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Dry Mouth and Dental Problems
Dry mouth may sound to some like nothing more than a temporary annoyance. In fact, dry mouth is a persistent medical condition that can have serious effects on a patient’s oral health. Even patients who experience dry mouth may not be aware of the dental problems that are likely to develop if dry mouth is left untreated. Dry mouth makes it difficult to cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria, making the teeth and gums vulnerable to decay. It is important to determine the cause of dry mouth so that these dental problems can be avoided. However, if patients do develop dental problems as a result of dry mouth, Dr. Richard L. Bucher can treat these conditions at his high tech laser dentistry practice. Some of the dental problems that are most likely to be experienced by patients with dry mouth include:
- • Halitosis: Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. As with dry mouth, halitosis is not just an occasional and temporary condition. Patients who suffer from halitosis are constantly fighting to keep the breath smelling fresh and clean. Because saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, patients with dry mouth will have a difficult time keeping the mouth clean and will be more likely to suffer from halitosis. Dr. Bucher may recommend more frequent dental cleanings as well as the use of artificial saliva in order to combat dry mouth and halitosis.
- • Tooth decay: Tooth decay is another common result of dry mouth. Without a significant amount of saliva to wash away bacteria in the mouth, the bacteria will multiply and form a layer of plaque or tartar. Eventually, the plaque and tartar will eat away at the tooth and result in tooth decay. Patients who have dry mouth need to be particularly vigilant about maintaining good oral hygiene habits. It is also a good idea for patients with dry mouth to keep water readily available so that the mouth can be rinsed throughout the day and especially after meals. A tooth can be treated with a dental filling or dental crown.
- • Gum disease: The presence of bacteria in the mouth will not just damage the teeth. As plaque and tartar form on the teeth, the health of the gums will also be affected. Tartar is likely to develop at the gum line, causing the gums to recede or pull away from the bone. This allows plaque and tartar to develop beneath the gum line as well. When the gums become tender or swollen, bleed easily, and pull away from the teeth, these are all signs of gum disease. Dr. Bucher will treat gum disease using laser dentistry in order to avoid serious dental problems, including tooth loss.
While all of these oral health problems can be treated, it is equally important to treat the source of the problem, dry mouth. Dr. Bucher can help patients determine the cause of dry mouth in order to decide the most appropriate treatment of the condition.
Schedule an Appointment
Dry mouth is a problem that is taken seriously by Dr. Richard L. Bucher because he realizes how a patient’s oral health can be compromised by the condition. If you would like to learn more about dry mouth treatment, or have developed other dental problems that require attention, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bucher at your earliest convenience.