Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common condition for aging adults. Unfortunately, a dry mouth can significantly compromise your oral health. We need an adequate supply of saliva to rinse away food particles and bacteria as well as neutralize acids on our teeth. A dry mouth can leave patients at a considerable risk for tooth decay and other complications.
Xerostomia can result from a medication you are taking (as many as 500 medications cause dry mouth) or from the natural aging process. Regardless of what is causing your dry mouth, it can often wreak havoc on your natural teeth as well as underneath your dental work. Recurrent tooth decay beneath crowns and bridges can be challenging to manage and can eventually cause you to lose your teeth. In such cases, dental implants are the treatment of choice.
The Resilience of a Dental Implant
It is not uncommon for a patient to have prosthetic teeth and suffer from dry mouth, especially since it is an oral health condition that is prevalent in aging adults. While many forms of restorative dentistry are vulnerable to dry mouth consequences, a dental implant is not. Implants do not develop recurrent decay and generally hold up better in dry mouth conditions compared to a traditional denture or bridge.
Keep in mind that while the dental implant itself is not subject to dry mouth damage, there are other oral health consequences that dry mouth can still cause, such as bad breath, gum disease and swallowing discomfort. Therefore, it is important that you stay diligent about your dental health and ask your dentist about dry mouth treatment. If you can’t change your medication that is causing xerostomia, you may benefit from a special mouth rinse that is designed to relieve dry mouth episodes. Some patients find that chewing sugar-less gum is enough to stimulate their saliva glands and limit dry mouth.
At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we understand the unique oral health conditions that are associated with aging. While it is not always possible to prevent or eliminate dry mouth entirely, we are happy to provide a tooth replacement solution that can rebuild your smile while also helping you avoid the potential damages that dry mouth can cause. If you are struggling against recurrent tooth decay under your crown or bridge, ask us about dental implants.