The Dentists at Houston Westchase
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a condition that results from a decreased volume of saliva in the mouth. Xerostomia can make it difficult to speak, eat, and digest food and can lead to malnutrition. Extreme dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction can produce significant anxiety, permanent mouth and throat disorders, and can impair a person’s quality of life.
Dry mouth affects about 10% of all people and tends to be more prevalent in women than men. Disorders of saliva production affect elderly people and those who are taking prescription and nonprescription medications most frequently.
What are the benefits of saliva?
Saliva is an essential part of a healthy mouth and is often taken for granted. The lubricating properties of saliva provide comfort and help protect the oral tissues against ulcers, sores, and other frictional movements that accompany normal eating and speaking. Saliva neutralizes acids and helps defend against tooth decay, and bacterial, viral, or fungal threats. Saliva helps digest food and helps teeth in remineralization. Saliva is also an essential contributor to a person’s ability to taste, as it acts as a solvent for the taste stimuli. When saliva volume is insufficient, all of these functions are impaired.
SalivaMAX™ is a supersaturated calcium phosphate powder that when dissolved in water, creates a solution with a high concentration of electrolytes similar to that of natural saliva. SalivaMAX is an artificial saliva that is used to relieve acute and chronic symptoms of xerostomia. Supersaturated calcium phosphate rinses have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of xerostomia due to medications, dysfunction of the salivary glands, Sjögren’s syndrome, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment.
There have been no reported side effects of supersaturated calcium phosphate rinses. SalivaMAX does contain sodium; patients restricted to a low sodium diet should consult their physician before use.
How to Get SalivaMAX
SalivaMAX is available by prescription only. SalivaMAX is provided in single-use packets and is mixed with 1 oz. of water to create a supersaturated calcium phosphate rinse. Patients swish with SalivaMAX, and it may be administered several times per day, depending on the dry mouth severity.
Through our Patient Assistance Program, the out of pocket costs for SalivaMAX could be as low as $0 for those that qualify.
To receive SalivaMAX, call and schedule an appointment with our hygienist and Doctors 832 830-8226
The Hydro Floss® oral irrigator is the highest quality, most effective home treatment device of its kind. It cleans under the gum line and between the teeth to remove plaque and food debris and reduce the harmful bacteria that brushing and flossing leave behind.
With recent reports linking oral health to life-threatening diseases such as heart and lung disease, stroke, and diabetes, it is vital to give more attention to ones home dental care. When combined with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist, the Hydro Floss® oral irrigator will help to improve oral health. Whether you have inflamed and bleeding gums, periodontal pockets, crown & bridge work, implants, veneers, or orthodontic appliances, the Hydro Floss® oral irrigator will be an added plus to your home dental care.
- Uses magnetics to affect the water and inhibit the bacteria from adhering to the surface of the teeth.
- Clinical studies show that the Hydro Floss® oral irrigator is 44% more effective than non-magnetic oral irrigators at reducing plaque and calculus.
- Pulsating stream of 1,200 pulses per minute disrupts plaque biofilm and flushes food and bacteria from the surface of the teeth, between teeth and from hard to reach areas.
- Maximum pressure at 60 psi, tested to be the safest and most effective on the gingival tissue.
- A water stop button on the handle.
- Adjustable pressure for comfort preference.
- 800 ml reservoir, marked in ml to easily add mouthwash or medications.
- Pack of 4 color-coded Jet Tips with holder.
- Quality parts and components
We carry the Hydro Floss oral irrigator in our office. Call to reserve yours now, quantities are limited! 832-830-8226
Dental Benefit Plans
Many people with dental benefits get them through their employers, though individual plans are also available. Remember, when you buy a plan you and your employer are paying some premium – upfront dollars – that are wasted if you don’t see your dentist
When You Need to Use Them By
Many insurance companies have a benefit deadline of December 31, and this means that any of your unused benefits don’t roll over into the New Year for most dental plans. Still, some plans may end at different times of the year, so check your plan document or ask your employer to be sure.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Plan
The key with this type of coverage is to take advantage of any benefits before they expire for the year.
- Prevention is better than cure both for your health as well as your pocketbook. Most plans typically pay 100% for preventive visits, so if you have not had one yet, this may be a good time to schedule one.
- Start thinking about using your coverage early. During a dental appointment that’s over the summer or in the fall, talk to your dentist about what your dental needs are and what treatment you might need before the end of the year. (For example, a back-to-school appointment is a great time to bring this up.) Make any upcoming appointments early so you can take care of them before the holidays.
- Once you’ve determined what your dental needs are, work with your dentist and benefits provider to figure out what is covered. Often, your dentist’s office will look into this information for you. You can also call your plan using the 800 telephone number on your identification card, or go to their website for information.
Don’t let your benefits go to waste. Call to make an appointment today 832-830-8226
With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins, and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.
Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.
To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. Chocolate is one of the better candies, it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy. Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth.
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful.
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – sour candy can be very acidic. That acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth.
Everything in moderation!
Enjoy the fall festivities and schedule a visit with us for your routine check-up and cleaning. 832-830-8226
We don’t want you to end up with a jack-o-lantern smile!
For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health.
Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults.
Oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago. But cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to people of all ages, education levels, and income levels who live in a community.
Most water has some fluoride, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. Community water systems can add the right amount of fluoride to the local drinking water to prevent cavities.
Schedule a visit to our office. Our doctors can discuss the benefits of fluoride at your next cleaning! 832-830-8226
It’s easy to know when to replace worn out shoes or faded clothes. But how often should you change your toothbrush? It all depends on your usage, health, and preferences. Before you brush again, ask yourself whether it is time for a new toothbrush.
When to Get a New Toothbrush
Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.
Types of Toothbrushes
There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Choose what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly. A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush requires charging. However, the rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don’t press too hard.
Maintaining Your Toothbrush
No matter which type of toothbrush you use, keep it clean. The American Dental Association recommends rinsing the toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. Then, store the toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry.
Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it’s best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you’re traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.
How often should you change your toothbrush? Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times per year. How often you change your toothbrush depends on several factors, but it’s best to always have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member.
New toothbrushes are always provided with your cleaning at our office. Call to schedule an appointment today, 832-830-8226.
When your parents encouraged you to care for your teeth, they may not have realized that they were also helping you care for your gums and body.
Today we know the importance of periodontal (gum) care, and that gum disease can contribute to other health problems, including serious and lifethreatening ones.
- red, swollen gums
- bleeding gums
- bad breath
The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, is caused by poor oral hygiene, hormone fluctuations, certain medications, and even stress. If left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, a chronic inflammation of the gums.
Periodontal disease has been linked to many other diseases, including cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, and diabetes. That’s why regular dental visits are essential.
Call our office to schedule checkups for your family!
Our goal is to catch and treat problems early – long before they become major health issues.
832-830-8226 [email protected]
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride helps prevent cavities in two different ways:
- Fluoride concentrates in the growing bones and developing teeth of children, helping to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth before they emerge
- Fluoride helps to harden the enamel on adult teeth that have already emerged
Fluoride works during the demineralization and remineralization processes that naturally occur in your mouth.
- After you eat, your saliva contains acids that cause demineralization a dissolving of the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface
- At other times when your saliva is less acidic it does just the opposite, replenishing the calcium and phosphorous that keep your teeth hard. This process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited are harder than they would otherwise be, helping to strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase
How do I Know if I’m Getting Enough Fluoride?
Brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for adults and children with healthy teeth at low risk of decay. Your dentist can tell you how much fluoride is right for your family, so be sure to ask for his or her advice.
Call 832-830-8226 to schedule your appointment today!
Preventive care appointments are generally easy and quick, so squeezing them in between pool parties and backyard barbecues is a breeze.
3 PREVENTIVE CARE ITEMS TO SCHEDULE THIS SUMMER:
All good dental care routines require regular trips to the dentist. These dental appointments remove plaque and tartar and check for cavities and gingivitis. If you don’t go to the dentist regularly, you could miss fixing problems before they are serious…and that can cost you.
The sun’s rays aren’t the only rays happening this summer. X-rays are an important part of your dental health; they help your dentist find cavities, wisdom teeth, bone loss, and jaw issues. X-rays show problems before symptoms start, which means they can be treated before the problem gets more serious.
Dental sealants are a plastic coating that is painted onto permanent teeth, usually the molars, to protect teeth from cavities. Brushing doesn’t reach all of the grooves on back teeth, which is where most cavities in children form. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of molar decay by 80%, one of the many reasons to consider sealants for children.
Put the spotlight on smiles this summer by scheduling your dental preventive care and visiting The Dentists at Houston Westchase 832-830-8226
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing bruxism:
- Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
- A grinding sound at night
- Jaw muscles that are tight or painful
- Long-lasting pain in the face
- Swelling (occasionally) on the side of your lower jaw caused by clenching
There are several ways to alleviate the effects of bruxism. One of the most common is a night guard. This appliance is made in a special laboratory from an impression of your mouth carefully taken by a dental professional. Typically the night guard is worn while you sleep. Its main function is to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding together, causing you to chip and crack your teeth and strain your jaw muscles.
The most important thing to know about bruxism is that it can be treated with the help of a dentist. If you experience any of the signs of bruxism, give us a call at 832-830-8226. Our experienced Doctors and Staff will be happy to help!