Oral Medicine ServicesChester, VA
Oral health is a window to your overall health!
Many health issues manifest in the mouth. Many of the dental conditions which we treat are cause or effect of underlying health issues or habits that impact the whole mind and body.
Oral Medicine addresses diseases and conditions affecting the mouth. It is a bridge between dentistry and medicine, providing non-surgical treatments.
If you suffer from any of the following diseases or conditions, you may benefit from a consultation for diagnosis and treatment.
- Ulcers, color changes, bumps
- Dry mouth and salivary gland disorders
- Oral complications from cancer treatment
- Infections in the mouth
- Gum enlargement
- Canker sore outbreaks
- Burning mouth
Click this link to check your symptoms.
Depending on the the oral symptom there are treatment options like laser treatment for ulcers, oral cancer screenings, treatment and control of dry mouth, cavity prevention.
Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems.
Some of these diseases include:Diabetes,Leukemia,Oral cancer,Pancreatic cancer,Heart disease,Kidney disease.
With a five-year survival rate as low as 60%, oral cancer is scary. Protect yourself by getting checked for the disease today. Add “oral cancer screening” to your wellness to-do list.
High blood pressure
If you’re among the quarter of Americans with this dangerous condition, you might have something new to worry about. Medication to lower your blood pressure can come with the unwanted side effect of gingival swelling, dry mouth.
If blood sugar is not under control, diabetic patients should talk with both their dentist and physician about receiving proper dental care. Dental procedures should be as short and as stress-free as possible. It’s a good idea to make morning appointments because blood glucose levels tend to be under better control at this time of day.
This widespread inflammatory disease doesn’t just affect your blood sugar. People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, cavities and even lose their teeth. There is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease.
Oral infections tend to be more severe in diabetic patients than non-diabetic patients. Diabetics may experience diminished salivary flow and a sensation of a burning mouth or tongue, which leads to a higher incidence of tooth decay. Furthermore, diabetics who do not control their blood sugar levels tend to have increased oral health problems, particularly gum recession (shrinkage).
Diabetics who receive proper dental care and control their insulin stand a better chance of avoiding gum disease.
They should maintain good dental health care to prevent mouth infections. Mouth infections require immediate treatment; dentists may prescribe antibiotics, medicated mouth rinses and more frequent cleanings to avoid complications related to bacterial infections. To keep teeth and gums strong, diabetic patients should be aware of their blood sugar levels and have their triglyceride and cholesterol levels checked regularly. These may have a direct correlation on chances of developing periodontal disease.
Acid Reflux, Gerd
Most people know that painful burning sensation radiating from inside the chest – heartburn. Persistent symptoms, more than twice weekly, may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But not everyone with GERD has the symptoms of heartburn. In fact, you may have GERD and not even know it.
Loss of enamel is permanent, and if left unchecked, may lead to the rapid decay of affected teeth. In addition to loss of enamel, GERD can do other long-term damage to your body, such as irritation and inflammation of your esophagus, which may even lead to esophageal cancer.
That’s why getting a regular oral exam from a dentist is so important—your dentist may find early symptoms of a potentially serious problem before it progresses. In fact, more than 90 percent of systemic diseases have oral manifestations that may be detected during an oral exam by a dentist.
Appearing as sores in the lining of your stomach or small intestine, ulcers are often the result of the bacterium H. pylori, which can weaken the protective coating of your stomach. Although ulcers themselves won’t hurt your oral health, the medicine used to combat them can turn your tongue black. Don’t worry — the side effect should go away once you’re through with treatment.
Chronic kidney disease.
If there’s something fishy about your breath, visit your doctor. Breath that smells like fish or ammonia can be a sign of kidney disease, a serious condition that is fatal if left untreated. As your kidneys lose their ability to filter waste and toxins from the blood.
DENTAL SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDICATION
If you use over-the-counter or prescription medications, it’s important to let your dentist know. You should also mention any side effects you’ve experienced as these can negatively affect oral health and even lead to more serious conditions. Luckily, early dentist detection can help reduce or alleviate many of these problems.
Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is a side effect of many medications. Although discomfort may be minimal, decreased saliva can cause bacteria and plaque to accumulate in your mouth, making you more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Help combat dry mouth by drinking plenty of water (six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day), and talk to your dentist about alleviating symptoms.
Some medications – including the calcium channel blockers frequently prescribed to control high blood pressure – can cause gingival enlargement, a condition that causes gums to swell and begin to grow over the teeth. If left untreated, it can cause severe periodontal (gum) infection. Luckily, early detection and dentist monitoring can help reduce its negative effects.
From cough drops to antacid tablets, many medications in a dissolvable tablet or liquid form are sweetened to make them more palatable. The downside is that these sugars can leave sticky residue on teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. If you think your medication may be sweetened, be sure to brush your teeth after each dose.
Other side effects
There are many other medication side effects that can affect your oral health. Oral contraceptives and blood pressure control pills have been linked to oral sores and inflammation. Tetracycline, used for acne treatment, can discolor teeth and underlying bone. A number of over-the-counter remedies, from antibiotics to ibuprofen, can produce lesions or ulcers in the mouth.
Nervous system medications
Drugs affecting the central nervous system can negatively impact oral health. Side effects like fatigue, lethargy and motor impairment may make brushing and flossing difficult. Adults taking antidepressants and high blood pressure medications can have elevated levels of plaque and the clinical signs of gingivitis.
Under the Influence: Your Teeth on Drugs
You already know that drug abuse is bad for your health. From heart problems to cancer, street drugs can cause serious health risks, if not death. But did you know that drugs can harm your teeth as well? Here’s a look at the dangers six substances pose to your oral health.
Also known as “meth” or “crystal meth,” this drug is one of the top most destructive substances for your mouth. The effects of methamphetamine are so extreme that users are often identified by “meth mouth,” in which the teeth along the cheeks are severely decayed. They may be worn down to the gums or black with decay.
Both the components of the drug and the behavior it induces in the user are responsible for this rapid rotting of the teeth. Made of highly acidic ingredients, meth softens tooth enamel and can wear it down within weeks. The drug also increases anxiety levels, which can cause users to grind their teeth, speeding up erosion. Another physical effect of the drug is severe dry mouth, which promotes bacteria growth and worsens decay. Finally, meth users are less likely to brush and floss when high and more likely to experience cravings to binge on sugar and soda.
Known by the names “Molly” and “E,” this drug doesn’t just cause hallucinations. It also results in dry mouth in up to 99% of users, and this dryness can last up to two days after use. The higher the dose of the drug, the more severe the dry mouth. This condition not only increases a person’s chance of developing cavities, it is also linked to gum disease. Users of ecstasy may load up on soda and other sugary drinks to compensate, only worsening the effects of decay.
Another serious side effect of the drug is bruxism, the technical term for tooth grinding and clenching. Reported in 50 to 89% of its users, this behavior wears down the teeth and can worsen jaw pain.
Linked to dry mouth, this psychoactive herb can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. Like cigarettes, smoking marijuana can contribute to oral cancer and gum disease, as it cuts off blood flow in the mouth. In fact, heavy users may be 60% more likely to have gum disease than those who don’t smoke marijuana, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cocaine mixes with saliva to form an acidic substance that can wear down teeth, dissolving enamel and destroying tooth restorations. Frequent use of cocaine damages the palate, making it hard to speak, eat and drink.
Users may rub the drug on their gums, causing mouth ulcers and damage to the jaw bone. Other oral health problems include bruxism (tooth grinding), which may lead to jaw and muscle pain in the temporomandibular joint, and dry mouth.
What’s more, visiting the dentist while high is a dangerous idea. Cocaine increases the risk of heart complications when combined with local anesthetics.
Heroin is an opiate drug linked to severe dental problems. It increases cravings for sweet foods, a recipe for decay, since the drug also dries out the mouth. Another effect is tooth grinding, which wears down the enamel. Heroin users are also more likely to experience gum disease, oral fungus, oral viral infections and discoloration of the tongue. A 2012 study published the Journal of the American Dental Association found that the pattern of decay known as “meth mouth” was characteristic of intravenous heroin users as well.
Seek professional help
If you or someone you know has an addiction, talk with a doctor to find an appropriate treatment program. Establishing an honest relationship with your dentist can pave the way for recovery from the addiction and to restoration of oral health.
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