, BS, RDH
Dental professionals, particularly hygienists, bond with patients quickly—often during the first visit. That is what happened with Connie and me. She was a health-aware person, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years before her first visit. Connie shared that her dry mouth was one of her biggest challenges. She said sometimes she didn’t have enough saliva to chew her food. By the end of the visit, she took my hands and said, “God is taking my legs—can you help me keep my teeth?” What an honor! What a challenge.
Based on her risk and to maintain her quality of life, Connie saw me every two to three months. At every visit there was a complete evaluation and discussion of her dry mouth needs. Why? Because every time Connie came into the office, she was different than she had been at the last visit . . . just like all of our patients.
A dry mouth condition is not static. Evaluation is needed at every visit to create the best comfort and preventive care plan. There are many arrows in the quiver of product choices. Care must be taken to recommend products that are safe, effective, and the right fit for each individual.
At least 30% of your patients are afflicted
Many of us take saliva for granted, but when this natural function is diminished or stops, the quality of life can drastically change. Connie described her dryness as her tongue and palate feeling like halves of Velcro.