Our Blog

Xerostomia: What does that mean anyway?

November 5th, 2013

Does your mouth always feel like it’s dry? If it does you may be suffering from xerostomia. Xerostomia is defined as dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow. There are various medical conditions that can cause this type of dry mouth, which you can ask more questions next time you visit us at Southcenter Dental.

Xerostomia can factor into both minor and more serious health problems. It can affect the ability to eat and enjoy food and it can jeopardize one’s dental health. Some of the more common symptoms can include sore throat, burning sensation in the oral cavity or tongue, and difficulty swallowing.

One of the more serious problems associated with dry mouth is an increased risk of tooth decay. Decrease in saliva causes more plaque to form and there is less saliva to act as a buffer to the things we eat and drink. Less saliva also means more food debris is retained in the mouth. These things can lead to an increase in tooth decay.

So, what causes xerostomia?

There are several things that may cause xerostomia. Among the biggest culprits are prescription medications. Some examples are antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, anti-anxiety agents, anti-diarrheals, bronchodilators, and muscle relaxers.

Certain diseases can also cause dry mouth. The more common ones include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid disease. Xerostomia is also common in patients being treated for cancer. Head and neck radiation as well as certain chemotherapy drugs can cause severe dry mouth.

What should you do if you are experiencing dry mouth symptoms? First make sure to hydrate with plenty of water. If you are taking medications that cause xerostomia, make sure to drink water before taking the medication as well as a full glass of water with the medication. Be diligent with brushing and flossing and discuss your condition at your next appointment with Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin J. Baruffi. We can recommend specific products to help moisten the oral cavity and reduce your symptoms such as saliva substitutes, xylitol products, and certain toothpastes. Another option may be a prescription home fluoride treatment to help prevent new cavities. You may want to try gum or candies to stimulate saliva flow but make sure they are sugar free! Avoid food and beverages that dehydrate such as caffeine and alcohol.

Xerostomia is a common problem that is currently on the rise. Our team can help you to reduce any symptoms and improve your comfort while living with a dry mouth. Contact our Tukwila, WA office today!

What is CEREC®, and how does it work?

November 4th, 2013


CEREC is a technology that restores damaged teeth, and this restoration can be completed in a single visit to our convenient Tukwila, WA office. CEREC makes your teeth stronger and more beautiful, all while keeping your teeth looking natural. This is the finest restorative material available today, and is available in just one appointment by Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin Baruffi at Southcenter Dental.

How does CEREC work?

First, Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin Baruffi will meet with you to discuss the details of what you can expect. During the procedure, our doctors will apply a thin layer of reflective powder directly on the tooth’s surface. Next, a digital photo of your tooth is taken using a special camera. The image is then sent to the CEREC computer in our office, where your tooth’s restoration is designed using three-dimensional imagery. Once the design is complete, a blank ceramic block is placed into the CEREC computer-automated milling machine. A few minutes later, Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin Baruffi will cement or bond the milled restoration directly to the tooth, leaving you free to smile again.

Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin Baruffi are your local CEREC dentist for single-visit tooth restorations. Give us a call today at Southcenter Dental to learn more or schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 31st, 2013

Halloween is fast approaching, and Dr. Baruffi wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay, so to avoid extra visits to our Tukwila, WA office, make your Halloween a safe one!

Introducing Dr. Baruffi's Son, Dr. Austin!

October 29th, 2013

It is with great pleasure that we introduce Dr. Baruffi's son to our practice!

Dr. Austin Baruffi attended Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California, where he earned his degree. Since graduating, Dr. Austin has continued his education, building on his foundation of skills to be on the forefront of dental technology, materials and procedures. He has attended classes on complex full-mouth restorations, oral surgery, implants, laser dentistry, sleep dentistry, and special needs dentistry.

Dr. Austin's interest in community-based dentistry has led him to volunteer with service organizations both domestically and abroad which offer dental care to children in underserved communities. He has worked with the American Dental Education Association to set up guidelines for all groups in the country to improve their efforts to help people prevent dental disease before it negatively impacts their lives.

Dr. Austin has already started seeing patients and is offering evening and weekend appointments for our patients' convenience.

In honor of Dr. Austin's arrival, we are hosting an open house at our office on November 7th from 4pm - 7pm. RSVP to Diana if you are able to attend - (206) 575-1551

Dr Austin

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