Dry Mouth Difficult to Detect Early and Leads to Tooth Decay Says Leading Dental Hygienist
Low Saliva Production Often Goes Unnoticed and Is Rarely Tested for Says Dental Health Educator Shirley Gutkowski
Hear the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water on World Talk Radio, Voice America, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunes
Dental health educator Shirley Gutkowski would like to dentists to become far more proactive in testing for low saliva production, also called "dry mouth." According to Gutkowski, dry mouth can be symptomatic of more serious diseases, including Sjogren's syndrome, and can also cause numerous oral health problems, including an increased risk of tooth decay.
Gutkowsky made her comments during an interview on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio show.
Shirley Gutkowski, RDH and BSDH is a practicing dental hygienist, host of Cross Link Radio and a frequent lecturer, blogger and writer on dental health and prevention.
The globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show, with host Sharon Kleyne, is heard on the VoiceAmerica Variety and Health and Wellness Channels, and on Apple iTunes. Kleyne is Founder of Bio-Logic Aqua Research, a research, technology and product development center, and the world's only company specializing in fresh water, atmosphere and health. Natures Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center's global signature product.
It takes a 70-percent drop in saliva production for most people to even notice that their mouth is too dry, according to Gutkowski. This makes early diction extremely difficult, which is unfortunate because the condition may signal a variety of health issues, all of which are more easily treated when caught early.
The most reliable early detection method, Gutkowski explains, is a saliva test performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. According to Gutkowski, most dentists do not routinely administer this test or ask patients about dry mouth symptoms.
Low saliva production is often the earliest warning sign for several autoimmune diseases, Gutkowski reports. These diseases include Sjograns syndrome, in which the mouth, eyes and joints lose moisture, resulting in severe chronic discomfort. In addition, says Gutkowski, the presence of one autoimmune disease, if not caught early, can lead to several other autoimmune diseases, including lupus and fibromyalgia. Individuals with autoimmune problems often have more than one disease because one triggers another.
There are about 15 common autoimmune diseases. Early detection can make a critical difference in prevention and treatment.
Saliva is a remarkable substance, Gutkowski notes. In addition to water, saliva contains electrolytes, enzymes, proteins and antibodies. Antibodies fight bacteria, which are the cause of tooth decay. When saliva production is compromised, bacteria levels increase and the risk of tooth decay and other mouth disorders greatly increases.
Gutkowski and Kleyne's suggestions to avoid dry mouth:
Drink at least eight full glasses of pure water per day, in addition to all other fluid intake. Drink the first two glasses upon awakening in the morning. Diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables, minimize processed foods and avoid sugar. Brush teeth and tongue in the morning and brush or floss after eating. And finally, if there is any reason at all to suspect the presence of dry mouth, be sure to inform your dentist.
Gutkowski and Kleyne explain that the body and mouth naturally dehydrate at night, during which bacteria can build up on the tongue. That's why a morning drink of water, and tongue brushing, are important. Gutkowski notes that not every kind of sugar is bad for teeth but most of them are.
Gutkowski and Kleyne also discussed other subjects during the interview:
Gutkowski noted that many new developments in dentistry are making dental procedures far less uncomfortable. Tooth decay prevention also has many additional tools other than tooth brushing and fluoride. As a dental health educator, Gutkowski's task is to make the public aware are of the basics of good dental care, what to watch out for and the latest advances.
Tooth decay maybe the number one preventable communicable disease in the United States, according to Gutkowski. The keys are brushing, flossing, diet including hydration, and healthy saliva.
Individual with autoimmune disease may have up to five different diseases at the same time, says Gutkowski. These diseases take an average of five years to detect even though the earlier the detection, the easier the disease is to cure. Even though the average detection time has been greatly reduced in recent years, it still took tennis star Venus William five years to discover that she had Sjogren's syndrome.
Gutkowski recommends "clear water" for one's eight glasses a day. Soda, juice, coffee and tea should not be counted. According to Gutkowski, "clear water is its own entity."
Kleyne cited the landmark experiments of Dr. Emoto in which water was discovered to react to the input of its surroundings, including positive and negative emotions. Kleyne also noted that the air we breathe is between one and ten percent water and that the human body is 60 to 70 percent water -possibly much more depending on whether the water is measured by volume or by molecular composition..
In a lengthy discussion of diet and nutrition, Gutkowski noted that dark chocolate is very beneficial to the cardio-vascular system. Dark chocolate contains less sugar the mild chocolate.
One kind of sugar that has proved very beneficial to health is "xylitol," a substance derived from woody plant material. The name comes from the Greek word for "wood," which is "xylum." The body, according to Gutkowski, manufactures about one teaspoon of xylitol a day
Xylitol, says Gutkowski, tastes very sweet, has about half the calories of cane or beet sugar and has none of the health side effects of other sugars. Xylitol is marketed under the brand name, "Xlear" - pronounced "clear."
Kleyne pointed out that xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, whose bodies arepoorly adapted to eating large quantities of plant material. .Chocolate is also toxic to fogs.
Xylitol is "hygroscopic," days Gutowski, which means it attracts moisture, which means it benefits dry mouth. Xlear is available as a mouth and nasal spray and can help prevent ear infections in children.
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