Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Receding Gumline and Abfraction

Abfraction is a common tooth problem that is often overlooked. This defect is best described as a notch or groove in the tooth (or teeth) in varying depths near the gum line. These areas are most often a darker color than enamel and can be yellow or even brown. They appear like indentations with a sharp edge and can be sensitive to cold and touch.

Those with a receding gum line, are more likely to have this condition.


Because of the slow progression and multiple contributing factors, the causes are complicated.  

The causes have one thing in common - they all put excessive and constant pressure on the tooth near the gum. 

Clenching and Grinding of Teeth flexes the teeth near the gum line.  Lateral forces created by clenching and grinding weaken the enamel near the gum line. Any tooth or surface can be affected but abfraction usually occurs on the cheek side of teeth and is most common on pre-molars and canines.

Improper Brushing Technique such as brushing too hard or using a firm bristled toothbrush can gradually wear the tooth surface away.

Brushing with an Abrasive Toothpaste can add to the wear on the tooth.


“It is important to clearly understand the specific cause and the dynamics responsible for these defects before undertaking treatment” explains Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino California dental practice. Simple oral hygiene instructions with application of desensitizers may work for wear resulting from abrasive toothpastes. “Defects resulting from bite discrepancies will often involve occlusal analysis and adjustments (bite adjustments) and or an occlusal/night guard” Dr. Cherukuri adds.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Teeth Age

Weight gain, decreased flexibility and lessened sense perception are some of the side effects of aging.  Changes to tooth appearance and a decrease in dental health also are part of the equation. It is because aging impacts the oral cavity on a multitude of levels that the expression of being "long in the tooth" (a kind way of saying old) was born.
Teeth aging can impact both appearance and dental health. As we get older, the body's systems start to slow down and the biological change will influence every organ, tooth and hair follicle.

A mix of aging skin and shifting teeth can cause a smile to change. As we age, the skin looses its elasticity and can highlight the changes and dental problems occurring in the mouth..  Teeth support and give form to the lower portion of the face and natural shift over time. The combo of thin skin and shifting teeth can cause a myriad of changes to appearance; lips may begin to tip inward and look thinner and teeth with excessive wear and tear can fail to properly prop up cheek fat making cheekbones hollow out and make wrinkles pop! Plus, gums can recede, creating the dreaded long tooth effect.
A lifetime of behaviors can influence other oral changes associated with age. Individuals over the age of 65 who still proudly boast their natural teeth will experience more dental problems than their younger counterparts because of the biological changes that will impact oral health.

 According to the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging, the five most common dental problems associated with growing old are:
- Dry Mouth caused by a natural decrease in saliva production.
- Changes in denture fit caused by changes in teeth and gum lines.
- Gum disease impacted by less effective oral hygiene.
- More tooth decay influenced by less saliva, ill-fitting dentures and gum disease.
- Increased odds of developing oral cancer.
Good oral hygiene practices including brushing, flossing, eating a nutritious diet, exercising and drinking clean fresh water are some of the ways an individual can fight the battle on their own. However, when those efforts are backed by regular dental visits and enhanced with cosmetic dentistry, the results can help a person look a decade younger!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Developmental Disabilities and Oral Health

To achieve and maintain good oral health, people with mild or moderate developmental disabilities often require a special approach to dental care. With some adaptation of the skills dental professionals use every day, most people with special needs can be treated successfully in the general practice setting. 

The physical, mental, and behavioral challenges are fairly similar in patients with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability. Understanding the specific challenges of each disability helps with strategies for providing care in a compassionate and trusting environment. 

“Building a bond and trust with our special needs patients goes a long way in the management of patients with developmental disabilities.” says Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino California practice. 

“We see patients of all ages with various special needs on a regular basis and have successfully managed their care with very simple modifications in care delivery.  Having a great dental team with  empathy and clear understanding of the extra needs  of these patients has served us well in rendering this specialized care successfully.” Dr. Cherukuri adds.

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