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6 Truths About Piercings In Your Mouth

Friday, October 13th, 2017

In today’s society, body art has become a form of self-expression for many people. From old to young, people adorn themselves with tattoos, colorful hair, or piercings – some of which may find themselves in the tongue, on the lips, on the cheeks, or around the mouth. What do these trends mean for your oral health?

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What You Should Know About Piercings In The Mouth

  1. Oral piercings pose a health risk because the mouth contains millions of bacteria, which live and thrive in this type of moist environment. Painful infection and swelling can result from these piercings if they are not properly cared for and cleaned. An infection due to a piercing can quickly become life threatening if not treated quickly. Oral piercings have also been identified by the National Institute of Health as a possible factor in the transmission of hepatitis (1, 2).
  2. Oral piercings can have dangerous side effects. A piercing can cause swelling of the tongue, which could potentially block the airway and restrict breathing. Allergic reactions can also occur due to hypersensitivity to the metals in the mouth (1).
  3. Piercings of the tongue, lips or uvula can interfere with speech, the ability to chew properly or normal swallowing motions. These issues can make typical daily activities and communication more difficult (1, 2).
  4. Oral piercings can create excessive drooling issues. Foreign objects in the mouth can increase the body’s natural saliva production (1).
  5. Piercings in the mouth can cause damage to the gums, teeth or even fillings. Many people with oral piercings develop a habit of “playing” with the piercing, or chewing and biting them. This can injure the gum tissue, causing it to recede. When this happens, the teeth are at an increased risk for decay, and the gum tissue itself can become irritated or infected. The jewelry can also even crack, chip or scratch the teeth, as well as damage fillings and crowns, creating the need for costly and painful repair (1, 2).
  6. Nerve damage can occur with a tongue piercing. Typically, the numbness caused by this damage is temporary, but in some cases results in permanent sensation or taste loss (1, 2).

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If You Have A Piercing, Be Smart!

An oral piercing is a responsibility you should not take lightly. It requires upkeep, attention and maintenance to ensure safety and cleanliness. We recommend speaking to your dentist prior to having any part of your mouth pierced.

If you already have a piercing or do decide to get one, contact your dentist or a doctor right away if you develop signs of infection, such as swelling, pain, fever, or chills.

Keep the piercing site clean. One of the best ways to do this is to use a mouth rinse or mouthwash after every time you eat something. Handle the jewelry only with clean hands.

Avoid chewing, biting or clicking on the piercing. Regularly check the jewelry to be sure it isn’t loose or damaged. Smaller jewelry is safer than larger alternatives. A smaller barbell, for example, has less potential to damage the teeth than a larger one.

Remove the jewelry for activities such as playing sports, eating, and even sleeping. These activities pose greater threat for damage to the teeth, choking hazard, unintentional injury or infection risk. Taking the jewelry out of your piercing for this time will reduce your risk of adverse reaction. You can use a plastic ring retainer to plug the hole while it is removed.

Lastly, be sure to always practice healthy dental hygiene by flossing daily and brushing twice a day. Keep up to date with your regular dental checkups. And contact your dentist at the first sign of an issue (1, 3).

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today!

Do you have a question about your oral piercing? Are you considering a piercing and want advice? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources:

1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-piercings

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/article/oral-piercings

3. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/oral-piercings.html

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

Four Teeth Myths Debunked

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Myth or truth? It’s been said that George Washington wore wooden teeth!

Myth #1: If you have great oral hygiene habits, you don’t have to visit the dentist regularly. 

You may consistently floss. You may brush your teeth twice daily. Maybe you even take into account your eating habits and how that can affect your teeth.

Even if you have excellent dental hygiene, and believe you have no issues, it isn’t a good idea to skip a dentist visit. At a regular visit, your dentist doesn’t just look for tooth decay. Dentists will also be looking at your face, neck, lymph nodes, tongue and your jaw. Dr. Hagen is trained to examine your gums to see how they’ve changed, to look for any signs of gum disease, and of course to check on your fillings! We can’t stress enough the importance of early detection when it comes to preventing tooth loss or oral cancer.

Not only is there an examination phase, but most of us are a bit more aware of the dental cleaning phase. The importance of this phase is that it allows your dentist to remove long-term plaque and tartar that even great daily habits can’t totally diminish.

Myth #2: If your gums bleed when you floss, you shouldn’t do it anymore. 

Let’s first start with a refresher on why our gums are so important…it may seem simple enough, but our gum tissue is vital since it holds our teeth in place. Flossing, in turn, helps stimulate our gums.

When you notice that you have bleeding associated with your flossing, it could be a signal of several things. First, it could mean the gum is sensitive (perhaps because it hasn’t been flossed in a while). Or, it may be the first signs of gum disease. The good news is that your teeth will get conditioned to the stimulation of floss… And of course, there’s always floss made to be more sensitive on your gum tissue. We don’t mean to suggest you shouldn’t take bleeding as a serious sign–if you do have excessive and/or abnormal bleeding, it’s a good idea to call your dentist.

Myth #3: Mouthwash can replace flossing.

You see it shown in commercials, and it seems valid enough: mouthwash can get to the places that your toothbrush can’t…so it must be able to replace flossing, right? Wrong!

Sure, the fact that it’s an antibacterial liquid does mean it can kill bacteria around and between your teeth, but recall that flossing not only stimulates your gum, but it acts as a scraper, taking off food, and leftover plaque that is on your teeth. This simply can’t be replaced by using mouthwash.

Myth #4: Root canals have to be a high-anxiety, painful experience.

Let’s define the term that we’ve been taught should make us cringe: a root canal is the procedure done when there is no other way to save a tooth that might be very decayed or infected. Your pulp and nerve are removed from the center chamber of the tooth (the root canal), and then the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

The surprising truth is that most people do not report pain during a root canal procedure! The source of the excessive pain usually comes from the tooth that needs the root canal because it is suffering from an irreversible condition, such as tooth decay, not the procedure itself. So if there is any cringing, it would be before your procedure! Some people compare it to having a filling placed, and most people are back to performing their normal activities just the next day. Remember: the purpose of a root canal is to alleviate pain and salvage your tooth.

Have any other topics you believe could be a dental myth? Let us know on our Facebook page.