This year dental health week is focusing on the oral health of 18 – 30 year olds. If you are in this age bracket take the time to read this and see what some of the things that are entering your mouth, can do to your teeth and oral health.
Oral piercings like your tongue and lip can cause soreness, swelling and in some cases damaged teeth and infection. You should ensure that the person performing any oral piercing follows infection control and also has strong knowledge of the oral anatomy. Once having an oral piercing, you should visit your dentist to make sure no damage has been done to your teeth, gums or soft tissue. Six monthly check ups are recommended.
Alcohol can affect your teeth and gums due to the sugar content. When broken down it creates an acidic environment and the development of bacteria and plaque can occur. Here is some ways you can limit the damage:
– After a night out it is very important you brush and floss your teeth.
– Whilst out, between each drink have a glass of water.
– Chew sugar-free gum (Helps with alcohol breath too!)
Sport Drinks, Soft Drinks, Fizzy Drinks:
If you play alot of sport or drink soft drink or fizzy drinks (energy drinks) take 30 seconds of your time and read the back label and the sugar content. There is a LARGE amount of sugar in all of the drinks and it can cause tooth erosion and tooth decay. Try replacing your sugary drinks for water, its alot healthier, will keep you hydrated and most importantly will be better for your oral health!
It is estimate that 1.3 billion people world-wide are smokers… Are you one of them? If you are, it is a good idea to see your dentist. There are numerous oral health problems with people who smoke, like infected gums and bone loss. The roll of nicotine is it acts on blood vessels to contract the gums, reducing the blood flow to the gum and bone. When x-rays are taken there is usually some bone loss around the tooth roots and this can happen at any age. If you are a smoker you are six times more likely too have gum (periodontal) disease. Symptoms can be recession around the gum area and loose teeth that holds the teeth in place. In advanced gum disease, teeth can become loose and eventually need to be extracted. To mimimise the severity of gum disease, regular flossing and thorough brushing should be done.
Has your doctor recently prescribed you medication? If so, it is a good idea to have a talk you GP or your dentist in regards to your teeth. The list below are some that may cause tooth erosion due to being acidic or because they may cause dry mouth.
– Chewable vitamin tablets
– Anti-allergy medications
– Frequent use of aspirin
– Liquid iron supplements
– Certain asthma and cough medications
– Cardiovascular medications (diuretics, calcium channel blockers)
– Some antidepressants and antipsychotics
– Central analgesics
– Anti-Parkinson’s disease medications
The regular use of illegal drugs can cause a large amount of tooth damage. With the drugs listed below we have listed the side effects to your oral health. There are many others that are available and will cause similar problems.
– Cannabis: dry mouth, increased risk of gum problems and oral cancer.
– Cocaine: rubbing cocaine over your gums can cause ulceration of gums and the underlying bone. Cocaine erodes tooth enamel, dry mouth, tooth decay and grinding.
– Ecstasy: Grinding, jaw clenching and dry mouth.
– Heroin: Crave sweet foods, which can increase the risk of tooth decay, dry mouth and grinding.
– Methamphetamine: Severe and rapid tooth decay, dry mouth, grinding and jaw clenching. It attacks tooth enamel as the drug is VERY acidic and dental professionals will use the term “meth mouth” to descrive the damage.
Oral sex is sexual activity with the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth or throat. You should be aware of the risks and the protective measures you can take if considering performing oral sex. Oral sex can pass on the Human Papilloma Virus as known as HPV. HPV is the virus that causes oral cancer in women and is also the same virus that can cause oral cancer in both men and women. Same sex partner, heterosexuals, men and women have the chance of getting HPV and the chances of getting HPV increases if your number of sexual partners increase. If you happen to get the virus not everyone will end up with oral cancer due to your body clearing it out within a couple of years. There is often no signs or symptoms and can be undetected for years. For more information contact the dental health week website.