There are many habits a patient can practice to help protect the health and strength of the teeth. At-home oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing are vital to maintaining tooth strength and structure. These habits should be complemented by routine dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year. When problems arise, restorative dentistry services repair oral damage to get the health of the smile back on track.
Although all of these practices are necessary to maintaining good oral health, the mouth itself also plays its own part. The body provides the mouth with a natural cleanser - saliva. Saliva helps rinse away food particles, acids, starches, and bacteria. This is especially helpful when a patient is unable to brush the teeth after a meal.
Unfortunately, some patients fail to produce an adequate amount of saliva. These patients suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth and dental damage can be a problem for our Orland Park, IL patients. Dr. Kenneth W. Coffey is happy to help patients restore moisture to the mouth and offer treatment for any damage that may have been caused by dry mouth.
Dental Damage Associated with Dry Mouth
Unfortunately, dry mouth has many damaging side effects. Without saliva to rinse away food particles and assist in cleaning the teeth, the risk of the following types of dental damage increases:
- Tooth decay
- Acid erosion
- Root canal infection
- Gum disease
Treating Dry Mouth
There are many possible causes of dry mouth. Understanding the cause of dry mouth can be helpful in treating the condition. For some, treating dry mouth can be as simple as making a change to prescribed medication. However, for many others, there are more complex factors contributing to dry mouth. Below are some helpful tips for restoring moisture to the mouth to prevent or minimize dental damage:
- Ask Dr. Coffey to recommend an artificial saliva product
- Be sure to drink plenty of water
- Chew on sugar-free gum between meals
- Limit caffeine intake
- Avoid smoking or the use of other tobacco products
Repairing Dental Damage
It is important to alleviate dry mouth to prevent more extensive dental damage, but it is just as important to repair any damage that has already occurred. Dr. Coffey offers a full range of restorative dentistry treatments that can address minor to severe cases of dental damage, including root canal infection and tooth loss. Depending on each patient’s unique needs, Dr. Coffey may recommend a dental filling, dental crown, root canal therapy, or even dental implants. Dr. Coffey is happy to personalize a treatment plan that will allow his patients to restore the strength, function, and aesthetics of their smile.
If you find yourself constantly complaining of a dry, sticky feeling in your mouth, you are probably experiencing dry mouth, and the health of your teeth is likely to suffer. To learn more about dry mouth and what can be done to protect your smile, contact us at your earliest convenience.