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Woods Family Dentistry February 2021 Newsletter
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Dr. Woods and his highly trained team would love to hear from you and answer your questions. Simply click the "submit question" link below this message. Referrals are appreciated.
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Reasons You Need to Worry If You Do Not Make Enough Saliva
Saliva performs multiple activities in the mouth, but the most important function is providing a neutral oral environment that keeps the mouth functioning properly. When the salivary glands do not produce sufficient amounts of saliva, the negative consequences can range from discomfort to gum disease. Depending on the root cause of the lack of saliva, the solution can be as simple as drinking more water or as involved as dramatic changes in the patient's medications or lifestyle.

Functions of Saliva

Because of its chemical composition and liquidity, saliva assists with chewing, swallowing, and breaking down food. Saliva also helps slow the growth of harmful bacteria and invasive fungi in the mouth, slowing the spread of oral health problems such as gingivitis and plaque formation. The enzymes in saliva fortify tooth enamel, which helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Problems Caused by Lack of Saliva

Dry mouth is the oral health condition where a patient's mouth generates too little saliva or none at all. Dry mouth causes swelling and irritation in the mouth's soft tissues. The combination of the dry environment and the lack of neutralizing enzymes leads to ideal conditions for harmful microorganisms to thrive and multiply. Dry mouth also increases the chances of food particles remaining dislodged between teeth, leading to complications such as tooth decay and gingivitis.

Contact our office if you have dry mouth that is not resolved by drinking water and sucking on sugar-free candy. Dry mouth has several causes, and our team can help determine the cause and suggest solutions to cure your dry mouth.

Veneers Need to Be Used with Care
Veneers are one solution to cosmetic oral issues as well as minor tooth damage. Veneers require care and effort to maximize their lifespan and prevent damage. Fortunately, most actions necessary to clean and preserve veneers are no different than standard oral health care.

Maintaining Veneers
Veneers need to be cleaned at least as thoroughly as normal teeth do: brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash. Patients with veneers should check their toothpaste for abrasive chemicals that damage veneers such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and whitening agents. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can scratch and weaken veneers regardless of the toothpaste being used; so patients should seek soft-bristled toothbrushes. Patients with veneers should avoid biting hard objects, especially non-consumable objects. Alcohol can weaken the bonds that attach the veneer to the tooth and should be avoided as well. Teeth-grinding can damage veneers, so countermeasures such as custom mouthguards will be necessary to preserve the veneers.

Produce Can Fill Your Mouth with Nutrients and Vitamins
A healthy diet is essential for strong oral health. In addition to the benefits of avoiding sugary snacks and acidic beverages, the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in healthy foods and superfoods benefit the entire body, including the mouth. Most fruits and vegetables are prime examples of foods that significantly boost a patients' oral health.

Examples of Beneficial Produce
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which fortifies gums and prevents cold sores. Leafy greens, especially spinach and kale, have high concentrations of calcium, which promotes healthy tooth enamel. Celery has vitamins A and C for combating harmful microorganisms in the mouth. Strawberries contain vitamin C as well as malic acid, which act as a natural tooth-whitener. The chemicals in raisins naturally counteract bacterial growth.

Dr. Woods and his highly trained team would love to hear from you and answer your questions. Simply click the "submit question" link below this message. Referrals are appreciated.

Woods Family Dentistry | woodsfamilydentistry.com | (541) 926-8611
1044 29th Ave SW, Albany, OR 97321



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