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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

What Causes Dry Mouth?

While anyone get dry mouth, also called xerostomia, it is a common problem among older adults. In fact, the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that 20% of elderly people suffer from dry mouth and this condition is also a hidden cause of tooth loss and gum disease in 30 percent of adults. Dry mouth, which is the reduced flow of saliva, could be a symptom of a particular medical condition or a side effect of certain medications. Sufficient saliva is needed in the mouth to wash away food debris and reduce plaque by neutralizing the acids that plaque produces

Common medications taken that may cause dry mouth are:
Antihistamines
Blood pressure medications
Pain pills
Decongestants
Incontinence medications
Antidepressants
Diuretics
Muscle relaxers
Parkinson’s disease medications

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What is Trench Mouth?

Trench mouth is a painful and severe gum infection. This infection occurs because of high bacteria levels in the mouth, usually from poor oral hygiene. Trench mouth can also be caused from lack of sleep, stress and / or poor nutrition. Trench mouth occurs more in smokers than non-smokers. The name “trench mouth” comes from World War I, where soldiers were stuck in trenches without the means to take care of their mouth and teeth. Trench mouth is also known as Vincent's Stomatitis or Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, hence the acronym ANUG. While trench mouth is rare and not contagious, it can be extremely painful and will only worsen without treatment. If treatment is not sought, the infection may travel to other parts of the body. Antibiotics, along with a professional dental cleaning, can usually clear the infection from trench mouth. Practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups are the best way to prevent trench mouth.

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What is Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by acid. The enamel is the hard calcified tissue that covers and protects the outside of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in our bodies. The saliva in our mouth contains calcium which helps to strengthen and remineralize the teeth, however, remineralization can not occur when a great deal of acid is present. The high amount of acids in the food and drink that you consume can cause tooth erosion. Soft drinks and pure fruit juices contain a high amount of acid. Tooth erosion can also be caused by medical factors such as a decrease in saliva, acid reflux disease, certain gastrointestinal conditions and the eating disorder bulimia.

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