Wonder why you are suddenly getting cavities when you haven’t had them in years? As we get older, we enter a 2nd round of cavity prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is Dry Mouth. It is not a normal part of aging. However, it is side effect of more than 500 medications including those for allergies,asthma,high blood pressure,high cholesterol,pain anxiety or depression!
This is one reason why it is so important to tell your dentist about medications you are taking. We can help make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth and prevent cavities. Here are some common recommendations:
- Use over the counter oral moisturizers, such as spray or mouthwash.
- Consult with your Doctor on whether to change your medication or dosage.
- Drink more water. Carry a bottle with you, and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Your mouth needs constant lubrication.
- use sugar- free products- sugar free gum ( make sue it has Xylitol in it which can reduce small decay examples IceBreakers Ice Cubes gum, Theragum, Epic Gum
- Get a good humidifier to keep moisture in the air- it is worth the extra cost
- Avoid foods and drinks that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated pop and fizzy waters and acidic fruit juices.
- Use Prescription fluoride to brush with- It has 5 times more fluoride than regular toothpaste
- Have your Dental Hygienist apply a fluoride varnish which has 8 times more fluoride to help desensitize your teeth
- For dry lips use anhydrous lanolin USP( lansinoh) ,Banana Boat Aloe with Vitamin E lip balm during the day and at bedtime. overuse of vaseline is drying and should be avoided
- If possible sleep on your side to reduce mouth breathing
- See your dentist frequently. Those with dry mouth are prone to oral yeast infections and cavities
Commercial saliva Subsitutes;
- SalivaSure Tablets – stimulate natural saliva flow, no drug interactions. May have to ask various pharmacies to order for you, not all carry it
- GEL :
- oral Balance- water base gel for night time use
- TOOTHPASTE & GEL: Biotene -can be found in almost any store