Know The Risks Of Oral Piercings

THERE ARE MANY FORMS of self-expression, art, writing, fashion, even body piercing. When it comes to oral piercings, however–such as lip, labret, cheek and tongue piercings–it’s important to know all the risks involved.

Know The Risks Before You Pierce

Piercing anywhere near the mouth is very different than simply piercing an earlobe. The oral cavity is home to an abundance of bacteria as well as an intricate system of nerves and blood vessels. Because of this, there are a number of health-related risks associated with oral piercings. Some of these include:

Bacterial infection. The mouth hosts vast amounts of bacteria and is thus easily infected. If the piercing is not done with sterile tools or if the wound is not properly taken care of, bacterial infections–and even secondary infections like hepatitis and herpes simplex virus–can develop.

Damage to teeth and gums. Contact between teeth and jewelry leads to tooth enamel erosion and oftentimes cracked or chipped teeth. Irreversible gum recession is also a common side effect of oral piercings, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss.

Difficulty with speech, swallowing, chewing and tasting. Oral piercings can cause an increase in saliva production, sometimes making speech difficult. Tongue piercings have been known to swell, too, potentially hindering normal function and blocking the airway. Oral piercings have also been known to alter taste.

Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions to the metal in the jewelry are possible, especially if surgical-grade stainless steel isn’t used.

Nerve damage or prolonged bleeding. This mostly occurs with tongue piercings. Because the tongue is a muscle, it contains a lot of nerves and blood vessels, including arteries. Movement problems, or numbness and loss of sensation at the site of the piercing can occur if nerves are damaged. If a blood vessel is punctured, bleeding can be severe and hard to control.

Gum disease. Oral piercings put the wearer at greater risk for periodontal, or gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss, and some studies have associated gum disease with other health conditions like diabetes and stroke.

If You Choose Oral Piercings, Do It The Right Way

After understanding the risks, if you still decide to get an oral piercing make sure the procedure is performed by a trained professional who uses sterile instruments. Consult with your dentist before getting an oral piercing to learn proper aftercare and maintenance that will help you reduce your risk of infection or complication.

Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post or an existing oral piercing, call us today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!

Top image by Flickr user cerosunos used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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How Dental Sealants Can Protect Your Child’s Teeth

DID YOU KNOW, on average, a child smiles around 400 times per day? That’s up to ten times more than the average adult! No matter how many times your little one smiles, we want to help them make sure theirs remains healthy throughout their childhood.

One way to protect your child’s pearly whites is by applying dental sealants.

Dental Sealants Protect Teeth From Tooth Decay

A dental sealant—also known as a pit and fissure sealant—is a protective barrier placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to seal out food and bacteria which result in cavities. These sealants are often made of a plastic-like material and applied in a thin layer to fill hard-to-clean recesses in teeth known as fissures in the premolars and molars, andcingulum pits found in canines and incisors.

Application Of Dental Sealants Is Quick And Easy!

The application of sealants is a quick and comfortable process, and usually only takes one visit!

  • First, the surface of your child’s teeth are polished and cleaned of any plaque or food debris.
  • Next, each tooth receiving sealants will be isolated and dried.
  • The teeth are then etched to allow the sealant to adhere more securely and then rinsed and dried to prepare for the sealant application.
  • The sealant is then applied to each tooth and cured by a special light to bond the sealant to the teeth.
  • Finally the new sealants will be evaluated and once hardened, will be safe to chew on!

When Should Your Child Get Sealants?

Children should get dental sealants as soon as possible after their permanent teeth erupt. This happens at a different time in each child’s life, but most children have all of their permanent teeth around the age of 6.

Children often develop dental caries (cavities) in the pits and fissures of these new permanent teeth because they can be very difficult to clean,even if they are brushing and flossing properly. If sealants are applied soon after permanent teeth erupt, food and bacteria don’t have the chance to settle in these crevices and your child child can reduce their chance of cavities by 80 percent. Studies show that sealants can remain effective for many years if properly cared for.

We Can Help Protect Your Child’s Smile

Each and every smile is precious, and we are committed to ensuring your child’s remains happy and healthy as they continue to grow. If you have any questions about dental sealants, let us know in the comments below or call and make an appointment today! We’d love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

Thank you for continuing to be part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user davitydave used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The Professionals vs. The Headlines: What’s Up With Flossing?

YOU’VE BEEN HEARING a lot about flossing in the news these days. Recent articles stating that flossing doesn’t do any good for your oral health have left many feeling shocked and confused. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight!

It all started with an article by the Associated Press stating that the benefits of flossing have been unproven. Unfortunately, haters of flossing were quick to take up their torches and pitchforks against the practice. In response to the Associated Press article, the American Dental Association released a statement saying that flossing is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” And we’re going to tell you why.

Here’s Why You Should Continue Flossing

Regular flossing can:

  • Prevent cavities. Have you ever flossed, even after brushing your teeth, and were surprised to find a remnant of your last meal? Flossing removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavity formation between the teeth, a common place for tooth decay.
  • Fight bad breath. If food or plaque are left in between teeth, they will eventually release a bad smell. Yuck!
  • Inhibit tartar buildup and gum disease. If left on teeth for too long, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The presence of tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Improve your appearance. Food debris and plaque make teeth look more yellow and gritty. Clean, healthy teeth always appear whiter and brighter!

From years of experience, we can confidently say that flossing makes a big difference in your oral and overall health.

We Care About Our Patients

We only recommend flossing because we care about your oral and overall health! Through our years of experience, we’ve seen the difference that flossing can make. So, ignore the headlines and take it from the professionals: flossing works! Keep up the good flossing habits and we promise you’ll feel the difference.

Have any more questions about flossing or your oral hygiene?Call us or come in today!

Top image by Flickr user KellyB. used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

We Love Our Pets!

WE LOVE getting to know our patients! Each time you come into our office, we’re grateful for the opportunity we have to learn more about you and what makes you smile.

This week, we want to help you get to know us a little bit better too by introducing you to something we love: our pets!

Get to Know Our Pets!

Man’s best friend comes in all shapes and sizes! Here’s a few stories about our furry friends.

From Ericka:  Meet Gunner and Daisy.  Gunner (pictured on left) is a Walker Coonhound, Daisy (pictured on right) is a mix between a coonhound and some other breed.  Both were adopted and are her sweet little babies! IMG_2899

 

From Susan:  Meet Lucy and Leo, two Parakeets that are 2 years old.  Lucy is on the left and she loves to sing, Leo is on the right and he just hollers! IMG_2923

Susan also has Harley and Lexi.  Harley is on the top of the couch, he is a ten-year-old Teacup Party Poodle, Lexi is a five year old Havanese rescued with the help of one of our patients.  IMG_2924

From Candice:  Meet Millie.  She was named as soon as they adopted her, but found out many months later that she was really a he.  He doesn’t seem to mind his name though!IMAG1451

 

We Want To Hear About Your Fuzzy Friends!

Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, or anything in between, we’d love to hear about your pets too! Tell us why you love your pets in the comments below or share a photo with us on Facebook!

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

Don’t Let Gingivitis Keep You From Smiling

YOU’RE SITTING IN THE DENTAL CHAIR, everything going as planned at your checkup, until your dentist tells you that you have gingivitis. If you haven’t heard of gingivitis before you’re probably thinking, “What is gingivitis? Is it serious? Is it treatable?”

We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about gingivitis so you can keep your smile healthy!

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums characterized by gum irritation, redness, swelling and sometimes bleeding. Symptoms of gingivitis are fairly mild and can even be painless. Visiting your dentist regularly is important so gingivitis can be diagnosed, especially if symptoms are not obvious.

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal, or gum disease, and should be taken seriously. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress to full-blown gum disease, which can lead to receding and damaged gums as well as bone and tooth loss.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, bacteria-filled plaque hardens and turns into what is called tartar. Plaque and tartar buildup around the gum line cause gum irritation and inflammation or, in other words, gingivitis.

Other factors may contribute to the development of gingivitis such as hormonal changes (especially during pregnancy), smoking, certain medications or illnesses and genetic predisposition.

Is Gingivitis Reversible?

Finding out you have gingivitis can be worrisome but here’s the good news: good oral hygiene habits and professional dental cleanings can, in most cases, rid you of gingivitis.

Proper oral hygiene not only prevents gingivitis, but treats it as well. Professional cleanings as recommended by your dentist, daily brushing and flossing, and regular use of an antibacterial mouthwash can keep bacteria found in plaque at bay, effectively preventing and treating gingivitis.

So, yes, gingivitis is reversible! By treating it early and following the instructions of your dental care provider, you can treat gingivitis and smile on!

Keep Your Smile Healthy

A smile shouldn’t only be happy, it should be healthy too! Your oral health is the gateway to your overall health and wellness. So if you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, practice proper oral hygiene care and you’ll have your healthy smile back in no time.

If you have any questions regarding your oral health, call us today or leave us a Facebook message. We’re always glad to address your concerns!

Top image by Flickr user Tom Woodward used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.