Cannabis and Your Oral Health

IMG_7897

Andra Mahoney, RDH BSDH

Cannabis and Your Oral Health

Cannabis is illegal on the federal level.  However, as of March 2018, 30 states have legalized the use of either medical or recreational marijuana.  As this becomes more prevalent, we all need to become aware of the effects cannabis use has on our mouths.

Why people use Cannabis

Manage:
-Pain
-Anxiety
-Depression
-Migraines
-Sleep Problems

Reduce pain from:
-Multiple Sclerosis
-Spinal Cord Injuries
-Fibromyalgia
-Rheumatoid Arthritis

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Decrease seizures in Drug-resistant Epilepsy

Reduce Muscle Spasticity

Reduce Nausea and Vomiting related to Chemotherapy and AIDS treatments

 

Types of Marijuana

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): the primary psychoactive compound of the plant.

CBD (cannabidiol): nonpsychoactive, does not produce the typical “high”.

Weed: leaves and buds of the female plant.

Hash: resin made from the plants.  Resin can be dried into blocks.

Hash Oil: most potent form, applied to different items.

 

Ways to Administer

Inhalation: smoked in cigarettes (joints), pipes (bongs), hollowed out cigars (blunts), hookah pipes.  Alternatives to smoking include vaping, inhaling a fine mist caused by heating the marijuana instead of burning it.  Dabbing is when hash oil is made into a wax and heated to a vapor in a glass pipe.

Oral: edibles (food or beverages), capsules, sublingual (under your tongue), tinctures, or oromucosal sprays (mouth sprays).

Topical: creams, and oils.

Alternatives: suppositories.

 

Adverse Reactions

Physical Effects:
-Addiction is significantly greater with adolescent onset use as opposed to adult onset use.
-Myocardial Infarction (MI)
-Ischemic Stroke
-Emboli
-Acute Kidney Injury
-Seizures
-Respiratory, including lung cancer
-Nervous system disorder
-Dry Mouth
-Fatigue
-Decrease development of brain’s white matter

Psychological Effects:
-Paranoia and anxiety are often found in the use of THC.
-Mania
-Self Harm and suicidal behaviors
-Hallucination
-Confusion, impaired functioning
-Psychosis
-Depression
-Anxiety

 

Effects on your Mouth

The inhalation category referenced above has the most negative effect on your mouth.  Especially if used chronically.

-Increase in cavities/tooth lose due to poor hygiene
-Increase in cavities/tooth lose due to increase in sugary, carbohydrated foods
-Inflammation in gums resulting in higher risk for periodontitis (gum disease)
-Inflammation in gums resulting in leukoplakic (white) patches
-Xerostomia (dry mouth)
-Cannabis Stomatitis (changes in the lining of the mouth)
-Oral Cancer
-Negative interactions between local anesthetic and nitrous oxide

 

Conclusion

There are many reason why people use marijuana.  If you do, make sure you are informed on the risks and weigh those to the benefits you find in using cannabis.  If you smoke marijuana, look into alternative methods such as edibles or topical applications.  Visit your dental professionals regularly so that we can help keep you healthy!  Regular dental hygiene appointments to keep your teeth/gums healthy, oral cancer screenings, and any teeth restorations as needed.   But most importantly, make sure you find a place that you feel comfortable openly, safely discussing your cannabis use so that we, as oral health professionals, can provide you with the safest care possible.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/ddhnoright.aspx?id=26034&term=cannabis

https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/cannabis

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html

Yao, Suellan Go, DMD, and James Burke Fine, DMD. “Consumption of Cannabis and Effects of Periodontal Health.” CDA Journal Volume 45. Issue 9 (2017): 475-481. Print.

Advertisements

Coping With a Medical Emergency

IMG_9785

Maria Ambra, RDH

Coping With a Medical Emergency

“Why are you asking me so many personal questions about my health? Are you my medical physician?”

“What does my blood pressure or my diabetes have to do with my cleaning?”

Several times during the day, as Dental Hygienists, we experience scenarios where patients ask these types of questions. Some patients believe that there is no correlation between the dental visit and their medical conditions.

Medical emergencies can occur when we least expect them; before, during or after dental procedures, especially when there is an underlying medical condition. Reviewing a complete medical history at each dental visit is the best way to be prepared or possibly prevent an emergency. It’s always prudent for us to ask you questions, or your physicians if you unsure why you take certain medications, to see if a medical conditions could impact dental treatment.

As dental hygienists, it is critical to evaluate the your current physical state, while a dental hygiene procedure is in progress. Either a simple prophylaxis or a Scale Root Planning, monitoring the your behavior during the dental visit is very important.

 

Some of the most common medical emergencies seen in dental offices are:

  • LOCAL ANESTHESTIC REACTION:

Local anesthetic reaction occurs when blood levels of anesthetic are too high or if the patient is allergic to components of the anesthetic (Sulfites). It is important for us to know what medications you are allergic to.

  • SYNCOPE OR FAINTING:

Syncope is the result from the loss of blood flow to the brain and can affect anyone of any age at any time.

  • BLOOD GLUCOSE DISORDER:

Blood glucose disorders can occur in diabetic patients that can experience either Hyperglycemia or Hypoglycemia. It is important for us to ask the you your current HbA1C level.

  • HYPERVENTILATION:

Hyperventilation is abnormal, rapid breathing that decreases carbon dioxide levels in the blood usually caused by anxiety.  Keeping open communication with us on your anxiety levels can help us avoid this.  There are several things you can talk to the Dentist about to help reduce your anxiety.

  • ASTHMA:

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath and wheezing. It is important for us to know if you have asthma, and important for you to bring your inhaler to your appointments.

  • BLOOD PRESSURE:

Blood Pressure monitoring is also very important before any dental procedure. Some people are most often not aware of any blood pressure conditions they might have.  It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.  If your medical physician tells you that you have high or low blood pressure, it is important for us to you so that it may not hinder any dental treatment.  It is also important and you take your medication as prescribed, especially before any dental procedures. We take your blood pressure before giving your anesthetic to reduce your risk of a medical emergency.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

American Academy of Allergy www.aaaai.org

The Anaphylaxis Campaign www.anaphylaxis.org

American College of Physician-American Society of Internal Medicine. www.acponline.org.

http://www.rdhmag.com

Cold Sore vs. Canker Sore

Becky RDH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky Larson, RDH

Cold Sore vs. Canker Sore

 In the dental field, we often have patients that are afflicted with both cold sores and canker sores.  These sores are often confused with one another.  Since medications and treatments differ with both of these types of sores, I will explain the difference between them and why it’s important to identify each correctly.

A canker sore is more like a shallow ulcer and is found inside the mouth.  Canker sores can be painful and make it difficult to eat or talk.  Most often, canker sores are caused by stress or injury to the tissues in the mouth.  Sometimes certain types of food can further trigger or irritate a canker sore.  Less often, canker sores occur due to vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal diseases (like Crohn’s or celiac), nutritional problems, and/or an impaired immune system.  Usually after a few days the pain from a canker sore decreases significantly.  They usually don’t require treatment and clear up within a week or two.  However, dentists can treat canker sores with a laser for immediate pain relief if needed.

A cold sore on the other hand is caused by a virus and are extremely contagious.  A cold sore is actually a group of fluid-filled blisters and occur outside the mouth, usually around the lips or nose or under the chin.   Once the blisters break, they will ooze and then crust over.  Cold sores are most contagious during the oozing stage.  Cold sores are sometimes referred to as “fever blisters” and are caused by the herpes simplex virus.   While there is no cure for cold sores, anti-viral medications can be prescribed to help promote faster healing.  Because they are extremely contagious with no cure, most dental professionals recommend rescheduling  your dental visits until after the cold sore has crusted over to prevent spreading of the virus.

As always, if you have questions or concerns with your oral health or notice persistent sores that won’t heal, please consult your dentist for recommended treatment options and/or medications.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-sore/symptoms-causes/syc-20371017

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Lindsay RDH

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common side effect of many of the medications that are commonly prescribed to nursing home patients.
  • Saliva has antimicrobial properties as well as minerals that help defend tooth enamel against acid attacks from food, drinks, and decay-causing bacteria (US HHS, 2000).
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are also contributors to xerostomia.
  • According to the Surgeon General report, LTCF residents are prescribed and average of eight drugs (US HHS, 2000).

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth:

  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Thick or ropey saliva
  • Fissured tongue, burning feeling of tongue
  • No saliva pooling on the floor of the mouth
  • Examination gloves stick to the tongue or oral mucosa
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking
  • Increased need to drink water, especially at night
  • Bad breath
  • Denture pain
  • Bacterial infections
  • Dental decay
  • Increased plaque

Relieving Dry Mouth:

  • Sip on water or sugarless drinks, or suck on ice chips
  • Avoid irritants, such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods
  • Use humidifier at night
  • Consider using saliva substitutes (Biotene, ACT fluoride rinse for dry mouth)

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/surgeongeneral/report/executivesummary

.htm

US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/surgeongeneral/report/executivesummary

.htm

Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?

KO6A8495-Edit - Copy

Lora Cook, RDH

Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?

Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action! When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in. Best of all it is inexpensive.

However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long. It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush. Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections.

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/hydrogen-peroxide-as-mouthwash.html

http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/tooth-whiteners/l-3/6-tooth-whitening-side-effects.htm

http://www.healthline.com/health/thrush#Symptoms4

Smiles for Hope

KO6A3300-Edit[1]

Amanda Orvis, RDH

168962_110269599049601_219731_n

Announcing the kick-off of our annual Smiles for Hope Whitening Campaign.

Once again, our office has partnered with Hope Arising Charity Foundation. Hope Arising is a non-profit organization that benefits children and families in Dera Ethiopia. Through our partnership with this amazing organization we are able to help provide dental and medical services, as well as education opportunities for hundreds of children and families in Dera every year.

March 1st through June 30th all whitening procedures done in our office will be provided at a discounted rate, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Hope Arising Charity Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.

 

Donation Levels:

Level 1: In-office whitening and take-home whitening gel with custom fit trays

Level 2: In-office whitening

Level 3: Take-home whitening gel and custom fit trays

Level 4: Flat donation of your choice

 

Hope Arising has two ways you can donate: via credit card through PayPal, or by check

You do not have to be a patient of record at our office to participate in this campaign. All we require is a quick exam to make sure the whitening participant is safe to whiten.

Your bright white smile can make a lasting impression on Dera through your donations and support. So, call us today to schedule your whitening appointment!

Hope Arising Banner

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://hopearising.org/

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Lacee Hogle, RDH

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Infants are not born with the bacteria that causes decay. The bacteria is passed from the primary caregiver to the baby typically within the first few months of the baby’s life. This bacteria is known as Streptococcus Mutans. Once the baby has been exposed to this bacteria, the baby is at high risk for cavities. Streptococcus Mutans are able to produce acid with the help of sugar. Unfortunately both breast milk and baby formula contain sugar. After the mouth is exposed to sugar, acid is produced and demineralization of the teeth start to occur. But don’t lose hope, decay can be prevented by following these simple steps.

1. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, juice or other sweetened liquids.

2. Brush and floss your baby’s teeth as soon as teeth start to erupt. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until the child is able to spit, which typically doesn’t occur till the age of three. Many cities have fluoridated water so tap water is a good way to expose your child’s teeth to fluoride. Also, have your dentist or dental hygienist apply a fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth.

3. Do not dip your child’s pacifier in sugar or syrup.

4. Have your child see a dentist sometime between the age of six and twelve months.

5. Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.

6. Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers.

Although baby teeth are temporary, they are very important. Baby teeth are necessary for chewing, speaking and smiling. They also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely due to baby bottle tooth decay, the child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and damaged adult teeth. As you can see, baby teeth are vital to a child’s development. Fortunately, baby bottle tooth decay can easily be prevented just by following those simple steps that are listed above.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay#1

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_healthy/baby_bottle.html

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Experiencing Teeth Sensitivity?

img_0298

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Jones, RDH

Experiencing Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth sensitivity also known as dentin hypersensitivity is not uncommon in the American Adult population. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat tooth sensitivity to relieve the discomfort. There are also ways to help prevent sensitivity occurring.

 

Causes and Prevention of Sensitivity

The outside layer of teeth, called enamel is the protection layer. When this layer becomes thin or experiences wear, sensitivity can occur. Enamel can become thin due to acidic foods or drinks. Avoiding these types of foods and drinks is an option but can sometimes feel limiting. If you plan to keep eating and drinking these foods, rinsing with water or a mouth wash directly after will help and be sure to brush your teeth twice a day.

Clenching and grinding can cause enamel loss. This often occurs at night and you may be unaware you are doing it. If this is the cause of sensitivity, a night guard (sometimes called an occlusal guard) can be worn to prevent further wear and damage of the teeth.

Gum recession exposes the root of the teeth because enamel only covers the “crown” of the tooth or the top portion of the tooth. Without the protective layer of enamel, the root is a common area of sensitivity. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with “medium” or “hard” bristles can cause recession; always use a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. Receding gums can also be caused by clenching and grinding which was mentioned above. Gum recession can be caused by periodontal disease in which case, speaking with a dental profession will be best to discuss treatment options.

Whitening or bleaching is a cosmetic dental procedure that can cause sensitivity due to dehydration of the teeth. By being proactive, you can prevent sensitivity after whitening by using a sensitive tooth paste or other options discussed below.

 

Treatment Options

Over the counter toothpastes such as Sensodyne, or Colgate Sensitive can be used on a daily basis in place of other toothpastes to relieve discomfort from sensitivity. Look for the active ingredient potassium nitrate.

Fluoride is well known for it’s anti-cavity benefits, but it also has a desensitizing component as well. A fluoride varnish can be applied at dental visits to help relieve sensitivity. There are also prescription strength toothpastes that contain fluoride that can be used on a daily basis that will continue to provide protection and desensitizing for teeth.

MI Paste is a relatively new product that has several beneficial effects. One of them being a sensitivity relief. MI Paste is meant to be applied after brushing and left on for at least 30 minutes. It can be used in dental trays and left in over night as well.

It should be noted that if tooth sensitivity is localized to one area or tooth this may be an indication of tooth decay, a cavity, or infection. By talking with a dentist, the best treatment option can be discussed.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

 

Sources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity

http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-33/issue-10/features/the-sensitivity-complaint.html

https://us.sensodyne.com/about-sensitivity/

http://www.mi-paste.com/about.php

How Do I Care For My Dental Implant?

Morgan Johnson, RDH

How Do I Care For My Dental Implant?

Caring for implants is similar to the way natural teeth are cared for, but they do require a little more attention. Further down we will discuss a few things to keep in mind when choosing home care products, and review certain techniques to include in your everyday home care routine. Following these guidelines can help to ensure the success and longevity of your implant!

Brushing?

There are many tools that can be used to help with removing plaque from an implant. As for toothbrushes, a soft bristled electric or manual brush is okay to use, as long as it is used properly. The toothbrush should be angled at a 45 degree angle toward the gumline, in order to reach the plaque under the gums. Brushing for a full two minutes, twice a day, and reaching all surfaces of the tooth is vital. As for toothpaste, it is important to choose one that is non-abrasive, so it does not scratch the surface of the implant. Stay away from toothpastes that contain the following products: stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride (APF >3.0), baking soda, stain removers, and smoker’s toothpaste.

Flossing?

When it comes to flossing an implant, choose one that is unwaxed, or implant specific. ‘X-floss’ is a fluffy implant specific floss that works great because it is able to clean more surface area, compared to the typical thinner floss. When flossing, insert the floss in contacts on both sides of the implant. Wrap in a circle and crisscross in front, switch hands, and move in a shoe-shine motion. The implant has horizontal threads underneath the gums, so it is important to floss horizontally to remove plaque and biofilm, at least once a day!

Other Devices?

The Waterpik Water Flosser is another great tool to help keep an implant clean. After flossing with traditional string floss, the waterpik can and should be used to flush the debris out from under the pockets of the implant.  Antimicrobial rinses can also be added to the water reservoir of the Waterpik to prevent inflammation and help remove biofilm.

Other devices that help clean in between the teeth include proxabrushes, soft piks, end tuft brushes, or any other interdental brush. Just be sure they are nylon coated so as to not scratch the implant.

We hope this was helpful for all of you that have an implant of your own! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the above information.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

Sources:

https://www.speareducation.com/patient-education/view/course/700/lesson/1583

http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-33/issue-9/features/focus-on-implant-home-care.html

https://www.piksters.com/page/xfloss

Are Dental X-rays Really Necessary?

img_7896

Cortney Davis, RDH

Are Dental X-rays Really Necessary?

A lot of patients are concerned about taking dental x-rays. Many patients are worried about incurring any unnecessary radiation, having addition costs, or they don’t have any teeth that hurt so they don’t think they are necessary. As an office that offers full-service dentistry, we want to make sure we take every measure to make sure our patients are getting the proper care they need and deserve. Without x-rays we can’t provide a proper and accurate diagnoses for our patients. There could also be underlying problems going on that we could be missing without x-rays.

Dental x-rays show many beneficial things that help the dentist and hygienist give a patient the proper care they need. They can be used to show areas of decay that may not be visible with just an oral exam, reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease, determine if primary teeth are being lost quickly enough for permanent teeth to come in properly, check the development of wisdom teeth and how they are growing in, identify recurring decay around existing work, reveal an abscessed tooth, and assist in tooth preparations for dental procedures.

Many dental problems don’t often have symptoms until the disease has progressed to a point where a tooth may need major work or worse, to a point where it is non-restorable. As a hygienist, I have seen many cavities and abscesses that didn’t hurt (yet) and would have been unnoticed if dental x-rays weren’t done.

So how often should you get x-rays? The frequency of getting x-rays of your teeth often depends on your dental and medical history. Some patients with a history of dental decay or gum disease may need x-rays as often as every 6 months, others who visit the dentist regularly and don’t have history of gum disease or any teeth problems may only need x-rays annually. If you are a new patient, our office takes a full mouth series of x-rays as part of the initial exam. Full mouth series of x-rays helps us do a comprehensive exam on a patient and helps establish a base record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.

Are dental x-rays safe? Radiation exposure is very important and something we take seriously. Advances in dentistry over the years have led to a number of measures that will minimize the risks associated with x- ray exposures. In terms of radiation from dental x-rays, they are actually lower than the background dose of radiation received by an average person on an average day or even riding on a plane.

If you have any questions or concerns about x-rays be sure to talk to your dentist about how often x-rays are needed for you and why they are being taken.

Sources:

Webmd.com

Colgate.com

Willowcreek.com