Implications of Smoking and Tobacco on Oral Health

smoking tobacco oral health risksMany people are aware of the detrimental effects of smoking on the smoker, as well as on non-smokers who inhale tobacco smoke. There’s a lot of attention directed towards the consequences of smoking, with the most troublesome being heart disease, lung cancer, and low birth-weight babies. Tobacco is also considered the number one preventable public health concern, and one of the leading causes of premature death – resulting in more deaths than those caused by AIDS, traffic accidents, and suicides combined.
 
What has not been publicized enough is the high risk of both smoked and smokeless tobacco on your oral health. Some smokers switch to using smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, and dissolvable tobacco) in an effort to evade the dangers of tobacco smoke on themselves and others, though both forms have been proven to be harmful to your teeth and gums, causing tooth decay and gum disease.
 
The Dangers of Tobacco to Your Oral Health
 
All forms of tobacco are processed with chemicals such as amplifiers, fertilizers, and preservatives, which are hazardous to your dental and general health. It is because of these chemicals, and nicotine, that warning labels are placed on tobacco products.
 
The use of tobacco is associated with:
 
1. Diminished blood flow
 
Nicotine in tobacco is responsible for the constriction of blood vessels, especially those in the mouth. The diminished blood flow implies that your gums will not get sufficient oxygen and nutrients to heal or stay healthy.
 
The mouth encounters lots of injuries frequently, from cuts caused by sharp foods like potato crisps to burns resulting from taking very hot coffee, soup, and other drinks and foods. Chewing mishaps can also cause you to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. Even more serious injuries from oral surgery, auto accidents, and spots require good blood flow to heal fast and properly.
 
2. Diminished saliva production
 
Smoking is also known to reduce the production of saliva, which, in turn, encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Saliva not only creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria, but also helps to wash away food particles.
 
Without enough saliva in the mouth, there is increased buildup of plaque, increasing the risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. The extent of damage to your teeth and gums depends on how long you’ve been smoking, as well as how heavily you do it.
 
The Only Solution: Kick the habit.
 
Tobacco use is also associated with teeth discoloration, bad breath, decreases sense of taste and smell, and greater risk of developing cavities and oral cancer – lip, mouth, and tongue. Many people don’t realize how much damage smoking does to them, because tobacco contains a mild numbing agent.
 
You can achieve immediate health benefits the instant you quit smoking. When you’re ready to quit, talk to your oral health professional for support and assistance.
 

Limited-Time Special Offers by Woodland Hills Dentists, Mint Dentistry!

woodland hills dentist special offersIn case you haven’t seen them yet, Mint Dentistry is running awesome special offers that won’t last forever! These limited-time Woodland Hills dentist special offers give patients a chance to save BIG this Spring. Without further ado, here they are.
 

Mint Dentistry – Woodland Hills Dentist Special Offers

St. Patrick’s Day Specials
 
What better way to celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day than by discounting our teeth whitening trays, which include 2 syringes, for only $150!
 
This gives our patients a great opportunity to experience the power of professional teeth whitening. Our dentist will give you complete instructions on how to utilize your whitening trays for the best results.
 
Complete Set of Dentures Discounted
 
We’re offering a complete set of FULL DENTURES for only $2,199! This is a very competitive price for a full set of dentures and this opportunity will not last much longer. Combined with the experience of a 5-star dentist, this is the perfect opportunity to receive a full set of new teeth!
 
Dental Cleaning Discounted (For NEW or CASH Patients Only)
 
We’re discounting our dental check-up for a limited time. For $90, no insurance necessary, you will receive a professional dental cleaning, an oral examination, and dental X-Rays. Again, this offer is for NEW or CASH patients only.
 
Invisalign® Discounted
 
Our Invisalign invisible braces start at only $3,400! This is a competitive price for a treatment that is very popular amongst adults in correcting issues with the jaw, as well as straightening your teeth for an aesthetically pleasing appearance that often results in a boost to your self-esteem.
 
Braces Removal & Hawley Retainer Discounted
 
For those with traditional metal braces, we have a special for you. We will carefully remove your braces and replace them with a Hawley retainer for only $650. Retainers are necessary for maintaining the results gained from braces treatment. Our orthodontist will cover everything you need to know following your braces treatment.
 
Claim your special offer today by scheduling an appointment with our dentists.
 

Finding It Hard to Relax at the Dentist’s Office?

dental anxiety treatment

Sedation Dentistry helps patients get through an appointment!

If the sound of the dental drill makes you shiver, or you have recently been canceling most of your dental appointments because of anxiety, then you are not alone. There are actually very many patients who have some form of fear of the dentist. Fortunately, dentists use a number of sedation dentistry options to create a state of relaxation and thus, manage the fear and pain that you may experience during a dental procedure.
 
There are two broad categories of dental sedation options depending on the level of consciousness that you maintain throughout the procedure.
 
1. Conscious sedation (most popular)
With these methods, the patients maintain a substantial level of consciousness so they can respond to verbal commands or physical stimulation during the procedure. They also retain their protective reflexes and are capable of breathing without the need for external assistance.
 
These techniques also provide some degree of amnesia depending on the level of sedation, like minimal, light, moderate, or deep sedation. The different types of conscious sedation are categorized depending on the mode of administration, and include:
 
Inhalation sedation – involves the administration of nitrous oxide, and is the most widely approach in history, with around one third of dentists in the US using it to manage patient anxiety. When the patient breathes in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide via a nasal mask, they feel a euphoric (laughing gas) and analgesic effect that helps keep them calm momentarily. The level of sedation can be constantly regulated, and recovery is fast, so the patient can drive home after the procedure.
 
Oral sedation – this is another common method of dental sedation. It is low cost, effective, and easy to administer, as the patient only has to take a sedative pill the night before or a few hours prior to the dental appointment. The problem with pills is that they can be hard to regulate the level of sedation, plus the patient is relaxed before and after the surgery, so he/she needs someone to cater for transportation. This is type the sedation dentistry option we offer @ Mint Dentistry of Woodland Hills.
 
Intravenous sedation – IV sedation is the most powerful of the conscious sedation techniques, and used in cases of moderate to more severe levels of anxiety. The sedative drugs are administered through a vein directly to your bloodstream, giving deep relaxation, partial amnesia, and pain relief. The effect is almost instantaneous, and can be regulated during the procedure.
 
2. Non-conscious sedation
Also known as general anesthesia, the patient is put in a state of deep sleep, unconscious, and unresponsive. With general anesthesia, the patient has absolutely no idea of what is going on, cannot respond to reflex or verbal commands, and does not remember anything when he/she wakes up. This option is appropriate for more invasive procedures such as wisdom tooth removal.
 
You should note that sedation is safe, though you should talk to your doctor or specialist and review your medical history to ensure safe sedation. Also, vital signs, including blood pressure, blood oxygen, and pulse rate will be monitored during the procedure for safety.