you smoke the greater your risk of developing periodontitis.

Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and makes it harder to fight periodontitis. In addition, it prevents proper dental treatment – as much as 90% of patients who do not respond to periodontitis treatment are smokers.

Extra Care should be taken when cleaning around uneven surfaces such as crowns dentures, fillings crooked teeth, and closely-packed teeth. These areas may be challenging to clean and they could easily accumulate plaque and tartar.

Regular professional cleaning is important to remove plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth and under the gumline before they develop periodontitis conditions. At these cleanings, your dentist will examine the condition of your gingiva and teeth and will detect and treat any gumline or tooth decay issues before serious problems develop.

Non-Surgical Treatments of periodontitis

When you receive a diagnosis of periodontitis, the first attempt to treat the infection would be with non-surgical methods. The main purpose of treatment is to remove plaque and tartar from pockets formed around the teeth and to stop further destruction of tissue and bone.

Scaling and cleaning

Scaling is done to remove tartar and plaque buildup and to restore periodontal health. Your dentist will perform this procedure to remove the infection from below the gumline.

Root planing is done to smooth rough areas on the roots of the teeth. This is done to prevent the build-up of bacteria within the rough patches where they may cause periodontitis.

It may take one to two visits to your dental doctor’s office for the scaling and healing process to be completed depending on the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.

It is normally recommended to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleaning depending on your plaque accumulation.

Use of medications

There are many medicated types of mouthwash and antibiotic treatments available to help control bacteria and to treat periodontitis.

Surgical Treatments for periodontitis

Treatment for advanced periodontitis. When non-surgical treatment and good oral hygiene are not effective in treating periodontitis, surgical options will need to be explored.

Flap surgery is used to remove plaque that has accumulated in deep pockets or to decrease the size of the pockets to make their cleaning easier. This is done by lifting back the gums and scraping out the tartar. The gingiva is sutured back so they fit very close to the tooth. Once the surgery is completed the gingiva will heal with a tight fit around the tooth. This will give the teeth a longer look than before.

Tissue and bone grafts are performed to help regenerate gum and bone tissue that has been destroyed. Synthetic or new natural bone is placed where the bone was lost to promote bone growth.

A soft tissue graft may be suggested and this usually involves using tissue from another part of the mouth using synthetic material to cover exposed tooth roots.

The success of these surgical treatments depends largely on how advanced your periodontitis is, and how well you adhere to a good oral hygiene program, including other factors such as whether you are smoking or not.

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Wisdom Teeth: Causes, Prevention, Treatment & Care

Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is standard practice in the United States. In fact, wisdom teeth removal is a rite of passage for many American teens. That said, does everyone need to have their wisdom teeth removed?

Many dentists today recommend extraction, but what if the teeth do not hurt? What if they emerged completely – without incident or pain? If they are not causing problems, is wisdom teeth removal really necessary?

To answer that question, it is important to know something about wisdom teeth. What are they? Where, when, and why do they come in? And what happens next?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars people get. From infancy to adolescence, teeth emerge in stages. First come incisors, then canines followed by premolars and molars. Wisdom teeth emerge last, usually when people are in their late teens or early twenties.

Most people develop four wisdom teeth – one in each quadrant of the upper and lower jaw. This happens between the ages of 17 and 21, according to the American Dental Association.

Some wisdom teeth partly erupt, while others stay buried in the gum tissue. How they emerge differs for everyone. When wisdom teeth that remain in the jaw – covered by tissue or bone – the diagnosis is “impaction.”

Wisdom teeth can cause problems, and they are not needed for chewing. As a result, dentists speculate about their purpose. In early human history, the typical foods were abrasive to teeth. Wisdom teeth may have replaced worn-out molars. Modern diets are softer and teeth do not wear down as fast, so today’s wisdom teeth have no gaps to fill.

Prevention Strategies

Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing pain, infection, tooth decay, gum disease and other complications. When cysts form below the teeth, they can cause bone loss or nerve pressure in the jaw.

Certain actions – such as brushing with a long, slim toothbrush – are prevention measures. They address dental problems before they can start. A doctor may opt to remove healthy molars to prevent future problems.

Even if wisdom teeth do not hurt, it does not mean there is nothing wrong. The jawbone may encase the teeth, or the mouth may be too small for them to erupt in the right position. Teeth that grow at an angle can damage adjacent teeth and make it harder to remove.

People who wait to have their wisdom teeth removed may run into problems after surgery. Heavy bleeding, fractured teeth, numbness and loss of jaw movement are potential problems. These symptoms could last for days or for life.

When Is Removal of Wisdom Teeth Necessary?

When wisdom teeth cause problems – or an Xray shows potential problems – the teeth must come out. A good reason for extraction is damage to other teeth. An extra set of molars can push the other teeth around and cause pain or bite problems.

Jaw damage is another reason to remove wisdom teeth. Permanent damage may occur if cysts form around the new teeth. Untreated, they can hollow out the jaw or damage nerves in the area.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth cause sinus issues. Common signs are pain, pressure or sinus congestion. These conditions may make it necessary to remove the teeth.

Inflamed gums and cavities are two more signs that may call for teeth removal. Inflammation causes gum tissue to swell, making it hard to clean the teeth. Swollen gums may also create pockets between teeth that are magnets for bacteria.

Food and debris can get trapped in these pockets, encouraging bacteria to grow. This can cause dental cavities that are hard to fill or crown. Extraction may be the only option.

Tooth alignment is a another consideration. When teeth remain in the gum tissue or grow in crooked, crowding can occur. Some cases may even need treatment to straighten other teeth.

What Can Patients Expect When Removing Wisdom Teeth?

A dentist looks at the shape of the mouth and position of the teeth to make a decision about wisdom teeth. What are signs, symptoms and conditions are at play? Age and general health have a role, too.

Most people have wisdom teeth surgery when they are teens or young adults. Yet, older adults can also have the procedure. It all depends on the diagnosis – or prevention.

Wisdom teeth first show up on X-rays when people are in their mi-teens. The teeth are easy to feel as they push against the back gums. Sometimes they cause unbearable symptoms: pain, swelling, sore jaw, cavities and gum disease.

When teeth must come out, it is usually due to partial eruption, infection or overcrowding. For most people, extraction is a short and painless procedure. A special dentist called an oral surgeon removes the teeth in a dental office.

The surgery takes less than 45 minutes. Sometimes, sedation is needed. The doctor will use one of three types of anesthesia: local, general, or IV sedation. Depending on the type, a patient may feel drowsy after surgery – but no pain at all during the procedure.

If the surgeon must cut the gums or bone to remove the teeth, and he will close the wound with stitches. Then, he will place gauze pads in the mouth to absorb the blood and encourage clotting.

The mouth usually heals in a few days, and people can go back to work or school the next day. Some people drive themselves to and from the dental office. If the surgery involved general anesthesia or pain medication, another adult must drive.

Most people have very little pain after wisdom teeth removal. To reduce swelling and fight infection, doctors recommend using an ice pack on the first day. After that, moist heat can relax a sore jaw.

For a few days after surgery, people should eat soft foods and drink plenty of fluids. They should not drink through a straw, as sucking can loosen the blood clots that help the mouth heal. Smoking is also a no-go as it can also slow healing.

Doctors encourage gentle brushing of the teeth on the day after surgery – taking care not to dislodge a clot. Gentle saltwater rinses after the first day soothe the mouth and promote healing.

Pain and Complications Associated with Wisdom Teeth Removal

Some people receive antibiotics to help prevent infection. A doctor may prescribe medication to relieve pain and swelling. For most people, over-the-counter medicine is effective for pain relief. Patients should call the doctor if they have a fever, or if pain or swelling does not improve.

Complications are rare, but when one occurs, it is likely dry socket. This is when the blood clot that formed in the tooth socket breaks down or is dislodged. Less than five percent of people develop dry socket, and a dentist can address it. With rest and proper care, it should heal in a week or so.

Searching for a Gentle Dentist on Long Island or in the Port Washington Area?

It can be hard to decide if wisdom teeth removal is necessary. Without the typical signs and symptoms, such as pain, surgery may seem pointless. But sometimes, prevention is the best strategy. Contact our dental clinic and gentle dental team. Together, we can find the right treatment for your wisdom teeth.

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How to Diagnose and Treat Mouth Sores and Infection

Have you noticed a sore on your mouth, and you don’t know what to do? There are many kinds of mouth sores. Some are painful and unsightly but harmless. Others seem benign but can lead to complications. Regardless of how it looks or feels, make a dental appointment with our Port Washington dental team if it is still there after 10 days or if you think it could be an infection. Serious complications can often be prevented if you act early.

What Are The Most Common Mouth Sores and Infections?

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Just as the name indicates, people with this condition feel oral burning sensations without any apparent lesions or blisters. Sufferers describe the feeling as similar to scalding from drinking a hot beverage.

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Areas affected include:

  • the tongue
  • the back of the throat
  • the palette
  • the gums
  • inside the cheeks

Diagnosis of this condition is a process of elimination. Blood tests, cultures, biopsies and a complete health history can be used to help pinpoint your condition.

Causes of Burning Mouth Syndrome

The causes are unknown, but this syndrome has been linked to certain conditions.

  • diabetes
  • menopause
  • malnutrition
  • oral thrush
  • nervous system disorders

According to the American Dental Association, this condition has even been linked to some cancer therapies and psychological disorders.

Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Because the exact cause is unknown, comfort measures are prescribed based on managing the related conditions. There are some things you can try at home.

  • Stop using mouthwash for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
  • Don’t chew gum, as this may be causing irritation.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Stay away from acidic drinks like sodas, coffee and fruit juice.
  • Change your toothpaste, making sure to use an ADA-approved brand.

Prevention of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Although the cause is unknown, preventive measures include avoiding triggers that make your condition worse.

Candidiasis

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Also called “thrush”, Candidiasis is a fungal infection. If you get Candidiasis, you may experience:

  • white spots on the tongue or other oral surfaces
  • cracked skin at the corners of your mouth
  • a sore throat and problems swallowing

Candidiasis is a common infection. Your doctor or dentist will most likely diagnose you by the appearance of your mouth and your description of what you are feeling.

Causes of Candidiasis

Oral thrush is caused by an overabundance of yeast in the mouth or throat. This natural part of our body’s flora can grow out of control in people who wear dentures, those with a compromised immune system and people who suffer from dry mouth. Antibiotics also trigger oral thrush.

Treatment of of Candidiasis

It is treated with antifungal medications and medicated mouthwash. In addition, excellent oral hygiene is an important tool for keeping Candida at bay. If you wear dentures, make sure to clean them well and remove them at night.

Prevention of Candidiasis

Prevention is focused on good oral hygiene. Follow the suggestions above. If you have dry mouth, ask your dentist for prescription solutions that mimic natural saliva.

Canker sores

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

These are shallow, round, painful lesions with red borders that can show up on the inside of the cheeks or lips, on your tongue or on your gums. They can appear one at a time, or you can have up to 10 or more at once.

If you get canker sores frequently, your doctor can run some blood tests to diagnose blood, skin or connective tissue disorders. You may also be tested for drug reactions.

Causes of Canker Sores

Their cause is unknown, but scientists suspect they are related to an immune disorder. They take 2-3 days to form, and usually go away after 2 weeks.

The larger ones can last longer and leave scars.

Treatment of Canker Sores

  • Specialized mouthwashes can reduce the pain.
  • Over-the-counter gels and creams help numb the area for pain relief.

Prevention of Canker Sores

Because the specific causes are unknown, prevention involves monitoring what seems to trigger your outbreaks and staying away from those triggers. To keep the cankers from worsening, try these steps.

  • Refrain from eating spicy, scalding or acidic foods. These can irritate the tissues even more.
  • Ask your dentist if antibiotics may help
  • Ask about oral bandages so that you can prevent secondary infections.

Following these suggestions can alleviate your symptoms and shorten their duration.

Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

These are small, contagious blisters filled with fluid that break out around the lips, nose or chin. You may also experience:

  • burning, tingling or itching lips
  • oozing and crusting after the blisters burst

Usually your dentist can diagnose these lesions by their appearance. They may swab the sores and send the swab to a lab for confirmation of the diagnosis.

Causes of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

They are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Once a person is infected (usually in childhood), the virus remains in the body. It stays mainly dormant with occasional outbreaks.

When to See a Dentist About Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

If you are concerned about infection, consult with your dentist right away. Other signs that you should make a dental appointment include:

  • the lesions last more than 2 weeks
  • you have severe symptoms
  • the recurrences are frequent
  • your eyes are also irritated

Your dentist will evaluate you to determine the best therapeutic options.

Treatment of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Cold sores and fever blisters most often heal on their own within a week. Try these treatments to heal faster and minimize the frequency of outbreaks.

  • Cold compresses help speed healing, and reduce the associated crust and redness.
  • Over-the-counter pain creams can help with the discomfort. Look for creams that contain benzocaine or lidocaine, as these medications help numb the skin
  • Lip balms and creams containing zinc oxide help keep your lips moisturized and minimize cracking.
  • The Mayo Clinic recommends over-the-counter cold sore remedies that help dry out the lesions with alcohol.

In addition to the milder treatment options above, you may also get an antiviral prescription from the dentist to control the outbreaks and heal faster.

Antiviral medications you might get from your dental office include acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir. These all target the herpes simplex virus.

Prevention of of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

The Mayo Clinic reports that HSV-1 spreads through skin-to-skin contact, even if lesions are not visible. Because of this, prevention is difficult. Antiviral medications will not prevent contracting HSV-1, but they can reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

Sialadenitis

Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis

People with this condition have one or more salivary glands that have suddenly become hard and painfully swollen. You may experience pain when eating or notice drainage from the salivary gland.

Your primary care doctor or dentist might order an ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to diagnose this condition. A biopsy (tissue sample) may be taken as well.

Causes of Sialadenitis

One cause of acute sialadenitis is bacteria (most often Staphylococcus aureus) that blocks the opening of a salivary gland, causing infection. The infection can become systemic and cause flu-like symptoms. Other possible causes include:

  • mumps
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • tumors that can be benign or malignant
  • obstruction by a stone or duct narrowing

According to 2014 research published in the American Family Physician, some people are predisposed to getting this condition:

  • diabetics
  • people with hypothyroidism
  • people in renal (kidney) failure
  • people taking medications to treat allergies, urinary incontinence or Parkinson’s disease

Make sure your doctor knows your health history and the medications you take so they can offer the best treatment options.

Treatment of Sialadenitis

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics for this condition. Other therapies include:

  • massaging the salivary glands
  • staying well-hydrated
  • sucking on lozenges that stimulate salivation (called sialagogues), like vitamin C lozenges or lemon drops
  • surgical removal of tumors, whether benign or malignant

Prevention of of Sialadenitis

The wide variety of causes makes prevention of this condition difficult. Taking care of underlying conditions and using the treatment methods listed above can reduce the frequency of occurrences.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that mouth tissue disorders and related conditions are common. The pain they can cause and their often unsightly appearance can make you want to hide away from other people.

But don’t lose hope!

The good news is that there are ways to combat them.

  • Work closely with your denstist
  • Maintain good dental hygiene
  • Educate yourself about the causes, prevention and treatment

Arming yourself in this way can help you prevent infection, keep related conditions at bay and treat them when they appear.

If you have questions about your oral health or mouth sores specifically, contact our dental team today for your consultation.

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tmj dentist port washington ny

TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment and Relief Options

TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ occurs when there are facial issues concerning the jaw and muscles. The TMJ joint is what connects the skull’s temporal bones to the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is similar to a sliding hinge. The TMJ is what enables the individual to open and close their mouth. When the TMJ is not performing correctly, the result is discomfort and pain.

According to the American Dental Association:

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the dentist may refer you to a physician or another dentist.

The Symptoms and Signs of TMJ

There are a lot of symptoms and signs experienced when an individual has TMJ. Determining if the individual has TMJ is not simple. This is because there are so many issues that can cause the exact same symptoms and signs. The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis is to see a dentist. The dentist will take the appropriate steps. This includes:

• Taking a complete dental and medical history

• Taking all necessary X-rays

• Completing a thorough clinical examination

The most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:

• A jaw that is locked in place, goes out of place or becomes stuck

• Headaches impersonating migraines, pressure in the back of the eyes and earaches

• Facial swelling

• Tenderness in the muscles of the jaw

• Discomfort in facial areas including the ear and jaw

• Difficulty biting and chewing

• A popping or clicking noise when the mouth is opened or closed

• A swift change in dental occlusion or the way the upper and lower jaws come together

Diagnosing TMJ

The only way to diagnose TMJ accurately is for a dentist to perform a complete evaluation of the jaw joint, the surrounding structures and to look for an occlusion. The dentist may look for inflammation by checking the tissues and muscles of the neck and head. In most cases, panoramic X-rays are necessary. The dentist may recommend specific movements and exercises.

The individual may receive a referral to a maxillofacial surgeon for further diagnosis and evaluation.

Methods to Relieve the Discomfort of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

In some cases, medication will be prescribed to offer the individual relief from the discomfort. Certain medications can be purchased over the counter. The dosage and type of medication are determined by the specific issue. The individual needs to discuss any medications they are currently using for safety. This includes vitamins, supplements and herbs. The most common medications for treating this condition include:

Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatories: Analgesics offer relief from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and discomfort. Anti-inflammatories decrease discomfort, heat, swelling and pain while helping restore function. (NSAIDs) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories relieve both discomfort and inflammation.

Antidepressants: This medication helps with (bruxism) teeth grinding and decreases discomfort. A higher dosage is often prescribed for the treatment of depression. Lower dosages offer relief from the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. This can also decrease pain in the muscles. A body chemical shown to improve sleep called serotonin is increased. This is what helps with bruxism while the individual is sleeping.

Muscle Relaxants: These are for the treatment of myofascial pain. This discomfort is common in the muscles or soft tissues around the TMJ. Muscle relaxants help ease the tension in the muscles to decrease pressure on the TMJ resulting from tight jaw muscles.

TMJ Treatment Options

This type of therapy focuses on the TMJ. The joint can be treated in several different ways. This includes:

• Exercises to strengthen the jaw and facial muscles.

• Gently manipulation to restore motion and decrease discomfort. The medical profession will relax the ligaments and muscles surrounding the joint with their hands. These are often the cause of the discomfort.

• The individual can manage and treat their symptoms through a self-care program. This usually includes exercise. Heat and ice can be used to provide relief from pain.

• The sound waves emitted by ultrasound can decrease swelling and discomfort. This will also improve the swelling.

The Treatment for Painful Muscles

One of the trigger points is tight muscles. These can be painful when touched, causing pain in other areas. The medical professional concentrates on trigger points through the use of:

Palpation: The application of pressure on specific areas of the face and jaw using the fingers.

Massage: Massage outside and inside the mouth is important for improving circulation and relaxation.

Stretching and Cold Spray: This is used to relax the muscles.

Pain Relief: Anesthetics may be injected by the dentist to relieve discomfort.

The Treatment for Inflammation

Movement is difficult to impossible once the joint becomes inflamed. The medical professional may recommend treatments including:

A Cold Pack: This decreases pain and reduces swelling. A cold pack is applied for between ten and twenty minutes. This process is repeated three to four times per day. A cold pack is made by putting ice cubes inside of a plastic bag with a seal. A thin cloth or towel is used for wrapping the bag. A cold pack should never be placed right onto the skin.

Gentle Exercise and Rest: This will increase motion. One of the most frequently used exercises is isometric exercise. The pressure is placed on the jaw while the movement is resisted.

Biofeedback: This is important for treating TMJ because it teaches the individual which muscle activities are inappropriate or excessive. The individual is taught skills for muscle relaxation for proper functioning of the TMJ. When the contraction and tightness of the muscle are decreased or eliminated, it can remove the pain. Sensors are used to monitor the heartbeat, breathing, brainwaves and blood pressure of the body.

Stretching May Help Your TMJ

Physical function and flexibility can be improved through stretching exercises. Two stretching exercises are defined below.

• Place your thumb beneath your chin while pressing downwards. Keep the force of your thumb at a moderate level. Open and close your mouth against this force. Hold your mouth open for five to ten seconds.

• Open your mouth as wide as possible without causing any discomfort. Place you index finger between your lower lip and chin.

Acupuncture as a Form of TMJ Treatment and Relief

Acupuncture has been effectively used for the treatment of TMJ. Acupuncture will not eliminate the cause of any structural anomalies including disc displacement or degenerative changes. Acupuncture can help decrease the discomfort and pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorder.

If you are experiencing pain due to TMJ, contact our office today and speak with your dental care associate.

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cracked tooth syndrome

Cracked Tooth Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Some people are plagued with a bothersome, pain and potentially debilitating dental malady known as cracked tooth syndrome. The following information will offer a brief overview of this condition.

The Definition Of Cracked Tooth Syndrome

This oral ailment happens when a tooth develops a crack that is too minuscule to be detected by the naked eye or an X-Ray apparatus. In many instances, these abnormalities occur in the molars and present under the gum line or in other tooth regions that are difficult to examine.

Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Medical and dental researchers opine that, in certain cases, no specific reason can be found explaining why impacted teeth develop these tiny breaks. However, said professionals believe the condition might be precipitated by the continual grinding of the teeth, repeated jaw clenching, the abnormal development and placement of teeth, dental procedures such as root canals or teeth equipped with large fillings.

Symptoms of Cracked Tooth Syndrome

The most common physical manifestation someone possessing a cracked tooth might experience is pain. In many instances, said discomfort will intensify when the stricken individual consumes food or the offending tooth is exposed to excessively hot or cold temperatures such as bubbling soup or ice.

That said, dental professionals suggest that discomfort associated with cracked tooth syndrome will be intermittent and not likely as severe as it may be with other oral maladies like cavities or dental infections.

Potential Complications from Cracked Tooth Syndrome

If cracked tooth syndrome is not detected early, the break could progress and eventually result in a chipped tooth or one where a portion breaks away entirely. Chipped or partial teeth could render tasks such as speaking or eating difficult.

Moreover, cracks that appear in or around the gum line are at increased risk of contracting infections. Dental infections, which often present as abscesses (pus filled sacs) require dental intervention. If left untreated, said infections could travel within the mouth or possibly spread to other bodily regions causing potential serious or life-threatening illness.

Diagnosis of Cracked Tooth Syndrome

It is important to reiterate that the breakages associated with cracked tooth syndrome are quite small and cannot be seen by an oral care professionals eye or even through an X-Ray from time to time. On numerous occasions, afflicted persons cope with the associated symptoms for extended duration because their oral care professionals simply cannot detect the abnormality.

That said, should a dentist suspect cracked tooth syndrome, said professional will likely perform a thorough dental examination, as well as employ the use of a tiny device capable of capturing radiographic images of the teeth that could show these little abnormalities.

Oral care experts also caution that, should a cracked tooth syndrome diagnosis be made in one tooth, the chances are significantly increased that the condition will be detected in other teeth as well.

Potential Treatment Options for Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked teeth typically do not heal on their own and typically require some type of dental procedure to fix the breakage or prevent said issue from expanding into a bigger problem. Specific procedures a dentist might employ include root canal, crown insertion or bonding. In the most severe manifestations, said professional may opt to pull the tooth.

Prior to deciding upon the most appropriate form of treatment, an oral care professional will typically weight several factors including but not necessarily limited to the break’s location, its severity, as well as the presenting symptoms and the severity of said occurrences.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome Prevention

Preventing cracked tooth syndrome might be challenging. However, by employing certain oral care measures, said condition may be avoided. Such measures include:

Brushing And Flossing Several Times Daily

Obviously, maintaining individual care of one’s teeth is a critical step in helping maintaining their strength and vitality. Dental professionals urge their patients to brush at least twice per day and floss between meals.

Use Fluoride Toothpastes

The chemical fluoride is known to preserve and strengthen a tooth’s enamel, the structure’s outer covering.

Rinse With Mouthwash

Many mouthwash preparations contain bacteria-killing chemicals. Said agents could prevent potential cracked tooth syndrome complications such as infections.

Refrain From Excessive Sugar Intake

Foods with excessive quantities of sugar could damage teeth and precipitate tooth decay.

Cease Grinding Teeth

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, can place added pressure on teeth and possibly elicit small breakages. Individuals who either grind their teeth or clench their jaw with any regularity are strongly encouraged to stop this potentially detrimental habit.

Receive Regular Professional Care

Frequent dental checkups often go a long way towards preventing oral care problems. Moreover, if any untoward symptoms arise, said occurrences should be immediately evaluated by your dentist at 3V Dental Associates.

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tooth sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Relief & More

Sensitive teeth are a common dental health issue that most people experience at least once in their life. While your first thought may be that you have cavities when you feel pain as you eat or drink something cold, hot or sweet, the truth is that there are many different reasons for tooth sensitivity. Understanding why this sensitivity happens helps you work with your dentist to find the best treatment to bring you relief.

What Do Sensitive Teeth Feel Like?

In most cases, pain as you eat or breathe through your mouth are the first signs of sensitivity. Unlike severe dental pain, you will most likely feel a brief instance of discomfort that quickly goes away once the irritating factor is removed.

Hot, cold and acidic foods are the most common irritants for to a sensitive tooth, but you may also feel pain if cold air hits your teeth. People often complain that they briefly feel pain when they first bite into something with an extreme temperature such as ice cream or very hot coffee.

What Makes Teeth Sensitive?

Approximately half of the adult population has tooth sensitivity, and your risk of developing it goes up with age. This condition has several different causes that your dentist will look for during your appointment. Gum recession, enamel erosion, tooth decay and cracks in your teeth are a few of the most common reasons why you may suddenly be dealing with sensitivity in your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association:

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.

Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

What is Gum Recession?

Your gums are made up of soft tissue that responds to changes in your overall health and lifestyle. Gum disease is the primary cause of recession since the tissue naturally begins to erode and pull away from the teeth as infection sets in. You can also irritate your gums by being too aggressive with your oral hygiene routine. Brushing too rough or using a brush with hard bristles can cause your gums to recede.

Once your gums recede enough, you can begin to see the yellowish part of your tooth root peeking through. This has less enamel and more dentin at the surface, which is sensitive to temperatures and acids in your food. Sadly, your gums do not grow back once they are gone or receded. However, your dentist does have treatment options that can stop the recession and help cover any exposed tooth roots. Gum treatment and health are important for overall healthy oral health.

Can Sensitivity Come and Go?

One of the most confusing aspects of tooth sensitivity is that it can come and go. This can cause you to think that the problem is over until it comes back again. Your mouth is constantly undergoing changes as it is bombarded by things such as the food you eat and even the environment in which you are living. You may not feel sensitivity for a few days if food particles or plaque temporarily blocks an exposed root or fills in a cavity. Alternatively, you may just not feel pain because you haven’t eaten anything hot or cold enough in the past few days. If your sensitivity is caused by something such as nighttime tooth grinding, then it may also go away during periods when you are not engaging in the behavior.

Is Tooth Sensitivity Preventable?

As with many dental health conditions, prevention is your best bet toward avoiding long term pain. Although you cannot stop the natural recession that occurs with aging, you can develop lifestyle habits that helps to slow the process. For instance, you may need to have your dentist check your tooth-brushing technique to make sure that you are not putting unnecessary pressure on the sensitive gum tissue. You can also make sure to treat tooth decay and the signs of gum disease as early as possible so that they do not lead to lingering pain.

How Do Dentists Treat Sensitive Teeth?

A diagnosis for a sensitivity tooth is often done after a thorough exam that identities all possible causes. Your treatment plan is developed to address each potential cause for the pain you feel in your teeth. In some cases, your dentist may recommend getting cavities filled or having a special cleaning to halt gum disease in its tracks. You may also be prescribed a special mouth rinse or toothpaste that helps to reduce sensitivity along the gum line and tooth root. If you grind your teeth at night, then you might need to wear a mouthguard as you sleep.

Getting to the bottom of tooth sensitivity requires you to work closely with your dentist to identify the cause so that you receive the appropriate treatment. Remember that pain should never be considered normal when you eat or breathe, so be sure to mention it at your next appointment. If your tooth sensitivity is mild, then it could be as simple as using a prescribed toothpaste or switching up your technique to bring back your comfort.

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teeth grinding | dentist port washington ny

What Causes Bruxism and Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism, defined as habitual teeth grinding and clenching, is estimated to affect 30-40 million Americans. It impacts some individuals exclusively at night, known as nocturnal bruxism, while others struggle at various times of the day. It is listed in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) and represents the third most common sleep dysfunction.

How Is Bruxism Identified?

The symptoms of bruxism vary based upon the individual, causes and severity of the involvement. Many individuals who infrequently grind or clench their teeth have no symptoms. Others will only discover their bruxism from their dentist during routine dental care. Sometimes it is a sleep partner that hears you grind at night.

In more severe cases, headaches, a sore jaw and tooth pain upon waking may indicate nighttime grinding. Having these symptoms should prompt a consult with your dental professional. Chronic or extreme grinding may cause teeth to fracture, fillings to loosen and even a loss of teeth. Ensuring proper evaluation by your dentist will ensure proper management to prevent this damage. Unchecked, bruxism may cause Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, tooth loss and change your facial appearance.

Causes of Bruxism:

The etiology of grinding can be simple or complex, depending on the individual. In many, it is a cluster of reasons that trigger a person to grind or clench teeth. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Subconscious habit
  • Malocclusion or improper bite alignment
  • Side Effects of Medications such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil
  • Alcohol Use
  • Amphetamine Use
  • Parkinson’s or other Neurological Disease

Establishing a early diagnosis is advantageous, as unchecked continued grinding and clenching has been shown to impact quality of life and can lead to potential tooth, jaw and facial damage. Identifying the reasons for your teeth grinding is only the first step your dentist will take in evaluating this disorder. Confirming the cause of grinding helps to outline the best treatment option.

What Will the Dentist Find in Cases of Chronic Grinding?

Bruxism is a problem dentists see routinely due to its frequency rate. During a dental examination, abnormal tooth wear or tightness in the masseter jaw muscles are early signs. With prolonged tightness of these muscles, a bump may occur on the inner aspect of the mandible or maxillary bones, known as Torus Maxillaris and/or Torus Mandibularis. Gum recession or limited ability to open the mouth may be present. Late symptoms include direct tooth damage such as breakage or mobility of the teeth.

How is Bruxism Treated?

Treatment tends to coordinate with the cause of the grinding. One of the first steps is typically the use of a mouth appliance to protect the teeth. At times, these appliances are utilized exclusively at night; however, daytime grinding and clenching can trigger the need for use during the day.

  • Stress or Anxiety: Work with your healthcare specialist to identify the cause of stress or anxiety. Professional counseling or biofeedback are techniques utilized to resolve the triggers.
  • Malocclusion: Correction of tooth alignment and bite may require reshaping of the teeth, improvements to alignment and even physical therapy. More severe cases may require orthodontia to correct optimally.
  • Medicines: Medicines have been shown to be a trigger. Eliminating or changing these medications will provide a resolution. Medicines are also treatment tools. Anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants and even Botox may be utilized when necessary to treat bruxism.
  • Habits: Habitual clenching or grinding tends to respond best to retraining methods such as biofeedback and physical therapy. Tools are utilized to provide alternate focus, distracting from the damaging behaviors. Modifications to alcohol and caffeine use, recreational drug rehabilitation, and cessation of gum chewing will target the exact etiology.
  • Sleep Disorder: Sleep apnea is a common concurrent problem. Correction, often via the use of a CPAP machine, has been demonstrated to be a viable treatment option.

If you suspect you grind or clench your teeth, contact 3V Dental Associates today to schedule you consultation with our amazing team. Treatment options are optimal when utilized early.

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dry mouth port washington ny

Dry Mouth: Where Does it Come from and How to Treat it

Dry mouth is more than a feeling you get when thirsty. It is a condition that occurs when your salivary glands are not making enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Other names for the condition include xerostomia, doughmouth, cottonmouth and pasties. This condition not only affects your mouth.

Saliva has enzymes, which helps with digestion. It prevents tooth decay by neutralizing bacteria acids, washed away food particles and limits bacterial growth. A dry mouth can go from being a nuisance to having an impact on your general health. It can affect the health of your gums and teeth, your appetite and your ability to enjoy food.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

This condition occurs for a number of reasons. The causes fall under four main categories, which include medications, age, cancer treatment and nerve damage. You should check the side effects on your medication.

According to the American Dental Association, the most common reason for dry mouth is lack of saliva.

Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Many prescription and OTC medications cause this condition. These medications include decongestants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants and antidepressants. Dry mouth can also occur from autoimmune disorders.

Sjogren’s syndrome is a severe autoimmune disease. It makes your white blood cells attack your salivary glands and mouth. Other causes may include methamphetamine use, smoking, nervousness and stress. If you want to prevent oral issues, then you should schedule regular appointments with your dentist.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

It is common for your mouth to feel dry from time to time. However, you should get worried when this feeling does not go away. If you suspect you have dry mouth, then you should look for certain symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Mouth dryness
  • Cheilitis
  • Taste disorders
  • Sore throat

A painful tongue is another symptom of xerostomia. It causes you to feel a burning sensation. This symptom can occur all of a sudden and can be severe. Other symptoms may include tooth decay, thrush, sticky saliva and salivary gland infections.

Dry Mouth Treatment Options

Treatment depends on what is causing your dryness. You should start by checking your medication. If the dryness comes from medication, then you may need to change to another drug.

It helps to get your salivary glands checked by a physician. If your salivary glands can still produce some saliva, then your doctor can prescribe you medication. There are medications available for stimulating your salivary glands. Taking the medication allows you to produce more saliva. Common medications used for stimulation includes Evoxac and Salogen tablets.

Artificial saliva is another treatment option for xerostomia. This treatment works by using artificial saliva to keep your mouth moisture.

Dry Mouth Diagnosis

To diagnose xerostomia, a medical doctor or dentist will need to examine your mouth. Your physician will ask you about your medical history. He or she also will perform imaging scans and blood tests of your salivary glands.

There are common tests used to make a diagnosis about xerostomia. These tests include a biopsy, saliography and sialometry. A biopsy is when a small sample of salivary gland tissue is taken.

The saliography takes a radiographic examination of your ducts and salivary glands. This test can identify masses and salivary gland stones. The sialometry is a procedure that measures the flow rate of your saliva.

Dry Mouth Prevention

You can take a number of steps for prevention from xerostomia. When eating a meal, you should sip on water or a drink that does not contain sugar. Hydration is critical to the production of saliva. Some drinks add to the dryness. You should avoid sodas, tea, caffeine and coffee.

Oral care products can help with producing more moisture in your mouth. You should get a recommendation from your dentist. Sugarless gum and candy is another way to stimulate saliva juices.

It is also a good idea to avoid tobacco and alcohol. These things are very drying on your mouth. The addition of sugar and acidic foods will only add to your condition. It may help to sleep with a humidifier at night as well.

Complications Associated with Dry Mouth

If you experience constant mouth dryness, then it can be uncomfortable. It can also have severe consequences to your oral health. The dryness is irritating for the soft tissues in your mouth. These conditions cause your soft tissues to become irritated and more open to infections. Saliva is very cleansing without it you have to worry about tooth decay. However, it is important to keep your gums and teeth healthy to prevent complications.

For more information about dry mouth symptoms, causes, and prevention, contact our dental team today. We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have.

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