Enjoy Healthier Sleep and Smiles by Treating Nighttime Dry Mouth

Do you ever wake up with a parched, cracked, stinging, or sticky feeling in your mouth? Many people suffer from xerostomia, or dry mouth, during sleep, leading them to wake up with these symptoms on a regular basis. You might think dry mouth is normal, but this condition can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. Dry mouth can be a symptom of more serious illness and cause numerous dental problems. Dentist Dr. Craig Armstrong is dedicated to helping patients protect their overall well-being, so we often diagnose and treat xerostomia at our Westchase, TX practice. Read on to learn more about what can cause dry mouth at night and how you can treat this condition to improve your oral and overall health.

Is Your Mouth Too Dry?

Many people suffer from dry mouth at night without ever realizing they have this condition. You may need to seek treatment for xerostomia if you:

  • Wake up extremely thirsty
  • Experience a dry, gummy feeling
  • Have cracked lips
  • Develop sores in your mouth
  • Notice a burning, prickling sensation in your mouth
  • Frequently have a sore throat upon waking
  • Cannot taste foods as well in the morning
  • Struggle to move your jaw, chew, or swallow well when you first wake up
  • Have a very red tongue or swollen gums
  • Suffer from halitosis (bad breath)

When you come in to our Westchase, TX practice, Dr. Armstrong can evaluate your symptoms to determine if you suffer from dry mouth.

Common Causes of Nighttime Dry Mouth

You may experience xerostomia at any time, but this condition tends to be worse at night because your body doesn’t generate spit during sleep. However, this alone should not be enough to cause dry mouth. There are many reasons patients suffer from xerostomia, including:

  • Dehydration. Not drinking enough water can sap the moisture from your mouth.
  • Snoring or sleeping with your mouth open. This allows air into your mouth, drying it out. Many people with allergies suffer from xerostomia for this reason.
  • Certain medications or treatments. Psychiatric drugs, as well as those for asthma, obesity, high blood pressure, allergies, colds, and other diseases, can create dry mouth as a side effect. Xerostomia can also result from radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Systemic conditions. Serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and HIV/AIDS can lead to xerostomia.
  • Aging. Unfortunately, as we get older, our bodies simply stop producing as much saliva.
  • Sleep apnea. This is a serious condition in which not enough oxygen reaches your lungs, which jolts you awake (this is called an apnea). According to Livestrong: “In the most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, your throat muscles relax so much that your airways get blocked. The more serious type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, happens when the signals that go from your brain to your breathing apparatus aren’t right. Some people have a third type, called complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of the two. In all cases, one of the symptoms is dry mouth.” Sleep apnea can increase your risk for stroke and heart disease or even be life threatening, so it is important to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible.
  • Tobacco product use. Chewing or smoking tobacco can reduce your saliva flow and bring about dry mouth.
  • Head injuries. If a traumatic accident has damaged the nerves in your head or neck, this may lead to dry mouth.

How Xerostomia Compromises Your Oral Health

Suffering from dry mouth can affect your entire body, but it is especially hard on your teeth and gums. In addition to rinsing away debris, your saliva contains specific enzymes and compounds that fight bacteria. Without enough spit, your mouth becomes much more vulnerable to gum disease, decay, and other forms of oral infection, such as thrush. Spotting the signs of dry mouth and treating it quickly can help save you the time, expense, and hassle of more complex oral treatments later on.

Our Treatment Options

When you come in for a consultation at our Westchase, TX office, Dr. Armstrong will determine an appropriate treatment for your nighttime dry mouth depending on its particular cause. For example, if xerostomia is a side effect of certain medications, he may recommend that you work with your primary care physician to switch to a different kind. He may also suggest making lifestyle changes such as drinking more water, using a humidifier in your bedroom, eating a healthier diet, wearing an oral appliance to treat obstructive sleep apnea, or ceasing smoking. In addition, Dr. Armstrong can prescribe special toothpastes or lozenges that help to replace the lost antibacterial enzymes and encourage better saliva production. If your dry mouth is causing cavities, we may recommend fluoride treatments or sealants to fortify your teeth.

Enjoy a Beautiful, Hydrated Smile

You don’t have to suffer from the unpleasant symptoms or effects of dry mouth. To learn more about this condition or schedule a consultation with Dr. Armstrong, contact our Westchase, TX dental practice today.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cleanings-and-prevention/enjoy-healthier-sleep-and-smiles-by-treating-nighttime-dry-mouth/

Post Filling Toothaches: Why Do They Happen and What Can You Do?

Most of us have been there: you find out you have a cavity and have to get a filling. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults between 20 and 64 “have had dental caries in their permanent teeth” and 26 percent “have untreated decay.” Removing the diseased portion of the tooth and placing a restoration in it should relieve your toothache, but in some cases, getting a filling can actually lead to oral discomfort. Dr. Craig Armstrong and our Houston dental team are committed to educating patients about their teeth and helping them enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles. In the following blog, we explain the regrettable phenomenon of post-filling toothaches and discuss what you can do to avoid them.

Symptoms of Post-Filling Toothaches

After you have a filling, it’s normal for your tooth to feel slightly sore, since the enamel has been modified. However, this feeling should diminish within a few weeks if not the same day. If you experience persistent discomfort after a filling, you should contact us for assistance. Patients with post-filling toothaches most commonly experience:

  • Gum irritation or inflammation around the filled tooth
  • A sharp, electrical pain
  • Jaw ache and difficulty chewing
  • A foul taste or odor around the affected tooth

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, please contact our Houston dental practice for an appointment with Dr. Armstrong.

Why Can Fillings Cause Toothaches?

Unfortunately, there are many things that can go awry with a filling, especially if it is performed improperly or by an unqualified dentist. Your tooth may hurt after your procedure because:

  • The filling material did not bond well to the tooth, slightly exposing its nerves and allowing bacteria to infect it.
  • Your dentist drilled too deeply into your tooth to remove the decay.
  • The filling has a rough texture that irritates the gum tissue around it.
  • The reshaped enamel and filling do not line up properly with surrounding teeth, creating malocclusion (a misaligned bite).
  • The restoration procedure allowed bacteria to enter the tooth’s root pulp, creating an infection.
  • Another metal restoration is coming in contact with your new filling and creating an electrical spark, if you have an amalgam filling. Toothbody refers to this “galvanistic” effect as having “a battery in your mouth.”
  • You are allergic to the metals in an amalgam filling.

When you come in for an appointment with Dr. Armstrong, he can identify the cause of your post-filling toothache and recommend an appropriate treatment accordingly, whether this involves modifying your filling shape, replacing it, providing root canal therapy to treat an infection, or performing another procedure.

How Composite Fillings Can Help

We offer both amalgam and composite fillings at our Houston dental practice. To minimize your risks for toothache and provide a more natural, cosmetic look for your restored tooth, Dr. Armstrong often recommends composite fillings. These restorations can limit your discomfort because they:

  • Meld more easily with your tooth, so they require less enamel removal.
  • Are less prone to temperature-based distortions than the metal in amalgam fillings.
  • Do not carry any risks for allergic reaction.
  • Cannot transmit electrical charges from other fillings.
  • More effectively seal the tooth’s structure against external stimuli and bacteria.

Dr. Armstrong will help you choose which type of filling will suit your needs and preferences at your consultation. If you are struggling with galvanization or a metal allergy, we can also replace your existing amalgam filling with a composite one to alleviate your symptoms.

Your Comfort is Our Priority

We are committed to providing outstanding care while maintaining your comfort and safety. To learn more about fillings or find out how to treat your post-filling toothache, contact our Houston dental office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Armstrong.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/restorations/post-filling-toothaches-why-do-they-happen-and-what-can-you-do/