Wednesday, July 30, 2014


If you happen to observe your kid showing unusual symptoms, rejects to have his favorite food, irritated and disturbed, fever, tiredness followed by puffing of cheeks, then you can suspect your child to have a viral infection called mumps.

Mumps is a sudden occurring viral infection usually spread through saliva, affecting the parotid salivary glands. There is pain and swelling of the salivary glands on one or either sides in front of and below each ear and sometimes swelling of glands near the jaw line is also observed.

Mumps is highly contagious, spreads easily from person to person by sneezing, coughing and talking or touching the surface covered with infected droplets. It can be contagious from two days prior to the symptoms to 5 days after. The child needs to be isolated until he/she is no longer infectious. The infection generally lasts for 7-14days and resolves gradually.

There is no specific treatment for the infection. Palliative care like giving hot and cold packs for the parotid gland pain and swelling can be given. Pain relievers can be given. Make them drinks lots of water to maintain hydration.

Mumps can be prevented by vaccinating your child with MMR vaccine (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) given in two doses. This may be done at 12 months and 18 months or 15 months and 4-6 years.

Monday, March 31, 2014


The most ignored or neglected part of our body is our teeth. Most of us wonder why is it important to replace one missing tooth when there are other remaining teeth. Let’s discuss that in detail of what happens if the missing tooth/teeth are not replaced.

Our teeth are designed to work together to help us chew the food, speak and smile. When tooth/teeth are missing, there is a hindrance to all these actions. Missing tooth if not replaced will lead the adjacent teeth to shift to the empty space and create areas that are difficult to clean which eventually leads to gum problems and tooth decay leading to further tooth loss. It can also lead to excessive wear of these teeth. It can also lead to bite problems, when the upper and lower jaws don’t meet properly it can cause damage to the jaw joint. It can affect your general health, especially if your back teeth are missing, it may be difficult for you to chew certain foods which can lead to malnutrition and recurrent illness.

To avoid all these ill effects, it is very important and essential to replace the missing tooth/teeth to keep you fit and healthy. Advancements in modern dentistry have made it easier to replace a missing tooth using natural looking and functioning prosthetics.

There are different treatment methods to replace missing tooth/teeth which varies from case to case. It is always advisable to visit a dentist and discuss the treatment option that suits you the best.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


A good night’s sleep is very important to face another new day afresh and energetic. Disturbed or improper sleep leaves you tired when you wake up in the next morning and keeps you unenergetic throughout the day causing hindrance to your activities.

What is Sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where your airway is obstructed or interrupted while you are asleep. These breathing pauses may last for 10-20 seconds and might repeat several times during the sleep disturbing your natural sleep. As a result you end up having insufficient deep sleep.

The most common sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea where the airway is blocked during sleep. During normal breathing the air passes through the airway which remains open. The airway consists of nose, mouth, throat and windpipe. In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway is collapsed and blocked. When you breathe in, the air tries to squeeze in through this narrowed air passage, which leads to snoring.

When the airway is blocked, there is little or no air flowing to the lungs leading to decreased blood oxygen levels. This in turn signals your brain to disturb your sleep to open up the airway. The normal breathing continues till the next episode of obstruction.

The biggest challenge is to identify the disorder and treat it appropriately. This condition can lead to many serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Proper diagnosis and treatment can prevent all the ill effects and help you lead a quality life.

What is Snoring?
Snoring is an obnoxious noise which is caused when inhaled air passes through the narrow airway. Generally, Long uvula or large tongue increases the speed and pressure of the inhaled air causing the soft tissues of the throat to vibrate. Snoring could be a symptom of sleep apnea but, not always.

There are various treatment modalities to treat these conditions:
  • Bringing some changes to our lifestyle like losing weight, quit smoking, avoid alcohol and heavy meals at least 2-3 hours prior to sleep and maintain regular sleep hours.
  • Using alternate breathing devices like CPAP which is Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure used to treat moderate to severe apnea. CPAP is a mask like device which provides a constant stream of air that keeps your breathing passages open during sleep.
  • Other treatment method include surgical correction of anatomical obstructions like flabby tongue, excessive tissue in the throat, nasal obstruction, enlarged uvula or tonsils that cause sleep apnea.
Dentist’s role in treating sleep apnea:
You must be wondering what role a dentist plays in treating a medical condition.
Oral appliances are effective in treating mild to moderate apnea. Oral appliance is a small plastic device which fits in mouth just like a mouth guard or a retainer. It helps prevent the tongue and the soft tissues to fall back and thus prevent the obstruction of airway. 

There are mainly two types of devices, one which is Tongue retaining appliance which holds the tongue in a forward position using a suction bulb and prevents the tongue to fall back during sleep, thus preventing the airway obstruction. Another is the Mandibular repositioning appliance which reposition and maintains the lower jaw in the protruded position thus pulling the tongue forward and opens the airway indirectly.

Early diagnosis and treatment of the condition is very important to prevent any ill effects caused by sleep apnea.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Though most of us know or are repeatedly reminded of visiting a dentist regularly, it is one of the most neglected aspects. Most of us don’t feel it important to get a dental health check up done unless and until the tooth starts troubling.

Now why is it so important to visit a dentist and what to expect during the visit?
The primary reason to visit a dentist is to keep a check on overall health of your teeth and the oral cavity as a whole. Dental visits on a regular basis not only help to detect any dental problems but also help to keep a check on your general health. A dental visit is recommended about every six months.

During a dental check up your dentist will examine all your teeth and gums to check if there is any sign of decay, infection or any unusual swelling or surface changes. This can also help to detect any serious health issues like oral cancer.

Your dentist might take a dental x-ray to view the depth of the decay, if at all exists and to check if there is any underlying infection and bone loss. This can help diagnose the problem better and deliver an appropriate treatment. 

Along with home maintenance such as tooth brushing and flossing, professional cleaning is also very crucial as it helps you get rid of plaque and calculus build up and improves your gum health.

Poor oral hygiene leads to several issues such as a tooth decay, gum infection, bone loss. Untreated gum infections have a greater chance of spreading to the other parts of your body through the blood stream. Evidence suggests that untreated gum infection contribute to the cause of many systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and problems with pregnancy.

It is always advisable to have a follow up discussion with your dentist. This will help you understand the problem, if there is any and the kind of treatment you will be undergoing and how much will it cost you.
Visiting a dentist on a regular basis can prevent you from all these problems as prevention is always better than cure. This can avoid you from undergoing the painful episodes caused by your dental infection and also will spare you the time and expensive dental treatments.  

Get regular dental checkups to keep you healthy and happy and get timely treatment.  Remember a healthy mouth leads to a healthy body.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


A pacifier is a rubber or silicone nipple given to an infant as a replacement of mother’s sore nipple and helps the baby to relax and fall asleep. It is also used to prevent or stop the thumb sucking habit of the baby.

The thumb/pacifier sucking are considered normal during the first and second year of life. Such a habit will disappear as the child matures. The habit at this age does not cause any malocclusion. The process of sucking is a reflex occurring in the oral stage of development and is seen till the age of 3. If it continues beyond 3 years, malocclusion of teeth will result.

Recent studies state that the use of pacifiers cause ear infections, one of the reasons could be the change in pressure between the middle ear and upper throat. The sucking pressure may bring up the bacteria from the throat and could infect the middle ear.

Prevention of this habit is very important for child’s oral and psychological development.  Parents play a major role to help the child get away from this habit. Motivation and child’s engagement in various activities and parent’s involvement in prevention will help the child to prevent the habit of using pacifiers.

It is always better not to use a pacifier and if it is used, it is the responsibility of the parent to prevent its use at the right age to avoid any adverse effects caused by it.