Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teeth Whitening!

Everybody loves a bright white smile.  There are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of your teeth.

If you decide you would like to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your whitening options.

Start by speaking with your dentist.  Although whitening  of teeth has a dramatic impact on your smile, whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. If you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding. Your dentist should guide you through the various options for ideal results says Dr. Cherukuri.

If you are a candidate for whitening,  there are several ways to whiten your smile:

  • In-office bleaching. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

  • At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. There are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation. Speak with your dentist if you have any concerns.

  • Whitening toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

  • Over the counter whitening products offer limited results with concern of unmanaged side effects and sensitivity.
The right product and process can dramatically alter the shade of your teeth for a bright and confident smile! Your Dentist can help.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dental Anxiety

It is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe.  Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs. Many dentally fearful people will only seek dental care when they have a dental emergency.   People who are very fearful of dental care often experience a “cycle of avoidance,” in which they avoid dental care due to fear until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which can reinforce their fear of dentistry.
Women tend to report more dental fear than men and younger people tend to report being more dentally fearful than older individuals. People tend to report being more fearful of more invasive procedures, such as oral surgery than they are of less invasive treatment, such as professional dental cleanings or prophylaxis.


 Direct experiences

Direct experience is the most common way people develop dental fears. Most people report that their dental fear began after a traumatic, difficult, and/or painful dental experience. However, painful or traumatic dental experiences alone do not explain why people develop dental phobia. The perceived manner of the dentist is an important variable. Dentists who were considered "impersonal", "uncaring", "uninterested" or "cold" were found to result in high dental fear in students, even in the absence of painful experiences, whereas some students who had had painful experiences failed to develop dental fear if they perceived their dentist as caring and warm.

 Indirect experiences

  • Vicarious learning: Dental fear may develop as people hear about others' traumatic experiences or negative views of dentistry (vicarious learning).
  • Mass media: The negative portrayal of dentistry in mass media and cartoons may also contribute to the development of dental fear.
  • Stimulus Generalization: Dental fear may develop as a result of a previous traumatic experience in a non-dental context. For example, bad experiences with doctors or hospital environments may lead people to fear white coats and antiseptic smells, which is one reason why dentists nowadays often choose to wear less "threatening" apparel. People who have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused may also find the dental situation threatening.
  • Helplessness and Perceived Lack of Control: If a person believes that they have no means of influencing a negative event, they will experience helplessness. Research has shown that a perception of lack of control leads to fear. The opposite belief, that one does have control, can lead to lessened fear. For example, the belief that the dentist will stop


Treatments for dental fear often include a combination of behavioral and cognitive strategies to help patients reduce their fear.pharmacological techniques.
Many people who suffer from dental fear may be successfully treated with a combination of "look, see, do" and gentle dentistry. People fear what they don't understand and they also, logically, dislike pain. If someone has had one or more painful past experiences in a dental office then their fear is completely rational and they should be treated supportively. Non-graphic photographs taken pre-operatively, intra-operatively and post-operatively can explain the needed dentistry. Pharmacologic management may include an anxiety-reducing medication.
Most importantly is the need to provide an injection of anesthetic extremely gently. Certain parts of the mouth are much more sensitive than other parts; therefore it is possible to provide local anesthesia (a "novocaine" shot) in the less sensitive area first and then moving the injection within the zone of just-anesthetized tissue to the more sensitive area of the mouth. This is one example of how a dentist can dramatically reduce the sensation of pain from a "shot." Another idea is to allow the novocaine time (5 - 15 minutes) to anesthetize the area before beginning dental treatment.

We are a practice that specializes in patient comfort. Earning the trust of our patients by thoroughly educating them of their dental choices in a caring enviroment eases patient anxieties says Dr. Cherukuri.  "I love taking care of patients of all ages especially those with special needs or those who need an extra touch of TLC".


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oral Cancer Facts

 Each year approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer.  About 8,000 die from the disease each year.

The chance of a complete cure is highest when detected early. When it is detected in its precancerous stage, oral cancer can be prevented. Oral cancer screening is a routine and important segment of the regular recare visits says Dr. Cherukuri.

Oral Cancer Symptoms
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
- A color change of the oral tissues
- A lump, thickening, crust, rough spot or small eroded area.
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips.

.Risk factors include smoking, tobacco chewing, drinking alcohol, repeated trauma and spicy food.  A full 25% of cases have no risk factors at all.

Regular Dental Appointments are Critical. Late stage treatment usually involves major facial surgery with only a 50% chance of survival longer than 5 years.

Early Detection is Key!!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Toothbrushes Trump Seat Belts"

 As important as seat belts are as a preventative measure, toothbrushes have a far greater impact on the health and longevity of the American public.

According to NHTSA, seat belts save over 13,000 lives a year, nationwide. While few of our patients die from a car crash, many will succumb to heart attack or cancer.  Periodontal disease is a significant risk factor for heart attack, stroke, low- birthweight infants and some forms of cancer.  Estimates are that about 80% of American adults suffer either from gingvitis or periodontal disease.  Using a tooth brush and eliminating periodontal disease reduces the chances of sufferring from these life altering medical conditions.

The Oral Systemic connection has long been an established fact but it has recently been relabeled "The Theory of Focal Infection"  The bacteria  originating in mouth enter the blood stream and infect the blood vessel walls of the heart.. Bacterial products in the blood can also stimulate liver production  of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, both directly linked to heart attacks.

Although periodontal disease is one amongst the many other risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol ,stress,  lack of exercise &  genetics, the combination of these factors add layer upon layer of increased risk of suffering a heart attack.  Periodontal disease is an important risk factor for strokes. Periodontal disease increases the likelihood of a heart attack by 24-35%.

In a recent study, a direct correlation between the amount of periodontal bacteria present and blood pressure has been established.

Totally wiping out periodontal disease will eliminate 158,000 heart attacks, nearly half of which are fatal.  Add to that the thousands of lives that would be saved by reducing cancers, controlling diabetes, preamature births etc- from a public health point of view, tooth brushes save more lives than seat belts!!!