Friday, January 25, 2013

Why visit the Dentist?

  Your dental provider is as important as your medical provider?              

Your dentist recommends you see them at least twice a year, but why is it so important?

Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is your first line of defense against health problems, says Dr. Vijaya Cherukuri from her Chino, California dental practice.
The mouth is the mirror to the health of your body.  According to the Academy of General Dentistry (2002) 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations.

Systemic problems include Diabetes, heart Disease, certain blood disorders, cancers, pregnancy related conditions have predictable markers in the mouth. Patients who present for routine dental recare visits have been directed to a medical doctor for early treatment of some serious medical conditions.

"Over the years, I've had at least a dozen patients who I identified as diabetic and they didn't know it," says Sally Cram, DDS, a periodontist in Washington, D.C., and spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. 
Not only can your dentist diagnose Diabetes, but also can check for sores in your mouth that dont heal. Sores that dont heal could be cancerous.

Your dentist can tell a lot about your overall health, Dr. Cherukuri goes on to explain. They can even tell if you are experiencing stress by looking for worn tooth enamel. This many times means you may be grinding your teeth at night.

If you havent seen your dentist recently, now is the time to call. Your body will appreciate it.

Whole-Body Dentistry: A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mouth-Health Connection

   Health Links & Periodontal Disease. Whats the Big Deal?

 National Museum of Dentistry

 Currently Periodontal disease has been linked to other health problems such as: Respiratory problems, Diabetes, Heart Disease, some cancers and low birth-weight babies.
The diagnosis of Periodontal disease can be alarming, especially when you learn how other systemic diseases are also linked with Periodontal problems, says Dr. Vijaya Cherukuri from her Chino, California Dental
Not only are there links to health concerns with Periodontal Disease, but in general it is easier to find the manifestations of disease in the mouth, Dr.Cherukuri goes on to explain. Often your dentist is the one who is able to spot and diagnose other conditions as well. When that happens, your dentist will refer you to your medical provider for follow up blood work. It is why it is important to see your dentist on a regular basis.
While the diagnosis of periodontal disease may seem unsettling, the good news is that Periodontal disease is many times controllable and it is good to know your dentist is looking out for more than just your teeth.

Another great reason to see your dentist on a regular basis!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Body Art

Oral Piercings

Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression. Oral piercings or tongue splitting can be dangerous to overall health. That’s because mouth contains millions of bacteria and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. For instance, mouth and tongue could swell so much that it closes off  airway or  choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in the mouth. In some cases, a tooth could fracture when accidentally biting  hard on the piercing, and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing could also lead to more serious infections, like hepatitis or endocarditis.

Piercing of the tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,)  can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. It may also cause:

  • Infection, pain and swelling.  mouth is a moist environment, home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria, and an ideal place for infection. An infection can quickly become life threatening if not treated promptly. It’s also possible for a piercing to cause tongue to swell, potentially blocking your airway.
  • Damage to gums, teeth and fillings. A common habit of biting or playing with the piercing can injure gums and lead to cracked, scratched or sensitive teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings.I have painfully restored multiple good healthy teeth with crowns that have fractured because of a tongue ring says Dr Cherukuri
  • Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site is also possible.
  • Nerve damage. After a piercing, experiencing a numb tongue  is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary, but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect the sense of taste and movement  of the tongue. Damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.
  • Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.
  • Dental appointment difficulties. The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.

If you already have piercings:

  • Contact your dentist or physician immediately if you have any signs of infection—swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.
  • Keep the piercing site clean and free of any matter that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
  • Try to avoid clicking the jewelry against teeth and avoid stress on the piercing. Be gentle and aware of the jewelry’s movement when talking and chewing.
  • Check the tightness of your jewelry periodically (with clean hands). This can help prevent you from swallowing or choking if the jewelry becomes dislodged.
  • When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouthguard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Occlusal Trauma: Effect and Impact on Periodontal Tissues

Occlusal trauma is defined as an injury to the tooth supporting attachment apparatus as a result of excessive occlusal forces.

Primary occlusal trauma is injury resulting from excessive occlusal foces applied to a tooth with normal support.

Secondary occlusal trauma is injury resulting from normal oclusal forces applied to teeth with inadequate periodontal support.

Combined occlusal trauma refers to injury resulting from abnormal occlusal forces applied to tooth or teeth with inadequate periodontal support.

Traumatogenic occlusion refers to a cause and is defined as any occlusion that produces forces that cause injury to the attachment apparatus.

Alterations of the periodontium  that have been associated with occlusal trauma will vary with the magnitude and direction of the applied force.  The changes may include widening/compression of the periodontal ligament, bone remodeling(resorption/repair), vascular dilation and permeability, thrombosis, root resorption and cemental tears.  Collectively, these changes have been interpreted as an attempt by the periodontium to adapt and undergo repair in response to  traumatogenic occlusion.

The majority of studies investigating this condition indicate that occlusal forces do not initiate plaque -induced gingival disease or connective tissue attachment loss (periodontitis)  Occlusal trauma in the presence of plaque induced inflammation may result in alteration of the normal pathway of inflammation and development of angular bony defects with intrabony defects but, in itself; does not cause gingivitis or periodontitis.
 Occlusal trauma accelerates the progression of pocket formation in the presence of ongoing destructive periodontitis. observed Dr Cherukuri 

Clinical and radiographic indicators are necessary to assist in its diagnosis. Proposed clinical indicators include mobility, occlusal prematurities, thermal sensitivity, wear facets, muscle tenderness, fractured teeth and migration of teeth. Radiographic indicators include widened periodontal ligament, altered lamina dura and evidence of root resorption and/or bone loss.  Increased tooth mobility is one of the most widely used indicators of occlusal trauma.

In the absence of existing inflammation, bony changes accompanying occlusal trauma may be reversed by discontinuing offending occlusal forces.  The importance of the role  of bacterial plaque in periodontal disease is undisputed but the influence of occlusal trauma on the attachment levels remains controversial.