Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dry Mouth

In recent years, prescribed and over-the-counter medications have emerged as the most common cause of dry mouth. Suspect medications include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, diuretics, antihypertensive medications and antidepressants. In fact, dry mouth is listed as a potential side effect of more than 400 medications. Be sure to read the literature that accompanies your medications and, if you think a medication is causing dry mouth, tell your dentist or physician. In some cases, substituting medications may alleviate the problem.
What is dry mouth?
Dry mouth is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. The medical name of the condition is xerostomia.
Although a common cause of dry mouth these days is medication, the condition may occur when a person experiences stress, or it may even be a sign of a serious health problem, such as AIDS, diabetes or Sjogren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune disease). Other possible causes include aging, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. People with Alzheimer’s disease or who suffer a stroke have been known to experience dry mouth.

How to relieve dry mouth
Your dentist or physician may recommend using artificial saliva — available at local pharmacies — to keep oral tissues lubricated. But the solution may be as simple as increasing your water intake. Other tips on how to ease dry mouth include:
  • Brush and floss twice a day
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and smoking
  • Avoid certain juices (orange, grapefruit and tomato)
  • Avoid dry foods, such as toast or crackers
  • Avoid overly salty foods
  • Use alcohol-free oral rinses 
  • Topical fluoride applications
 Visit your dentist regularly. Ask your dentist for advice specific to your situation. 

“Sipping on water throughout the day not only hydrates the mouth but the body as well” adds Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino, California dental practice. ‘It is an easy fix to offset rampant decay and other related dental issues”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Women and Osteoporosis

"A woman’s mouth can say a lot about osteoporosis"

Dental links to osteoporosis If you’re a woman, particularly age 50 or above, your dentist may be the first health professional to suspect you have osteoporosis — and refer you to a physician before the disease advances. Osteoporosis weakens bones by reducing their density. Although the disease may strike any gender at any age, the vast majority of sufferers are women over age 50. Osteoporosis is difficult to detect, and most patients are not diagnosed until their bone density has decreased to the point that a fracture occurs. However, symptoms of tooth loss or gum (periodontal) disease could indicate early stages of osteoporosis. Your dentist may detect the onset of the disease based on oral symptoms, your medical history (including risk factors) and results of a clinical and x-ray examination. This is why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly and to provide him or her with your complete medical history, even if you don’t think it relates to oral health.

For a No Cost Consultation, Call 909 627 6699 or Visit us at www.mydentistchino.com

Signs of osteoporosis

There are several signs that alert dentists to the possibility of osteoporosis:
  1. Bone loss in the jaw. This may be a sign of bone loss in other parts of the body.
  2. Tooth loss. Studies suggest that women with low bone mineral density tend to lose more teeth.
  3. Ill-fitting dentures in post-menopausal woman. Studies show that post-menopausal women with osteoporosis need new dentures three times more often after age 50 than women without osteoporosis. Bone loss may become so severe that it may be impossible to create functional dentures. Without the aid of dentures to chew many types of food, older patients may suffer severe nutritional deficiencies.
If your dentist suspects you have osteoporosis, he or she can refer you to a physician for medical assessment and subsequent treatment. In addition to scheduling regular dentist visits, you can help prevent osteoporosis by:
  1. Getting enough calcium each day, through diet or supplements (women/1,200mg; men/800mg; anyone over age 65/1,500mg)
  2. Adding vitamin D to your diet
  3. Exercising
  4. Quitting smoking
  5. Decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to Manage Dental Costs With or Without Insurance

Many employer-sponsored health care plans do not include dental insurance, and those that do will typically offer only limited benefits. Individual private insurance is often too costly to be feasible. And Medicaid and Medicare offer only limited safety nets.

For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure like a crown or implant means thousands of dollars out of pocket while routine checkups, cleanings and fillings cost only a smalll fraction of it.

Even if you’re fortunate enough to have some kind of coverage, you have probably discovered just how little it pays if you have big problems. Most dental policies pay for preventive care like twice-a-year checkups, but cover only a fraction of higher-cost procedures like root canals. Even fillings can get short-changed, if the insurer decides the tooth-colored filler the dentist used was too “cosmetic” for the pothole being patched.

At the same time, dental care costs are rising faster than inflation, just as the evidence mounts that taking care of your mouth can be a critical gateway to good overall health.

The health care bills circulating in the House and Senate include dental care provisions for children, which is good. But it also means that for most of us relief from dental bills is not likely to come soon. That leaves it up to consumers to find smart ways to reduce their dental care costs without sacrificing their oral health. So we asked experts and patients for advice.


Taking care of small problems keeps them from becoming big ones. Enough cannot be said about prevention, according to Dr. Matthew Messina, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association and a dentist in Cleveland.
Left unchecked, a small cavity that would cost about $100 to fill can easily turn into a $1,000 root canal. Skip those $80 cleanings each year, and you may be looking at $2,000 worth of gum disease treatments. An abscess that lands you in the emergency room will set you back hundreds of dollars for the visit, “and you’ll still have to go see a dentist, because emergency rooms don’t handle dental work,” said Dr. Messina.

Finally, your dentist also routinely looks for more serious problems, like oral cancer. More than 35,000 cases are diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection, usually during a dental checkup, is critical to successful treatment.

"Patients who stay on top of  their dental maintenance schedule enjoy the best of oral and overall health and end up saving themselves from unnecessary pain and expense" says Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino, California Dental Practice.