2/22/2016 12:00:00 PM | Unknown

The relationship between oral health and overall health is symbiotic – what affects one entity has an impact on the other. In recent years, the nature of the oral-systemic connection has become more and more pronounced as studies show the link oral conditions such as periodontal disease and tooth abscesses can have on the health of the rest of the body.

Additionally, these studies have opened the door for better understanding of how certain health conditions have oral health implications. In particular, celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity has a range of oral symptoms. As a result, many health professionals are now recognizing the benefit of inter-disciplinary diagnoses as allowing patients to pursue effective care more rapidly.

The Oral Implications of Celiac Disease
Popularly known as gluten sensitivity, celiac disease occurs when a patient is intolerant to the gluten protein which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. This can prevent the body from properly absorbing important nutrients, including iron, calcium, folate, and fat-soluble vitamins. The condition can lead to a number of other health implications, including gastric reflux, ulcers, bloating, chronic constipation and diarrhea, cramping, as well as anemia.

Patients with celiac disease may also experience oral symptoms. In addition to causing canker sores, celiac disease also lead to geographic tongue (where gluten-induced damage causes the tongue to look like a topographical map), tonsil stones, redness at the back of the throat, excess mucus production, bad breath, and cysts on the flap of skin connecting the top lip to the gums. Most uniquely, celiac disease can also cause tooth enamel defects, leading to an increased risk of cavities and decay.

Oral Manifestations and Rapid Diagnosis
While this condition is one of the most common chronic GI disorders worldwide, diagnosis can be difficult as the symptoms are often confused as other conditions. As a result, identifying celiac disease is often delayed, causing patients to go for extended periods of time without realizing what is causing their discomfort or to be misdiagnosed, leading to mistreatment and the potential exacerbation of the symptoms.

As dentists see patients at least twice a year, many are able to notice the oral symptoms of a gluten sensitivity and recommend a visit to their general physician for a confirmed diagnosis. This opens the door for more rapid diagnosis, potentially leading to patients receiving the right care before the symptoms of celiac disease wreak havoc on the patient’s overall health.

Oral and Overall Health
At the Sunnyvale dental practice of Dr. Ratna Indah, our personalized dental treatments are created to reinforce each patient’s oral and overall wellness. By monitoring your smile for signs and symptoms of extenuating health conditions, our dentist is able to provide patients with comprehensive solutions and lifelong oral health. For more information about achieving long-term wellness through oral care, contact our Sunnyvale dentisttoday.

1/5/2016 10:20:00 AM | Unknown

Thanks to modern dental technology, many procedures are being redesigned in order to provide a better patient experience and lasting results. This includes changing what materials are being used in conventional dental treatments in order to create plans that improve the wellbeing of the entire body.  As a result of this new approach to dentistry, more and more dentists are phasing out amalgam or metal-based restorations in favor of more biocompatible composite fillings or porcelain crowns.

Why are Amalgam Restorations Being Phased Out?
While critics will argue that this shift from metal to composite is merely a fad, recent studies have indicated that in the long run, metal restoration may have a negative impact on a patient’s overall health. Much of this is due to the question of how safe dental mercury is. While critics of the mercury free movement point out that mercury has been used for over 150 years, proponents of the anti-amalgam movement highlight the following points:
  • Amalgam fillings are composed of 50% mercury
  • Metal fillings constantly release mercury as the filling wears, causing the metal to be absorbed by the body.
  • In large quantities, mercury can cause a number of secondary health consequences, affecting the nervous, immune, urinary, cardiac, respiratory, and digestive systems.

What is a Safe Alternative for Amalgam Fillings?
In lieu of placing amalgam fillings, many individuals are being presented with non-metal alternatives, such as composite fillings. Unlike amalgam, these fillings are made of tooth colored ceramic and plastic compounds. As a result, patients receive a natural looking restoration that does not run the risk of compromising their oral or overall health.

For patients that have already had amalgam fillings placed, safe amalgam removal is available. At the Sunnyvale dental office of Dr. Ratna Indah, specialized equipment is used to safely remove amalgam fillings while preventing patient or practitioner exposure to the mercury. By maintaining strict compliance with the safe amalgam removal guidelines put forth by the IAOMT, the Sunnyvale dentist is able to help patients obtain a healthy smile and total body wellbeing.

Do You Have Questions About Amalgam Fillings? Contact Us Today!
Dr. Indah and her Sunnyvale dental team are pleased to offer a number of amalgam free alternatives to help patients restore their smile in a safe and healthful manner. For more information about our amalgam free services including safe amalgam removal, contact our Sunnyvale dentist today.


12/21/2015 4:00:00 PM | Unknown

Unfortunately, many individuals fail to recognize the important role their gums play in maintaining their long-term oral health. Patients who neglect their gum health leave themselves vulnerable to the development of gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. While easily preventable, this condition can quickly cause extensive damage to the gums and underlying bone, putting teeth at risk as well.

Additionally, recent studies have pointed to a link between periodontal disease and a number of other secondary health concerns. These correlations indicate long-term consequences of periodontal disease, including elevated risk of:

Periodontal disease can be considered a complication of diabetes, as patients with the condition are much more susceptible to infection. On the other hand, periodontal disease makes it difficult for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar, exacerbating their condition and increasing the likelihood of developing other diabetes complications.

Cardiovascular Disease
Recent studies have indicated that the development of periodontal disease may increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. Additionally, gum disease may worsen existing heart problems, putting patients at a greater risk of further complications, such as strokes and heart attacks.

Periodontal disease may also have a negative impact on expectant mothers. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can not only increase the risk of accelerated plaque buildup, but may also exacerbate symptoms, making it harder for expectant mothers to keep their smiles healthy. Gum disease may also increase the likelihood of premature or other high-risk deliveries.

Treating Periodontal Disease in Sunnyvale

When considering the relationship between periodontal disease and other health issues, it is important to remember correlation does not always equal causation. However, these studies do emphasize the importance role that oral health plays in maintaining your overall well being. 

At the Sunnyvale dental office of Dr. Ratna Indah, we offer comprehensive periodontal disease treatment and long-term maintenance plans. For more information about the relationship between your smile and your body and on treating periodontal disease, schedule your next dental appointment with our Sunnyvale dentist today. 

12/14/2015 12:00:00 PM | Unknown

Advances in modern dentistry are helping to transform once extensive procedures into minimally invasive treatments that improves the patient experience and contribute to long-term oral health and dental function. Similarly, new studies are providing dentists with new perspectives on dentistry, allowing them to create treatment plans that contribute to a patient’s overall wellness, rather than just their smile. By integrating new technologies and approaches into routine procedures, patients are able to enjoy comprehensive care that yields lasting results. Some of these more innovative techniques include:

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

Pioneered by John Chao, DDS, this minimally-invasive technique represents a new approach to tackling gum recession. Traditionally, gum grafting required donor tissue to be removed from the roof of the mouth then sutured into place in the affected area. With the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, a small pinhole is made in the gums, through which a specialized tool is used to aesthetically reposition the tissue along the original gum line. Once gums have been corrected, strips of collagen are used to preserve the new placement and patients are free to return to their regular routine. With the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, patients experience incredible, long-lasting results and maximized post-procedure comfort.

Ozone Dentistry

Ozone dentistry refers to the use of oxygen with an extra molecule to restore oral health by applying it to affected parts of the dentition as either a gas or liquid. With the sterilization properties of ozone, this dental therapy can be integrated into a variety of procedures in order to remove bacteria. Some examples of ozone application include:
  • Removing cavity-causing bacteria and preparing a damaged tooth for successful composite filling
  • Treating gum disease by destroying the periodontal bacteria
  • Sterilizing root canals during root canal therapy
  •  Promoting accelerated healing 
  • Reducing dental sensitivity

Laser Dentistry

Similar to ozone dentistry and the pinhole surgical technique, this treatment methodology minimizes treatment discomfort and promotes healing. This form of dentistry utilizes light energy to detect the presence of caries-causing bacteria, allowing dentists to immediately address potential cavities before they can cause damage. Soft tissue lasers may also be used to treat periodontal disease by removing bacteria from periodontal pockets below the gum line. Not only does this leave patients with a healthier smile, but it also helps to lower to risk of recurring infection that can take place when bacteria is not effectively removed.

Innovative Dentistry with Dr. Indah

At our Sunnyvale dental office, Dr. Indah is proud to offer a number of modern procedures that utilize these advanced tools and technologies in order to improve your long term oral function and overall health. For more information about our holistic approach to dental health, contact our Sunnyvale dentist today. 

9/18/2015 12:32:00 PM | Unknown

Hello, and welcome! We're excited to announce the official launch of the Ratna Indah, DMD blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us, and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Ratna Indah, DMD, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!