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Do You Suffer From Headaches and Jaw Pain? Part 2

Welcome back!  How many of you who are reading this article today suffer from headaches and jaw pain?  Were you with us last week?  If, not then allow me to briefly bring you up to speed on what we talked about last week.  The topic of nocturnal bruxism was up for discussion and I shared the fact that many people suffer from it and that it can cause some serious damage to your oral tissues.  We offered one cause of this annoying and dangerous habit of grinding and clenching your teeth and that was that the teeth either don’t fit together properly or that the way they fit together the best is not comfortable for the jaw muscles to relax.  The result is nocturnal bruxism, better known as grinding and clenching of teeth.  Today, let’s talk about some other causes of nocturnal bruxism.

The “official” diagnosis of Nocturnal Bruxism

For those of you reading this article today who weren’t with us last week, I am repeating my definition of the “official” diagnosis of this condition:  it is the audible grinding of teeth that occurs at least three nights per week for a minimum of three months.  The result of this grinding of teeth can eventually cause headaches, jaw pain, wearing down of the teeth, tooth pain and tooth sensitivity.  When we are up against the chewing power of our teeth and jaw, the body will win as there is sufficient power available to crack the teeth, split the teeth and break fillings in the teeth.

Stress:  A known encourager of bruxism

As you can readily see, grinding and clenching of the teeth, nocturnal bruxism, is absolutely NOT in your best interests.  Unfortunately, for most of us, when we find ourselves in stressful situations, there is extra energy that becomes available and it simply MUST be released — one way or another.  While the things that cause each of us to be stressed differs greatly, there is one common thread — the energy that results must be released.  If you are already prone to bruxism, whether from childhood or whether it is a carefully crafted adult habit, you will likely utilize grinding and clenching of your teeth as an avenue for the reduction of this stress energy.

Other Causes

Ultimately the problem of bruxism is a wide-spread problem but the causes of it are not the same for everyone.  The cause of bruxism for some people could be a bite problem, or, a joint issue, or even a change in sleeping position or sleeping style.  The cause could be something as simple as knocking your chin against something or even chomping down too hard on a popcorn kernel.  Any of these things could cause a very minor change in your bite that could potentially and ultimately be a trigger for the grinding and clenching that is nocturnal bruxism.  And, since the potential causes are so vast, so then, are the remedies — what works for me may not necessarily work for you.

Your Periodontist in Long Island can help to identify the problem and can help get to the root of it.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him online at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.  Oh…and be sure to come on back next week so we can talk about some things you can do to protect yourself from the damages of nocturnal bruxism.

 

Do You Suffer From Headaches And Jaw Pain? Part 1

Are you like thousands, if not millions, of people world-wide who suffer from headaches and jaw pain?  While the headaches and jaw pain could be caused by some serious medical problems, many are caused by a nighttime phenomenon that could be prevented or controlled.  Are you noticing that your bed partner grinds and clenches his or her teeth all night long?  Well…if you find that habit annoying, then you need to sit down and read this article because you also could be found guilty of this annoying habit.  Let’s talk a bit about a possible cause of those headaches and jaw pain.

Nocturnal Bruxism

Nocturnal bruxism is a medical term for grinding of your teeth.   According to Matthew Messina, DDS and a consumer advisor spokesperson for the American Dental Association, this grinding happens because the teeth are not fitting quite right.  The fit problem occurs for several reasons such as the teeth don’t fit together smoothly or the way or place the teeth are fitting together best isn’t a comfortable position to allow your jaw muscles to relax properly.  When you grind your teeth, your body is trying to fix the fit problem by trying to remove the interference and it does this by basically wearing them down.  Unfortunately, over the long term, your body will win — most of us have sufficient chewing power to crack the teeth, split the teeth and break fillings.

How do you know if you have nocturnal bruxism?

The diagnosis for nocturnal bruxism is determined officially by the audible tooth-grinding for three or more nights per week and it needs to have been present for at least three months according to the  American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  They also say that this condition is transient — it can be an off and on situation.  They say that it is more common in children and occurs less frequently in adults.  The bad news is that if you have this condition in childhood, you will rarely outgrow it.  The result of this condition is headaches, jaw pain, wearing down of the teeth, loosening of the teeth, and tooth pain and sensitivity.

There are some external causes of this condition and next week we will discuss some of them and what you can do to reduce the occurrence of nocturnal bruxism.  In the meantime, keep up with those oh so vital routine dental cleanings and examinations with your Long Island Periodontist.  He can help to identify and treat many dental issues including bruxism and gum disease.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

Red Wine: Good for Your General Health. Is It Also Good for Your Oral Health?

We have all heard and read hundreds of articles that promote red wine for various general health concerns.  Those concerns range from improving your cholesterol levels to helping to prevent heart disease and cancer.  Have you ever wondered if it is also as good for your oral health as it seems to be for your general overall health?  Well, I, personally have read and written many articles about how foods and beverages can effect your teeth and other oral tissues.  I have wondered about red wine with its many attributes as well.  Let’s talk briefly about some information I read recently about red wine and your oral health.

Acidity

Let’s address the acidity of this popular beverage.  A recent survey reported that only about 16% of the people polled were really concerned with their oral health when it came to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.  The implications of how this consumption affects the health of their oral tissues apparently is not a high concern for those people.  The fact is that red wine is pretty acidic.  It leaves a mark on your teeth and, over a period of time, this mark can cause problems.  The acidity levels as well as the high levels of sugar in the beverage work together to create a damaging duet for your teeth.

How does the acidity cause problems?

The acidity levels in some foods and beverages can literally attack the enamel on your teeth.  This acid onslaught can, over time, reduce the ability of the tooth enamel to block bacteria from entering forbidden places in your mouth. Champagne and sparkling wines are truly the very worst enemies of your precious tooth enamel. It is far better choose a “flat” drink than a “fizzy” one to reduce the amount of carbonation to which you subject your oral tissues.

The acidic assault can be worse in some seasons

Most likely you will notice that more fizzy and sparkling kinds of drinks will be consumed in the summer time. People tend to drink more acidic fruit punches while recreating or when attending various types of celebrations where they are likely to drink champagne.  It has been suggested that drinking water between drinks may help to curb the damaging effects of the acidic beverages.

Red wine is not the only offender in this arena, port wines and coffee-based cocktails or spirits that are mixed with dark juices can also have negative effects on your teeth.  Routine good oral health care is vital to your continued good overall health. Your Periodontist in Long Island can help identify and treat oral health issues before they become a problem. Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

Is The Cost of Dental Visits Keeping You Away From the Chair? Part 3

Welcome back!  I am so glad  you came back this week.  As you may recall, we have been talking about some of the reasons why people don’t go to the dentist as regularly as they should for routine checkups and how some of these reasons actually result in some serious gum disease with ensuing damage to their oral tissues.  We have talked about the fact that even among American having dental insurance, there are still approximately 57% who leave a dental problem untreated due to cost issues.  And, we all know that percentage is even higher among those who do not have dental insurance.  Over the past two weeks, we have been talking about some ways to make those trips to the dentist more affordable and the option of a Health Savings Account was the last item on our list in last week’s article.  This week, I want to revisit that option because I believe that it deserves more time and space dedicated to it.  Lets talk more about health savings accounts and how you can benefit from them in regard to the cost of dental visits.

Health Savings Accounts

Last week we talked about how these accounts allow we consumers the opportunity to set aside money on a regular basis to be used for medical and dental expenses throughout the year.   This is a non-taxable account that allows you to put money into it on a monthly basis or whatever frequency works for you and you then can draw from it for those expenses for which you had planned and anticipated.  How can you plan for these expenses, you ask?  Well, just stop and think about how often you and other members of your family see your various medical professionals.  The kids may need sports physicals, or various vaccinations or that annual trip to the dentist for a routine oral cleaning.  If you or your spouse have any health issues that need regular and routine follow up, you will need to include those planned visits in your medical dollar estimates.  And, be sure to include gynecological visits, too.  Once you have calculated the approximate costs of the regular things, then you can add in a little extra for the unplanned expenses that are bound to come up.  The important thing in this is to be practical in your estimates and set the money aside regularly so that it is available when you need it.  You may still encounter some expenses not planned or thought of, but careful planning and budgeting will allow some of the money to be there when you need it as opposed to having to come up with all of the unexpected expense without having any prepared backup of any kind.

Have You Considered a Dental School for Treatments?

This is an option that most of us only think about when we want a cheap haircut or nail treatment.  There are cosmetology schools locally that can provide their services much less expensively because they are utilizing students who need on-the-job training while they earn their degrees.  Dental schools work similarly.  The students in both situations are under the supervision of a licensed professional who oversees everything they do.  You can help give practical experience to a dental student while you save money on some of those dental services.  Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

Medical expenses can cripple a family budget quickly and most of us live from paycheck to paycheck.  A little planning and disciplined saving can help to ease some of the stress involved in those unexpected dental costs.  Consider the options given in this article series and choose the best one(s) for you and your family.  In the meantime, keep Dr. Scharf in mind.  Your Periodontist on Long Island can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit at http://drscharf.com.  You’ll be glad you did!

Are You Gambling With Gum Disease? Part 5

Welcome back to the world of gum disease!  WOW! That certainly is not a place that I want to be or even to visit!  Anyway, I am glad you came back for the next installment on the topic of gambling with gum disease.  I know this isn’t the more pleasant of topics, but, for your overall general health, it is a vital one.  In previous installments, we have discussed how people have discovered they have gum disease even after they had taken what they thought at the time was good care of their teeth; we have talked about how your oral tissues are under constant attack from the foods you eat and the beverages you eat and we talked about how the body’s immune system responds inappropriately to inflammation caused by these attacks.  We have also talked about some other things that increase your opportunity of developing gum disease, some of which you can’t even control.  Today, we’re going to go “beyond the gums” and take a look at some things that can become spin-off from that inflammation and ensuing gum disease.

The Risk Doesn’t End in Your Mouth

If you could isolate the inflammation that causes gum disease to just your mouth, you might not fare too badly.  Unfortunately, this inflammation and all of the associated bacteria can not only damage bone and tissues in your mouth that support your teeth, but it can also circulate throughout your body via the bloodstream and can invade every part of your body and every organ contained therein.  The ugly truth is that the potential for serious health conditions to develop over time is huge!

Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

Ongoing studies are finding that there is an association between periodontal disease and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  They have not yet been able to actually prove a cause-and-effect type of relationship but as recently as April of this year some researchers published study results in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology is eye-opening to say the least.  They found among the over 15, 000 study participants that those having periodontal disease that ranged from bleeding gums to tooth loss were more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors like increased glucose (blood sugar) levels, blood pressure, LDL (the bad cholesterol) and obesity.

Cancer Risks Increase

The increased cancer risk is also well documented in on-going research.  One such study, done in 2008, found that among their 48,000 male participants, who were aged 40 to 75 years, those who had periodontal disease were at a higher risk for the development of cancers like lung, kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers.

Untreated periodontal disease is strongly suspected to play a huge role in the development of these diseases as well as cognitive decline in older adults, increased risk of respiratory problems like pneumonia, controlling blood sugars and even increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies due to loss of teeth and the ensuing inability to chew foods properly.  These are all serious medical issues that can affect the length and quality of your life as you age.  The identification and treatment of inflammation and periodontal disease is vital to your overall good general health.  Your Periodontist in Long Island can help.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit on the web at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.  Oh and…come on back next week and we will talk about some ways to prevent periodontal disease.

Is The Cost Of Dental Visits Keeping You Away From The Chair? Part 2

Welcome back for this week’s installment on the topic of the cost of dental visits.  Last week, we talked about how the expense of dental visits is truly scary to the average family.  We cited some statistics about the percentages of Americans who have dental issues that have left those issues untreated, both for those with dental insurance and for those without it.  We began to talk about some ways to help take the bite out of that trip to the dentist (pun intended).  This week we will continue to discuss some other suggestions that you might wish to consider to help with the cost of dental visits.

Do you schedule regular visits to your dentist?

If you’re like me, your dentist wants to schedule teeth cleanings twice a year.  But, research is showing that annual cleanings for most average patients could be every bit as effective as the twice a year visits that most of us have been encouraged to do for most of our lives.  The research doesn’t support  notable benefits between twice a year cleanings and once a year cleanings but the it DOES support having that annual exam and cleaning regularly.  This annual cleaning visit is vital to your continued good oral health as it allows your dental professional the opportunity to evaluate and assess the oral tissues and identify any problems before they become serious issues.  However, if you already have periodontal disease, it will be in your best interests to visit your dental professional more often.

How about discounts and negotiating your fees?

Have you ever questioned your dental professional about possible discounts for the services they provide or recommend that you have?  This negotiation process may be more successful that you may think as many dental practices would prefer to accept a discounted charge from a cash-paying patient in lieu of the extra work and manpower required to file through an insurance company for the higher fees.  You could even ask for the same rates that they charge insurance companies if you don’t have insurance.  These rates could represent a 10% to 15% discount.  It certainly seems to me to be worth a try.

Do you have access to a Health Savings Account?

This particular option provides cash for those routine medical expenses of all types that you expect to need during the year.  The amount you save can actually be more than you expect to need so you are covered for unexpected expenses.  The funds in these accounts are set aside in an nontaxable account that is designated specifically for medical and dental expenses and they are frequently utilized for high deductible insurance plans.

This HSA option is a pretty broad and encompassing option that deserves more discussion. Next week, we will expand upon HSA option to help you understand how it can help you in multiple ways.  In the meantime, don’t neglect your oral health.  Your Periodontist on Long Island can help to identify and treat gum disease in any member of your family.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 of visit him at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum and periodontal disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

 

 

 

Are You Gambling With Gum Disease? Part 4

Well, hello, again!  I am so happy to have you come back to get more information on this vital topic.  As you may recall, this article series has been covering some issues that many of us don’t normally think about as well as covering some interesting information about how the gums are under constant attack by everything we eat and drink.   We have been talking about how untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth decay and loss as well as bone loss and other deterioration of our oral tissues.  Previously, we talked about how this deterioration occurs and some of the signs that you will notice when the conditions get bad enough.  Last week, we talked about a couple of factors that can influence your risk of developing periodontal disease.  This week, we will continue to discuss more of these factors that can have you gambling with gum disease.

Are you under emotional stress?

There have been a number of studies done over the past few decades that have looked at the effect of emotional stress on the human body.  What they found was that emotional stress definitely affects your immune system.  Since your immune system controls the way your body deals with infections, emotional stress can cause your immune system to have more difficulty doing what it does best to fight infections, including those that cause periodontal disease.

Do you clench or grind your teeth?

This is another factor in the vane of gambling with gum disease.  When you clench or grind your teeth, you are putting abnormal pressure on the oral tissues from the force created from the clenching and grinding.  This extra pressure results in weakness in the structures that support your teeth and, potentially, it can speed up the progression of periodontal disease and any associated damage caused by it.

Do you know the side affects of the medication you take for your general health?

This is an area that many people do not necessarily associate with gum disease.  While it isn’t upper-most on your mind when you consider your oral health, you certainly should be aware that there exists quite an array of medications that can affect your oral tissues.  Specifically some antihistamines, antidepressants, oral contraceptives and certain heart medications fall into this category.  They have the ability to cause dry mouth and other conditions that can degrade your oral tissues to the point where periodontal disease development can be exacerbated.

How is your nutrition and your weight?

Surely you knew this one was going to come up, right?  Good nutrition is oh so important so that your body and each cell and system can function the way the Creator intended.  Poor nutrition can slow down the normal processes of the immune system.  This will make it more challenging for your body to fight off those nasty infections referred to above.  Additionally, studies have been done that address obesity and this also has been added to the risks associated with development of gum disease.

Your Periodontist on Long Island can help you identify gum disease in any member of your family.  Establishing and / or maintaining a routine checkup regimen will go a long way toward protecting you and your family against development of periodontal disease and, if it already exists, then appropriate treatment can be initiated to protect those vital oral tissues.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

 

 

Are The Costs of Dental Visits Keeping You Away From The Chair? Part 1

Are you like thousands of people in the United States that would like to establish and maintain a treatment relationship with your local dental professional?  Are you really interested in protecting yourself and your family from the damages and long-term risks of untreated periodontal disease?  Is the cost of keeping up with this phase of your general health prohibitive for your budget?  Well, if you answered yes to ANY of these questions, you need to follow along with me today while we discuss some suggestions on how to save money on those dental visits.  According to the 2013 Dental Care Affordability and Accessibility study, over half of Americans with dental insurance leave a dental problem like a toothache or bleeding gums untreated due to the cost of treatment.  If there is no dental insurance, understandably, the percentage is almost 70%.  I want to share with you some tips that I have discovered that might help make that trip to the dentist less expensive and, hopefully, more enjoyable.

Get insurance

This is probably the most obvious way to help ensure that you won’t pay high out-of-pocket dental expenses.  Though the rates are likely to vary, you can get information on available plans by going to eHealthInsurance.com as well as other locations on the web.  Do a search and see what pops up!  You might be surprised!  Many of these plans are available for $15 to $25 per month, depending on the carrier you choose, location and, of course, the policy options you need or desire.

Many dental policies will cover on a basic 100-80-50 plan.  This means that 100% of preventative and diagnostic costs are covered, approximately 80% of the cost of basic procedures that include fillings and extractions are covered, and 50% of major services such as crowns and dentures are covered.  Many of these plans have an annual cap of perhaps $1,000 or $1,500 that is included.  This means that once they have paid the $1,000 or $1,500 in charges, then you are responsible for the remaining portion for the rest of the year.   Even if you don’t have any problems, it is always a good option to have something in place just in case you get a surprise that requires some major dental work.

Have you ever considered a discount plan?

This option is fairly popular.  You basically pay an annual fee, let’s say $80 to $120 each year, and this allows you to get discounts ranging from 10% to 60% on all of your dental visits, services and procedures.  This type of plan has no annual maximum and it will allow discounts on cosmetic procedures like whitening which are not generally covered in conventional dental insurance plans.   Again, prices will likely vary, depending on location, carrier and options desired.

There are more tips that I want to share with you and I will do so next time.  I hope you will come back next week and we will talk about more tips on saving money on those oh so vital dental visits.  In the meantime, remember that your Periodontist on Long Island can identify and treat gum disease in any member of your family.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit online at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

 

 

Are You Gambling With Gum Disease And Other Serious Illnesses? Part 3

Well, here we are again.  I hope you are enjoying our little trip down medical lane as we are discussing how gum disease can affect other parts and other systems in the human body.  As you may recall, we have been discussing how brushing your teeth on a daily basis, even multiple times a day, may not protect you from gum disease and the damage caused by it.  We talked about the more than 65 million Americans who suffer from some form or stage of periodontal disease and how, if left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.  We talked about how your gums are under attack every time you eat or drink anything.  Today, we are going to talk about some of the main causes of periodontal disease.

Toxic Plaque

The ever-present plaque buildup is probably the main cause of periodontal disease.  As explained last week, the formation of this toxic plaque triggers an immune system reaction that progresses into a cycle that eventually causes the immune system to attack itself in a sort of “friendly fire” kind of way.  The resulting inflammation causes a breakdown of bone and teeth, separation of gums from the teeth and, eventually, a deterioration of supporting tissue that causes teeth to fall out.  While this is not a pretty picture of and by itself, there are other contributors to the damage caused by gum diseases.

Age is a factor

According to statistics quoted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you become more likely to develop periodontal disease the more birthdays that you celebrate.  They report that nearly half of all Americans who are aged 30 years or older likely have periodontal disease in some stage or form.  And, they say that the percentages increase to around seventy percent in the over 65 age group!

 

Tobacco Use

If you’re a smoker or other type of tobacco user, add this to the list of risks you are taking each and every time you light up or pinch off your snuff.  Research suggests that whether you smoke or utilize smokeless methods of tobacco use, you are participating in the most significant risk factor for the development and progression of periodontal disease.   One of the reasons for this is the fact that smoking causes changes in your mouth that can make it more difficult to identify symptoms of gum disease, citing that the heat, tar and nicotine cause decreased blood flow in the oral tissues.  With decreased blood flow, you don’t get so much of the swelling, bleeding or gum tenderness that a non-smoker gets that can alert you to the presence of gum or periodontal issues.  Frequently, by the time the dentist sees the patient, the tissue resembles rubber and doesn’t facilitate healing.

Genetics

Even though you may practice good oral hygiene habits, there is a possibility that you will still develop gum disease in some stage or form.  Many patients just simply have a genetic predisposition to development and progression of this malady regardless of their attempts to care appropriately for their oral tissues.

These are not, by any means, the only contributing factors to development of periodontal disease.  Next time, we will talk about four more contributors that I think you might find surprising.  I hope you will tune in next week.  In the meantime, it is vital, for your overall general health, that you establish and maintain a regular dental examination routine with your local dental profession.  Your Periodontist on Long Island can help to identify and treat gum disease in any member of your family.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Tongue: A Diagnostic Tool For Oral and Systemic Issues?

I’ll bet you’re among those people who think your tongue was designed only to help you chew, taste and process the foods you eat and the fluids you drink.  I know that was pretty much my take on this particular oral body part.  However, I recently read an article that has completely changed that opinion and I would like to share what I learned with you.  Today, we are going to talk about how the tongue is a diagnostic tool for your oral as well as systemic health.

You Can Detect Issues

The great thing about this diagnostic tool called your tongue is that you don’t necessarily need your dentist or doctor to see problems and changes that could result in deeper issues with your health.  All you have to do is get in front of your bathroom mirror and stick out your tongue to see some changes that may require medical attention.  I will briefly discuss some things that you would want to look for when you inspect your tongue — these things could help you avoid more serious problems later.

  • Swollen grey / white balloon under your tongue:  This could signal a blocked or clogged salivary gland.  This happens when something clogs the tiny opening in the gland and fluid buildup and swelling result.  Sometimes it can be a salivary stone — similar to a kidney stone that is composed of calcium.  You may have to see your Dentist for removal if it doesn’t go away in a few days.
  • Sores with halos around them: The description of a healthy tongue is pink and relatively smooth without lumps or bumps.  If your tongue doesn’t look that way; if you see red or white patches, a spot surrounded by a red ring, white areas that look like a lace pattern or a sore that doesn’t heal, then you should contact your dental professional right away.  These signs could be a alert for skin cancer.
  • Red, thick tongue:  This one could be a result of your diet.  If you have a vitamin deficiency, especially a B12 deficiency, your tongue will be one of the first places to show it.  Vitamin B12 is essential for creating healthy red blood cells and, when these levels are below normal, anemia can happen.  If you are anemic, your tongue could feel sore and appear thick and “beefy”.  If you are on a vegetarian diet or have celiac or Crohn’s disease, you may not be getting enough foods to keep your B12 levels up to par.
  • Black, hairy-looking tongue:  If you have taken oral antibiotics recently, the normal bacterial climate in your mouth can be disrupted.  This can cause an accelerated growth of the tiny round projections on your tongue called papillae.  They normally slough off but in this environment they will grow and give your tongue a furry or hairy look.
  • Swelling:  This sign could signal an allergic reaction and requires immediately attention.  The importance and urgency of this sign isn’t so much the swelling of the tongue but rather the swelling of the airway that lies behind the tongue.  This can push the tongue forward and make it appear larger.  Without quick treatment, this swelling could block your airway and could become a life-threatening situation pretty quickly.
  • Dry, white gloss tongue:  Xerostomia, or dry mouth, happens when the mouth simply doesn’t produce sufficient saliva.  The uncomfortable dryness that results affects the balance of the bacterial environment in your mouth which can change the color and appearance of your tongue.  If this remains untreated, it can cause gum disease and tooth decay due to the fact that saliva is responsible for providing minerals that help to keep your teeth and other oral tissues healthy.

If you note any of these conditions during your routine mouth inspections, be sure to consult your dental professional for guidance.  Your Periodontist on Long Island can identify and treat these conditions as well as gum and periodontal disease in any member of your family.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.