Decay & Dry Mouth Management
Decay, also known as dental caries is the process whereby bacteria invade and destroy the mineralized portion of the teeth. There are a number of factors that contribute to this process, such as sugary diet, acidic environment, lack of oral hygiene and bacterial accumulation in the oral cavity. Bacteria continue to invade the enamel, dentin and finally the pulp of a tooth once the process initiates. Seen in its early stages as a small white or brown patch on the surface of the tooth, may progress into an irreversible inflammation of the pulp if left untreated.
If diagnosed in its early stages, decay can be treated simply by removing the carious portion of the tooth and filling it with restorative materials. In case of irreversible pulpitis however, a root canal must be performed to eliminate all bacteria from the pulp of the tooth, which is a lengthier procedure.
Dry mouth syndrome is also known as Xerostomia, and is a common condition dealt with at a dental clinic. As the name indicates, the condition is characterized by low production of saliva, or highly viscous saliva. This may indicate underlying causes such as the dysfunction of salivary glands, or systemic disorders which is why an oral exam alone may not suffice to draw a definitive diagnosis. A thorough evaluation of a patient’s past medical, drug, and family history is done along with tests if needed. Xerostomia may also manifest as a side effect of certain prescription drugs.
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