Gar N. Chan, DDS, INC

Dry Mouth or Xerostomia

What is dry mouth or  xerostomia and what can be done to minimize its effects?

People of all ages can have dry mouth symptoms, otherwise known as xerostomia.  This condition may be attributed to many factors either singly or in combination, including but not limited to the following:

1. Medications
2. Allergies
3. Use of a C-pap machine
4. Snoring
5. Age
6. Other health conditions, ie. Sjogren’s Syndrome                                                                                   7. 7. Tobacco and alcohol use
8. Chemo and/or radiation therapy

When dry mouth occurs, salivary flow changes both in quantity and quality.  Saliva helps prevent tooth decay and demineralization of tooth enamel by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.

Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

There are several simple strategies to offset some of these effects.  They include the following:

1. Having a fluoride foam treatment (Acidulated phosphate fluoride foam with 1.23% Fl ion)  twice a year in a dental office;

2. Application of fluoride prescription strength toothpaste on your teeth overnight and, if you have one, under your retainer.  You will need a prescription from your dentist to fill this at the pharmacy.  The difference between a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste and an over the counter (OTC) fluoridated toothpaste is that the prescription strength is much more concentrated and effective than the OTC. ;

3. Use of dry mouth products, ie. Xylimelt tablets overnight and/or All Day Spray and/or Biotene gel (lubricating gels), mouthwash products, and sugarless oral lozenges.   All of these products are effective, low cost and readily available on-line. ;

The first two procedures will re-mineralized your teeth. With time fluoride applications will decrease sensitivity to cold temperatures and protect your teeth against acids and cavity formation.  The third procedure will help to maintain a neutral oral environment against the increasingly acidic environment.

We encourage everyone to maintain their overall health, especially their oral health!

Easter Greetings

Easter Greetings from Dr. Gar Chan, Rhona, Renee, Susan, Sandra, Susan and Cyndi!  May you enjoy the day surrounded by the thoughts of your family and friends.

woman raising bouquet of tulips


February Celebrations

Annually we celebrate Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and birthdays for all those born in the month of February. Here’s to all of those memorable footnotes!


Basic Life Support Renewal Course

Every two years Dr. Chan hosts a Basic Life Support Renewal Course for our entire staff in the comfort of our office. This year we had the pleasure of having Mark Ganley as our instructor. Mark is a Continuing Education Provider approved by the Dental Board of California and works for HeartShare Training Services, Inc.


With videos and practice mannequins, we updated and reinforced our skills in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).  Regular participation in this review helps us assist not only all of our patients should there be a need,  but everyone we are in contact with to provide life saving procedures.


Congratulations and Well Wishes, Donna!

Today Donna Taft completed her dental internship in our office sponsored through the Gavilan Community College Dental Assisting Program.  We enjoyed having you here.  Congratulations and well wishes, Donna!




Continuing Education with Consultant Tom Terry

From left to right:  Sandra, Dr. Chan, Renee, Tom Terry, Susan, Rhona

Dr. Gar Chan & Tom Terry








Today our staff participated in the mandatory accredited continuing education courses for dental licencees in Infection Control and the California Dental Practice Act presented by long time consultant, Tom Terry.  Every time when Tom visits our office, he looks at our equipment, goes through our instrument drawers, and critiques and inspects our safety and infection control prototcols. At the end of each visit, he makes recommendations and advises us of upcoming changes in OSHA and those made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Thanks, Tom, for sharing your expertise and for your invaluable on-site visits.

Most of all thank you for helping us to keep our patients and ourselves safe.

New Flooring Promotes Cleaner Environment

With the help of local flooring expert, John Tomasello, and his team, we replaced our commercial grade carpet which ran throughout the office with a water proof insulated stone based faux wood planked tile.  Our new flooring has no fibers, grout lines, or embossing that can trap dust, pollen, particles, animal dander, and allergens that occur with carpets. This flooring is the best choice for allergy sufferers and will contribute to healthier indoor air quality.   We are proud to offer an eco- friendly and clean environment within which to treat our patients and to work.  Please feel free to stop by and visit us. 

Emergency Help! I slipped, fell and broke my front tooth.

Image of a chipped front tooth

Front Tooth Fractured

This was an urgent phone call from Dr. Chan’s brother-in-law, but over the years the call has been repeated many times from others. During the middle of the night while going to the bathroom a patient, who was a model, slipped and fell on the tile. Another patient fell and tumbled down the stairs. A young boy crashed his bike and his face into a gate. Each suffered from a fractured front tooth. If it ever happens to you, call our office at Gilroy Office Phone Number 408-847-1234 or Dr. Chan’s emergency number at 408-505-5957 for counsel, care and advice. Find more detailed instructions on emergency care on our website at /dental_emergencies/broken-tooth/.

Image of a restored front tooth. Just like new!

Front Tooth Restored

Thanksgiving – A Time for Gratitude

Handmade  Quilt

Originally a harvest festival, Thanksgiving has evolved over the years as a national holiday celebrated on November 23rd. Whether it is spent giving thanks, feasting, with family or friends, watching football or parades, or time  spent in quiet reflection,  it is a personal choice.

Dr. Chan and his staff, Rhona, Sandra, Susan, Michelle, Cyndi and Susan B – all wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! We offer our profound thanks to all of our patients, past, present and future for their trust and patronage in our services and skills.