Friday, June 26, 2015

Dry Mouth or Xerostomia

Dry Mouth is a symptom rather than a specific disorder. Saliva cleanses the mouth and begins the digestive process as foods are chewed. Adequate saliva flow coats and lubricates the mouth. When dry mouth or xerostomia occurs, soft tissues get irritated and inflamed and are more susceptible to oral infections. Without the cleansing and shielding effects of adequate salivary flow, tooth decay and periodontal disease become more prevalent.   Constant dryness and lack of protection provided by saliva contribute to bad breath.  In denture wearers, dentures feel less comfortable without the thin film of saliva to help them adhere properly to the mouth.

Causes of Dry Mouth

Prescribed and over the counter medications have emerged as the most common cause of dry mouth.
Medications including  antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics, anti hypertensives and anti depressants are among 400 other medications that have side effects of dry mouth.

Aging does minimally reduce the salivary flow.

Radiation of head and neck

Emotional stress 

Autoimmune disease like Sjogren’s  syndrome and diabetes
Hormonal alterations associated with  pregnancy and menopause have been associated with dry mouth.

Symptom Relief

Chewing sugar free gum or candy to stimulate salivation
 Drinking frequent sips of water
Use of alcohol free oral rinses
Restricted use of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages

Regular check- ups and teeth cleaning are more important in mouths experiencing  xerostomia  to minimize decay and periodontal disease.  Additional fluoride products may be recommended to safeguard your dental health.

Visit for additional information.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tooth Loss and Replacement Options

Because looking and feeling good are important to us all, it is wise to maintain a healthy and attractive smile throughout life.
Over 35 million Americans are missing all their teeth and 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth. Regular dental visits and early intervention significantly reduce the need to extract teeth.
 Loss of teeth happens from dental decay, gum or periodontal disease, result of injury or excessive wear from habits like grinding and teeth clenching.
All teeth work together to help you chew, speak and smile. When teeth are missing, it is difficult to do these things. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced to restore function and smiles.
A Dental implant is much like a natural tooth where a metal post in placed into the bone beneath the gum. It fuses to the bone and acts like the root of a tooth. When the metal post is secure in the bone, a crown is designed and fabricated to blend with the other teeth in the mouth. Dental implants also can be used to anchor loose dentures. Dental implants are safe, predictable and secure but not an option for everyone.
Fixed  Bridge is a restoration of one or more adjoining teeth by anchoring onto  the teeth  adjacent to the space.  These restorations are cemented or bonded and therefore remain in the mouth permanently without the need to remove and clean them. This option involves tooth preparation and reduction of the  anchor teeth.
Removable partials and dentures are the least invasive  and  are readily taken out of the mouth for cleaning. Removables usually have replacement teeth attached to gum colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework and are either supported by embracing natural teeth or by simply resting over the gum tissue. Over time, with age and bone changes, the removable may no longer fit well and may need periodic modifications.
How best to replace missing teeth is an important decision. 
For a thorough evaluation and discussion on choices, call 909 627 6699 or visit

Friday, June 12, 2015

Time to De-Stress

 Stress has become a common concern as more of us encounter stress in our daily lives. We do know of its negative effects on the body and mind. Our mouths too are just as likely to be affected by stressful situations as our bodies and mind.

Dental conditions associated with stress include-

Bruxism or night grinding: Teeth significantly wear and/or fracture due to heavy biting during sleep as  a result of internalizing stress.  Long term bruxism eventually can lead to facial and tempero-mandibular pain which is often debilitating.  A nightguard is recommended to protect the jaw and teeth.

Canker sores- Although the causes of these sores are still unknown, they are often brought on by stress. They are quite painful  and treatment is often symptomatic. Medications and laser treatment can  reduce the severity and duration of the sores.

Dry Mouth is often caused by stress reducing the salivary function  as well as with the use of anti depressants and other medications. Chronic dry mouth leads to a host of dental issues including increase in cavities, periodontal and gum disease, soft tissue conditions.  Improved oral hygiene and regular visits significantly reduce the potential for  loss of bone or teeth. 

Lichen Planus in the mouth is characterized by white lacy patterns, sores and ulcers. This condition is believed to be a reaction to viral infections caused by stress.

Gum disease- Long term stress suppresses the immune system  which in turn increases the susceptibility to infections including periodontal disease.

If you are feeling stressed, take proper measures to reduce the stress in your life such as eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep.  If you suffer from extreme anxiety or depression, seek timely professional help.

If you are concerned with stress affecting your mouth or teeth, our office can address your concerns and treat as necessary.
 Call  909 627 6699 or Visit to reach us.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Teeth Clenching and Grinding

Bruxism is a condition where the individual clenches or grinds teeth causing significant damage to the teeth, facial muscles and the TMJ (tempero  mandibular  joint).

Sleep bruxism or night grinding is a sleep disorder that is often associated with other sleep conditions like snoring and/ or pauses in breathing (sleep apnea)

Symptoms include-
Teeth grinding and clenching sounds that can awaken the sleep partner
Worn, flattened, chipped or loose teeth
Worn enamel causing increased sensitivity from exposed dentin
Jaw or facial pain and soreness
Dull headaches originating in the temple region
Tired of tight jaw muscles
Teeth Indentations on the tongue

Causes include-
Emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger
Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth
Uncommon side effects to psychiatric medications
Stomach acid reflex into esophagus
Coping or focusing habit

Prevention and early intervention is key to alleviating debilitating pain and irreversible damage of tooth structure requiring extensive restorative procedures

Call 909 627 6699 to schedule  a one on one consultation with Dr. Cherukuri