Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin 18 Tel: +353 1 213 5644

Dry Mouth Conditions

WHAT CAN I DO? UNDERSTANDING DRY MOUTH.
Can’t whistle because your mouth feels so dry? Feel like someone put a cotton ball in your mouth? Does your tongue stick to your teeth or the roof of your mouth?

Chronic dry mouth (Xerostomia) is caused by lack of saliva for a long period of time. Multiple causes for this condition include: medications, chronic diseases such as Sjogren’s Syndrome and certain medical treatments.

ypical examples of medical treatments include bone marrow transplants, radiation treatment for head or neck cancer and removal of salivary glands which can lead to a progressive onset of this condition.

Chronic dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it also increases your risk for dental decay and makes it difficult for dentures to fit properly.

You don’t have to suffer. Understand what the causes are and what solutions are available as your first steps to relief from chronic dry mouth.

Dry mouth can cause increased dental decay especially at the gum line.

The decayed teeth may require restoration and in advanced decay situations, root canal treatment and a crown and if it is not restorable an extraction may be necessary.

Severe effects of prolonged dry mouth

After treatment for dry mouth

Severe effects of prolonged dry mouth

What can a Prosthodontist do?

Prosthodontists are committed to helping you overcome the lifetime of risks that chronic dry mouth presents and ensure your natural teeth, crowns, bridges, dentures and implants look and function well.

Your prosthodontist can:
• Work with your doctor to manage your chronic dry mouth.
• Provide greater comfort with prescription salivary substitutes gels, sprays, mints and gums.
• Prescribe special toothpastes and mouthwashes to reduce risk of tooth decay.
• Recommend and provide dental implants to stabilise dentures decreasing irritation caused by chronic dry mouth.

Our Clinicians are trained in implant, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. They also can assist in chronic dry mouth relief and related dentistry needs.

Our dental hygiene service can help maintain treatment outcomes

Relieve your symptoms

Saliva is key to a healthy mouth. Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay and other more serious conditions.

Simple steps can be taken to diagnose the problem and relieve symptoms.

Why care about dry mouth?
Lack of saliva, which contains protective minerals and proteins, can result in tooth decay, especially near the gum line and crown margins, and infect your gums.

What causes dry mouth?
• Prescriptions that help depression, asthma, bladder control, blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease as well as some over-the-counter medicines to alleviate allergies, colds and coughs.

• Chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression, ectodermal dysplasia, hepatitis C, sarcoidosis and Sjogren’s Syndrome.

What steps can you take to alleviate your discomfort?
• Drink additional fluids that do not contain sugar. Water is the best.

• Use sugar-free, hard candy or gum to stimulate saliva flow.

• Visit your prosthodontist or dentist more frequently than every six months to address your increased risk of tooth decay.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a painful, frustrating condition often described as a scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate, or throughout the mouth. Although BMS can affect anyone, it occurs most commonly in middle-aged or older women. BMS often occurs with a range of medical and dental conditions, from nutritional deficiencies and menopause to dry mouth and allergies. But their connection is unclear, and the exact cause of burning mouth syndrome cannot always be identified with certainty.

Signs and Symptoms

Moderate to severe burning in the mouth is the main symptom of BMS and can persist for months or years. For many people, the burning sensation begins in late morning, builds to a peak by evening, and often subsides at night. Some feel constant pain; for others, pain comes and goes. Anxiety and depression are common in people with burning mouth syndrome and may result from their chronic pain.
Other symptoms of BMS include:
– tingling or numbness on the tip of the tongue or in the mouth
– bitter or metallic changes in taste
– dry or sore mouth.

Causes

There are a number of possible causes of burning mouth syndrome, including:
– damage to nerves that control pain and taste
– hormonal changes
– dry mouth, which can be caused by many medicines and disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome or diabetes
– nutritional deficiencies
– oral candidiasis, a fungal infection in the mouth
– acid reflux
– poorly-fitting dentures or allergies to denture materials
– anxiety and depression.

In some people, burning mouth syndrome may have more than one cause. But for many, the exact cause of their symptoms cannot be found.

Diagnosis

A review of your medical history, a thorough oral examination, and a general medical examination may help identify the source of your burning mouth. Tests may include:
– blood work to look for infection, nutritional deficiencies, and disorders associated with BMS such as diabetes or thyroid problems
– oral swab to check for oral candidiasis
– allergy testing for denture materials, certain foods, or other substances that may be causing your symptoms.

Treatment

Treatment should be tailored to your individual needs. Depending on the cause of your BMS symptoms, possible treatments may include:
– adjusting or replacing irritating dentures
– treating existing disorders such as diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, or a thyroid problem to improve burning mouth symptoms
– recommending supplements for nutritional deficiencies
– switching medicine, where possible, if a drug you are taking is causing your burning mouth
prescribing medications to relieve dry mouth
– treat oral candidiasis
– help control pain from nerve damage
– relieve anxiety and depression.

When no underlying cause can be found, treatment is aimed at the symptoms to try to reduce the pain associated with burning mouth syndrome.

Helpful Tips

You can also try these self-care tips to help ease the pain of burning mouth syndrome.
– Sip water frequently.
– Suck on ice chips.
– Avoid irritating substances like hot, spicy foods; mouthwashes that contain alcohol; and products high in acid, like citrus fruits and juices.
– Chew sugarless gum.
– Brush your teeth/dentures with baking soda and water.
– Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.

Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin 18, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: info@beacondental.ie

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