Posts for: August, 2015

By LaRoche Dental
August 20, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

If you’ve noticed redness or small skin cracks at the corners of your mouth, you may have a common infection known as perleche or angular cheilitis. Depending on its cause, there are ways to treat the redness and skin cracking to lessen your discomfort.

The term perleche comes from the French word “lecher,” meaning to lick. This is derived from the tendency of perleche patients to constantly lick the area to ease irritation; unfortunately, this also helps perpetuate the inflammation. Once the skin is broken the area is commonly infected by yeast called candida albicans.

Initially, perleche may arise from a variety of sources, most of them locally from either inside or around the mouth, although it can be triggered by a general body infection or disease like diabetes or cancer, or vitamin or iron deficiencies. Inside the mouth reduced saliva flow, tissue inflammation under a rarely cleaned denture (denture stomatitis), pressure on the mouth corners caused by a collapsed bite due to missing teeth and similar conditions can elevate the risks for infection. Around the mouth wrinkling or “marionette lines,” deep lines that extend from the mouth to the chin due to aging or environmental exposure, can contribute to crack formation. Drooling during sleep or as a result of orthodontic treatment is also a contributing cause.

The main focus of treatment for perleche is to bring any infection under control. This can be accomplished with a course of oral or topical antifungal (yeast-attacking) medication. If the infection has spread into the mouth or throat we might then prescribe a troche, a small lozenge designed to dissolve, which you would rinse with and then swallow to affect other portions of the mouth. Steroid or zinc oxide ointments applied directly to the skin can control inflammation and serve as a barrier agent with antifungal properties to promote healing.

If the cause is more related to dental problems (ill-fitting dentures or missing teeth), then it’s important to have these addressed and treated. You may also consult a dermatologist for treatments to lessen wrinkling around the mouth that might also contribute to chronic cases of perleche.

If you would like more information on cracked mouth corners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”

By LaRoche Dental
August 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sugar  

Find out the detrimental effects that sugar can have on your smile.

Did you know that a whopping 92 percent of adults in the US have had to deal with cavities? This statistic is rather shocking since Sugar cavities can be completely avoidable with the proper oral care. Unfortunately, the US has a more serious issue: sugar. From sodas and candy to hidden sugar in our breads and salad dressings, Americans are consuming more and more sugar than we may even realize. This not only spells trouble for our general health but also our oral health, as your Hollis, NY dentist Dr. Cecilia N. LaRoche sees an increase in both cavities and gum disease. So what is the danger that sugar has on our teeth and how can we protect our smiles from damage?

Why is sugar bad for our teeth?

As most of us know sugar is one of the leading causes of cavities. But how? The bacteria in our mouth thrive off certain kinds of sugar. When we consume sugar, the bacteria turns this sugar into plaque, a thin film that sits on our teeth. This plaque also contains acid, which eats away at healthy enamel and causes holes to develop over time. It’s the acid within plaque that is responsible for destroying teeth. If you’ve ever experienced a serious toothache or developed an abscess due to a cavity you can blame acid.

Can’t I just brush or floss better?

You can always create a more effective or thorough oral regime but researchers have still found that no matter how much fluoride treatment you use or more extensive oral care measures you adopt there still remains an extremely high rate of cavities. Therefore, the best way to reduce your chance of sugar-induced cavities is by cutting your sugar intake in half.

How much sugar is too much?

So how much sugar can you consume in a day? While in a perfect world we wouldn’t consume any sugar, it’s amazing how much sugar is found in our everyday foods and drinks. The World Health Organization recommends reducing daily sugar intake to only take up about 5 percent of your total caloric intake, or 25g of sugars. Reading food labels and avoiding obvious foods and beverages like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, baked goods and candy will go a long way to promote a cavity-free smile.

Even if you do your best to avoid sugar this doesn’t negate seeing your Hollis, NY dentist Dr. LaRoche every six months for routine cleanings and exams. If it’s time for your next visit then call LaRoche Dental today to schedule your upcoming appointment.

By LaRoche Dental
August 05, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

Hollis, NY Dentist
LaRoche Dental
205-07 Hillside Ave Suite #17
Hollis, NY 11423
(718) 776-0600

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