Lost another crown this week, lost one last month, had to have two back molars pulled In the past year and getting one crowned in a couple of weeks. This is getting ridiculous! My question to you experts is...should I ask my Rhematologist to put me on one of the dry mouth medicines? Will it help with my teeth problems, or just make me more comfortable?
YES! By all means.
I recently contemplated suing my dentist and the dental school, for not telling me to start taking pilocarpine (Salagen) as soon as it was available. That would not have stopped the ongoing process of decay completely, as it was pretty far advanced in my upper teeth. It well might have saved a lot more of my bottom teeth.
Mostly I'm not going to do it because my dentist (otherwise a good guy) left the practice to return to Japan following the Tsunami. I have a lot of furious issues with the dental school, but I confronted them three times, and *finally* got a faculty dentist who would do the work in my mouth, without complaining that I bled too much, or that my mouth was too small.
But, I still feel that I should have been prescribed Salagen *then*, not now, twelve years later.
For anyone asking NOW, Salagen is now available as a generic, therefore quite inexpensive. And there's the new drug Evoxac, that is not yet generic, but might have some different appeal. Both increase the saliva flow, and therefore increase the enzymes that surround the teeth and protect them from decay. A dry mouth cannot protect teeth from decay. Using pilocarpine (Salagen) or Evoxac *does* protect teeth from decay.
Get one or the other, and use it faithfully. The cost of dentures or other means of tooth replacement is huge, unless you make $750,000 per year or more -- in which case, you might want to spend your money on something else.
Not only is there a great cost, there is considerable *time* spent preparing the existing teeth for dentures, or preparing the gums for dentures, and then fitting the dentures, and then adjusting the fit of the dentures.
If 40 seconds a day taking pilocarpine or Evoxac can save a lot of money and a lot of time, well, then, what's the down side? Anita
pops up and says: "Possible interactions with my other meds, and possible side effects. " Like Anita
, you would check Drugs.com, and then ask your prescribing doctor, and then work with doctors to adjust meds so that you can
take either pilocarpine or Evoxac with no, minimal, or manageable side effects. It is *that* important. That important to us, but perhaps not viewed as important by rheumies. Despite examining my mouth, knowing I produce extremely small amounts of saliva, my rheumatologist did not suggest pilocarpine or Evoxac. I had to ask, and also had to ask for Restasis.
On the plus side, pilocarpine seems to increase vaginal secretions, and not only increases saliva but also improves dry eyes. It increases sweat, but not enough to make my feet sweat, and only enough to dampen my underarms every other day!
If I could, I would make a fuss with your doctor, to get you on either pilocarpine or Evoxac. I can't do that.