Lifestyle & wellbeing to help with dental and mouth issues
Who wants to be long in the tooth?
No-one! But dry mouth is an open invitation for gingivitis (gum disease). Oxygen in saliva deals with the bacteria, which would otherwise cause receding gums. No saliva, no deal. You’ll be left with irreversibly exposed gums, hence the expression ‘long in the tooth’. Prevention is better than cure and in this case there isn’t a cure once gums are exposed, so:
- Flossing daily is crucial in removing food debris and plaque that nestle between your teeth.
- Brushing becomes even more important. Time to invest in an electric toothbrush to get into the hard to reach places, where food lingers, giving bacteria an all you can eat buffet experience.
Change your toothpaste & mouthwash
Products promise so much: fresh breath, whiter teeth, cavity protection and stronger teeth but contain lots of chemicals that your newly sensitive dry mouth may react against. Time to try a different toothpaste? Our dentist, Jenny, advises using a good generic fluoride toothpaste. If you feel that you need to use mouthwash go for an alcohol-free one such as Colgate Plax alcohol-free sensitive anti-bacterial mouthwash to avoid the astringent effects of alcohol. Our dentist Jenny’s advice is that you clean your teeth regularly, you may not need mouthwash, as it can wash away the beneficial fluoride in your toothpaste.
When it’s OK to spit (and not rinse)
After brushing, spit out fluoride toothpaste but don't rinse your mouth with water. You want the fluoride to coat and protect your teeth after a good clean. This is really beneficial if you suffer from sensitive teeth too. Added bonus, you’ll have minty fresh breath!
Chew sugar-free gum and suck sugar-free mints to stimulate saliva production. Use over the counter saliva substitutes, in the form of gels, sprays, lozenges and mouthwashes. Prescription drugs for dry mouth, (sialagogues) may increase sweating, worth bearing in mind if you’re suffering with hot flushes and night sweats.