Our Current Blog Articles
November 1, 2017
Smoking and Your Oral Health
While most people are aware of the impact tobacco use has on their overall health, some might not consider its effects on oral health, including:
- 50 percent of smoking adults have gum (periodontal) disease.
- Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers.
- Cigarette smokers are nearly twice as likely to need root canal treatment.
- Smoking leads to reduced effectiveness of treatment for gum disease.
- Smoking increases risk of mouth pain, cavities and gum recession (which can lead to tooth loss).
- Tobacco reduces the body's ability to fight infection, including in the mouth and gums. Smoking also limits the growth of blood vessels, slowing the healing of gum tissue after oral surgery or from injury.
- Smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) is associated with cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips. Users of smokeless tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop these cancers than non-users.
- Cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff and unprocessed tobacco leaves (used as cigar wrappers) contain tiny particles that are abrasive to teeth. When mixed with saliva and chewed, an abrasive paste is created that wears down teeth over time.
Tobacco Use and Children
All parents, even those who do not use tobacco, should educate their children about the dangers of smoking:
- 3,000 children and teens become regular users each day (including chewing tobacco).
- Nearly one-quarter of all high school students smoke.
- Some tobacco companies target children with cherry-flavored chewing tobacco sold in colorful containers.
- Children exposed to tobacco smoke may have delays in the formation of their permanent teeth.
- Women who smoke may be more likely to have children born with an oral cleft (cleft lip or cleft palate).
What You Can Do
If you are a smoker or a parent with a child or teen who you suspect may be using tobacco, you can start by understanding that tobacco dependence is a nicotine addiction disorder.
There are four aspects to nicotine addiction: physical, sensory, psychological and behavioral. All aspects of nicotine addiction need to be addressed in order to break the habit. This difficulty can mean that tobacco users may need to try several times before they are able to successfully kick the habit.
*Content provided by Delta Dental
October 22, 2017
No Dental Insurance? We Have the Solution!
At McGlone Dental Care, the customer always comes first – and we know that many of our friends and neighbors don’t have dental insurance. We also know that not having dental insurance makes dental care decisions more stressful – How much is a filling going to cost? Can I afford getting a new crown?
We understand, and we want to help. For our friends and neighbors who don’t have dental insurance, we are offering a simplified way to think about dental care – and to help make those tough decisions a little easier – a flat fee of $300 per hour for ALL routine dental work, including fillings, crowns, bridges, periodontal deep-cleanings, extractions and complete and partial dentures.
To put it in perspective, we can usually complete 2 to 3 fillings in ONE HOUR, using highly rated materials and careful techniques.
Of course, some procedures simply take more time - crowns, bridges and full or partial dentures require help from an outside lab. Together, we will choose the appropriate lab and proper material to be used. We will work with you to establish an accurate cost estimate, and the lab fee will be charged with zero mark-up.
Your dental health is as important as any other health decision you make. And we believe it should be available to ALL our friends and neighbors.
Call us today to find out how simple and affordable your dental care can really be – without all the stress and unknowns. We’re here for you and look forward to visiting with you soon.
October 15, 2017
- Oral piercing of the tongue, lip, cheek, or other soft tissues is a form of body art and self-expression. Oral piercings are more typically seen in adolescents and young adults, and the tongue is considered the most common site for oral-piercing placement.
- Complications associated with oral piercing include: swelling, bleeding, infection, chipped or damaged teeth, gingival recession, lacerations/scarring, embedded oral jewelry (requiring surgical removal), airway obstruction, hypersalivation, palatal erythema, keloid formation, and purulent or unusual or discharge from the pierced region.
- Tongue splitting is a less common form of body modification within the oral cavity. By definition, the tongue-splitting process is one in which an individual’s tongue is severed into two pieces using various techniques. The procedure is inherently invasive and dangerous, with significant risks of severe bleeding, infection, inflammation, lingual nerve damage or other complications.
- The ADA advises against the practices of cosmetic intraoral/perioral piercing and tongue splitting, and views these as invasive procedures with negative health sequelae that outweigh any potential benefit.
Oral piercing is an ancient practice of body modification and self-expression that is also common in modern society.1, 2 Oral piercings may be placed intraorally (most commonly on the tongue) or periorally on the lips, cheeks or a combination of sites.3-5 Oral piercings are more typically seen in adolescents and young adults, and the tongue is considered the most common site for oral-piercing placement.1 There are two primary forms of oral piercing: the term intraoral piercing describes a piercing in which both ends of the oral jewelry (device or apparatus) reside in the oral cavity, as seen with tongue piercings. Similarly, the term perioral piercing describes a piercing in which one end resides in the oral cavity and the other end penetrates the skin surface in the perioral region (e.g., the cheek, upper or lower lip, chin or associated tissues).
Common forms of oral jewelry include studs, barbells, rings and hoops, which are fabricated using a variety of metals, such as stainless steel, gold, titanium and various alloys or synthetic materials.
While some individuals may consider oral piercings to be popular or trendy, numerous studies and case reports have shown that oral piercings can lead to a wide range of oral and systemic complications, including chipped teeth, gingival recession, embedding or aspiration of jewelry and other potentially severe infections, such as Ludwig’s angina6 or infective endocarditis.7
Tongue splitting is another, less common, form of body modification that literally splits, or bifurcates, an individual’s tongue from front to back, creating a “forked” appearance down the anterior midline. Tongue splitting is an invasive and dangerous procedure that directly compromises the intact physical barrier of the tongue surface, rendering it susceptible to severe bleeding and pain, bacterial infection, lingual nerve damage and other adverse effects.8
As with any puncture wound or incision, oral piercings can cause pain,5, 9, 10 swelling,4, 5, 9-11 and infection.9, 10, 12 Other complications of intraoral and perioral piercings include increased salivary flow;10, 13gingival injury or recession;2, 9, 11, 14, 15 damage to teeth, restorations or fixed prostheses;2-4, 10, 11, 15, 16 lingual abscess;17 interference with speech, mastication or deglutition;3, 5, 9 scar tissue and keloid formation;13, 18 and allergic contact dermatitis.19, 20 Because of the tongue’s vascular nature, prolonged bleeding can result if vessels are punctured during the piercing procedure.21 Purulent, unusual and/or colored discharges from oral piercings have also been reported.22
The technique for inserting tongue jewelry may abrade or fracture anterior dentition,3, 4, 10, 16 and digital manipulation of the jewelry can significantly increase the potential for infection.9, 11, 12 Airway obstruction due to pronounced edema4 or aspiration of jewelry poses another risk, and aspirated or ingested jewelry could present a hazard to respiratory or digestive organs.5, 11 Oral jewelry can compromise dental diagnosis by obscuring anatomy and defects in radiographs. There are also reports of the jewelry becoming embedded in surrounding oral tissues, requiring surgical removal.2, 11, 23 Studies have also shown that lip or tongue piercings can harbor periodontopathogenic bacteria,24, 25 and that piercing jewelry made of synthetic materials (e.g., polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene), rather than steel or titanium, have lower levels of bacterial colonization.26
Oral piercing complications are relatively common. According to one systematic review, gingival recessions were identified in up to 50% of individuals with lip piercing and in 44% of those with tongue piercing; tooth damage was also seen in 26% of individuals with tongue piercings.27 Complications can arise either during the oral-piercing procedure, immediately after its completion, or over the long term (after initial placement).2
Several case reports in the published literature have described severe or life-threatening complications related to oral piercing.6, 28 In one case, a 25-year-old British woman developed Ludwig’s angina, a rapidly spreading cellulitis involving the submandibular, sublingual and submental fascial spaces bilaterally, four days after receiving a tongue piercing.6 Intubation was necessary to secure the woman’s airway, and when antibiotic therapy failed to resolve the condition, surgical intervention was required to remove the barbell-shaped jewelry and decompress the swelling in the floor of the mouth.
Like oral piercing, tongue splitting is an invasive, albeit uncommon, procedure with inherent risks of severe bleeding, pain, infection and nerve damage.8 Reports describing the morbidity and mortality associated with tongue splitting are relatively sparse in the research literature, but the risk of complications secondary to surgical procedures (including pain, swelling and infection) is well known.
As a matter of ADA policy, the Association advises against the practices of oral piercing and tongue splitting. The latter practice may be performed using a variety of techniques, which are typically provided in a non-sterile setting (e.g., body-piercing parlor or similar establishment). The practice of tongue splitting entails the deliberate alteration of an individual’s tongue for nonmedical purposes, often without the presence of health professionals and without standard infection control practices, proper sterilization or the provision of safe, appropriate after-care.29 The tongue’s anatomic location, high vascularity and proximity to diverse oral microflora and biofilms present significant potential risks for viral infection or transmission of pathogenic organisms.
In the U.S., dentists commonly encounter and treat patients, particularly younger adults, with various forms of oral piercing or oral jewelry (e.g., studs, rings, hoops, barbells) in the intraoral/perioral region. Piercings of the tongue and other oral sites are associated with increased risk of orodental trauma, gingival recession and potentially traumatic lacerations.5 Pierced individuals are also at increased risk of infection due to vast number of bacterial species in the oral cavity.
Individuals who receive oral piercings can expect pain and swelling within the first few days after the procedure.2 Use of an alcohol-free mouthrinse is advised for use after oral piercing to cleanse the mouth and site of the oral piercing.30 After the swelling subsides, the piercee will need to visit their piercer after the piercing procedure to replace the original, longer piece of jewelry with a shorter piece, which should help minimize damage or irritation to oral tissues.31
To reduce risks of oral infection after piercing procedures, pierced individuals should be advised to maintain a standard oral hygiene regimen that includes: twice-daily tooth-brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush; regular use of floss or another interdental cleaner; and use of alcohol-free mouthrinse during and after the healing period.30
Dental patients with an oral piercing or split tongue should be advised to keep their piercing site clean, avoid playing with oral-piercing jewelry and monitor their oral cavity for signs of infection, including swelling, pain, tenderness or unusual discharges (particularly those with an offensive odor).30, 32 All forms of intraoral or perioral jewelry (e.g., tongue barbell, lip ring or stud, etc.) should be removed before participating in athletic and other physical activities, particularly contact and collision sports.33
Prepared by: Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute
Reviewed by: Scientific Information Subcommittee, ADA Council on Scientific Affairs
Last Updated: September 18, 2017
Disclaimer: Content on ADA.org is for informational purposes only, is neither intended to and does not establish a standard of care, and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.
October 1, 2017
Maximize Your Annual Dental Insurance Benefits
This is our favorite time of the year in Colorado. The temperature is cooler and you can sleep with your windows open. The leaves are changing colors and are beautiful with gold and red hues. It also means that year end is fast approaching and benefits will be resetting come January.
That brings us to the point of this post. It’s a great time to maximize your benefits and make sure that you use your yearly maximum amount allowed according to your plan. If whatever dental work you need to have done is completed before 12/31/17 and billed on or before that date, that work will be applied to this year’s maximum amount that is allowed according to your plan. Most insurance plans cover 2 cleanings per year and cover 100% of any preventative work. You should make sure that you get your full value out of the benefits that you work hard and pay for.
We have openings over the next few months, so give us a call and we’ll be happy to get you scheduled and take great care of you!
September 12, 2017
Information about Mouthguards
- Mouthguard use has been shown to reduce the risk of sport-related dental injuries
- An ANSI/ADA standard exists for Athletic Mouth Protectors and Materials
- The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations and the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs encourage patient education about the benefit of mouthguard use.
- A product earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by providing scientific evidence that demonstrates safety and efficacy, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.
The ADA has taken an active stance since the mid-1990s recognizing the preventive value of orofacial protectors, endorsing their use by those who engage in recreational and sports activities; and encouraging widespread use of orofacial protectors with proper fit, including mouthguards.1
Both the ADA Council of Scientific Affairs and the Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations recognize that dental injuries are common in collision or contact sports and recreational activities.2 Numerous surveys of sports-related dental injuries have documented that participants of all ages, genders and skill levels are at risk of sustaining dental injuries in sporting activities, including organized and unorganized sports at both recreational and competitive levels. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, have inherent injury risks, dental injuries are also prevalent in non-contact activities and exercises, such as gymnastics and skating.3-5
The Councils promote the importance of safety in maintaining oral health and the use of a properly fitted mouthguard as the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries. The Councils are committed to oral health promotion and injury prevention for sports participants.
It is necessary that mouthguards actually perform as required, i.e. to keep teeth safe. An important step was therefore the work of the ADA with ANSI in developing a standard for Athletic Mouth Protectors and Materials. However, as recently as 2009, a study of commercially available products found none that met current ANSI and ADA standards for impact attenuation.6
It is important for mouthguards to be safe however to be effective, they also have to be used. Reasons given for why mouthguards are not used include awareness, cost, and lack of requirement for their use.7
There have been several “Patient Pages” in JADA to be used by dentists to help engage patients in conversation about mouthguards, facilitating discussion to encourage their use. Each underscores the importance of mouthguard use and informs consumers about the 3 types that are available - ready-made, boil and bite, and custom made.8-12
Recent trends to increase ‘realism’ in video games has resulted their incorporating more actual player behaviors including what they do with their mouthguards while at the free throw line.13 While perhaps not the most desirable behavior, it raises the profile and awareness of mouthguards. Further, by having a sport idol model their use, it serves to increase their ‘coolness’ factor.
While still being able to highlight the benefit of custom fit mouthguards, dentists can also recommend the use of over-the-counter mouthguards with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Look for the ADA Seal—your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and efficacy by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. A product earns the ADA Seal for athletic mouthguards by providing scientific evidence, which is evaluated according to objective requirements, demonstrating the safety and efficacy of ready-to-use and mouth-formed (boil-and-bite) mouthguards.
To qualify for the Seal of Acceptance, the company must provide evidence that:
- The product components are safe for use in the mouth and do not harm or irritate oral soft tissues.
- Mouth-formed appliances can be prepared by the average person with low risk of injury to oral hard or soft tissues, or damage of orthodontic appliances.
- The mouthguard is free of sharp or jagged edges.
- The mouthguard passes tests outlined by the American National Standards Institute/American Dental Association for hardness, ability to resist tearing and withstand impact; as well as a measurement of the amount of water absorbed.14
Comparison finds custom mouthguards made by dentists to perform best;15 having an over-the-counter option that meets ANSI/ADA standards helps with the cost barrier to engagement while still affording the consumer with a safe method of protecting their teeth.
Dentists are encouraged to ask patients if they participate in team sports or other activities with risks of injury to the teeth, jaw and oral soft tissues (mouth, lip, tongue, or inner lining of the cheeks). The Councils recommend that people of all ages use a properly fitted mouthguard in any sporting or recreational activity that may pose a risk of injury. The Councils also recommend educating patients about mouthguards and orofacial injury risks, including appropriate guidance on mouthguard types, their protective properties, costs and benefits. The key educational message is that the best mouthguard is one that is utilized during sport activities.
- American Dental Association, Policy Statement on Orofacial Protectors. Transactions; 1995. p. 613.
- ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations; Council on Scientific Affairs. Using mouthguards to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral injuries. J Am Dent Assoc 2006;137(12):1712-20; quiz 31.
- Fasciglione D, Persic R, Pohl Y, Filippi A. Dental injuries in inline skating - level of information and prevention. Dent Traumatol 2007;23(3):143-8.
- Knapik JJ, Marshall SW, Lee RB, et al. Mouthguards in sport activities : history, physical properties and injury prevention effectiveness. Sports Med 2007;37(2):117-44.
- Kumamoto DP, Maeda Y. A literature review of sports-related orofacial trauma. Gen Dent 2004;52(3):270-80; quiz 81.
- Gould TE, Piland SG, Shin J, Hoyle CE, Nazarenko S. Characterization of mouthguard materials: physical and mechanical properties of commercialized products. Dent Mater 2009;25(6):771-80.
- O'Malley M, Evans DS, Hewson A, Owens J. Mouthguard use and dental injury in sport: a questionnaire study of national school children in the west of Ireland. J Ir Dent Assoc 2012;58(4):205-11.
- For the dental patient. Do you need a mouthguard? J Am Dent Assoc 2001;132(7):1066.
- Mouthguards lower dental injuries. J Am Dent Assoc 2002;133(3):278.
- For the dental patient. The importance of using mouthguards. Tips for keeping your smile safe. J Am Dent Assoc 2004;135(7):1061.
- For the dental patient. Keep sports safe--wear a mouthguard. J Am Dent Assoc 2012;143(3):312.
- For the dental patient. Protecting teeth with mouthguards. J Am Dent Assoc 2006;137(12):1772.
- Stephen Curry’s mouth guard routine gets video game treatment. 2015.
- ANSI/ADA Standard No.99-2001(R2013) Athletic mouth protectors and materials. Chicago: American Dental Association.
- DeYoung AK, Robinson E, Godwin WC. Comparing comfort and wearability: custom-made vs. self-adapted mouthguards. J Am Dent Assoc 1994;125(8):1112-8.
Prepared by: Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute
Reviewed by: ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations
Last Updated: October 25, 2016
Content on ADA.org is for informational purposes only, is neither intended to and does not establish a standard of care, and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.