Tech Talk With Dr. Cranska

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Modern dentistry is dynamic. Changes to improve patient comfort and quality of care are always being developed. The use of improved dental materials, modern delivery systems, lasers, computer-generated imaging, and computer management software systems are just some of the changes.

In upcoming months, I will answer questions on high-technology dentistry. Please direct inquiries to my website at www.cranska.com or email me at familylaserdentistry@outlook.com.

New Products For Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is not a disease. This medical disorder is simply the decrease in flow of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is 98% water plus needed enzymes, electrolytes and agents to fight germs. Causes of xerostomia include radiation during head and neck cancer therapy; diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, lupus and diabetes; and the No. 1 cause, medications. Without saliva to help fight oral bacteria, there can be extensive tooth decay. You need to maximize salivary flow, keeping your mouth wet to increase comfort and prevent tooth decay.

Q: How can I treat and prevent my dry mouth condition?

A: Dry mouth is common. Here are five important ways to treat xerostomia:

  1. Chew sugar-free gum and candies to stimulate saliva, and use no sugar products, because they lead to tooth decay.
  2. Lifestyle changes: limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, and eliminate tobacco use. Drink more water.
  3. Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwashes. Alcohol in mouthwashes kills bacteria but dries out the mouth.
  4. When possible, stop, change or limit dosage of medicines that have the side effect of dry mouth. These include antihistamines, decongestants and diuretics.
  5. Use over-the-counter sprays, gels, rinses and saliva substitute products to lubricate and moisturize.

There is a prescription-only saliva substitute available from dentists, and it’s called 3M Xerostomia Relief Spray. Available in a spray vial, it requires no rinsing, and it lasts up to four hours. It can be applied at any time of the day, no matter where you are.

One dose equals two sprays. Use three to four times daily as needed to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth. The relief spray lubricates the tissues of the mouth, tongue and throat using a new lipid-based formulation for rapid, long-lasting effect.

See your dentist and ask for an evaluation of your dry mouth, address the cause, and discuss treatment alternatives.

Get your 3M Xerostomia Relief Spray prescription filled through a direct-to-patient pharmacy. Ask your dental office for help in processing your prescription and refills.

Dry mouth is not completely preventable or treatable. When present, the best long-term treatment is to address the cause, not to only use products that help relieve the symptoms.

Utilize modern dental products for maximum comfort and limit dental decay.

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