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FAQ:  Xerostomia - Dry Mouth


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Question:
Dry mouth causing problems? I need a lot of dental work done. I have 2 broken crowns (at the gumline), missing teeth, a cracked tooth and a 3 tooth bridge that needs replacing.

My gums are not in the best shape,either. Also the contour of my gums does not line up exactly with my jawbone. And if that were not enough, I am a mouth breather and taking medication which causes dry mouth (xerostomia).

I am almost 53 yrs old and my dentition has caused me big problems all my life. What kind of dentist do I need? I understand that in sedation dentistry a lot of work can be done in just a few appointments True?

Also what kind of sedation is used? The thought of getting full dentures for both upper and lower appeals to me more and more. I have seen people with full dentures and they have a great smile. Denture dentistry must have improved since my grandparents day.

I so envy people who have a great smile, whether or not they have natural or unnatural teeth. Could you help point me in the right direction? I have been self-conscious about my teeth almost all my life.

I don't expect to ever have a smile like Tom Cruise, but I know that minor miracles are performed in the world of dentistry. Being able to smile without feeling self-conscious about my teeth would make me a changed and very happy person. Appreciate it! ... Visitor from CA

Answer:
Believe it or not, your situation is very common.

Don't even think of dentures, unless your teeth are hopeless. You will hate yourself! Nothing has changed in dentures for a long time. Actually, the technology has taken a step back because not too many people are getting them anymore.

Sedation dentistry may be the answer for you, however you need to find a dentist who will take the time to teach you how to care for your mouth just as much as rehabilitating your neglect. Expect to visit a few offices before deciding. Have a full set of X-Rays taken and tell this first office that you would like to keep your X-Rays for other opinions.

Sedation dentistry is nothing more than taking a medication like Halcion, or Valium, along with Nitrous (laughing gas) to relax. You will be comfortable, but your starting point is to find someone who can evaluate your whole mouth and give you a definitive map for your future.

Your xerostomia is the cause of a majority of your problems. Ask about Xero-Lube or Biotene Products to re-lubricate your mouth and throat. Start using fluoride mouthwash such as Gel-Kam or PerioPlus. This will decrease cavities and strengthen your teeth.

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