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Sjögren's Syndrome Message Board
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

How often do you see your dentist? I've been to mine once since being diagnosed with Sjogren's and I go the standard twice/year. I'm thinking about making an appointment for a cleaning, even though I'm not due yet for quite awhile, assuming I can afford to since I don't think insurance covers more than the standard twice/year cleanings.

I get plaque build-up so easily from dry mouth. I brush my teeth every morning and night, and during the day if I'm home. I need to get a travel toothbrush to take with me to work. Just today I noticed I'm getting tartar build-up and it's scaring me. I've read posts where people say no matter how well you take care of your teeth, there are still problems. This syndrome is a bit high maintenance, having to pay extra attention to my teeth and putting eye drops in throughout the day. They're simple things, but become a hassle on a daily basis.

I'm wondering how many people have to see their dentist more frequently because of this.

Thanks.

 
Old 07-29-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

“I'm wondering how many people have to see their dentist more frequently because of this.”


There are folks with Sjogren’s that are able to only see their dentist twice a year. But I’m not one of them.

Since the Sjogren’s, I’ve lost 7 teeth in as many years; had 3 root canals; two bridges; 4 crowns and now my last molar is telling me it is dying.

They say to keep you own teeth for as long as you can, but in my case, I should have saved the thousands and just opted for dentures initially.

Hopefully, you’ll beat any tooth loss with strict dental hygiene, but I was brushing and flossing 3-4 times a day and it didn’t help me.

My dentist always tells me about one of her patients with Sjogren’s who hasn’t lost a tooth in almost 10 years. But she comes in the office every 2 months for a cleaning.

I’d be inclined to at least see the hygienist 4 times a year. That $100 visit could save you thousands in the future.

Best of luck!

 
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

That's awful! I'm sorry you've gone through all this. Has your dentist given you any advice on what to do? If brushing and flossing so frequently doesn't help, then what? I've thought about carrying a small travel sized mouth wash in my purse to use throughout the day, something with fluoride or the Biotene. I'm surprised Biotene doesn't have fluoride in it since it protects against cavities.

Going to the dentist every 2 months is very often, but I can understand why, considering I was just recently at the dentist and now have tartar!

I wonder if there are dentists who specialize in Sjogren's, but it's doubtful. I guess there's not much they can do that other dentists can't, other than maybe understanding it better.

Thanks for your input!

 
Old 07-29-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

It's mostly all about moisture.

Use the biotene products religiously.

Ask you doc about pilocarpene (sp). Big sweat hit, but provides mouth moisture for a few hours. I didn't like the sweating so didn't use it too often.

Use it often!

I finally had to learn to sleep with water in my mouth, but please explore all other options; mine is not kosher.

It seems to not be so much the tartar build-up in my case, but the gums receding because of the dry mouth. Enamel loss is the other part of the equation.

I'm 64. If you are a young person, I encourage you to spend the extra money and at least have a trained professional watch over any changes.

My best to you, my friend.

Last edited by bien; 07-29-2010 at 06:24 PM. Reason: subject:verb agreement

 
Old 07-29-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

Thanks for the tips. I'm 33 and was just diagnosed this past April, but I started getting symptoms 2 years ago. My gums have some recession, which my dentist had told me was from brushing too hard, which I did as a kid, or brushing back and forth, which isn't the right way. I wouldn't be surprised if my dry mouth has made it worse.

I'm taking Evoxac to help me produce more saliva. It helps, but doesn't seem very consistent. Sometimes it works within 15 min. and other times it seems to take about an hour. I think it lasts about 4 hours, but my mouth still feels dry most of the time, even with the medicine. When I first take it, sometimes it makes me sweat a little, but it doesn't last long, thankfully. I didn't realize how bad the dryness was until I started Evoxac. I really need it!

I have a small spray bottle with water in it in case I need it when I'm out. It's better than nothing. I can't chew gum because it gives me a headache, as strange as that sounds, and sugarless gums all have artificial sweeteners in them, which can cause headaches. I have cough drops with me at all times.

The Biotene mouthwash seems really good and I plan to continue with as many of their products as I can, although the artificial saliva gel doesn't last long at all. The consistency isn't appealing either. I'm hoping my dentist can give me some good tips. I'm definitely scheduling an appointment.

Thanks again!

 
Old 08-17-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners give me headaches and I'm prone to migraines. Just chewing gum alone and the pressure it puts on my jaw/skull gives me a headache. I'm very sensitive. My dentist warned me not to chew gum too often, but recommended gum with Xylitol. I'm not sure if it's one of the sweeteners that bothers me. I've chewed gum with xylitol as the only sweetener and still get a headache. I'm a mess.

 
Old 09-22-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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Re: Dry mouth and seeing a dentist

I've had Sjogren's for several years but usually only see my dentist twice a year. Today I saw my dentist after an unusally long time and I had no new cavities. However two previous composite fillings have decayed very quickly, due to the lack of saliva from the mild dry mouth problems. They are in my molars so he has recommended amalgam replacements this time because they should last longer.

My Sjogren's symptoms have been mild-moderate at worst with dry eye being my biggest problem. This is is the first time I've had a dental problem that was directly attributed to it.

 
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