One reason patients avoid trips to their dentists is because they are embarrassed about drooling during treatment, but dentists say this is a lame excuse.
"Everybody pretty much drools, and it's true that some people drool more than others," says David Miller, D.D.S., a general dentist who practices on Chicago's south side. "This is a non-issue for dentists. We see it all the time and if we were offended, we probably wouldn't be in this business."
Dr. Miller says that dental treatments cause the mouth to be opened and closed frequently, stimulating the salivary glands. "We use a suction tube to control saliva because saliva makes it difficult to see and work," he says. "Too much saliva is like working under water."
A patient's mouth needs to be dry for the dentist to complete many procedures. Many of the products dentists use such as adhesives, amalgams and bonding materials do not work effectively unless they are placed in a dry environment.
To keep the mouth dry, dentists use cotton rolls, rubber dams, high-speed suction or a combination of all of these. In cases where patients excrete an excessive amount of saliva, dentists can use medications that alleviate the problem. The medication lasts a short time but allows the dentist to work in a saliva-free environment.
But the important thing to remember is that drooling in the dental chair is an ordinary occurrence.
"I guess people simply do not like to look foolish and they think drooling is one of those things that embarrasses them," he says. "But it's just something that happens. Patients should not use drooling as an excuse to avoid dental care. To me, people look foolish when they have bad teeth due to lack of dental care and regular dental visits."
It's never too late to improve your dental health. Call us at 1-866-970-0441 to find the right dentist for you!