Posts for category: ORAL HEALTH
Also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is one of the so-called "nervous habits" that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however, most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.
Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:
- IT'S UNSANITARY: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers.
- IT WEARS DOWN YOUR TEETH: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your teeth, which can lead to crooked teeth.
- IT CAN DELAY YOUR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.
- IT COSTS: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime.
The use of Vaping devices has been on the increase in the past few years. Even though most patients feel that vaping is a much safer alternative to use than smoking tobacco, recent research has been released that further elevates the concern that Vaping, like tobacoo use, has some important adverse side effects.
Although it has long been known that tobacco use decreases the body's ability to heal, a recent report that was just released in October 2018, indicates that vaping interfers with wound healing as well! This research was published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by Boston University researchers. Dr. Jeff Speigel, who is the chief of facial plastic surgery at the Boston Medical Center, stated that based on their recent findings, "e-cigarettes are NOT a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing." Smoking and vaping both appear to be equally deterimental to wound healing and are associated with a statisically significant increase in tissue death! These new findings are more evidence that continued research of the long term use of vaping is needed. One can only think to intuitively draw a conclusion that since post operative dental procedures that require tissue healing, such as oral surgery, gum surgery, or even implant placement, could be negatively impacted by patients that currently vape!
Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth.
FLUORIDE. The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; making them stronger and more resistant to decay.
SENSITIVITY PROTECTION. If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold.
PLAQUE, TARTAR, & GINGIVAL PROTECTION. Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which is the cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.
WHITENING. White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; instead, they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth.
With the recent push for legalizing medical marijuana, it is a great time to pause and evaluate the oral health effects of the use of cannabis, which acts as a mild sedative and mood enhancer for recreational users as well an analgesic and antiemetic in clinical applications. Although in 2012, as many states started legalizing the substance for recreational consumption and medical usage, which has increased the social and legal acceptance of cannabis, the public health concerns have remained.
Many patients do not realize that cannabis contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco, and chronic smoking of marijuana is associated with similar respiratory pathologies as tobacco smoking. The neurological and behavioral effects of cannabis asssociated with chronic systemic health effects include addiction, disruption of brain development, as well as psychotic disorders especially in adolescents.
The use of cannabis, particularly marijuana smoking, has been associated with poor quality of oral health, including an increase in xerostomia, which is a dry mouth. Further, the main psychotropic agent, THC, is an appetite stimulant, which often leads users to consume cavity producing snack foods. Regular cannabis users are known to have significantly higher numbers of cavities than nonusers, patricularly on normally easy-to-reach smooth surfaces. Other dental health concerns include yeast infections, gingival enlargement, and chronic inflammation of the oral mucosa, called leukoplakia, which has been associated with an increased risk for mouth cancers, especially is younger users.
Although many patients feel that cannabis use is completely without any adverse side effects, it has been shown to have many dental and overall health risks. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!
New research recently published in the journal Microbiome now suggests that alcohol consumption "kills off many 'good' bacteria, and allows some potentially harmful bacteria to flourish in the mouth." The study found that "people who drank more had less abundant populations of Lactobacilli, so-called 'good' bacteria," and "drinkers also had more abundant populations of the more 'harmful' bacteria like Steptococcus, Actinomyces, Leptotrichia, Cardiobacterium and Neisseria." These changes "potentially contribute to alcohol-related diseases, including periodontal disease, head and neck cancer, and digestive tract cancers," as the researchers noted.
Although more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and the increased risk for dental disease, these new findings do suggest that it is beneficial to limit alcohol consumption. Additional funding has also recently been granted to study the micobiome relationship that may exist between other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, and even neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and autism.
Keep up with our BLOG as the latest infomation will always be posted on topics that affect your health! If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!