Dr. Paul Perella, DMD

When Over the Counter Treatments Might Not Be Enough

Humans are creatures of habit. And many times, we will continue to use the same products as long as they keep working for us. However, as we get older, our old standbys might not be as effective as they once were and something stronger or better might be needed.

Here are some instances where a stronger, perhaps prescription strength product, might be a better choice.

Sensitive Teeth and Gums:  
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity due to a receding gum line, you might benefit from prescription flouride toothpaste. These toothpastes have higher levels of flouride and can help lessen sensitivity and protect exposed tooth structure that is no longer protected by enamel or gum tissue. Typically, your dentist would recommended prescription toothpaste if you have significant recession or if you recently had scaling and root planing.

Cavities:
Excessive cavities can be detrimental to the overall health of your mouth. Prescription toothpaste and frequent cleaning visits can help prevent decay in your teeth.

Dry Mouth:
Most over the counter (OTC) products for dry mouth are effective for the majority of people. However, sometimes OTC products stop working after long term usage. If this is the case, ask your dentist if there are other options. You should also ask your family doctor help you get to the root of the problem--which could be indicative of any number of health issues.

Frequent Mouth Sores:
Certain health conditions  and diseases can develop mouth sores. In order to keep comfortable, ask your dentist for a prescription mouth gel such as Gelclair. Such gels work by forming a barrier that protects the nerve endings and shields them from overstimulation that can result in pain.

Persistent Halitosis:
There are prescription strength mouthwashes that can be used to combat persistent halitosis. However, it's important to understand why you have bad breath. If you do not have gum disease and feel otherwise healthy, there could be more serious reasons for your halitosis.