How healthy are your teeth, REALLY? Everyone knows you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day (hopefully we’re all doing this) and eat your veggies! Unfortunately though, the buck doesn’t stop there. There’s actually quite a bit more to it, and it’s important.
“Smoking, drinking, prescribed and non-prescribed medications, illicit drug use, tongue and lip piercing, and stress, all have a significant effect on how healthy your teeth and gums are, and hence, how healthy you are overall.” Australian Dental Association.
We know it sounds like nagging, so we’re going to keep it short. Here is the summarized summary!
SMOKING: Nicotine and tar in cigarettes cause staining and discolouration of teeth (not pretty). Nicotine reduces normal blood flow to your gums, which can exacerbate gum shrinkage and bone loss. This equates to halitosis (bad breath) and periodontal disease, where teeth become mobile and detach from bone and gums (kind of bad). But most poignant of all, for smokers, the risk of oral cancers increase by 9-folds compared to non-smokers (devastating.)
ALCOHOL: The sugar and acidity of alcohol beverages causes erosion of teeth enamel, making the teeth weak, yellow and more prone to cavities. At the same time, the alcohol promotes dehydration, resulting in cessation of saliva production. Excess consumption of alcohol over a short period of time can lead to irreversible, painful damage to teeth. And then there’s the part where it also, like smoking, increase the likelyhood of oral cancers.
ILLICT DRUGS: Let see, tooth grinding, cessation of saliva production (dry mouth), gum disease, sugar cravings, rapid tooth decay, trauma to gums and soft tissue in the mouth… It’s a long list. Even prescribed drugs can have a dire effect on our oral health. Please remember to advise your dentist, whether it be prescribed, non-prescription or illicit. We are here to help you be the healthiest version of yourself.
ORAL PIERCINGS: While it’s not quite as damaging as the top 3, it does harbour bacteria and damage the soft protective layers of the mouth. Also, depending on the location, it can knock teeth causing crack and fractures. If you have a lip or tongue piercing, we recommend removing and cleaning the piercing daily, and using soft stoppers where possible, if the piercing is in contact with your teeth.
STRESS: It is important to understand the implications of stress on your oral health, even if it may not be possible to alleviate the stress. Stress affects your entire body, however the effects often present first in the mouth; mouth ulcers and cold sores, acid reflux, bruxism (grinding) and clenching of teeth or temporomandibular disorders causing jaw and facial pain are only a few possible signs of stress. Speak to your dentist, a medical GP or contact organisations such as Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) or Beyond Blue (1300 224 636).
Whether it be one or all of the above issues, we can help provide a plan to protect your teeth and your health.
Smile lots. Drink water.
In accordance with advice from the Australian Dental Association and the Dental Board of Australia, we will be limiting our services to providing EMERGENCY dental treatment only. If you have routine and non-urgent dental appointments booked over the next two weeks, we will be in contact to reschedule your appointment.
We are doing this to maximise the safety of our staff, patients, and wider community and we are committed to stopping the spread. At the same time, we are here to manage those in urgent need while there is still an opportunity to be treated.
In the meantime please keep an eye on our social media and emails. We will be releasing content regularly during this unprecedented time.
If you need to reach out we can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org