Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dry Mouth Remedies (Xerostomia)

26 Aug 2015

Image result for dry mouth pictures

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common side effect of many medications. It can also be a side effect of cancer treatments, or the result of certain auto-immune diseases. Dr. Sunil Talasila and our team at Talasila Dental Hospital will tell you that for most people, discontinuing their medication isn’t an option. 
The solution is two-fold: find ways to increase saliva production and eliminate specific things that are likely to increase dryness in the mouth.
Lack of saliva creates a situation in the mouth that allows harmful organisms such as yeast and bacteria to thrive. It may also make it difficult to swallow food, create a burning feeling in your mouth, or cause bad breath, decayed teeth,among other problems.
Medications that are known to cause dry mouth include:
  • Anti-depressant drugs
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Drugs for lowering blood pressure
  • Allergy and cold medications — antihistamines and decongestants
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Medications to alleviate pain
  • Drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Saliva helps people digest their food. It also functions as a natural mouth cleanser. Xerostomia increases the risk you will develop gum disease or suffer from tooth decay.
Solutions for dry mouth
  • Carry water wherever you go, and make a point of taking regular sips.
  • Avoid oral rinses that contain alcohol or peroxide.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candies that contain xylitol.
  • Limit your consumption of caffeine, carbonated beverages (including seltzer and sparkling waters), and alcoholic beverages.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and use dental floss or other inter-dental products to remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
  • Look for oral rinses and other oral hygiene products that bear the Recognized Dental Association Seal of Approval.
  • Brush your teeth and use oral rinses that contain xylitol. Certain gels and oral sprays are equally helpful. Biotene is one over-the-counter brand that makes products designed to treat dry mouth.
  • Make sure you get your teeth checked and cleaned twice a year. Dr.Sunil Talasila will be able to examine your mouth for problems and treat them before they turn into something more serious.
You may not be able to solve your dry mouth problem altogether, but you’ll be able to deal with it by following these recommendations. You’ll be able to increase saliva production while reducing your risk of more serious dental problems. To learn more about preventing dry mouth, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunil Talasila, please visit our website for more details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3 Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are few oral health abnormalities as painful for patients as impacted wisdom teeth. Understanding the signs of impacted wisdom teeth, can help you know when to get proper dental help. It is also possible to detect impacted wisdom teeth early through regular dental checkups and a digital x-ray. In some situations Dr. Sunil talasila might even recommend that patients to consider wisdom teeth removal early, even if they have not reported many problems.

When They’re Impacted, There’s a Problem

Once a patient starts having problems with wisdom teeth occur, there is a good chance they have become impacted. If a tooth has become impacted, there are an array of signs and symptoms that will alert you that something is not right. If you experiencing any of these signs/symptoms then it is time to make an appointment to come in and see Dr. Sunil talasila and his staff.
wisdom-teeth-symptomsb.pngThree primary warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth are:
1. Pain
2. Swollen, Tender, Red or Bleeding Gums
3. Swelling Around the Jaw
Secondary, additional symptoms may include:
• Bad taste in the mouth
• Unpleasant breath
• Swollen glands
• Ear ache
• Headaches of the Temporo-mandibular Joint (TMJ), the connection between the jaw and skull

Complications of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth become impacted they can lead to crowding in the mouth, which promotes abnormal development of the adjacent teeth. It can also cause infection in and around the impacted areas. There are varying degrees of impacted wisdom teeth, some partially impacted teeth may have part of the crown showing, while others never penetrate the gum and are fully impacted. There are potential complications for both partially impacted and completely impacted teeth. Complications can begin as bleeding gums or mild pain but if left untreated, these symptoms can develop into such hazards as:
• Damage to Adjacent Teeth: Wisdom teeth can push on the second molars, yielding infection or the requirement of orthodontia.
• Gum Disease and Tooth Decay: Wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay due to this area of the mouth being rendered difficult to clean; this causes food and bacterial to become trapped between the teeth and gums.
• Development of Cysts: Wisdom teeth grow in a sac located within the jaw and when filled with fluid can develop an uncomfortable cyst that can damage nerves.
Unfortunately neglecting the signs you might be having with your wisdom teeth, my lead to more serious complications. As soon as you begin experiencing any of the warning signs outlined above, it is important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunil talasila and address the issue head on.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

In a previous introductory article on dental caries (tooth decay), we discussed both the causes of the disease process along with new strategies to promote health (“Tooth Decay — The World's Oldest & Most Widespread Disease,”). Now we'll discuss Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) — the latest way to minimize risk and prevent decay.
Modern dentistry is moving towards an approach to tooth decay management that is evidence-based — meaning it is based on years of systematic, accumulated, and valid scientific research. In other words, using current science, your dental treatment is tailored to your actual risk rather than a “one size fits all” approach. The previous method of “drilling and filling” to treat decay does not change the conditions that lead to the disease in the first place, so that the risk for further infection still remains. What follows below are facts you should know to change the conditions that lead to decay!

A New Look At Dental Decay — A Dynamic Infectious Disease Process

To help you understand, think of the mouth as an ecosystem, where living organisms continually interact with every other element within their environment. The teeth are composed of an outer covering of enamel, a highly mineralized and crystalline structure composed mainly of calcium and phosphate. The teeth are bathed in a remarkable fluid — saliva. While it has many functions, one of the most important is its role in maintaining a neutral pH environment or balance between the acids and bases found in your mouth.
Acidity is measured scientifically by the pH scale, which ranges from 1 – 14. A pH value of 1 is extremely acidic while a pH value of 14 is extremely basic. The pH of the mouth is generally 7 – neutral.
The oral environment is loaded with bacteria with some of them having the potential to cause decay. Specific acidogenic (acid producing) bacteria attach themselves to dental plaque, the whitish sticky biofilm that collects and forms on the teeth. When you eat sugars or carbohydrates, these acidogenic bacteria break down the sugars and produce acid as a by-product, which in turn drops the salivary pH. At about pH 5.5, the minerals just below the enamel surfaces of the teeth begin to dissolve in a process known as de-mineralization. During this process, more calcium and phosphate leave the surface of the teeth than enter it — the first step in the decay process leading toward cavity formation. And because a tooth's roots are made of dentin, which is softer than enamel, they are more susceptible to decay. For example, the roots of an exposed tooth will de-mineralize quickly and easily with even weak acids at pH 6.0 – 6.7, which is much closer to neutral.

Why Me? How To Assess Your Risk

Given similar habits, you might wonder why some people get cavities and others don't. Dr. John Featherstone, an imminent researcher studying the effects of all these different factors, introduced the concept of the Caries Balance in 2002, in which he demonstrated that both the disease, dental caries, and dental health are a delicate balance between pathologic (disease causing) and protective (health promoting) factors. This dilemma can be further explained by understanding that individuals have their own unique balance, similar to a playground's seesaw that is constantly changing. The challenges are to identify what is out of balance and how to tip it towards health and protection.

It's Sort Of Like...

A great analogy is likening caries risk assessment to how a physician assesses risk for cardiovascular (“cardio” – heart; “vascular” – blood vessel) disease. The physician reviews your health history, takes your blood pressure, monitors your heart, and provides a treatment plan that may include prescription medications to reduce or manage risk. If your blood pressure is high, it doesn't indicate that you have had a heart attack or stroke or that you definitely will one day. However, it does mean that you are at higher risk for having a heart attack or stroke and that it would be wise for you to take preventive actions! Some of these include: changing your life-style in terms of diet, exercise, and perhaps medication for lowering your risk.
This same process is precisely what we are doing in dentistry today with the CAMBRA approach. We are providing individualized dental care so that we can minimize your caries risk. In fact, modern dentistry can now evaluate risk factors for dental caries disease and use them to make preventive recommendations with the goal of lowering the risk of tooth decay. And as a result, create more predictable, longer-lasting results for any cosmetic or restorative dental procedures.
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