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Vaping and Dental Health

July 9th, 2017

Like their cigarette counterparts, it appears there are adverse health effects involved with vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette. The solution that causes the vapor is usually made up of diluents (a term meaning some chemical was used to dilute the mixture), flavorings—different flavors are one of the touted benefits of e-cigarette use—and nicotine.

Now, inside the e-cigarette the solution is heated up by what’s called an atomizer—this heats the solution to create the vapor the user breathes in. E-cigarette solutions also come in different nicotine doses, so, naturally, people also tout that as being another advancement to healthier nicotine use. But, while things are not yet definitive on the adverse health effects of vaping—whether vaporizers are just as harmful as tobacco—what looks to be certain is that vaporizers are contributing to gum disease.

Studies show that nicotine does harm to the oral tissues. Studies also show that even though vaping claims to be different, it doesn’t matter how the nicotine is delivered. Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that can flow throughout the veins in your body. In example, long term use of nicotine can be responsible for heart disease and stroke.

This restriction of blood can kill off some of your gum tissue. Now, there are claims that vaping has enhanced oral health. But the truth seems to be that vaping only helps to mask the symptoms of oral disease. See, when gum disease strikes, there’s a flow of blood to the gums that makes the gums swell. However, when someone is using a vaporizer, and blood flow is restricted by the nicotine, the gums wont swell with blood, and your dentist may or may not be able to discern that there’s an underlying issue like gum disease. Remember also that gum disease allowed to get worse could develop into the much more severe periodontal disease. And Periodontal disease is much harder to treat, with treatment that, depending upon the severity, is much more invasive than a simple gingivitis treatment.

If you are concerned if vaping is doing harm to your mouth, or, if you just need to schedule your next appointment, call Premier Smile today.

Gingivitis

June 22nd, 2017

Gingivitis is the term for the early stage of gum disease. If you were to go into the oral care aisle at the grocery store there are products—mouthwashes—claiming to help you be rid of gingivitis. These oral care companies make commercials to sell their products as defenders of gingivitis. But, if gingivitis is an early form of gum disease, why are the other, more advanced and chronic, versions of gum disease not mentioned by these companies?

Simple: gingivitis is easily treated in its early stages by a visit to the dentist and quality at-home oral care—brushing twice daily and flossing at least once (if treating gingivitis, you may also need to temporarily add a mouthwash to your routine).

But gingivitis is also fairly difficult to catch in its earliest stages. Gingivitis can exist without any real symptom, then progress to the more severe periodontal disease without a person even realizing they’re suffering from the condition.

If you notice the following symptoms: your gums are swollen and easily bleed, your gums are tender to the touch of a toothbrush, or, if you have developed the habit of having bad breath inexplicably (bad breath could also be a warning sign for other oral disease, or it could also be a sign that you had too much garlic for dinner).

Some people will be at a higher risk for developing gingivitis. Risk factors include: people who do not practice good oral care habits, people who smoke or use smokeless tobaccos (vapes also contribute to gum disease), a person’s mouth could be situated with teeth that are crooked or too tight and difficult to clean, a person may be on medication. Numerous medications have negative oral side effects, so read those warning labels or it could just be a case of a genetic predisposition to having the condition.

To get rid of gingivitis visit your dentist for a proper cleaning, and then continue the oral care routine of brushing-well twice daily and flossing at least once. And if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis, or if you just need to schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

Chewing Gum

June 22nd, 2017

Chewing gum in one form or another has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks, the Mayans, and the Native Americans used chewing gum—or natural things such as tree sap which was developed to be used in the same manner as chewing gum.

But there’s different types of chewing gum. Obviously, chewing gum with sugar is bad for our teeth. Essentially, sugary chewing gum is grinding sugars into our teeth, adding a sugary salvia film to the outsides of our teeth, which then leads to a build of bacteria which causes plaque. So, knowing we need a sugar-free gum, here are a few of the reasons why gum chewing can be beneficial.

Chewing gum stimulates our mouths to produce saliva. If you chew after easting, this increase in salivary flow can help to keep the teeth clean. But don’t mistake gum chewing for brushing and flossing. There is no substitute for a good quality oral care routine of brushing well twice daily and flossing once.

Check the label of your chewing gum. Most chewing gums are made of few ingredients that include some type of sweetener—for sugar free gum the sweetener used will be usually artificial, however there are certain brands with organic non-chemical ingredients, as well.
There will be some type of softener used, and oftentimes these are vegetable oils or glycerin. And then most commercial gums will have some flavor that has been added, and possibly even a coloring (there are natural dyes and colorings on the market; the other options are usually chemical, including red and yellow dyes).

Now, chewing gum is not a be-all-end-all, and other things such as drinking water (just plain water, no lemon, nothing added, as anything added may just contribute to excess sugars within the mouth, which then contributes to excess bacteria and the development of plaque). after a meal can be equally, if not more so, beneficial than chewing gum. Also, chewing gum repetitively has been shown to wear down teeth.

If you need to make your next appointment, make sure to call Premier Smile today. Remember to come in for a regular checkup once or twice yearly.

Gum Disease & Inflammation

May 18th, 2017

Studies continue to connect periodontitis (gum disease) with other health issues. The connections are not always clear, but continuing research indicates that people with diseases that include a chronic inflammatory state also tend to have a higher incidence of gum disease.
For example, in the general population, endometriosis-a chronic inflammatory disease-affects up to 25% of women, but when you look at a population of women with gum disease, the rate of endometriosis increases in nearly 70%! Is it a casual relationship? That we don't know yet, but we do know that if you have gum disease-also a chronic inflammatory disease-your chance of having other health issues increases significantly.
So what can you do? Keep a diligent daily routine of brushing at least twice and flossing. Also ensure that you schedule and keep your regular continuing care dental appointments every 6 months. Call us today at 402-718-8737 to schedule your dental cleaning and exam.

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