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October « 2011 « Mark Freeman, DDS

Archive for October, 2011

Relationship Between Asthma & Caries

Friday, October 28th, 2011

When working with the general population, our Staff at Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates are sometimes perplexed to why one person has a high cavity rate and another person does not.  Especially when the person getting the cavities seems to be doing everything right.  Sometimes, the answer is hidden in the patient’s Medical History.  One of the new links between Systemic Issues and Dental Cavities is Asthma:  however, this correlation is tricky and needs to be understood by the patient and/or the parent.  Results gathered through a variety of studies all indicate that there is no evidence directly linking  Asthma with Dental Decay.  Studies also show that the severity of a person’s Asthma and/or the frequency of their attacks does not influence the amount of Cavities a person develops.  So if a link cannot be found between the Respritory Disease and Dental Decay, why do some patients with Asthma tend to have a higher rate of decay over their lifetime?

One possible reason is the use of Inhalers to combat the Asthma attacks.  Studies  show that the long-term use of inhalers leads to a hypofunction of the salivary glands.  This means the salivary glands do not function at their optimum rate, producing less saliva and in some cases a thicker saliva.  This is a side effect of many medications called Xerostomia or Dry Mouth.  Saliva is one of the most important factors in battling Decay.  Saliva acts as a natural lubricant, creating a slick film layer to lessen the amount of Bacteria  adhering to the tooth.  Saliva is also a constant cleaning force to to help flush the mouth of excessive  bacterial levels.  But the greatest effect that Saliva has in the mouth, is that it is a natural Base which balances out the high Acidic levels produced by Dental Bacteria.  It is this Acid by-product which breaks down enamel and begins the decay process. 

Patients with reduced levels of Saliva (Dry Mouth) often suffer from a variety of problems including a burning sensation of the tongue, bad breath, and an increased Decay Rate.   Without a proper Salivary Flow, patients with Dry Mouth often have a higher oral bacterial rate.  This increase in microscopic activity can lead to decay if the bacterial levels are not disturbed  by good Oral Home Care —- Brushing & Flossing.    Home Care and an increase in topical Fluoride can help Xerostomia patients keep their decay rate at more normal levels.  At the office of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, we recommend the SoniCare Toothbrush to help break-up plaque growth and stimulate Saliva production, prescription toothpastes with high levels of Topical Fluoride, and chewing Sugar Free Gum.  Sugar Free Gum helps to control decay by removing bacteria from the tooth’s surface and stimulating Saliva.   Xylitol (the sugar substitute) also aids in killing oral bacteria.

Studies have shown that there is no direct relationship between Asthma  and a patient’s Decay Rate.  It is the use of inhalers which can contribute to increased Dental Caries by causing Dry Mouth Syndrome.  This can, however, be combated with increased Brushing, Flossing, Flossing & the use of Sugar-Free Gum.   For more information concerning Xerostomia see our web page concerning Dry Mouth at richmonddentalgroup.com.


Hello and Welcome to all our Patients and Friends

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

From everyone here at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, we would like to welcome you to our NEW website and blog.  We have been working very hard to bring you a dental site which can help answer many of your dental questions, but yet be fun and interactive.  I hope you find our new site easy to use.  By using the buttons across the top and bottom of our welcome page, you can find out more about procedures you may be needing or thinking about.  In General Dentistry, you can learn more about fillings and crowns, extractions and bridges, as well as partial dentures and TMJ.  In Cosmetic Dentistry, see what is possible with implants, whitening, Veneers and much, much more.  Your Oral Health is very important to our office: therefore, we have dedicated a section of our websit to just that.  Here you will find everything from the basics about brushing and flossing to how we treat Periodontal Disease.  For new patients interested in finding out more about our office or existing patients who want to get to know us better, the Our Office button introduces you to our Doctors, Hygienist and Staff and even has slide-show tour of our facility.   The Patient Information section is filled with helpful information and documents you can download to help make your visits to our office go smoothly.  And, just for your entertainment, please check out our Games & Contest page for fun and a chance to win some great prizes!

We truly want our web-site to be a great referral page for anything and everything about Dentistry!  Please feel free to forward our site to your friends so they too can have all the information at their fingertips.  If you ever have a question which you would like more information about, go to Contact Us, and one of our skilled Team Members will get back with you as soon as possible.

Who Makes You Smile?

Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates





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