Dry Mouth: Causes, Consequences, Treatment And Prevention

Dry mouth, medically termed as ‘Xerostomia’, is the condition of not having adequate saliva to keep the mouth wet. Saliva performs a crucial role in maintaining your dental health.

Dry mouth may seem like a little frustrating but could do a major damage to your teeth. It’s also painful.


  • Stress, severe panic attack or depression
  • Smoking or drinking 
  • Autoimmune disorder or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Nerve harmed from a head or neck injury
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Dehydration
  • Radiation 
  • Sleep apnea
  • Aging
  • Specific drugs 
  • Diseases like Diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s or Periodontitis
Why should you never ignore its symptoms?
  • Saliva keeps your mouth clean and even battles against bacteria. It decreases the acids that cause tooth decay.So when you get a dry mouth at night, you’re creating a room for harboring bacteria inside your mouth. You’ll be asleep for hours, so for the whole night you wouldn’t even be drinking water. With a lack of saliva, your teeth slowly become exposed to cavities and bacterial infection.
  • Dry mouth also gives you an everlasting bad breath. 
  • Insufficient saliva makes the skin in and around your mouth dry and tight. Your lips can crack. You may also develop sores at the corners of your mouth. It may be even difficult to swallow and talk.
  • Dry mouth can disturb your taste buds. You may experience a metallic, salty, or other taste in your mouth. Your tongue may become rough and dry.
  • The saliva also eases your digestion. It helps to break down food particles into simpler forms.You may also experience troubles with your digestive system due to a lack of saliva. Especially, when you swallow your food, you can face problems, since they are not broken down properly.
  • You can get red spots in your mouth. You may also have ulcers due to dry mouth.
  • The bacterial content in your mouth increases and there is a chance of dental infection. So when the food reaches your stomach, the food contains bacteria. And this can lead to food poisoning.
  • The glands in front of your ears, known as parotids, may get swollen.
  • Note that a dry mouth may also be a symptom of severe oral cancer.
  • Dentures become painful. Dry mouth and dentures don’t go together. If your mouth is dry, the dentures can result in sores.
When Should I See My Dentist?

If your dry mouth at night is chronic or began when you started taking new medicines, then visit your dentist. Your dentist may recommend altering the dosage or switching to another drug.

You may also receive medications to improve the function of your salivary glands.

Seek immediate dental help if you have dry mouth along with other serious symptoms like- difficulty in breathing and swallowing or high fever.

  • Go for regular dental checkups
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Use an antibacterial mouth-rinse 
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Chew sugar-free gums to boost saliva production
  • Utilize a humidifier to add additional moisture to the air

If you are suffering from dry mouth, and looking for a ‘Dentist near me’ in Richmond, TX, then surely call Grand Mission Dentistry. Let your Dentist in Richmond help you with the quality dental care that you deserve!

The 4 Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease does not develop all of a sudden; it has multiple stages and develops over time. Gum disease is caused primarily by poor oral hygiene. The main cause of gum disease is erratic and insufficient brushing and flossing. As per NIH,

Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Also, people who do daily brush and floss have reported gum disease too.

It’s a lot like cancer when it comes to predicting gum disease! At first, the symptoms could be so slight that patients can often ignore them until the gum disease has advanced. The following 4 symptoms are therefore the signs you can look for if you are suspecting gum disease:

Red and swollen gums

Healthy gums have the intention of being red and solid. However, just as with any serious infection, when infected, the gums swell too and turn red. This may be a symptom of several other severe oral disorders and is a disorder not to be left untreated.

Bleeding gums

This is a symptom of chronic gum disease. In this case, the bacteria that have invaded the gums start feasting around the tissues, thereby bleeding them. Does it ever happen that you see some blood in your saliva or do your gums start bleeding from your toothbrush bristles a little bit from minor scratches? This may indicate a severe gum disease.

Persisting bad breath

Gum disease patients may find that despite good brushing and flossing, they are constantly having bad breath and taste. The bad breath comes from the bacteria’s metabolism processes deep inside your gums, and no amount of brushing and flossing can get rid of it.

Loose teeth

The power of your gums keeps your teeth in their positions. When you’re having gum disease, your gums start losing their strength to bacteria and surrounding tissues, making your teeth lose. Receding gums might be a result of the same cause, too. You can find your teeth growing bigger. In reality, it is the gum line that is receding, revealing more of the teeth.

Is gum disease easy to cure? It certainly is! Yet, make sure you maintain good oral hygiene in the first place to stay away from it. And if you need care, you can get your gum disease treatment done by the best periodontist near you in Richmond TX.

Missing a Tooth

Has it been hard for you to smile due to a missing tooth? According to the Kelton study for Invisalign, teeth are the most standout feature people notice when meeting the first time. About 66% will likely remember you due to having beautiful teeth and smile. If you have a missing tooth, especially in the front, it’s hard to smile. You not only lose confidence in yourselves, but missing teeth causes long-term damages to your facial structure and the way you bite. However, there are a few options for you to regain back a healthy beautiful smile. 

First let’s start with doing nothing. When a tooth is pulled malocclusion can happen if we don’t get a replacement for the missing tooth. Malocclusion is a condition where our teeth shift, and it changes the way we bite. Teeth are supposed to touch one another so when a tooth is extracted, both the adjacent tooth and the tooth opposing the missing tooth will shift. This means that you will see a change in your smile such as gaps, uneven alignment, and a tooth longer than the others. Another consequence is, loss of jawbone and gum tissue, which results in an older appearance because of a sunken look to your facial features.

However, we can prevent all the consequences of not replacing a missing tooth or teeth. There are few options with the pros and cons for each of them.

Dental Implants: 

Dental implants are the most effective way to replace a missing tooth. Not only is it durable, but its lifespan is longer compared to the others. This is also the nearest thing to a natural tooth available today. Implants are made from titanium that is safe for your body. It is surgically placed in the jawbone where you are having a missing tooth. However, the process is a bit longer than the others. Dental implant consists of the implant itself, abutment, and a crown. This does not a one-day procedure, but at least 3 months. Everyone is different, and it all just depends on if you need bone graft material, how fast your implant settles in, or if you have periodontal disease. This may seem like a long journey for some, but the reward for waiting is much more beneficial for long term durability, and lifespan of about 15 to 20 years.

Dental Bridges:

 Dental bridges are good for people who want a faster solution that does not require surgery. This procedure takes 3 weeks and just two visits to your dentist. It is more affordable than the implant. However, with dental bridges, the dentist would have to shave down the adjacent teeth, which are your two good permanent teeth to use as an anchor. The lifespan of the dental bridge is about 5-7 years, which is shorter than the implant. This does not help with keeping the bone in the area from atrophy occurring though. You will continue to lose bone in that area over time compared to the implant that will secure the bone indefinitely. Hygiene will be harder to keep up with because you can’t floss normal. You’ll have to buy a special floss that will get under your bridge since food can get caught there. Unfortunately, for the perfectionist, dental bridges are not as aesthetically pleasing than an implant. 

Removable Partial Denture (RPD):

 Removable partial denture known as a flipper, is the least expensive and the fastest thing you can have after an extraction to walk out the office without a missing tooth. However, it is primarily for esthetic purposes. You can’t chew with it on because it is a resin base that can break easily. You would have to take it off every night still leaving you with a gap that will create shifting of your teeth and bone loss. In order to hold the artificial tooth or teeth in place, a bulky plastic frame will be sitting in your mouth all day. Flipper is best used for just a temporary solution until you get a permanent replacement.

With all the options given to you, it is still ideal to speak to your dentist to help you choose what is best for you. Not everyone is a good candidate for implants, that’s why we offer free consultation here at Grand Mission Dentistry to make sure you are a good fit for an implant. Give us a call or make an appointment today so we can make sure you are on the right track in replacing a missing tooth.









Sour Candy Invading Your Home?

Effects of Acid from Sour Candy


Warheads, Sour Patch, Nerds; are you already having a bitter-sweet tart taste with a puckered face? While many enjoy eating sour candies, our teeth don’t. Sour candy contains higher levels of acid compared to other types of candy which can lead to problems in the mouth.

Not many people are aware, but these flavorful, colorful candies top the list of worst candies for your teeth. Consequences of eating too much sour candy can lead to erosion, loss of enamel, and getting tooth decay. If these issues occur many times you may start to feel the sensitivity because your teeth may be eroding, which in worst case scenarios can cause throbbing pain in your teeth.

Water has a pH balance of 7 which is near the level at which teeth are safe. When the pH is 5.5 or smaller that is when our teeth are at risk for demineralization, tooth decay, and erosion. The pH of sour candies are generally around 4 or below, which is more than 10x stronger than something at a pH of 5.5. Below is a chart in which you can see how close some of the candy are to battery acid.

2639068_orig.jpg (634×373)

According to Crest, acidic candies breakdown your enamel which expose the nerve center more, thus the painful tooth sensitivity. Some people even experience burning sensation in their tongue, cheeks and gums. Ouch!

Tips to Help Protect your Teeth

Ideally, avoid eating sour candies is the best way to prevent damage, but for someone who still wants to eat them, here are some tips to help reduce the chances of damage.

  1.  Limit your intake.
  2.  Never brush right after eating sour candy. If you look at the enamel of your tooth under a microscope, it will be solid like a wall, but when acid from drinks and/or food touches the enamel, the enamel becomes more like a sponge due to the acid. It takes 1 hour for your saliva to remineralize and harden the enamel from a sponge back to a wall. So if you brush right after, you can damage your teeth and cause sensitivity/discomfort.
  3.  Use sugar-free candy. One great sugar-free alternative is xylitol, which tastes just like candy but does not produce acid.
  4.  Rinse your mouth with water after digesting acidic food & drink, as this will help wash away any excess acid in the mouth.

Schedule a Consultation with us Today!

Our office philosophy is focuses on preventation and we always try and educate our patients. If you feel like your teeth may have been affected and want an evaluation or your teeth are still sensitive even after using sensitivity products. Feel free to contact us at 281-789-8836 or schedule online so Dr. Sung can provide a personalized plan to help prevent any issues with your oral health. 



What to Do If Your Tooth Is Knocked Out

A knocked-out tooth (tooth avulsion) is considered a dental emergency, and should be taken care of right away. Dr. Sung and Dr. Nguyen of Grand Mission Dentistry can help! If your tooth has been knocked out, here’s what to do to save your smile and minimize pain:

teeth recovering services - Grand Mission Dentistry

1. Don’t Panic, Make An Appointment At Grand Mission Dentistry Immediately

When it comes to saving your tooth, time is of the essence. As soon as your tooth is knocked out of your mouth, the connection with your blood vessels and nerves is severed, and the tooth will begin to die. To save it, it must be re-implanted properly within 1-2 hours.

The first thing you should do in the event of a knocked-out tooth is to give Grand Mission Dentistry a call. Tell us about the situation, and let us know you’re coming in. We always have space for emergency walk-ins, so we’ll be prepared and ready to help.

2. Recover Your Tooth, Clean It, And Preserve It

If your tooth has been knocked out onto the dirt, or if it contacted any debris, you will want to clean it and rinse it off. Simply run it underneath a gentle stream of warm water. Do not use hot water, and do not use any kind of soap or other detergent, as this could kill the tooth. Clean off any visible dirt or debris.

After this, the best option is typically to re-insert the tooth into the socket from which it was knocked out. Simply place the tooth in the proper orientation into the socket. If this is not possible, or you find yourself unable to do so, place the tooth in a small baggie or container of cold milk. This will help preserve it until your appointment.

3. Mitigate Your Pain, Discomfort, And Bleeding

If you’ve replaced your tooth in the socket, you can use a piece of gauze or a cotton ball to help keep it in place. Bite down on the cotton to keep the tooth from moving excessively. This will also help stop any bleeding, and hold the tooth in place.

You can take an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen to treat some of your pain and swelling. Avoid taking aspirin, as it thins the blood and can prevent clotting. An external ice pack or compress can also be placed on the cheek over the affected area to help with pain and swelling.

4. Come In For Your Appointment At Grand Mission Dentistry

Come into our office as soon as you can. Dr. Sung or Dr. Nguyen will look at your mouth and assess the best treatment for you. They may choose to splint the tooth in place, to allow it to heal and reconnect with the surrounding tissue. A root canal may also be needed after this process is complete, to avoid infection of the tooth.

If the tooth has been outside of the mouth for more than 60 minutes, or has not been properly cared for, it may not be possible to save it, and if the splint does not work, restorative replacement with a partial denture, a dental bridge, or a dental implant may be recommended by one of our doctors.

Know What To Do When Your Tooth Is Knocked Out – See Us ASAP!

Time is of the utmost importance for saving your tooth. If you ever have one of your teeth knocked out, call us at (281) 789-8836 or come to our office at 8620 Grand Mission Blvd, Suite #E, Richmond, TX 77407. We’ll provide you with fast, professional care, and do our best to preserve your natural tooth.