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Cantrell West Dental
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New York Times: Many Prescription Medications Cause Xerostomia

The New York Times (4/24, Ray, Subscription Publication) states that “a frequent side effect of many commonly prescribed drugs” is xerostomia, according to a 2015 review of research on treating xerostomia published in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. The New York Times states many “common culprits in xerostomia,” include benzodiazepine, antidepressants, some oral drugs used to reduce blood sugar, respiratory agents, quinine, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, drugs used to treat excess urination, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, glucosamine supplements, and magnesium hydroxide. “Not all the drying mechanisms of the various drugs involved are fully understood,” the article states. “Some of them are known to suppress the action of receptors on nerve cells in various glands, including the salivary glands, that produce fluids.”

In fact, there are over 400 medications known to cause dry mouth. This is not only bothersome, but can lead to serious decay problems.

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Excellent review by The M., via BirdEye

Dr Deems and every member of his staff do a great job. Very professional and knowledgeable always. Their experience gives us peace of mind to trust they always identify issues accurately and more than capably treat any issues quickly and painlessly. Highly recommend this practice for all dental needs.

Read review at BirdEye https://birdeye.com/cantrell-west-dental-957069824/review/53315374537532041
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Post has attachment
Excellent review by The M., via BirdEye

Dr Deems and every member of his staff do a great job. Very professional and knowledgeable always. Their experience gives us peace of mind to trust they always identify issues accurately and more than capably treat any issues quickly and painlessly. Highly recommend this practice for all dental needs.

Read review at BirdEye https://birdeye.com/cantrell-west-dental-957069824/review/53315374537532041
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Poor Oral Hygiene, Infection Among Reasons Tongue May Turn White

Refinery 29 (4/12, Stieg) discusses reasons why a tongue may turn white, stating that one cause is a film building up on tongues from poor oral hygiene. Other conditions may affect the color and appearance of tongues, such as fungal infections, other yeast infections, inflammatory conditions, and cancer. The article advises brushing tongues regularly and seeing a dentist for any concerns. I recommend the use of a tongue scraper on a daily basis, particularly before bedtime. Scrubbing your tongue with your toothbrush is not nearly as effective as using a tongue scraper.

USA Today: Proper Toothbrush Storage “Really Matters”

USA Today (4/6, May) notes that toothbrushes can harbor bacteria, including fecal coliform bacteria. Although it is unlikely these bacteria will cause adverse health effects, USA Today states that “how you store your toothbrush is often what really matters.” The article notes that the American Dental Association recommends people rinse their toothbrushes with tap water after brushing and allow toothbrushes to air dry, since covering toothbrushes can create an environment more conducive to bacteria growth. In addition, the article recommends people replace their toothbrushes every three to four months and never share a toothbrush.

NYTimes Examines Health Benefits Of Chewing Gum

The New York Times (4/5, Peachman, Subscription Publication) analyzes the health claims that William Wrigley Jr., founder of the Wrigley Company, made in the 1930s about the company’s chewing gum. In a letter mailed at the time, Wrigley wrote that chewing gum “is good for children’s teeth, which need more exercise than they get with modern soft food.” According to Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there is no evidence supporting this or other claims of oral health benefits from chewing the gum sold in the 1930s, which all contained sugar. However, the article notes that since then, “dental experts have come to the conclusion that chewing sugar-free gum after meals increases the flow of saliva, which can help clear sugars and bacteria from the mouth, neutralize plaque acids and strengthen teeth, all of which can help to prevent cavities.” In addition, Dr. Miller said the increased salivary flow may be particularly beneficial for people with dry mouth. “That can be caused by a lot of medications or medical problems, and increased salivary flow can really be helpful for reducing the risk of cavities,” he said. NOTE: too much "sugarless" gum may causing diarrhea, so use sparingly ...

Oral Cancer - Not Something to Dismiss

Oral cancers account for nearly 3 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and 1.6 percent of cancer deaths. The article noted that “the American Dental Association recognizes that early oral cancer diagnoses have the potential to have a significant impact on treatment decisions and outcomes, and it supports routine visual and tactile examinations, particularly for patients who are at risk, including those who use tobacco or who are heavy consumers of alcohol."

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Dr. Deems provides expert suggestions and facts about a popular and often-asked about topic: tooth whitening.

Gum Disease May Be Associated With Earlier Death In Older Women, Study Suggests

CNN reports that research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests “gum disease and tooth loss are connected to a higher risk of early death in women past the age of menopause.” Michael J. LaMonte, lead author of the study and a research associate professor at the University at Buffalo in New York, notes that the findings only suggest an association between oral health and premature death. CNN adds, “The research does not show gum disease or tooth loss cause early death.”

For the study, HealthDay reports that investigators “tracked data on more than 57,000 women aged 55 and older.” The researchers found that “a history of gum disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.” In addition, researchers found that loss of natural teeth was associated with “a 17 percent increased risk of death from any cause.”

Older Adults Face Additional Oral Health Challenges

Noting the importance of maintaining oral health as people age, the San Diego Union-Tribune (3/20) reports that several factors, however, may “exacerbate problems and inhibit a senior’s ability to brush, floss or visit the dentist.” For example, medications may cause dry mouth, arthritis can limit dexterity, and lack of transportation or dental coverage may make it difficult to maintain regular dental visits. With this in mind, the article shares several tips to help seniors maintain oral health, such as taking steps to avoid dry mouth, using a fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water, flossing, maintaining regular dental visits, and receiving help from caregivers when needed.
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