12620 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

410-531-5639

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Posts for tag: dentistry

Have you ever watched a television commercial for a new drug or medication, and just zone out as dozens of potential side effects are listed off? Well, something such as "increased risk of heart attack" is likely to catch your attention and snap you back into focus. But "dry mouth" certainly won't. Yet, dry mouth caused by medication is actually a common, and potentially severe, side effect of many popular drugs.Dry Mouth Due to Medications

It's not just a small discomfort issue. Dry mouth can directly lead to increased, and serious, tooth decay, as well as painful and severe mouth sores and infections. Maybe your attention is perked up a bit now.

These issues occur because of the important roles that regular saliva production has for your oral health. Saliva helps to fight off bacteria and tooth decay, aid in digestion, talking and swallowing, and keep the exposed tissue throughout your mouth properly hydrated. In addition, dry mouth is also known to cause bad breath, and other issues such as cracked lips.

Worse, as many as 500 different medications, from antihistamines to blood pressure medicine and just about everything in between, may cause dry mouth in certain individuals.

Not only that, but almost half of all adults take at least one daily prescription medication. And 90% of adults over the age of 65 do so, and they're the population most at risk for chronic dry mouth. The American Dental Association estimates that 25 million American adults have inadequate saliva production or composition.

So what can you do if you've been experiencing dry mouth?

The first step is to see if it's possible that medication you're taking is the cause of the problem. Read about the side effects of the medications you're using, and consult with your doctor to see if that's a likelihood, if there is alternative medication to take, or if you can try to go off the medication or not.

You can also self-manage your dry mouth with simple strategies such as increasing your fluid intake and chewing on sugarless gum. Take frequent sips of water, or even chew on ice chips. Additionally, avoid beverages which may make dry mouth worse - including alcohol, and anything with caffeine or carbonation.

There are also saliva substitutes and oral moisturizers which may be available.

If you have any questions or you'd like to schedule an appointment to discuss dry mouth and its effects on your oral health, and possible treatments, then please call our office directly at 410.531.5639.

Obamacare has been all over the news as of late, and most people are probably sick of hearing about it at this point. However, at Parmar Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we wanted to share some important information on one area of the Affordable Care Act which has gone overlooked by most, and that's the impact on the dental industry.

As with all areas of medical and healthcare, there's going to be an extended adjustment period, and the full extent of these changes and how they actually fall into practice are yet to be known. However, there are two important ways in which the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will directly affect the dental industry and dental coverage -- pediatric coverage, and excise taxes.

One of the hopefully very beneficial and impactful stipulations of Obamacare will be that all children should have dental coverage available for them. Right now, there are anywhere from 10 to 15 million children in the country who are without dental coverage and proper treatment.

The benefits to helping that many children with their oral health, preventing major problems before they start, instilling proper dental hygiene habits, and more, is huge. Dental practices may also see a surge of new patients, with so many millions of children perhaps going to the office for the first time, or the first time in a long time.

A potential concern however will be if adults now have to choose between their own dental coverage and treatment, and that of their children's. In tight financial times, this is the type of tough decision which many families may have to make, although we don't know how this will play out exactly as of yet.

Secondly, the 2.3% excise tax which went into effect at the start of 2013 applies to medical equipment. While it's applied on the manufacturer's end, this cost is then likely passed down in most cases to the dentist and his or her own practice.

This is important not only for dentists as they manage their own capital purchases and investments, but also on their patients. Will their increased costs either force them to pass down the costs to the end patient, or instead, discourage them from the purchases of the latest and most advanced and up to date equipment?

It's another issue which is only beginning to be explored, so the answers are unclear at this time.

Feel free to call our office at 410.531.5639 or use our contact form if you have any questions about your dental coverage and the Affordable Care Act, or to schedule an appointment today.