Beautiful Smiles are within your reach! Improvement in ones appearance can lead to greater confidence and zeal for life. See how Rosemary achieved her newly enhanced smile with the use of dental crowns.
Was her treatment out of the ordinary?
We have talked about smoking tobacco and its consequences on oral health. Now with the legalization of cannabis in Canada, let’s discuss how its regular use affects your dental health.
Regular cannabis users usually have poorer oral health, which is evidenced by higher rates of tooth decay, missing teeth, inflamed gums, and cavities as compared to non-users.
Effects of cannabis on oral health:
Have you ever experienced the cotton-mouthed feeling when smoking pot? This means your mouth is dry due to lack of saliva. This oral condition of dry mouth is known as xerostomia, which is due to the reduced salivary flow. While under the influence of cannabis, the nervous system reacts by reducing the production of saliva.
This lack of saliva can create a whole range of problems. Saliva plays an important role for your healthy oral condition. It helps with breaking down food for easy intake, rinses your teeth and gums to remove food particles after meals, helps with rebuilding tissues, and provides disease fighting substances to keep your mouth healthy.
With the lack of saliva in the mouth, it eventually leads to cavities, as the enamel on the surface of your teeth becomes damaged, and teeth can appear worn and shorter, and extremely sensitive. Lack of saliva also causes bad breath.
Cannabis use can lead to periodontitis, which is the inflammation of tissue around your teeth, causing shrinkage of gums and loosening of teeth. Apart from teeth and gums, regular cannabis use also damages other soft tissues in your mouth like lips, tongues, cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
It is not a surprise that heavy tobacco smokers have stained and yellow teeth. Heavy cannabis users also have similar teeth in appearance, with worn out gums, resulting in a not so 'pearly-white' smile.
Abusing cannabis also creates a condition called cannabis stomatitis, which is the damaging of the lining of the mouth. This leads to sores that are painful to treat, and often don’t go away, and eventually take the form of oral cancers.
As dentists, we recommend to avoid consuming cannabis as much as possible. If you are a regular cannabis smoker:
When you enjoy ice cream do you fear the sharp pain that may accompany the chocolate flavour? Ice cream, cold or hot drinks and foods are luxuries that some people can't simply enjoy if their teeth are sensitive to temperature.
Dentin hypersensitivity is caused by stimulation of cells located in the dentin (the layer under your tooth enamel which can become exposed through wear and tear or dental maladies). When this happens, eating and drinking hot or cold foods and beverages, touching your teeth, often even exposing them to cold air can be painful.
We have options that will allow you to enjoy all of your favourite foods.
If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, book an appointment for a diagnostic evaluation and to rule out more serious problems such as a cavity or abscess. If you have dentin hypersensitivity, we may seal the sensitive area or for less severe cases you may be prescribed a special fluoride gel or told to use one of several over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth containing potassium nitrate or strontium chloride.
If you have any apprehension with hot or cold foods, call our office today for a consultation, then stop for an ice cream on the way home, you'll be glad you did.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Proper dental prevention and regular check-ups are your best bet for a healthier, pain free, beautiful smile. But how? Isn't brushing and flossing regularly enough? You do floss regularly, right!?!?
No sweat, we're here to help! Here are 7 ways to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, & dental health problems.
Manual toothbrushes can only clean your teeth so much. Electric toothbrushes are a popular and beneficial alternative to get a deep clean in order to prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. A few options for electric toothbrushes are Sonicare or Oral B which have replaceable brush heads.
Tips For Using an Electric Toothbrush:
You shouldn't miss this step because flossing helps remove any extra debris that a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing daily with a proper technique will reduce your chances for cavities, gum disease and will improve your oral health overall. Ask your dentist and hygienist on good flossing techniques to ensure you're doing the most you can for your teeth.
Your choices of food and beverages also play a large role in your dental health and in preventing health issues such as tooth decay.
Avoid Foods & Drinks That Are:
Choose Foods & Drinks Like:
Rinsing your mouth with fresh water can be more beneficial than brushing your teeth after every meal. When consuming foods or beverages with high acidity, it weakens the tooth enamel. Brushing right after can be detrimental, as the tooth is weakened after being in contact with high acidity food/drinks. Therefore, gently rinsing your mouth with water is a safer alternative. In addition, alcohol-free mouthwash freshens your breath. It is less harsh than mouthwashes that contain alcohol which can lead to dry mouth and gum disease.
Your dental health is influenced by your overall physical health and wellness, so it's important to take care of your whole body. For instance, untreated gum disease is directly linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic health issues. Speaking and visiting your dentist regularly can help with preventing health problems as well as identifying the early stages of oral cancers and other issues through non-invasive preventive screenings during your dental exams.
A proactive approach will help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease and keep your body healthy long-term. Don't wait to treat health issues when they are intolerable, especially when it comes to aches, pains, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Schedule regular dental checkups and appointments with your doctor. Prevention is generally an easier process than treatment. For instance, cavities that are caught early will have more treatment options and will be a less-invasive approach.
Remember to take the warning signs of dental health problems seriously. Seek help if you're suffering from:
Even if these symptoms seem minor in the beginning, it may lead to serious health issues in the future. Remember to schedule dental checkups regularly!