My name is Heather Dudeck, PWN Supporter of my husband Mitch and registered Dental Hygienist in Indiana. I’ve been in the dental field for nearly seven years; three as a dental hygienist and the first four as a dental assistant. I was asked quite a few questions about oral health at the Denver Narcolepsy Network conference in October and talked with a few attendees about writing a follow-up with more information about oral health for PWN.
Note from my husband: “There are plenty of difficult things that PWNs have to face daily, so why should you waste time reading about taking care of your teeth? Time, Money, and additional health problems is the answer. It doesn’t require much effort to properly take care of your teeth. Dental problems require dental visits and dental procedures, both of which cost money and require more of your already limited time. And my favorite reason: I have enough health related crap to deal with, I don’t need anymore!”
Taking liquid oral medications and/or having an acid-rich diet could put your teeth in jeopardy from acid erosion over time by stripping away tooth enamel. i.e Xyrem (which is an oral solution that contains the active ingredient SODIUM OXYBATE), fruits, juices, tea, soda, coffee, & wine. As enamel is eroded away the softer dentin is exposed. Once the dentin is exposed, you may experience tooth sensitivity. Once the enamel on your teeth is gone, it’s gone!
It is recommended once Xyrem is taken that you NOT brush right away. Simply rinse with water to bring the pH level in your mouth closer to neutral. Then brush in the morning after waking up. Brushing right after taking a liquid oral medication or eating an acid rich diet puts you at higher risk for brushing away tooth enamel over time. For more information on tooth enamel, visit www.ProNamel.com.
- Use fluoride and/or xylitol (natural anti-cavity protectant) toothpaste daily.
- Ask your dentist if you need prescription fluoride toothpaste and ask about in office fluoride treatment.
- ProNamel toothpaste helps protect against acid erosion, tooth sensitivity and cavities.
- Brush twice daily for 2 minutes. Floss once at night and rinse once daily.
- See your dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings or every 3-4 months to prevent gum disease.
- Taking oral medications could also cause dry mouth. Recommended products for combating dry mouth are Biotene & ACT Dry Mouth Products.