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

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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Bridging The Gap

Beautiful smile Restorative Dentistry

cosmetic dental Phoenix

Do you have a missing tooth that is detracting from your otherwise pleasing smile? Let Harris Dental in Phoenix fill the gap for you with a dental bridge, to help you get your smile back!

A traditional bridge consists of one or more fake teeth (called pontics) that are held in place by dental crowns. Known as abutments, the crowns are cemented to the the teeth on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth.

The teeth on either side of the gap must be prepared before they can support the bridge. This is accomplished by removing the enamel so there is enough room for the crowns to be cemented into place. These teeth will always need to be covered with a crown moving forward, even if you change the bridge later on.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, dental bridges are one of our restorative dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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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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Quirky Dental Facts That May Surprise You

Dental health General Dentistry

Queen Creek cosmetic dental and tooth implants

In this post from Harris Dental in Phoenix, we share some fun facts about dentistry. Enjoy!

  • Many dental patients are aware that before there was formal dental training and licensing, barbers often performed dental procedures. But did you know that blacksmiths also moonlighted as dentists?1 How would you like your dental visit to involve tools used to hammer hot metal?
  • The Mayans were accomplished cosmetic dentists. One smile style in Mayan culture was bejeweled teeth – a procedure that involved the drilling of holes to embed precious gems. That’s a grill with major bling!
  • The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough to fill up two swimming pools. (Not a very pleasant image, right?)
  • Nylon toothbrush bristles weren’t introduced until 1938. Prior to that, pig hair was a common bristle material. (“Mom, my toothbrush smells like bacon!”)
  • A popular toothache treatment in medieval Germany was to kiss a donkey.3 There is no evidence that it actually worked and it is unknown if the same remedy was used by donkeys.
  • Every person’s tongue is unique – just like a fingerprint.
  • In medieval Japan, black teeth were considered appealing. Style-conscious women used roots to stain their teeth.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, you won’t find pig hair, donkeys, or anvils. You will find unmatched dental care and our patient-oriented team of dental professionals. Services include general and restorative dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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Gum Health Affects Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Dental health General Dentistry Gum disease Oral Health

gum disease increases diabetes risk Phoenix

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we are concerned not only with the condition of your mouth, but also with how it affects your complete physical health and general well-being. This post looks at the connection between diabetes and oral health.

Scientists have known for quite some time that people with diabetes have higher rates of gum disease than those who don’t. Maintaining proper blood glucose levels is the key to minimizing the risk of gum disease and related problems for those affected.

Additional research is exploring the reverse relationship. In other words, whether poor oral health increases the risk of developing diabetes. Findings from a long-term study suggests that it does.

“We found that over two decades of follow-up, individuals who had periodontal disease were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life when compared to individuals without periodontal disease.” -Ryan T. Demmer, PhD, MPH1

Additional trials are exploring how tooth and gum health jolts the ability of diabetics to manage the disease.

“Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.”2

If you have diabetes, it is essential that you see a dentist regularly and are devoted to daily oral hygiene, proper nutrition, and other critical practices. In addition, your success in controlling your blood glucose levels will improve your oral health and vice-versa.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, our services include gum disease treatment and general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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1Angelo Milone, “Does periodontal disease cause type 2 diabetes?,” Endocrine Today, November 2008, http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/diabetes/news/print/endocrine-today/%7Bacdccbd7-a2b2-4a9e-ac08-b29b53116908%7D/does-periodontal-disease-cause-type-2-diabetes, accessed August 12, 2015
2“Diabetes and Oral Health Problems,” American Diabetes Association, September 18, 2012, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html#sthash.9IlHJB8l.dpuf, accessed August 12, 2015

 

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