Why are My Teeth Yellow?

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Nora Torrez, RDH

Why are my teeth yellow?

What causes teeth stains?

Four classifications:

Extrinsic stains:  is when our enamel becomes stained. The main causes would be coffee, wine, soda, dark colored beverages or smoking.

Intrinsic stains:  is when our dentin (inner structure of tooth) darkens or has a yellow tint. This often occurs due to trauma.

Exogenous stains:  May be extrinsic or intrinsic. It occurs once the tooth has developed.

Endogenous stains:  happens during the development of the teeth. Tetracycline (antibiotic) stains is one of the common causes. If the antibiotic was taken during the development stage it binds to the dentin causing a grey or brown color. Best treatment for this type of staining would be crowns or veneers.

Stains that are on the enamel may be removed by your Dental Hygienist.  Professional whitening can also help. In office bleaching or take home trays.  Check out this recent blog about our Smiles for Life program, going on until June 30th.

Poor homecare can also cause our teeth to appear discolored. Thick, heavy plaque will appear yellow if left on teeth.

Make sure you are on track with your homecare! Brushing twice daily, morning and before bed. Make sure you are doing it 2 minutes each time. And don’t forget the flossing before bed.

If you drink coffee, wine or tea regularly using a straw or rinsing with water afterwards can help with the staining.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask your Dental Hygienist or Dentist at your next visit.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

www.oralb.com

www.colgate.com

www.rdhmag.com

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Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

            I know we live in a desert, but our mouths don’t have to BE a desert of dryness!  The first step is to figure out where is the dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is coming from.  There are several factors that can contribute to dry mouth including damage to the salivary glands, medications or medical conditions, and life style habits such as smoking, drinking, or alcohol or caffeine use.  There are so many variables and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of factors.

Often times, there is nothing you can do to reverse dry mouth, however, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (1):

  • Be sure to REGULARLY take sips of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Practice good Oral Hygiene – brushing 2x daily and flossing 1x daily. You can also use mouth rinses WITHOUT alcohol in them.  The alcohol will dry out the mouth and makes symptoms worse.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Chew Sugar-Free gum or suck on Sugar-free lozenges
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake

There are several companies that provide products that aid in dry mouth relief.  Some products and brands work well for some while others work better for others.  It truly is a trial and error process to see what works best for you.

Biotene is one of the biggest companies that focus on relieving dry mouth.  They have an array of products ranging from mouth rinses to chewing gum to saliva substitute.  It is sold in several stores, including Target and Walgreens.  Xylitol also has a variety of products that you can order including nose sprays, toothpastes, mints, and artificial sweeteners. (2) And of course, there are natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms as well.  Here is a good website that has a variety of things you can try to see if they alleviate any discomfort. (3)

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Dry mouth is NEVER easy to deal with, but hopefully with time and a little patience you’ll find something that will work for you.  If you need more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or dentist for other solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-health-impacts/dry-mouth-relief/
  2. http://www.epicdental.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=xylitol-products
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

The Secrets About Halitosis

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Wendy Parker, RDH

The Secrets About Halitosis

Before we even start trading secrets, what is Halitosis?  Halitosis is the fancy word for “Bad Breath.”  We’ve all had it at one point or another.  Whether that is morning breath, when we’ve forgotten to brush, or when we’ve eaten something with a strong taste.  Whether temporary or permanent, bad breath comes to everyone.  So let’s talk about the secrets of where it comes from, why we get it, and most importantly, how to get rid of it!

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Bad breath can come from several sources.  Here’s a list of some of the most common ones:

  • Tooth decay or / and gum disease such as gingivitis
  • Dentures and bridges
  • Mouth sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Post-nasal drip and congestion of the nasal passages
  • Food stuck between the teeth
  • Coating of the tongue caused by a build up of bacteria
  • Infection of the throat and tonsils
  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Acid reflux and GERD
  • Chronic constipation
  • Digestive problems and stomach ulcers
  • High-protein diet that includes fish, cheeses, and meats
  • Foods that are strong smelling or spicy such as onions and garlic, exotic spices (ie. curry)
  • Supplements, such as Fish Oil Capsules
  • Low Carb Diets – causing “Ketone breath” as a result of the low carb consumption causing the body to burn fat as it’s energy source which then causes an end product of the body making ketones, which causes a fruity acetone-like odor when exhaled
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
One of the most common reasons people have halitosis is due to a condition called “Black Hairy Tongue” or a coated tongue.  It sounds scary and unusual, but it’s something that can be cured quickly.
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The bacteria build up on tiny rounded projections called papillae which are on the surface of the tongue, also known as tastebuds. These papillae grown longer catch all the food and bacteria in the mouth.  Without brushing your tongue or removing the bacteria, it can embed in the tongue and causing a coating.  Black hairy tongue is caused by bacteria or fungi in the mouth, which make the tongue to appear black and hairy.

Certain lifestyle habits and conditions can make people more likely to develop black hairy tongue. They include:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking tobacco
  • drinking a lot of coffee or tea
  • using antibiotics (which may disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the mouth)
  • being dehydrated
  • taking medications that contain the chemical Bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol for upset stomach)
  • not producing enough saliva
  • regularly using mouthwash that contains peroxide, witch hazel, or menthol
  • getting radiation therapy to the head and neck

Black hairy tongue is more common in men, people who use intravenous drugs, and those who are HIV-positive.

Now that we learned about Halitosis and Black Hairy Tongue, here are tips and tricks to getting rid of it:

Gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush, but more importantly, don’t forget your tongue!!! Start at the back of your tongue and scrape forward, being sure not to scrub the tongue and embed the bacteria even further.   You can use a tongue scraper to make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning the area. Be sure to come in for your regular check up and cleanings so that your friendly hygienist can help you too!  Soon, the coating will go away and so will the bad breath.

halitosis 3

If you find that you have consistent bad breath you can try our other tips:

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Add more roughage to your diet. Soft foods won’t clean off the tongue effectively.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your mouth clean.

Natural home remedies include:

  • Fenugreek should be consumed in the form of a tea made with one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in one liter of water. Simmer till the water is infused and strain before drinking. When consumed regularly, fenugreek seeds are an excellent home remedy for halitosis.
  • Making a tea or infusion with fresh parsley or cloves is also a good way to treat bad breath. Simply boil water with freshly chopped parsley and drop in a few cloves to the mix. Cool the mixture and strain before using it as a natural mouthwash after eating. There have been numerous studies supporting claims about the efficacy of cloves and clove oil in dental care.
  • include fresh vegetables, fruits and grains into your daily diet.
  • increase your intake of Vitamin C from foods
  • include guava in your diet

An individual should consult their physician for a diagnosis if they have

  • persistent dry mouth
  • sores in the mouth
  • pain with chewing or swallowing
  • white spots on the tonsils
  • Fever
  • any other symptoms of concern

Call your doctor or dentist if the problem doesn’t get better on its own. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or an antifungal drug to get rid of the bacteria or yeast. Topical medications, such as tretinoin (Retin-A), are also sometimes prescribed. As a last resort, if the problem doesn’t improve, the papillae can be surgically clipped off with a laser or electrosurgery.

Hopefully this let you in on some of our secrets to a happy healthy mouth!  Happy brushing and breathing everyone!

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.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/black-hairy-tongue

http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Halitosis.html

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bad_breath_halitosis/page4_em.htm

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

OC Awareness

Early detection is key with oral cancer. When found early, oral cancer patients can have an 80 to 90% survival rate. Unfortunately 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of these cases will be discovered as a late stage malignancy.

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous, because the patient may not notice it in its early stages. It can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms. As a result, Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location.

Who does oral cancer screenings?

Most oral cancer screenings are done by a Dentist or Hygienist. It is very important at all of your dental appointments you have a screening completed.

When should I have my first oral cancer screening?

More people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. But surprisingly, research shows this increase is not due to the traditional risk factors of drinking, smoking and using chewing tobacco. Rather oral cancer is now being found in a younger population of men and women because due to their exposure to the HPV (Human Papillomavirus). That is why the Center for Disease Control recommends that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer.

What types of screenings are there?

A routine “recall” exam usually includes a visual search for lesions and abnormal structures in the oral cavity with palpitations on neck, throat, tongue and cheeks.

The Identafi system uses the Identafi Multi-Spectral Fluorescence and Reflectance technology to enhance visualization of mucosal abnormalities such as oral cancer or premalignant dysplasia that may not be apparent to the naked eye. Unlike other fluorescence technologies and dye systems, the Identafi is Multi-Spectral with three distinct color wavelengths, making it easier to distinguish lesion morphology and vasculature.

Identafi System

The VELscope® Vx system is an adjunctive device which means it must be used together with and as a supplement to the traditional intra and extra oral head and neck exam. Unlike other adjunctive devices used for oral examinations, the VELscope® Vx does not require any dyes or prolonged testing procedures. In fact, a VELscope® Vx exam can be performed during a routine hygiene exam in about two minutes at your dental office.

Dentists, Hygienists, Periodontists, Oral Surgeons, Primary Care Physicians and Otolaryngologists now have the technology to detect morphological and biochemical changes which may lead to oral cancer and potentially save lives, thanks to the Identafi® and VELscope® Vx systems.

Where do I go if there is any concern with my screening?

You will be referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons where they will check for lesions and abnormal tissue structures and perform a biopsy.

Oral Surgeons are not front-line detectors, because their patients are typically referred by dentist and other medical professionals as a primary source for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

OC Happens

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Source:

http://www.identafi.net/tools

http://www.dentalez.com/products/stardental/identafi/

http://www.velscope.com/velscope-technology/overview/

What is Vaping Anyways? An Examination of Electronic Cigarettes

Kara

Kara Johansen BS RDH

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What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are also known as ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system), electronic cigarettes, or E-cigs. “Electronic cigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes, right down to the glowing tip. When the smoker puffs on it, the system delivers a mist of liquid, flavorings, and nicotine that looks something like smoke. The smoker inhales it like cigarette smoke, and the nicotine is absorbed into the lungs. The e-cigarette is usually sold as a way for a smoker to get nicotine in places where smoking is not allowed.” (www.cancer.org) When people use ENDS it is sometimes called vaping

E-cigs have a vaporization system, rechargeable batteries, controls and areas to refill the liquid for vaporization. The ENDS can contain between 6mg to over 100 mg of nicotine.  Nicotine can be lethal in large amounts, 0.5-1.0 mg per kj of weight of the person. Because the products contain nicotine they can cause dependence and addiction. The chemicals used in the liquid for vaporization is not fully known. The products are not labeled or stated on the bottles.

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ENDS are usually shaped to look like “conventional” tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs or shishas. Some companies make them to look like ordinary pens, or USB memory sticks to make them more discrete. (The World Health Organization http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/)

Why do people use electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are on the rise throughout the world and in the United States. Here are some “commonly reported reasons for use: to quit smoking, to avoid relapse, to reduce urge to smoke, or as a perceived lower-risk alternative to smoking. Few studies, however, have explored whether electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) deliver measurable levels of nicotine to the blood. ” (Carcoran O., Dawkins L, 2013) This means that without measurable levels of nicotine in the blood it may not be an effective tool to quit smoking.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the percentage of highschool and middle school students who have used electronic cigarettes has doubled from 2011 to 2012. Highschool increased from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012 and middle school increased from  1.4% to 2.7%. The National Youth Tobacco Study found that by 2012 more than 1.78 million middle and high school students in the US had tried e-cigarettes. (CDC, 2013)

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“ENDS use is expanding rapidly despite experts’ concerns about safety, dual use and possible ‘gateway’ effects. More research is needed on effective public health messages, perceived health risks, validity of self-reports of smoking cessation and the use of different kinds of ENDS.” (Pepper JK, Brewer NT http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24259045) This statement is from a study completed in 2013. It is saying that even though experts are worried that it ENDS may not be safe and can lead to drug abuse of other substances the sales of E-cigs are increasing.

“The primary concern is whether e-cigarettes have the capability of introducing nonsmoking youth to cigarette smoking,” said Thomas J. Glynn, PhD, American Cancer Society’s director of cancer science and trends and international cancer control. “Will we have new cigarette smokers out of this? A very clear message is that we are very much in need of FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) regulations that will limit access to e-cigarettes to youth.”(Simon, 2013)

Acting through the Family Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 the FDA is working on creating regulations for the ENDS products. The FDA will require that electronic cigarettes label what is in the product, and how they can market and sell the ENDS. A few states have set regulations on selling and promoting e-cigarettes to ages 18 and younger, however, it is not illegal to sell ENDS to youth in most states. (Simon 2013) The producers of e-cigs are marketing to children, creating products that are meant to taste like candy.

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Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

“The safety of ENDS has not been scientifically demonstrated.

The potential risks they pose for the health of users remain undetermined. Furthermore, scientific testing indicates that the products vary widely in the amount of nicotine and other chemicals they deliver and there is no way for consumers to find out what is actually delivered by the product they have purchased.

Most ENDS contain large concentrations of propylene glycol, which is a known irritant when inhaled. The testing of some of these products also suggests the presence of other toxic chemicals, aside from nicotine. In addition, use of these products -when they contain nicotine can pose a risk for nicotine poisoning (i.e. if a child of 30 Kilos of weight swallows the contents of a nicotine cartridge of 24 mg this could cause acute nicotine poisoning that most likely would cause its death) and a risk for addiction to nonsmokers of tobacco products. Nicotine, either inhaled, ingested or in direct contact with the skin, can be particularly hazardous to the health and safety of certain segments of the population, such as children, young people, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with heart conditions and the elderly. ENDS and their nicotine cartridges and refill accessories must be kept out of the reach of young children at all times in view of the risk of choking or nicotine poisoning.

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As ENDS do not generate the smoke that is associated with the combustion of tobacco, their use is commonly believed by consumers to be safer than smoking tobacco. This illusive ‘safety’ of ENDS can be enticing to consumers; however, the chemicals used in electronic cigarettes have not been fully disclosed, and there are no adequate data on their emissions.”

http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/

A study done by the FDA found cancer-causing substances in half the e-cigarette samples tested. Other impurities were also found, including one sample with diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze.

Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause short-term lung changes that are much like those caused by regular cigarettes. But long-term health effects are still unclear. This is an active area of research, and the safety of these products is currently unknown. (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/questionsaboutsmokingtobaccoandhealth/questions-about-smoking-tobacco-and-health-e-cigarettes)

 

Conflicting View Points

Dr. Thomas J. Glynn MA, MS, PhD, who is the director of Cancer Science and Trends and director of International Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society from the American Cancer Society created list of reasons why people favor e-cigarettes and why they oppose to their use.

Those who favor e-cigarettes list as benefits:

  • Their ability to deliver nicotine to the user without many of the other 7,000+ chemicals in a regular, burned cigarette;
  • Their absence of secondhand cigarette smoke;
  • Their resemblance to regular cigarettes, which provide the tactile and visual sensations – holding them in a certain way, a glowing tip, blowing smoke, etc. – that many cigarette smokers have become used to, or even psychologically dependent upon; and
  • Their potential for aiding cigarette smokers to who wish to quit to do so.

 Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

Those with concerns about e-cigarettes warn of:

  • Lack of scientific data about their safety. Simply put, e-cigarette users cannot be sure of what they are inhaling, since e-cigarettes have not been subjected to thorough, independent testing and, due to their manufacture by many different companies, there are no quality assurances in their production processes;
  • Lack of scientific data about their effectiveness as quit-smoking aides;
  • Lack of scientific data regarding their ability to deliver enough nicotine to satisfy withdrawal effects;
  • Lack of scientific data about the effect of secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes;
  • Lack of scientific data about whether the use of e-cigarettes encourages smokers who might have otherwise quit to continue smoking and only use e-cigarettes when they are in no-smoking environments; and
  • Lack of scientific data about whether youth may use e-cigarettes as an introduction to smoking regular cigarettes.

In the end one can clearly see the controversy over wether or not ENDS are good or bad.

Can I use ENDS to help me quit smoking?

“The efficacy of ENDS for helping people to quit smoking has not been scientifically demonstrated.

ENDS are often touted as tobacco replacements, smoking alternatives or smoking cessation aids. But we know that for smoking cessation products to be most effectively and safely used, they need to be used according to instructions developed for each product through scientific testing. There are no scientifically proven instructions for using ENDS as replacements or to quit smoking. The implied health benefits associated with these claims are unsubstantiated or may be based on inaccurate or misleading information. When ENDS are used as cessation aids, they are intended to deliver nicotine directly to the lungs. None of the approved, regulated cessation aids, such as nicotine patches and chewing-gum, delivers nicotine to the lungs. Therefore, the biological mechanism by which smoking cessation might be achieved by delivery of nicotine to the lungs and its effects are unknown. Delivery to the lung might be dangerous. Therefore, independently of the effects of nicotine, it is of global importance to study lung delivery scientifically.

The dose of delivered nicotine is also unknown. It is suspected that the delivered dose varies notably by product, which contain nicotine in various quantities and concentrations.”

http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/

 

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In Conclusion-

An article found on the US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health looked at how ENDS awareness increased from 16% to 58% from 2009 to 2011, and use increased from 1% to 6%. The article included data gathered from 49 other studies. The majority of users were current or former smokers. Many users found ENDS satisfying, and some engaged in dual use of ENDS and other tobacco.

No longitudinal studies examined whether ENDS serve as ‘gateways’ to future tobacco use. Meaning no studies have been completed that extend long periods of time. Some longitudinal studies are decades of gathered data. ENDS are a new product. There is no way to tell the long term effects of electronic cigarettes on the human body until one of these studies is completed. Self-reported survey data has been completed. Meaning people using the product filled out a questionnaire which includes their feelings and beliefs. These studies have validity problems. Prospective trials  and self-reported surveys suggest that ENDS might help cigarette smokers quit, but no randomized controlled trials with probability samples compared ENDS with other cessation(quitting smoking) tools. Randomized controlled trials are the only reliable research worthy of trusting.  (Pepper JK, Brewer NT http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24259045)

The World Health Organization states “Until such time as a given ENDS is deemed safe and effective and of acceptable quality by a competent national regulatory body, consumers should be strongly advised not to use any of these products, including electronic cigarettes.”

In conclusion reliable, independent, randomized controlled research needs to be conducted to solidify the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes. There is simply not enough information as to whether vaping is safe to use or a good tool to decrease or end smoking. Our public health choices and policies need to be decided upon fact. As for my health and the health of our patients I will wait or advise a patient to wait to use an electronic cigarette.

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Want more info?

Want to learn more? Visit us at http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com/

Sources:

Carcoran O., Dawkins L, Acute electronic cigarette use: nicotine delivery and subjective effects in regular users. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Jan;231(2):401-7. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3249-8. Epub 2013 Aug 27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23978909

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011-2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. September 6, 2013
*(Etter, JF, Bullen, C, Flouris, AD, Laugesen, M, and Eissenberg, T “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: A Research Agenda, Tobacco Control Online First, March 17, 2011 as 10/1136/tc.2010.042168).
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/05/03/electronic-cigarettes-e28093-boon-bane-blessing-or-boondoggle.aspx

Glynn T. MA, MS, PhD, Electronic Cigarettes – Boon, Bane, Blessing, or Boondoggle?, (May 6, 2011), http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/05/03/electronic-cigarettes-e28093-boon-bane-blessing-or-boondoggle.aspx

Pepper JK, Brewer NT, Electronic nicotine delivery system (electronic cigarette) awareness, use, reactions and beliefs: a systematic review. (2013 Nov 20). Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, , Chapel Hill, , North Carolina, USA. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051122.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24259045

Questions and answers on electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) (9 July 2013) http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/

Simon S. Electronic Cigarette Use Doubles Among Teenagers. (9-9-2013) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/electronic-cigarette-use-doubles-among-teenagers

Image Sources:
#2  https://student.societyforscience.org/article/dangerous-rise-electronic-cigarettes

#3 http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/tobacco/use-of-e-cigarettes-among-middle-and-high-school-students-doubles

#4  https://student.societyforscience.org/article/dangerous-rise-electronic-cigarettes

#5 http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm172906.htm

#6 https://student.societyforscience.org/article/dangerous-rise-electronic-cigarettes

#7 http://ehealthmd.com/content/want-learn-how-quit-smoking-webquit-study-offers-free-online-smoking-cessation-help#axzz2xHfAcGUy

#8 http://www.nih.gov/health/clinicaltrials/basics.htm

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com/

STOP IT!! These habits can harm your teeth!

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Ann Clark RDH

Enamel is the toughest substance of the body.  But teeth can still be vulnerable when it comes to neglect, abuse or misuse.

1) Chewing on ice, pencils- Harmless? think again.  This habit can chip or crack your tooth.  It can also irritate the inside of the tooth causing toothaches or sensitivity.

ice chewing

2)Sports without mouthguards-Many sports require a mouthguard, a molded piece of plastic protecting your teeth.  Without one you an chip or even knock one out.  Get a custom fit one from your friendly dentist.

3)Bedtime bottles-Giving baby juice, milk or formula at bed can lead to decay.  The remnants bathe the teeth in sugars over night.

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4)Tongue piercing-Biting on a stud can crack a tooth.  Metal rubbing against gums can cause damage that may lead to tooth loss.  The mouth  is a haven for bacteria increasing the risk of infection.  Over time the metal can also wear down the enamel changing its shape.

piercing

5)Drinking coffee-The dark color and acidity can cause yellowing over time.  Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to treat with a little whitening.

coffee-black

6)Smoking/tobacco products-These stain the teeth and lead the way to periodontal disease.  Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue.

cigarette

7)Drinking wine-The acids in wines eat at the enamel creating rough spots.  A stained tooth is like sandpaper attracting more bacteria.  Red wine contains chromogen and tannins which help the color to stick…rinse with water, alcohol dries out your mouth.

8)Constant snacking- This produces less saliva than when eating a meal, leaving food bits in the teeth longer.  Snacks should be low in sugar/starch…try carrots.

9)Binge eating-Binging and purging(Bulemia) can do damage from acids found in vomit that erode enamel, leaving them brittle and weak.  Acids also cause bad breath.

10)Whitening too often- Chronic whitening or not following directions acn lead to gum irritation and increased sensitivity.

11) Bottled water- Most have little to no Fluoride as do home filtration units.  Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth structure.

12)Grinding/Clenching-Bruxism wears the tooth down over a period of time.  If worn to the  inner dentin your teeth become sensitive.  Stress, boredom, and sleeping habits make it hard to control. Worn down teeth make you look older and cause pressure to fracture the teeth.

13)Medications-Oral contraceptives can change your hormones and lead to periodontal disease.  Cough drops are high in sugar content leading to decay.  Antihistamines asue dry mouth as do many meds.  We need our saliva to protect our teeth!

14)Drug Abuse(Meth)- Crystal Meth, an illegal and addictive drug can destroy your teeth.  Users crave sugary drinks and foods, clench and have dry mouth.  They notoriously lack in taking care of themselves.

15)Gummy candy-Sticky foods keep sugars and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours.  Eat them with a meal as more saliva is produced helping to rinse your mouth.

gummy bear

16)Sodas/Sports drinks/Fruit juice-Sodas have 11teas. of sugar per serving.  They also contain phosphorus and citric acids which eat at enamel.  Diet skips the sugar but adds more acid (artificial sweetners).  Don’t sip these beverages keeping the teeth bathed, chug them and rinse with water

17)Potato chips-Bacteria in plaque will break down starchy foods into acid.  This acid can attack teeth for 20+ minutes if stuck between the teeth…floss!

18)Using your teeth as a tool-It’s convenient to open a bottle or package this way but it canlad to a chip or crack and nail biting is full of germs and bacterias, don’t chew on them.

tooth tool

19) Brushing too much, too hard or with a hard bristle brush-This can erode enamel. Toothpaste can be abrasive, technique is important so as not to take away enamel.  Skipping check ups and not flossing will, of course, cause problems as well.

Being informed is your best defense!

Ann Clark RDH

 
Photo cited:
 
Cigarette  www.webmd.com
Baby bottle www.webmd.com
Gummy Bear www.markmatters.com
Tooth Tool www.webmd.com
Ice Chewing. www.personal.psu.edu