Dry mouth (xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause of dry mouth. Dry mouth may be a sign of a serious health condition or may occur when a person is upset or experiences stress. It also can be caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy hormonal alterations or diseases such as AIDS, diabetes or Sjögren’s syndrome. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease or those who suffer a stroke may experience dry mouth. Approximately 30 percent of persons over the age of 65 are affected by dry mouth.
Bruxism is the technical term for grinding and clenching of the teeth that may cause facial pain. People who grind and clench their teeth, called bruxers, unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as in their sleep.. About one in three people suffer from bruxism, which can easily be treated by a dentist. After impressions are taken we safely transport them to a lab specially trained to fabricate the mouthguards used for this treatment.
Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with roughly 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. The vast majority of oral cancers occur in people older than 50 years, with men being twice as likely as women to develop the disease. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth and soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. With a thorough visual examination, and appropriate referrals to a specialist, we are able to address this concern.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis.
Oral diseases and conditions can affect the health of your teeth, gums and other areas in the mouth.
Common oral conditions include:
- Dry mouth
- Oral cancer
- Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease
Dry mouth affects around 30 percent of people over the age of 65, according to the American Dental Association. Often, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the cause of dry mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth, it is best to schedule a consultation with a dental professional. Sometimes dry mouth can be a symptom of a larger issue, such as AIDS, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease.