Dry Mouth and Prescriptions

If you have started taking a new medication recently, chances are your doctor told you that a side-effect would be dry mouth. This side-effect is common with many prescriptions, and it now affects nearly half of everyone over the age of 65. Dr. Postol wants to continue recognizing National Healthy Aging Month, by educating his patients and their loved ones about this condition and the importance it has on a healthy life.

What is dry mouth?
The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia, and it occurs when a person’s saliva glands are not operating properly, generating the three pints of saliva per day that the average person’s mouth produces. There are three kinds of glands that create and excrete saliva for the mouth, and all need to be working right for everything to feel normal and healthy.

Causes of Dry Mouth
While there are many causes of dry mouth, one of the leading sources is from any number of prescriptions. 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications daily, and dry mouth can be a side effect from over 400 of these, including blood pressure medicine, antihistamines, diet pills, antidepressants, stomach medications and sleeping pills.

Along with medications, there are other things that may cause dry mouth, which are also important to note. If your dry mouth comes along suddenly and can’t immediately be traced to a recent change in prescriptions, you may want to consult your doctor about a number of diseases which could be causing the changes in your mouth.

The Big Deal about Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath, which is reason enough for many people to seek help from their Ballwin area dentist. If you don’t feel that you have bad breath though, what is the big deal?

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, not having a lot of saliva in your mouth actually increases your risk of cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and all of the problems that go along with them. It can greatly affect the health of your mouth and lead you to lose your teeth a lot quicker than you might have otherwise. The good news is that it can be easily fixable!

Help with Dry Mouth
Getting rid of your chronic dry mouth may be as easy as asking your doctor to switch your medications. If this is not possible, or if your dry mouth has other origins, you will need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to take care of your mouth.

Make sure to sip water or sugar-free juices frequently throughout the day. Stimulate the flow of saliva in your mouth by eating foods which require a lot of chewing. Chew sugarless gum. You can even try “sucking” a cherry or olive pit.

For those suffering from xerostomia, it is crucial to maintain a daily hygiene routine. Brush and floss twice daily and make sure to rinse your mouth after sugary snacks or meals. Use a mouthwash recommended by Dr. Postol, being sure to avoid those with alcohol in them, which will only add to your problems.

Of course, your best option will probably be to discuss these issues with Dr. Postol and his team, who may be able to come up with a specific treatment plan for you. If you have any questions please call St. Louis Dental today!

Keep Your Teeth Healthy with Hydrogen Peroxide: Five Tips

A great, cheap product to add to your oral hygiene routine is hydrogen peroxide, which can be used in a number of ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Our Ballwin office loves providing our patients with tips to protect and maintain the beauty and health of their teeth, from the comfort of their own home. Just remember to check with us before you try these or any other new treatments, to make sure they are right for your individual needs.

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a common household product that can be found for very cheap at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Chemically, it is two hydrogen molecules with two oxygen molecules, and it appears as a clear liquid with about the consistency of water. (more…)

Skin Cancer Protection: Don’t Forget Your Lips!

We know that our patients are smart and you all lather yourselves and your loved ones in sunscreen anytime you go outside in the St. Louis sun. You wear your sunglasses, and maybe even a wide-brimmed hat. But do you protect your lips?

Your lips are very sensitive parts of your skin, and you can get skin cancer there just like any other exposed part of your body. At Dr. Postol’s office, we want to make sure everyone is taking proper care of their health and has all the knowledge they need to do so. As always, call us if you have any questions or concerns! (more…)

Tips for Broken, Loose Teeth

Have you gotten a little overzealous with some ribs and chipped a tooth? Did your daughter trip and hit her chin on the coffee table? Does your husband refuse to wear his mouthguard when he plays soccer?

We see St. Louis patients all the time who have chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked a tooth loose and we have a variety of ways to repair both the appearance and health of the injured teeth. In this blog post, our Ballwin office staff gives some tips for what to do in case of an tooth accident or mouth injury. We’re here to help!

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Oral Health for Men

We get it. Oral health is probably not something that you find yourself talking to your buddies about on the weekends. You probably don’t watch YouTube videos of teeth cleanings. That’s why our Ballwin office is here to offer you only the information that you really need to know to keep both your mouth and body as healthy as possible.

Because July is National Men’s Health month, we want to make sure all the men in our practice have happy, healthy mouths. Dr. Postol knows you’re busy, so here are a few quick facts about what’s important to men’s teeth. As always, be sure to call our St. Louis office if you have any questions or concerns! (more…)

10 Sleep Apnea Facts for Men

Does your dad snore? Or your husband? June is National Men’s Health Month and our Ballwin office wants to address an issue that affects a lot of men: snoring.

Snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, and there are over 12 million people in our country with undiagnosed sleep apnea. Dr. Postol hopes these ten facts will help all of the men we love get the treatments they need! (more…)

Don’t Stress! It’s Bad for Your Teeth…

We all know that stress isn’t good for us, but it’s an unavoidable part of life sometimes. Juggling a job and a family and many other things takes its toll on our bodies, and Dr. Postol wants everyone to remember the damage it can do to your teeth.

One of the most common ways stress affects your mouth, is by causing a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD). Because TMD is 9 times more likely to affect women than men, we want everyone to keep it in mind as we celebrate National Women’s Health Month at our Ballwin dental office. (more…)

Post-Menopausal Women Need More Dental Checkups

May is National Women’s Health Month, and Dr. Postol wants to make sure all postmenopausal women in Ballwin are aware of a new study from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic that affects how they care for their teeth.

Post-Menopausal Women

The study was conducted by comparing women who took bone-strengthening bisphosphonate therapies for osteoporosis with those who did not take the medicine. While they originally set out to investigate the effects these drugs have on jaw bone deterioration, researchers ended up with findings that related to all post-menopausal women. (more…)

The Number One Cause of Oral Cancer

Every single day, more than 16 people die from oral cancer. Every day, of every year. And every day eight more people are diagnosed with some form of this pervasive disease.

Oral cancer certainly isn’t going to disappear unless we do something about it, so our Ballwin office has vowed to educate all of our patients on human papillomavirus (HPV), the number one cause of this disease. (more…)

Which Easter Candy Dr. Postol Wants You to Eat

Not all easter candy is created equal. Some kinds of candy are much worse for your teeth than other kinds, and some can even damage your expensive dental work. Dr. Postol definitely doesn’t want you to have to make an appointment because a jawbreaker broke off your crown and you need it replaced!

While we certainly don’t advise Ballwin residents to eat a huge candy bar with every meal, we know how delicious sweet treats are, and we’re not going to tell you to stay away from them altogether. Here at our Ballwin office, we just want you to make informed decisions about your oral hygiene and nutrition choices, so that you can have a happy and healthy mouth!

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