Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, oral cancer, and stained teeth. It also affects your appearance by decreasing your jawbone density, causing premature wrinkling, and giving you bad breath.
Smokers have a much higher chance of developing gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Additionally, smokers are more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. Inhaling smoke also dulls the appearance of your teeth and can stain them yellow or brown over time. This effect can sometimes be reversed with professional teeth whitening treatments. However, if you don't stop smoking first, the discoloration and stains are likely to return.
Drinking alcohol can also increase your risk of oral disease. In addition to staining your teeth, drinking alcohol also increases your risk of developing mouth cancer. It also makes it more difficult for your body to fight harmful bacteria that can lead to infections in the mouth and other areas of the body.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Your gums are just one part of your body that's affected by smoking. In fact, smoking has been linked to many different health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. Most people know that smoking is dangerous for their health, but many don't know that it can also negatively affect their oral health.
The chemicals in cigarettes can cause tooth decay in smokers by weakening their enamel. In addition to causing tooth discoloration, the plaque and tartar buildup can also increase your risk for gum disease. Tobacco use has also been linked to an increased risk of periodontitis – a serious form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss.
If you smoke and have signs of gum disease, it's vital that you visit our office right away for treatment. Without treatment, the problem will only get worse and contribute to poor dental health.
Smoking and Tooth Loss
We all know smoking is bad for our health, but did you know it can also have a negative impact on your teeth? Cigarette smoke contains harsh chemicals and toxins that can damage tooth enamel, the protective layer covering each tooth that protects it from damage. This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and other painful dental issues. Smoking cigarettes can also stain teeth a yellow or brown color, making it more difficult to whiten them later on.
If you have questions about the best ways to care for your smile at home, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!
Facial piercings are no longer tongue in cheek. As fashion accessories, they’re becoming incredibly popular especially with young people. Unlike a tattoo, they aren’t permanent and won’t ruin your features forever. At least, that’s the common consensus. In reality, tongue and lip piercings aren’t as benign as they appear. Because we’re dental and oral hygiene professionals, we see the effects they have on the mouth on a daily basis. And, if you did too, you might rethink the latest trend as a fashion statement. But we aren’t alone in our thinking as other dentists agree: “while it may be trendy, it’s such a bad idea.” Let us spell out some of the potential dangers so that you have a better understanding. Here’s how a lip piercing or a tongue piercing may impact your oral health. Chipped Teeth A piercing feels good after a while. Therefore, it’s fun to play with and run through your teeth. There’s something cathartic about the experience, like playing with your hair or biting your nails. Of course, a lip or tongue piercing is made out of heavy-duty metal. Even the cheap ones are very durable. The result can often end up with the hard material coming into contact with your pearly whites and chipping the enamel. Once the white stuff goes, what’s left is the dentin which is yellow in color and also softer, resulting in more chipping. So, a cool accessory can turn into a cracked, discolored mess for lots of people. If you insist on having one, we suggest refraining from playing with it as one slip may end up ruining your smile. Gum Recession Your mouth is a delicate ecosystem and what you put inside it tips the balance. Sugary foods are the perfect examples. Due to their high sugar levels, they react with the plaque in your mouth to cause the teeth to erode. A piercing of the lip or tongue is pretty similar apart from the fact the impacts are often worse. While refined sugar is terrible for oral hygiene, there are ways to combat it such as brushing or using mouthwash. That way, the sugar doesn’t stay in your mouth all day. A piercing is different as the metal is continually creating new bacteria. One of the side-effects is that these bodies will start to chip away at the gums. And, once the foundation of your oral hygiene weakens, everything will follow suit. Infection Probably the worst-case scenario regarding bacteria is an infection. Because of the foreign nature of the piercing and the hole that is made, there are more areas for bacteria to stick. According to the American Dental Association, germs love the moist, warm areas of the mouth and they are perfect for breeding. This opens up the chances of contracting an infection as the scales tip in the bad bacteria’s favor. Sometimes, this leads to disease such as gingivitis, but the outcome can be more severe. If the infection gets into the bloodstream, it may work its way to the vital organs and cause a fatality. While it’s a worst-case scenario sort of deal, it’s possible with a lip or tongue piercing. Cost Let’s not forget about the cosmetic problem of a piercing. Sure, they look cool and they seem cheap, yet they aren’t in the long-term. Once the lip or tongue stud applies the pressure to your teeth, you’re fighting a losing battle. In the end, the inevitable happens – you contact Southeast Family Dental for assistance. We’re happy to help because we understand what it means to have a great smile, but we’re also money-conscious. We don’t want our customers to spend a fortune on oral hygiene particularly when it’s avoidable. Save your pennies and your mouth by factoring in the price element before letting someone with a piercing gun loose on your teeth. These are some of the riskiest pitfalls, but they are by no means the only ones. Numbness of the area and a loss of taste can also occur. So, please always research the potentially harmful consequences and only use a professional.
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Eating habits are an important part of maintaining good oral health. You need to consume a balanced diet that contains essential vitamins and minerals for maintaining good oral health. While certain foods are good for your oral health, there are certain foods that can cause harm to your teeth. Listed below are some of the worst foods for oral health. Sugary Foods When consumed in excess, sugar can disrupt tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Sugary foods include cookies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, and many other treats. Additionally, most breakfast cereals contain large amounts of sugar. Fructose, in particular, breaks through the protective outer layer of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. To protect your smile, limit your consumption of these foods. If you must indulge, brush your teeth after consuming and floss your teeth daily. Hard Candies Hard candies can be extremely harmful to your teeth and gums because they contain large amounts of sugar. The sugar combines with the bacteria in your mouth and produces acid that destroys your tooth enamel. This damage can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss over time. So, be cautious of the amount of hard candy you eat and how often you eat it. Sugars and acids in sour gummy candies can also erode the protective enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities. It is best to enjoy these treats in moderation. Soft Drinks Sugary drinks are some of the worst for your oral health. Soda contains phosphoric and citric acids that wear down tooth enamel like sandpaper. Even diet sodas are not great for your health as they still contain acids that can dissolve the protective minerals on your teeth. Diet sodas will also increase your risk of developing cavities when used frequently. In addition to damaging tooth enamel, sugar in soft drinks causes your mouth to become acidic, which can then cause decay. As if that wasn’t enough, soda also contains caffeine which has been linked to an increase in dry mouth symptoms. A dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay as saliva is necessary to wash away food particles and bacteria after eating. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas may cause health issues as well, such as migraines, headaches, weight gain, and even cancer. While it may be hard to completely cut soda out of your diet, it’s best to limit it to one per day and try to drink it all in one sitting. You should also rinse with water after drinking as much soda as possible and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the production of saliva. Coffee and Tea These two drinks contain tannins which can damage tooth enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to staining. They also increase the risk of cavities because they generate plaque buildup. To keep tea and coffee from harming your smile, try drinking water or milk after drinking these beverages. You can also drink them through a straw to reduce the amount of liquid that hits your tooth enamel. Wine Your favorite glass of wine isn’t necessarily good for your smile; in fact, red wine can be one of the worst beverages for your oral health! In addition to staining teeth, it also contains tannins which can damage tooth enamel by demineralizing the hard tissue that makes up your teeth. Tannins in wine can also dry out your mouth, which causes bacteria to thrive and leads to increased tooth decay. Lastly, alcohol found in wine can irritate the soft tissue inside your mouth and cause oral cancer. If you enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner, it is beneficial to rinse out your mouth with water after drinking your beverage. This will help rid your mouth of excess sugars and acid while also washing away additional plaque from your teeth and gums. Sports Drinks Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar. In fact, some of them have more sugar than soda! The sugars in sports drinks are harmful to the teeth because the bacteria in your mouth feed off them and produce acid that wears down the enamel of the teeth and ultimately leads to cavities. Additionally, the acidic nature of sports drinks can erode tooth enamel more quickly than other beverages. If you drink sports drinks, it’s important that you rinse your mouth with water after drinking to wash away the sugars. You may also want to switch to water instead of sports drinks when you are really thirsty. Water is better for your teeth than other drinks because it doesn’t contain any added sugars or acids that can wreak havoc on your oral health. Citrus Fruits and Juices Most citrus juices contain sugar and acid that can cause cavities. Drinking too much citrus juice will erode the enamel of your teeth and cause sensitivity in the gums. If you do drink a lot of citrus drinks, rinse your mouth with water right after to help wash away the sugars. Avoiding all citrus fruits and juices is the safest option if you want to have a healthy smile. Even other fruits that are high in acidity, like strawberries or grapefruit, could lead to tooth decay when eaten in excess. Acidic foods like these will cause erosion of the enamel and lead to sensitivity and cavities over time. If you have questions about the best ways to care for your smile at home, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!
Dr. Laura Geiger from Southeast Family Dental talks about the implications of buying an over-the-counter mouth guard to protect your teeth. Dr. Geiger covers both short-term and long-term solutions and how to make sure you are not causing problems with your bite or your gum tissue. https://youtu.be/XvBl40xbb7U [https://youtu.be/XvBl40xbb7U] Video Transcript Hi, this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Today I’m just gonna talk real briefly about some mouth guards. We have lots of people come in, either clenching, jaw pain, always asking questions about guards. I tend to tell people, you are welcome to try an over-the-counter. This is where it gets a little bit questionable, because there’s so many over-the-counter guards, it gets overwhelming, you’re going to the store, you’re trying to figure out what you need to get. There’s tons of them. What should you look for in a mouth guard? Most the time I tell people, you don’t need to spend as much as you think you do. What you generally want to look for, in most cases, one that covers your entire, either top of your teeth, all your top teeth or all of your bottom teeth is a great choice, and there are some that only cover kind of the front teeth, either top or bottom, which work well, but those are more short-term for – you can do them short term for clenching but they’re usually more short term for jaw pain. So, if you’re having pain, popping, clicking in your joint, that’s a great thing to try but again it’s a short-term relief. More long-term, you want something that covers your entire, again top or bottom, because what can happen with those ones that only cover the front teeth, over time it can change your bite and the way that your teeth fit together. So, not a good long-term option. Let your dentist see your mouth guard I would also make sure if you do buy one, that you’re telling your dentist, bringing it to your appointment, if you’re happy with it, great, we’ll look at it, make sure it fits well, it’s doing what we want, and it doesn’t have any other of those implications as far as changing bite or causing problems with the tissue or anything. So, always a question that I get and usually pretty easy, again rule of thumb is one that covers again your entire top or bottom teeth. Again this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Remember, we can make you smile.
Thankfully, not many people will ever have to answer that question. One man in Great Britain, Jay, did answer that question with painful honesty – in a YouTube video called Embarrassing Bodies on Only Human. And we say painful because when you see the amount of decay and plaque build-up, you can only imagine how painful his situation must have been. Why in the world would anyone avoid brushing their teeth for that long? This video is an extreme case of dental neglect. We firmly believe that no one should ever neglect their teeth for this long. For one thing, the repairs Jay undertook are exceedingly expensive. It would have been much cheaper to have been brushing and flossing his teeth and seeing the dentist twice a year. Preventative care is cheaper, and healthier, too. https://youtu.be/91Eg7nzBPqw [https://youtu.be/91Eg7nzBPqw] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Patient Hasn’t Brushed Teeth In 20 Years | Embarrassing Bodies He was only 21 years old at the time of the video and admitted that his parents never encouraged him about brushing his teeth or attending to dental health at all. At Southeast Family Dental, we encourage parents to set proper brushing habits in place. It’s not just brushing, though, it’s regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings, eating properly, and, as Jay said, giving up the fizzy soft drinks. Nothing to smile about Not only was Jay in pain from the years of dental neglect, he was ashamed of his teeth, afraid to see a dentist, and admitted the condition of his teeth were preventing him from pursuing the career he wanted. Southeast Family Dental applauds the courage this man exhibited when he finally made the decision to fix his teeth and smile. It is awfully young, at age 21, to have dental implants. It’s not necessarily rare, but at the same time, not ideal for anyone. The dental repair work makes his teeth and smile look nice, but it would have been better to have his own, natural teeth at this age. While the video doesn’t discuss his overall health, good oral health; brushing twice a day and flossing daily plays a large part in general health. Luckily, he still has time. Changing habits to prevent a relapse Jay had to make a promise to change his habits before the dentists would perform the repair work for him. Even with all the new dental work giving him a nice smile now, he must start practicing (learning) good brushing and flossing habits. If he doesn’t, plaque and calcium deposits will once again form on or in-between his teeth. He was lucky that his gums, roots, and bones were healthy enough for him to be a candidate for dental implants. Not everyone is that lucky, even if they had taken better care than he did. If he does not continue with the good dental health habits, his oral health will suffer again. That could mean that the bone in his jaw could deteriorate. Not only might that preclude any future work, because it is currently supporting a lot of his new dental work now, he could lose the implants he now has. Brushing your teeth might not be how you want to spend five minutes twice a day, but the consequences of neglecting your teeth are evident in this video of a man named Jay. Don’t ever be like Jay!