Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah), is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep the mouth wet. Dry mouth can happen to anyone occasionally—for example, when nervous or stressed. However, when dry mouth persists, it can make chewing, eating, swallowing and even talking difficult. Dry mouth also increases the risk for tooth decay because saliva helps keep harmful germs that cause cavities and other oral infections in check.

Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands that make saliva don’t work properly dental equipment. Many over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Sjogren’s syndrome, can affect the salivary glands. Other causes of dry mouth include certain cancer treatments and damage to the glands’ nerve system. It’s important to see your dentist or physician to find out why your mouth is dry.

Depending on the cause of your dry mouth, your health care provider can recommend appropriate treatment Dental Chair. There are also self-care steps you can take to help ease dry mouth, such as drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. Good oral care at home and regular dental check-ups will help keep your mouth healthy.

Nanocomposite Fillings Show Promise in Fighting Secondary Decay

Scientists have scored high marks over the years in reducing the polymer shrinkage that initially limited dental composites as a reliable restorative material. But the report card is less impressive in preventing additional decay, or secondary caries, a frequent cause of premature composite replacement. In two recently published articles, a team of NIDCR supported scientists report they are off to a good start in possibly solving the problem dental instruments. They have developed a composite filler that combines (1) ceramic whiskers for polymer-reinforcing durability and (2) ion-releasing calcium phosphate particles that continuously remineralize the filled tooth and prevent secondary decay.
As published in the April issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials, the scientists synthesized for the first time nano-sized particles of monocalcium phosphate monohydrate, or MCPM. Starting with a Bis-GMA/TEGDMA monomer solution, which will polymerize into the composite’s resin backbone, they incorporated various ratios of MCPM particles and silica fused whiskers as filler. Each composite was then immersed from one to 56 days to measure its release of calcium phosphate. They found their nanocomposites had “substantial” calcium phosphate release and matched or exceeded the mechanical properties of commercially available dental composites.

In another study in the April issue of the Journal of Dental Research, the group synthesized for the first time nanoparticles of dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, or DCPA. Starting again with a BIS-GMA/TEGDMA monomer system, they mixed various ratios of DCPA and silica fused whiskers as filler. The composites also were immersed from one to 56 days to measure their calcium phosphate release. Again, they found the nanocomposites provided both a high level of stress relief and and calcium phosphate release at levels needed to remineralize developing decay.

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