Monday, August 27, 2018

Smoking: The Dental Connection!

Although everyone is likely to know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and emphysema, most people may not realize that cigarettes can have an impact on your smile! Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that can make their smiles unsightly.  Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may provide the momentum that you need to kick the habit for good.

Cosmetic Changes Associated With Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals.  Of these, many are known to be carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health.  The nicotine and tar in all tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth.  The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.  Smoking is also associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth.  Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems.  Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking, leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

Electronic Cigarettes or "Vaping"

The verdict is still out on whether the newest craze of electronic cigarettes is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  Early studies are suggesting that the heating elements used to aerosolize the glycol into a vapor, deposit metals into the vapor, that when inhaled, are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.  Also, the water vapor that is being expressed from the process has been shown to be absorbed as "second-hand" smoke into the by-standers that are not using the product.  If the electronic cigarettes are utilizing a nicotine cartridge, then that means that the non-vaping individuals inhaling the vapors can be exposed to the drug nicotine.  Early studies have shown significant amounts of nicotine in their bloodstreams as well.  Finally, many of the flavored vapors may have added sweeteners that can contribute to tooth decay.  Since all of these e-cigarettes are NOT regulated by the FDA, more research studies are required and patients need to be very cautious.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, August 3, 2018

Sealants: The Dental Connection!

School will be starting soon and keeping your child's teeth in their best possible condition will help them maintain optimum oral health for the rest of their lives.  When brushing and flossing isn't enough, we may suggest placing a dental sealant on your child's teeth. Children who have dental sealants can decrease their chance of tooth decay by 60%!  Sealants are a safe, painless, and effective way to ensure your child's dental health for years to come.

Dental sealants work by providing a protective shield over the tiny grooves and depressions that are found on the chewing surfaces of teeth.  While brushing and flossing are still essential even if a tooth has received a dental sealant, this coating will help the vulnerable areas be less likely to develop decay by "sealing out" plaque and food debris.

If we think that a sealant would be a good option for your child, a simple office visit is all that it takes.  One of our friendly clinical staff members will thoroughly clean your child's teeth before applying the white liquid-plastic material to the tooth's surface.  While sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to ten years, they will be checked for chipping or wear at each regular dental check-up at Thomas Family Dentistry!

If you have any questions or need an appointment, call us at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,