WILL SMOKING AFFECT MY TEETH?

Will smoking affect my teeth?   The short answer is……..YES!!!

How badly will it affect them?

The Smokers Smile

The Smokers Smile

The Non-Smokers Smile

The Non-Smokers Smile

Well, which smile would you like to have?  The first one or the second one? It is very easy to see some of the detrimental effects of smoking on your teeth.

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, so it shouldn’t surprise us either that smoking (cigarettes, cigars or pipe) and chewing tobacco is also bad for us.

Never mind that socially these days, smoking in public is more or less unacceptable here in the US with many States now having prohibited smoking in public spaces, we now have a more thorough understanding of the way smoking affects not just our own bodies but those of the people around us.

Dental health impacts of smoking and using tobacco products include:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • increase of plaque and tartar on the teeth
  • bad breath
  • your sense of taste and smell may be dulled
  • healing after tooth extraction or other surgery may be slower
  • gum disease
  • oral cancer

Note that, this list is not ALL that can happen, it is just a list of some of the things that can happen if you are a smoker or user of tobacco. Admittedly, there are other reasons you may suffer from some of these symptoms, but smoking will, at the very least, exaggerate them.

Smoking leads to gum disease because it interferes with the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. It actually interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells and leads to smokers being more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease.

Whether you smoke  pipe, cigar or cigarettes you can have tooth and bone loss at a similar rate. Even if you don’t inhale and incur the additional medical health issues of the lungs, you still are at risk for oral and throat cancers and other consequences such as stained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.

Unfortunately, trying to go the smokeless route is not any better as smokeless tobacco products, including snuff and chewing tobacco, contain at least 28 chemicals that have been show in studies to increase the risk of oral and throat cancer. surprisingly, chewing tobacco contains  a higher levels of nicotine that cigarettes and a can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes!!! As well as the harmful chemicals in the smokeless products, there may also be added sugar for taste which as we all already know contributes to tooth decay and the formation of cavities.

So – now that you have even more information on WHY you should quit, your questions might now be….HOW do I quit?

Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

There are many programs out there to help people who want to quit and who just can’t sumon up the will power to do it by themselves. Firstly, don’t be disappointed if you’re not successful at quitting by yourself. Tobacco products contain many addictive elements, so making it harder to withdraw easily from the habit.

Here in Michigan you can call the above number or go online at Michigan.Gov to find information on smoking cessation program, contact them at;  http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2940_2955_2973_53244—,00.html

Good luck!!!!

Advertisements

I’m pregnant!!!!! How will this affect my teeth???

I'm Pregnant!!

I’m Pregnant!!

I’m pregnant!!! Now what??? How will this affect my dental health?

The best advice a dentist could give you, is (when you are planning to get pregnant) to have a check-up and make sure that all, if any, dental problems are taken care of before you become pregnant.

Let your dentist know that you are trying to get pregnant, and of course, let him know as soon as you are pregnant as this will  affect the treatment that he or the hygienist would normally schedule for you.

Generally, dental treatments would be suspended as a precautionary measure during the first trimester as this is a critical time for your baby’s development, and it is best to avoid any possible exposure to treatment that could in any way affect your baby’s growth. However, routine care can be carried out from the second trimester – though elective or major work should be deferred until after the baby is born if at all possible.

Remember to have regular check ups while pregnant

Remember to have regular check ups while pregnant

You will need to let you dentist know of any other updates in your medical records as well as any new medications or pre-natal vitamins your doctor has prescribed. Your dentist may have to alter some of your planned dental treatment as certain drugs can affect the development of the baby.

Pregnancy Vitamins - it is also important to eat healthily while pregnant.

Pregnancy Vitamins – it is also important to eat healthily while pregnant.

X-rays should be avoided if at all possible during pregnancy, though don’t be worried if for some reason you need to have one. Today’s technological advances make x-rays much safer, and your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis

During your pregnancy, hormones and the many changes going on in your body will have an effect on your dental hygiene regime.  Studies have shown that many pregnant women may develop pregnancy gingivitis. This is when dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. So, as there is growing evidence that gum disease could, in some rare cases, result in an underweight, premature baby, it is extremely important to take extra special care of your dental health and let your dentist know if you notice any of these symptoms.

Morning sickness

Morning sickness

If you are one of the unfortunate expectant Moms who suffer from morning sickness, remember to be especially vigilant in brushing/rinsing your teeth after vomiting to make sure that all the digestive fluids are removed from the surface of your teeth. There are also brands of bland tasting toothpaste that should help, if the flavor of regular toothpaste is keeping you from brushing your teeth.

American Dental Association (ADA)

American Dental Association (ADA)

The American Dental Association (ADA) has the following suggestions for dental work while pregnant:

  • The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily
  • Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy
  • Let your dentist know you are pregnant
  • Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or until after delivery, if possible
  • Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery
  • Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist’s chair
  • Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable
  • Bring headphones and some favorite music to make the appointment more relaxing

All in all, it is very important to take good care of your overall health while pregnant of course. Just remember to make sure you pay special attention to your teeth.

We wish all of you pregnant ladies all the best. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer them for you.

Don’t forget your toothbrush!!!!!!

YAY!!! Vacation time!!!

YAY!!! Vacation time!!!

Whether you’re going for a camping in the wilds of beyond, city sightseeing, calm relaxing beach, family and kids Disney resort or visiting friends and relatives type of vacation you STILL need to look after your teeth and keep up with your dental hygiene regime while you’re away.

City Vacation

City Vacation

With the pressures of daily life that we all experience these days (and doesn’t it just always seem to be ever more pressure piling on??) your vacation is a time when you hope to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. There is never the thought, that you might have to spend time tracking down a dentist whilst on your travels. Finding a dentist on your home turf can be difficult enough, never mind when you are far away from home and, especially if you are out of the country.

Disney

Disney

While we are used to our dentists here in the US being trained over an 8 year period (after earning their undergraduate degree) and in some cases going on to do further training in one of 9 specialties, as well as having to pass national exams and meet individual State requirements before they get their license to practice. This is not necessarily the case in every other country, especially if you are going to be visiting or traveling in developing countries or remote areas where access to dental care is extremely rare if not impossible.

Camping Vacation

Camping Vacation

So!!! What do you do to minimize the possibility of needing a trip to a dentist while you’re on vacation?

Dental Exam

Dental Exam

First of all; make sure you keep up to date with your regular exams and cleanings. At least this way, you allow your dentist to keep on top of any minor issues that are just developing, such as checking to make sure you have no cavities needing fillings and that all fillings, crowns, dentures and retainers are fitting properly and not loose.  Remember, that if you are flying, air cabin pressure can accelerate pain in sensitive areas and may also cause discomfort after some medical and dental procedures. So, you will need to factor in recovery time and follow up appointments when you organize your vacation dates.

Secondly; make time for your dentist to take care of any issues he finds before you leave as any minor things could easily turn into pain or sores that could really spoil your vacation.

Thirdly; double check with your heath insurance to find out if there are any in-network providers where you are going. Also, find out their policies on emergency coverage, when you will be somewhere without coverage. Remember to take your insurance card with you, both medical AND dental. Think about having a separate credit card as a contingency to cover emergency costs and any co-pays.

Disposable Toothbrush

Disposable Toothbrush

Lastly; take a supply of disposable brushes (that you can use anywhere), toothpaste, mouthwash and floss with you. If you can find the pre-pasted disposable brushes that don’t need water all the better for ‘on the go’ brushing. Just remember, that if you are somewhere remote, or in a developing country you should use bottled water to rinse rather than use the local supply.

Relaxing break

Relaxing break

Hopefully, you will have no issues, dental, medical or otherwise and that your vacation will truly be what you hope for………just DON’T FORGET YOUR TOOTHBRUSH!!!!!