Halitosis And Xerostomia (Bad Breath And Dry Mouth)

Dental phobia General Dentistry Oral Health

dry mouth treatment Phoenix

In this post from Harris Dental in Phoenix, we address the unpleasant topic of halitosis, also known as bad breath.

While poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many elements can contribute to the condition, or even make it worse. One of these is the lack of saliva, or xerostomia.

Saliva and Oral Health
One of the functions of saliva is moistening the teeth and gums and removing odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks and the minerals in saliva help to maintain enamel stability.

Immunoproteins in saliva curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby shielding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This protects against cavities and infections.

Many people are plagued with dry mouth sporadically; perhaps when they are perceiving anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

If you have occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can result in additional oral and physical health problems.

If you are coping with either condition, we recommend that you set up an exam and consultation with us at Harris Dental in Phoenix. We can help you discover the source and guide you on treatment. Our services include general and restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

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480-428-0040

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Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Dental health General Dentistry

Phoenix should I use waterpik?

Water flossers have been around for more than fifty years, and there have been at least that many studies on their effectiveness. At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we’re using this space to present what is known about water flossers, and whether they’re better than ordinary string floss in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.

Dental Floss

First of all, the main benefit of standard dental floss – string floss – is that it passes easily between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. It is easy to use, inexpensive, readily available, and a very efficient way of removing plaque.

On the down side, some people find it hard to reach certain areas of the mouth, like way in back. It can cause minor bleeding, and gum sensitivity. People with agility issues may find it hard to use.

Water flossing

Water flossers use pulsing water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. A special machine directs a jet spray that can be very effective. They too are easy to use, and in addition to cleaning your teeth can also massage the gums.

They’re also great for people with braces and other dental work. The stream of pulsing water makes it easy to get those areas that are harder to reach with string floss. They are also an excellent solution for people with issues like arthritis.

On the other hand, water flossers can be expensive. You need to find a place to store them when not in use. And they require electricity.

The Bottom Line

It isn’t really an either/or situation. The best dental health routine at home may well be to floss, brush, and water floss (not necessarily in that order). The sequence in which these are done comes down to your personal preference. To put it another way: whatever works!

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we think the most important thing, by far, is that you establish a dental health routine that you practice every day. We also like to see you for a cleaning and checkup in our office every six months. We offer general and restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

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Save Your Breath

Dental health General Dentistry Oral Health

bad breath treatments Phoenix

This post from Harris Dental in Phoenix focuses on a problem experienced by many people, bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common is poor oral hygiene. Halitosis often happens in the middlle of the day, due to an to brush teeth between meals. Small food pieces on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. This in turn creates a sulfur compound, which emits the unpleasant odor.

While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause, other circumstances can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is scheduled, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be needed.

For example, a salivary gland problem or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

Remember, the best defense against bad breath is a good dental care routine – daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to the dentist.

If you struggle with bad breath in spite of vigilant oral hygiene, ask about it at your next checkup with Harris Dental in Phoenix. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

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Persistent Dry Mouth?

Dental health General Dentistry Oral Health

The Harris Dental Guide To Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition where your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, leaving you with a persistent dry feeling in your mouth. If you experience this, be sure to tell us at Harris Dental in Phoenix.

The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, which is pronounced zero-STOE-me-uh. It’s a common side effect of certain medications, and is also common in people who are undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. It’s also caused by a condition of the salivary glands themselves, but that is less common.

Dry Mouth Causes

There are hundreds of different medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. This includes prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicine. Antihistamines, decongestants, and pain medications may cause it, as well as many other drugs.

Dry mouth is also common in older people. Older people are often taking more medication than they did when younger. The body isn’t always as efficient in processing these medications as it once was.

Tobacco and alcohol use can also bring on symptoms of dry mouth, as well as so-called recreational drugs.

Chemotherapy may have an impact on the salivary glands, and their ability to produce saliva. It might return to normal once the treatment is finished.

Dry Mouth Complications

In addition to discomort, dry mouth can lead to increased plaque on the teeth. This can, in turn, lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Yeast infections and sores around the mouth can also occur.

People with dry mouth may also have poor nutrition, because chewing and swallowing are more difficult.

The treatment for dry mouth depends on what’s causing it. If you have persistent dry mouth but don’t know why, please let us know at Harris Dental in Phoenix. Our services include general and restorative dentistry. Call us to set up an appointment today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

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Can My Dentist Help With My Snoring?

General Dentistry Sleep apnea

snoring dental treatment Phoenix

Partner can’t sleep because you snore? Is it finally time to do away with it? At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we can help.

Snoring sounds can occur when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses onto the soft palate. This constricts the air flow. As you breathe, this area opens and closes—with a noisy result.

Your snoring may be a symptom of a condition called sleep apnea. With Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the air passageway not only narrows, you actually stop breathing. These pauses can last for up to a minute and occur repeatedly dozens or even hundreds of time per night.

Many people with sleep apnea snore, but not all snorers have sleep apnea. Regular snoring does not generally wake you up during the night.

Is My Snoring a Symptom of Sleep Apnea?

  • Do you wake up numerous times during the night gasping?
  • Are you excessively tired during the day?
  • Do you wake up with a headache?
  • Are you so sleepy during the day that you doze off?
  • Are your mouth and throat noticeably dry when you wake up?

Snoring is more than a pesky annoyance. It has significant health consequences. And sleep apnea is even more dangerous because it completely cuts off the oxygen flow.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most prevalent type. It is caused by throat muscles relaxing and blocking the airway.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: The cause of the breathing cessation originates in the central nervous system. The brain fails to control the breathing muscles.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (Treatment-emergent Central Sleep Apnea): This condition is present when a person has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Can My Dentist Help Me Stop Snoring?

If you or a loved one snores, call us at Harris Dental in Phoenix. We treat sleep disorders. We’ve also got a full range of general dentistry services. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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