How Is Your Spit??
Greetings from the office of Dr. Jack Bodie!
An interesting question to be sure. One most people seldom if ever think about. For dentists however, this is a very important question. Now I’m sure you are beginning to wonder why in the world anyone would be concerned about this! Well, let’s think about that for a minute.
Spit (we call it saliva) is produced by glands in around our mouths. In young healthy individuals it is made in amounts sufficient to provide many benefits to our bodies. It aids in digestion. It keeps our lips, cheeks, tongues, and throats comfy. It allows us to taste and enjoy food. It helps us with speech. And, what would a kiss be without it! Yuck!
So you see, spit IS important to us all. And as dentists, we know that spit is truly the water of life for our teeth and gums. We know from research and experience that when a person’s spit goes away, it won’t be long before their teeth go away as well!
Now you may be asking yourself “Why should I worry? My spit seems fine.” Well, maybe, and maybe not. You see, the amount of spit you have changes with age, medical conditions, and with many medications. Most adults begin to have significant reduction in spit volume in their 50’s and 60’s, continuing to decline throughout life. This also is the time in life when many begin to have medical conditions requiring medication.
The number of medications that cause dry mouth is staggering. Common medications to treat allergies, asthma, pain, high blood pressure, depression, sleep disorders, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, COPD, dieting, and many other disorders cause dry mouth. In our office, it is not uncommon to see patients taking five or more meds with this side effect. Additionally scary is the fact that patients may have a 50% or more reduction in spit and be totally unaware of it!
What to do? Well fortunately, damage from not enough spit can be prevented and treated. If your dentist knows what meds you are taking and has been adequately trained, interceptive and preventive treatment can be started if diagnosis is made early. And there’s the only catch. You’ve got to see a dentist!
If you are being medicated for the conditions listed above, or if you are taking medication that has dry mouth listed as a side effect, you may benefit from simple and inexpensive preventive treatment. An examination, x-rays, cleaning and consultation can cost as little as $149.00. If you have questions about dry mouth or would like to make an appointment, please call 972 235 4767 or e-mail us at [email protected]. We can’t wait to help!
Dr. Jack Bodie