Oral Piercings: Long-Term Implications

Oral Piercings: Long-Term Implications 

‘Everything that glitters is not gold’; similarly, everything that looks cool isn’t safe!

Several adults are into piercings, and they get accessories for their tongue, teeth and lips, which can be damaging and pose implications in the long term. Most doctors and dentists advise against oral piercings saying that the mouth is one of the ‘worst’ places for jewelry. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends against oral piercings.

However, the lure for self-expression can be intense sometimes!

Our mouth is home to several types of bacteria, which poses risks for infections, swelling and even damage to the teeth and gums.

Health Risks

Oral piercings include tongue, lips and uvula. Those who get them pierced often have issues with chewing, swallowing and even speech. In addition to this, it also includes:

Infection and Swelling

The moist environment breeds bacteria, which proves it to be an ideal place for the infection that can progress to life-threatening diseases.

Damaged Gums, Fillings and Teeth

  • People often bite and play with the piercings they get, often out of habit. This results in cracked or scratched teeth that are naturally more sensitive. The constant metal rubbing against the gums wears them out, putting you at a greater risk of tooth loss!

Hypersensitivity

It includes allergic reactions to metal.

Nerve Damage

Once you get the piercing, the tongue or the concerned area goes numb. This numbness is temporary, but if not done right, it can be permanent.

Risk Mitigation

If somebody has decided on getting a piercing or have already done so, it is essential to take the necessary precautions. Before getting the piercing done, ensure that they follow all infection-control procedures and check for their certificates and sterilization measures.

Get the right sized jewelry fix and let it heal. While you are undergoing the healing process, avoid the following:

  • Smoking or any other tobacco products
  • Brush after every meal, and don’t forget to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Saltwater rinses
  • Visit your dentist regularly to get your teeth and gums checked.

Warning Signs

Do not ignore the warning signs!

Discharge

Look out for yellow or green discharge as it could be an infection. Visit your dentist and get it checked at once.

Tissue Changes and Tearing

If you notice a thickened or dark tissue around the piercing or excessive bleeding/tearing around that area after the initial healing period, get medical assistance!

Pain, Fever and Swelling

If you any of these symptoms, chances are you need medical assistance. Please do not shy away from getting it checked!

Such complications can occur at any time. Some might appear soon after you get the accessory, while other issues might take time.

Irrespective of the timeframe, if you notice any changes in the tissue or area surrounding the piercing or if the healing takes longer than it should, visit your doctor right away! The fashion appeal of the piercings is acknowledgeable, but health and safety come first. Always!

If you have any questions about oral piercings, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations. For us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Gingivitis Home Remedies that Work

Gingivitis: Home Remedies that Work! 

Oral health tells a lot about your overall health. The pursuit of the so-called ‘perfect-smile’ seems to be gaining immense popularity. Several companies are coming up with DIY orthodontic kits and treatments that can be done at home. In contrast, a considerable number of YouTubers and bloggers are posting about DIY home remedies. So, the big question is: Which treatments work?

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums or gingiva because of plaque or bacteria accumulated on teeth. It is a non-destructive periodontal disease, but it may progress to periodontitis or gum disease in certain cases.

Clinical Treatment

Gingivitis can be easily treated by checking for symptoms like plaque and tartar in the oral cavity. Following your dentist’s instruction and a good oral care routine is all it takes.

DIY Remedies

Most people prefer trying home remedies as they are cheaper yet effective. Home remedies work best when started at an early stage. For instance, plaque can be treated before it becomes tartar, and for that, you should increase the frequency or duration of brushing.

If you are going for a home remedy, always use quality products and keep them refrigerated.

Here is a curated list of home remedies that work and can help prevent gingivitis!

First Line of Treatment

The first line of treatment is ‘good oral healthcare.’ Take good care of your teeth and brush regularly.

Go for an electric toothbrush for maximum cleaning potential and always use a soft-bristled brush. Use a natural mouth wash and floss daily. If you are already taking the necessary steps, avoid taking too much sugar and refrain from chewing tobacco or smoking.

Visit your dentist twice a year!

Salt Water Treatment

The saltwater treatment results have proved to be useful for the treatment of gingivitis and can help with inflammation. Salt is a natural disinfectant, and it helps your body heal naturally. It may also help with:

  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain
  • Reduce bacteria and food particles
  • Relieve bad breath

The standard procedure is to use ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt in a glass of water (Lukewarm) and swish the solution in your mouth for at least 30 seconds and then spit out.

Do this twice or thrice a day.

Oil-Based Mouthwash

Tea tree oil, aloe vera, and guava leaf mouth wash are useful in this treatment. The procedure remains the same for this mouthwash.

Add a few drops of tea tree oil or swish aloe vera juice in your mouth for around 30 seconds and then spit. If you’re allergic to any of the plants, don’t go for it!

Turmeric Gel

Turmeric and Curcuma gel are also an effective treatment. For this, brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly. Then, apply the gel to your gums and let it sit for ten minutes—swish water around your mouth to collect the gel and spit out.

Repeat this two times a day!

Keep in mind that saltwater rinse may have adverse effects on the enamel used continuously for longer. If your symptoms are severe and none of the home remedies work, visiting your dentist might the only option for you.

If you have any questions about your dental health, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations. For us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Nicotine Pouches and Oral Health

Nicotine Pouches and Oral Health: All You Need To Know! 

Tobacco contributes significantly to the development and progression of periodontal issues, and it is associated with oral health issues like increased pocket depths, alveolar bone, and tooth loss. According to the available literature and research, nicotine affects gingival blood flow and immune cell functions. These are all possible mechanisms responsible for the overall effects on periodontal tissues.

Oral Health Issues

Smoking and periodontal issues are related, and this has been studied extensively over the past few years. Recently, we have seen a rise in smokeless tobacco products and hence, perceived as harmless. This has made many people switch from their cigarette brands as it is a more convenient and harmless alternative. However, that is not true. There might be no smoke, but it does contain nicotine, which is the central ingredient and the user experiences;

  • Bad breath
  • Teeth discoloration
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste
  • High metabolic rates
  • Greater risk of developing cavities

And just like cigarettes, nicotine pouches or smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancer and other health complications.

If you are a user, it is crucial to understand that tobacco dependence is nicotine addiction, and it may be physical, psychological, or behavioral. It takes a few tries before you quit the cold turkey successfully, but switching to alternate tobacco habits does little good!

Mouth and Teeth Complications

Using nicotine pouches regularly increases the risk of leukoplakia in the mouth. They are grey-white patches and appear where the user places their chew, dip, or pouch. Unfortunately, these patches are irreversible. They are painless and pose no complications, but regular use may result in severe gum disease, oral cancer, or leukoplakia.

The users also experience receding gum lines, bad breath, destroyed gum tissues along with tooth decay and cavities. The shrinking gums expose the root of the tooth, which may result in tooth loss.

Several manufacturers claim that their smokeless tobacco product can help people quit smoking, and many people buy their product following this belief. There is no proof of this, and there has been very little thorough research in this area. Even if this is true, the damage to your oral and overall health remains the same.

In summary, anyone who uses nicotine is likely to experience gum recession, resulting in the progression of other severe oral health issues. It is related to the dose of nicotine and the duration of exposure. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is time to switch to a low-nicotine product and work your way towards quitting the habit!

If you have any questions about your dental health, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations. For us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Teeth Alignment

Teeth Alignment: How does it Work? 

Modern orthodontics have several options for crooked teeth, and it is essential to be aware of all the choices you have before you pursue your treatment.

What are Aligners?

Aligners are also known as invisible braces, and they work by slowly pushing the teeth into their ideal position. The teeth alignment is done by wearing a series of aligners, each for two weeks at a time. They can push your teeth by 0.3mm per aligner, and since they are transparent, you don’t have to worry about the aesthetics or be socially conscious about appearing in public.
You might be wondering about the difference between ‘braces’ and ‘aligners.’ Well, braces apply a ‘pull force’ which gradually shift teeth into its place, whereas aligners use a ‘push force’ to rotate your teeth, and each aligner makes a smooth, mild rotation, which is why it is preferable for adults. There is no bleeding or pain associated with aligners, making it the most gentle and safest method for you to have straight teeth.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in health and well-being, making more people take their health seriously. Traditional braces have been tried and tested, but they come with a hefty price. People who didn’t have enough resources at a younger age often wonder if there is any solution at this point. The good thing is that clear aligner such as Invisalign are a promising option for people aged 18 and above!
Yes, there are specific pros and cons, and the more complex a case is, the longer it will take.

Health Benefits and Improved Self-Esteem

Our appearance plays a significant part in how we feel about ourselves, and having nice straight teeth is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also healthier. Widely spaced teeth can result in red and inflamed gums, whereas crooked or misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean, resulting in plaque buildup and tooth decay.

What Are My Options?

For adults, there are several options present today. Here are some of them:

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are sometimes covered by dental insurance, and they work by using metal brackets, wires, and elastic bands to move the teeth into an ideal position. This practice has slightly changed over the years to counter the negative connotations; however, they are useful in solving orthodontic issues.

Self- Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are quite similar to traditional braces, and they utilize a sliding device that holds the wire instead of the elastic band. They are permanent on teeth and can only be removed by a professional.

Lingual Braces

They are less visible than traditional braces because the brackets are attached at the back of the teeth. Not many orthodontists offer them, but it all depends on the complexity and severity of the case.

Clear Aligners: Invisalign and SureSmile

Invisalign are custom made series of clear aligners that are per your treatment plan. The tray are created from a smooth plastic that fits your teeth, and with time, they help teeth shift into the required position.
SureSmile, on the other hand, is a more modern treatment utilizing 3D modeling of your mouth. It helps the orthodontist identify the right tooth position for precise bite adjustment in a shorter time than traditional braces.
With all these options available, you can finally get the perfect teeth!
Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations because your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Oral Health Cavities

Oral Health: Can I Get Rid of Cavities at Home? 

A Cavity!

No one ever wants to hear this diagnosis, yet many people have cavities, adults, and children alike.
Cavities are the tiny openings or holes that develop as a result of tooth decay. There are three types of cavities:

  • Smooth surface cavities develop on the sides of the teeth.
  • Root cavities occur on the surface over the roots of the teeth.
  • Fissure or pit cavities are the ones on the chewing surface of the teeth.

Cavities aren’t deadly, but they do ruin the teeth’ aesthetics, and the treatment itself is quite pricey.
Spending an afternoon in the dentist’s chair isn’t the most pleasant experience either, so it is only natural to wonder if there are alternate ways to get rid of cavities.

Is there a way to get rid of cavities?

It has to be the most frequently asked question.
Cavities start with tooth decay, and with time, it gets worse. The pre-cavity phase can be stopped from getting worse at best; however, a full-blown cavity needs medical attention.
Instead of just filling a pre-cavity, dentists aim to re-mineralize the teeth and restore the enamel that’s  been eaten away by the acid. The process can be straightforward and regular flossing, and fluoride-based toothpaste can go a long way.
In the case of surface-level cavities, a fluoride-releasing sealant can be applied. It prevents further decay and aids healing at the same time.
In addition to this, there a few home-based remedies that might help!
Based on a study from the 1930s, cavities are caused by vitamin D deficiency. Children and adults who added vitamin D to their diets witnessed a reduction in their cavities. For best results, the people at the time would remove grains and add vitamin D because grains stick to the teeth, leaving harmful bacteria behind.

Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing on sugar-free gum is excellent for your teeth. Clinical results have proven that sugar-free gum re-mineralizes the enamel, so popping a gum after a meal is healthy. When buying a pack, look for gum with xylitol because it stimulates the flow of saliva and raises the pH level of plaque.
They are readily available in stores!

Oil Pulling

It is an ancient method that is said to remove toxins from the mouth. This method reduces plaque, gingivitis, and other harmful bacteria residing in your mouth.
You can use sesame oil or coconut oil for this purpose and hold in your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out.

Licorice Root

The licorice root can effectively combat bacteria that are responsible for dental cavities. However, several pilot studies are in the process of confirming its benefits and long-term usage.

Visit a Dentist

It is always better to get a consultation from your dentist for the best advice. Once you know how severe your cavities are, you can proceed with any treatment you prefer.
If you have any questions about your dental health, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations. For us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Smoking and Dental Health: All You Need To Know 

Smokers are more exposed to gum disease, complications after dental procedures, and the risk of developing oral cancer. The oral changes range from soft tissue changes to bad breath, periodontics, and stained teeth.

Tobacco and nicotine exposure result in yellow teeth, and it also affects your sense of taste. It lowers the immune system and puts you at a greater risk of developing health conditions like gum disease and various cancer types.

If you are a smoker, here is all you need to know about oral healthcare.

Smoking Stains

Smoking stains are caused by nicotine and tar found in tobacco smoke. However, brushing several times a day seems to be a reasonable solution, but it is essential to know that excessive brushing damages your gums. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush regularly.

Choose a toothpaste that is fluoride-rich and can effectively fight against teeth stains and improve discoloration. Ingredients that help retain whiteness are:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Turmeric
  • Coconut Oil
  • Home-made toothpaste

You have to be very careful with the amount of hydrogen peroxide if you’re experimenting with a DIY solution for teeth stains because excessive use of hydrogen peroxide can damage your teeth.

Smoker’s Breath

Smoker’s breath is another issue some people struggle with, and it is due to the early stages of gum disease or dry mouth. To combat smoker’s breath, here are a few tips:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly
  • Increase your fluid intake to prevent dry mouth
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Visit your dentist regularly and try to cut back on smoking.

Are E-Cigarettes Better for My Teeth?

It is a common notion that vaping is better for oral health because there’s no tobacco. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. E-cigarettes do not produce smoke, but they do contain nicotine that is bad for your overall health. Nicotine decreases saliva production and damages gum tissue, which often results in a receding gum line, tooth loss, and bad breath.

In summary, e-cigarettes are as harmful as any other cigarette; the only way out is by quitting cold turkey!

If you’re not ready to quit smoking, it is quite understandable. You can still take care of your teeth by being careful with your dental visits to help fight teeth stains and identify any underlying gum disease signs.

Breaking a smoking habit is not easy, and it may require behavioral therapy at times, but it is not impossible! Keep busy and try to avoid any triggers by surrounding yourself with people and places where you cannot smoke.

Your health comes first!

If you are considering a teeth whitening procedure or have any questions about your dental health, Snow Family Dentistry offers a wide range of solutions and consultations because, for us, your smile matters!

Book your appointments.

Are Oral Piercings Safe? 

Snow Family Dentistry recognizes that piercing is a widely accepted form of self-expression, and that includes piercings in the oral cavity. However, the potential problems from piercings in the mouth can be numerous. If you’re thinking of placing a piercing in or around your mouth, talk to your Snow Family Dentistry dentist first. If you already have piercings- we are not judging you at all! Our team just wants to ensure that you stay safe, so if you experience any sign of infection, it is important to contact us right away. 

Oral piercings may cause:

  • Infection, pain and swelling. Your mouth is a moist environment, home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria, and an ideal place for infection. It’s also possible for a piercing to cause your tongue to swell, potentially blocking your airway.
  • Damage to gums, teeth and fillings. A common habit of biting or playing with the piercing can injure your gums and lead to cracked, scratched or sensitive teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings.
  • Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site are also possible.
  • Nerve damage. After a piercing, you may experience a numb tongue that is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary, but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. Damage to your tongue’s blood vessels can also cause serious blood loss.
  • Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing could potentially increase saliva production.

If you already have piercings:

  • Contact your dentist or physician immediately if you have any signs of infection, including swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.
  • Keep the piercing site clean and free of any matter that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
  • Try to avoid clicking the jewelry against teeth and avoid stress on the piercing. Be gentle and aware of the jewelry’s movement when talking and chewing.
  • Check the tightness of your jewelry periodically (with clean hands). This can help prevent you from swallowing or choking if the jewelry becomes dislodged.
  • When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouthguard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.

At Snow Family Dentistry, we just want all of our patients to stay safe! If you have any questions or concerns regarding oral piercings, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Contact us today, we’re always here to help. 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe? 

Dental X-rays are a common diagnostic procedure, and are considered very safe. In fact, they use low doses of radiation and produce just a fraction of what you are exposed to in other imaging procedures. 

Who Needs Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-rays are used to help dentists see issues that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye, including: 

  • Areas of decay, like those in between teeth or under a filling
  • Bone loss associated with gum disease
  • Abscesses, which are infections at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gum
  • Tumors
  • Changes in the root canal

Your Snow Family Dentistry dentist can also use X-rays to prepare tooth implants, dentures, and other similar treatments.

How to Determine Whether X-Rays are Necessary

The best way to minimize radiation exposure from dental X-rays is to make sure they are only done when necessary. There is no set schedule for dental X-rays; rather, it’s left to the healthcare provider to make an informed decision as to whether you, the patient, needs X-rays with their examination. Factors that your Snow Family Dentistry dentist will consider include:

  • Age
  • Stage of dental development
  • History of oral health
  • Risk factors for various conditions
  • Presenting symptoms

One study revealed that performing a careful clinical evaluation of the patient can reduce the need for X-rays as much as 43 percent without any increase in the rate of undiagnosed diseases. 

To further minimize your need for X-rays, if you have had them done at a previous dentist, make sure they are transferred to any new provider to eliminate the need for repeat procedures.

Looking for more information regarding dental X-rays? Contact Snow Family Dentistry today! 

 

 

 

Do I Need a Night Guard? 

Do you experience jaw pain? If so, you may be clenching and grinding your teeth at night while you sleep. If this is the case, a night guard may help you significantly. 

What is TMJ? 

TMJ or TMD is a disorder or pain of the temporomandibular joint. This joint group is located at the base of your jaw below your ears. It helps you open and close your mouth to eat and speak properly. However, when the teeth are misaligned or facial trauma occurs, the TMJ may come out of alignment. This can result in TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) as well as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, also known as bruxism. The long-term effects of these issues include weak or worn down teeth, shifting teeth, sensitivity, and eventually tooth loss. 

Signs You Might Need a Night Guard 

A night guard is often a highly effective treatment for TMJ and bruxism, as it provides a layer of cushioning between the upper and lower jaw. Some of the signs you need a night guard to protect your smile include the following:

  • Your jaw clicks, pops, or you feel a grinding sensation when you open and close it
  • Your partner or loved one has observed you clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth while you sleep
  • You wake up with jaw pain
  • You are dealing with increased tooth sensitivity
  • You frequently wake up with a headache
  • You have a chipped tooth or notice your teeth are wearing down

If a night guard is a good treatment option for you, your dentist will create one that is unique to your jaw to ensure that it fits properly. You will be advised to wear it every night while you sleep to provide maximum protection against TMJ and bruxism. 

For TMJ that is the result of misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment options may include traditional braces or clear Invisalign aligners. 

No matter what method is right for you, the important thing is seeking relief sooner rather than later. Contact your Snow Family Dentistry dentist today to discuss TMJ/bruxism treatment! 

 

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding your teeth, and is an increasing health risk that requires professional treatment. But what is gum disease and how is it prevented? Keep reading to find out!

What Is It?

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can eventually damage the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth.

Early Stages

In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swell, and bleed easily. The disease is still reversible at this stage, and can usually be eliminated by careful daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged. If the disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

Signs of Gum Disease

Any of the following conditions may indicate the presence of gum disease, and your Snow Family Dentistry dentist should be consulted. If your gums:

  • bleed when brushing teeth
  • are red, swollen or tender
  • have pulled away from the teeth

Or if one of the following conditions are present:

  • bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • pus between teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way the teeth fit together when biting
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

Remember that pain usually is not present in the early stages of gum disease.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth and by having regular Snow Family Dentistry dental checkups that include a periodontal examination. Here are some suggestions to help keep teeth, gums and supporting bone structures healthy:

  • Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. This removes the film of plaque (germs) from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition and anti-plaque toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth every day. Cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. It is important to have regular dental checkups, which include a thorough periodontal exam. Professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases.
  • Avoid use of tobacco.Tobacco use can inflame gum tissue and aggravate existing periodontal disease.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Think you may be in the early stages of Gum Disease? Schedule a free consultation with Snow Family Dentistry today!