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At Faircourt Dental Smile Studio, Dr. Mary Sue Stonisch wants you to experience the difference modern dentistry has to offer.

Mary Sue Stonisch, D.D.S. runs a general and preventative dental practice with expertise in aesthetics and implant dentistry. She is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a Diplomat with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Stonisch also teaches Dentists as a mentor at the Kois Center in Seattle.


They say with age comes wisdom. As a dentist in Grosse Pointe Woods, I also know it comes with greater challenges to dental wellness. This is especially true of oral dryness, which can lead to a number of problems.

Oral health is dependent upon saliva flow to help control bacteria levels. Throughout the day, bacteria, acid, food, and saliva mix to form plaque, a sticky bacterial film that coats the teeth and gums. Without proper saliva flow, aided by brushing and flossing, the acids in plaque can weaken tooth enamel.

If this film (plaque) is not removed daily, it can harden into a concentrated mass of oral bacteria. This hardened form of bacteria is commonly referred to as tartar. Tartar attaches to teeth and attacks gum tissues.

To avoid the complications of cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, your at-home oral hygiene routine is very important. This is what keeps oral bacteria levels to manageable levels between visits.

While the aging process can leave the mouth with less saliva flow, oral dryness can also occur from a number of other causes. Some of the most common include:

  • Caffeine (most often consumed in colas, coffee, and tea) have drying effects on oral tissues
  • Medical conditions (such as acid reflux, sinus infections, diabetes, and bronchitis)
  • Snoring or breathing through the mouth
  • Medications, many of which have a side effect of oral dryness, with the most common:
  • Antidepressants
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Appetite suppressants
  • Diuretics
  • Muscle relaxers

If a dry mouth is causing you to have persistent bad breath, sore and tender gums, and spitting blood when brushing, periodontal disease is likely underway. Periodontal disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

People who feel their mouth is frequently dry should be especially watchful of the signs of periodontal disease. In its early stage, known as gingivitis, you may notice blood in the sink when brushing teeth or having sore, tender gums. Bad breath may be a frequent problem.

Once gum disease develops, the overload of infectious oral bacteria move further into the gums. At this stage, bad breath is persistent. The gums bleed easily and turn red in color. As it worsens, the gums pull away from teeth (recede) and pus pockets may form.

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease where the fibers and bone that support natural teeth are attacked. This can cause teeth to shift or loosen, requiring more aggressive treatment to prevent tooth loss.

It is important to know that research has shown the bacteria of periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammatory reactions. These reactions can worsen a wide range of health conditions and even activate others.

Correlations have been seen between these bacteria and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers (including pancreatic), preterm babies, erectile dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Infection in the mouth can also make your immune system less efficient. A study found that individuals with gum disease who contracted COVID-19 were nine times more likely to expire. The study also showed that COVID patients were three times more likely to end up in intensive care or on a ventilator if they already suffered from periodontitis.

The appropriate treatment for oral dryness depends on its cause(s). To ensure your oral health is in good shape, be committed to your regular dental check-ups and cleanings and practice good at-home care, which includes:

– Brush at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes. Use a soft to medium bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste.

– Use a tongue scraper or brush your tongue after brushing teeth. 

– Floss daily. If this is difficult, use a water flosser or try using floss picks. 

– Drink plenty of plain water throughout the day. (Omit lemon, which can be too acidic on tooth enamel.)

– Use an oral rinse to replenish oral moisture (available over-the-counter).

Whatever its cause, oral dryness can be overcome with simple steps. Be committed to having and maintaining good oral health by devoting the brief time each day necessary for a confident, healthy smile.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of gum disease or are seeking a comprehensive care dental office, new patients are always welcome. Call Faircourt Dental Smile Studio in Grosse Pointe Woods at 313-882-2000 or visit us at: Faircourt Dental








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