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36 FEATURES


editorial@robson.com | SUN LAKES SPLASH | October 2013 your


Rebecca Burton, R.D.A., B.S. Saba and Romanin Dental Associates Modern dentistry has given us some


welcome gifts: drills that don’t have to be pedaled by


the dentist, more effective


anesthetics and dental implants - the closest thing to natural teeth (to name just a few)! Although dentistry continues to evolve, we still have not found the magic pill or vaccine to prevent dental caries (a/k/a/ tooth decay, cavities). Of particular concern are patients with reduced saliva, or “dry mouth.” Dry mouth signifi cantly increases a patient’s risk for new cavities. If you are a person that fi nds yourself


wondering why you often have new cavities, here is some information that may be helpful to you. Who? As quoted in Balance, A Guide for Managing


Dental Caries for Patients and Practitioners, we learn that according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), dental caries is an epidemic in the United States. In fact, although largely preventable, 85 percent of all adults experience tooth decay and more than 60 percent of adults will lose a permanent tooth due to decay. Where do cavities come from? The teeth are naturally constantly covered


in a biofi lm (saliva) which contains good bacteria and harmful bacteria. There are currently 23 identifi ed strains of harmful bacteria in biofi lm that produce the acids responsible for eating away enamel. When conditions are right, the good bacteria can die out, and the harmful bacteria will thrive and


Editor’s Note: “2 Your Health” is a new column in the Sun Lakes Splash dedicated to health issues. Each month different doctors and or medical associations, from varying specialties, will be writing on issues of importance. Articles are based on experiences and independent research conducted by the doctors or medical associations. We encourage anyone considering changing medications and or altering medical therapy, as a result of information contained in these articles, to consult your doctor first. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities, Inc. is not liable for information contained in these articles.


health


eat away at the teeth. What causes harmful bacteria to thrive? We know that cavity-causing bacteria


cannot thrive in a low acid environment. Remember


this: when acid levels in your


mouth are high, your risk of new cavities is high. When you lower the acid in your mouth, your risk for new decay decreases. How do I elevate my pH level and lower


the acid level in my mouth? There are several ways: Don’t drink (or limit) acidic beverages like


diet soda, coffee, sparkling water and alcohol. Limit how often you eat and drink because


every time you eat, the pH in your mouth drops and the acid level rises. Use products that will elevate you pH


like xylitol gum or lozenges and prescription strength fl uoride. Avoid rinses that contain alcohol. Are you at risk? There is a way to know where you stand


when it comes to risk for future dental decay. A simple fi ve-minute test will tell your dentist how much of the harmful bacteria you have in the biofi lm on your teeth. Between that test and an assessment of other risk factors, you will fall into one of fi ve categories ranging from low-risk to high-risk. Thirty percent of the population fall into the high-risk category and have an 85 percent chance of developing new decay in a one-year period of time. If you would like more information about


reducing your risk of decay and go for a complimentary consultation, contact the offi ce of Dr. Saba and Dr. Romanin at 480- 895-2111. 


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