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Russell Bibb DMD - Estacada Dental February 2016 Newsletter Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
    Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
Dry Mouth: What is it, and What Are the Signs?
Do you have chronic bad breath? Are you always thirsty, or do you feel like your mouth is always parched? You could be living with dry mouth, or xerostomia.

What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth isn’t a disease; instead, it is a symptom of another condition that causes saliva production to stop or decrease. Saliva is needed to moisten the mouth so that you can taste and swallow food. It also helps with cavity prevention by washing away plaque and food from the teeth, neutralizing acid that could potentially damage the enamel.

What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors:

• Medication side effects, including depression medications and pain relievers
• Infection and disease complications, as people with diseases like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cystic fibrosis, and anemia are more likely to experience dry mouth
• Dehydration, as a loss of body fluids can dry out your mouth
• Cancer treatments, specifically radiation therapy

How Do You Know if You Have Dry Mouth?
It is important to remember that dry mouth is a symptom of another condition, but it can also occur along with different symptoms, including:

• A raw, red tongue
• Frequent thirst
• Difficulty swallowing
• Tingling or burning sensations
• Sores in the mouth or on the lips
• Dry nasal passages and lips
• Speech difficulties
• Repeated yeast infections within the mouth
• Problems wearing the dentures
• Frequent dental problems, including gum disease and cavities

If you suspect that you have dry mouth, and if the condition doesn't resolve itself on its own, it is important that you work to find the underlying cause. Contact our office to set up an evaluation.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is tooth pain that can occur occasionally or constantly. Patients describe it as everything from tingling to sharp pain. Often tooth sensitivity occurs when hot or cold foods and beverages come in contact with teeth, but taking in cold air can also bring tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity happens naturally with aging and is a result of the wearing down of enamel and dentin exposure. Common causes of tooth sensitivity include drinking lots of acidic beverages like sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks (which cause enamel loss, and subsequently, sensitivity), receding gum lines, grinding teeth, broken teeth, chipped teeth, periodontal disease, and nerve damage.

Protecting Our Children's Smiles
February is National Children's Dental Health Month! Since its founding in 1941, what started as one-day event has become a month-long, nationwide program sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). This year's campaign slogan is "Sugar Wars", focused on teaching kids good brushing and healthy food habits for optimal oral health.

During this campaign, the ADA offers fun, free printables to encourage kids to join the crew of the "USS SugarSwatter" and fight for oral health. Also, the ADA has many resources on MouthHealthy, a website dedicated to teaching better habits for oral health no matter what your age.

Across the nation, dental professionals and educators are working together to stop childhood tooth decay. What part will you play in the "Sugar Wars"?


Russell Bibb DMD - Estacada Dental | | 503-630-4211
103 SE Highway 224, Suite A, Estacada, OR 97023



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