Drugs and dentistry, specifically marijuana use and dentistry is a topic seen more often in the literature. Marijuana use has a connection with your oral health. So, yes, your dentist should care about your Marijuana use! This blogs reviews current findings and explains some of the dental associations related to Marijuana use and concerns your dentist may have.
Should dentists care about your Marijuana Use? Definitely! The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) published some of these concerns from a variety of sources in the January 2016 AGD Impact.
Marijuana use is increasing and is now legal in many states including Colorado. The appeal of Marijuana is the association with pleasure, relaxing, perceived enhanced taste, sight and hearing. Along with increasing use, studies are showing negative health concerns. Our office recommends letting your dentist know about your Marijuana use and discuss possible oral health problems they may be able to see in your mouth.
The main concerns are the following:
Impaired thought processes
Increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugars
A weakened immune system
There is a strong association with periodontal disease
Increased exposure to carcinogens
Increased eating of sweets may lead to more tooth decay. In our office we have seen terrible tooth decay when marijuana chewables are combines with a dry mouth and a susceptible patient. We care about your dental health and want to provide the best care possible for you. We will always try to stay up to date with current recommendations related to your dental care. Thanks for reading our blog! We look forward to seeing you. In the meantime, please see more about what our office has to offer on our website at www.juliegillisdds.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc. We would love to have you follow us on Facebook!
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis, DDS
Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles
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Some of this information is from the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact and from the July/August 2017 issue of Discover
Why should your dentist care whether you use Marijuana? Because Marijuana can affect your dental health and your dental treatment!
As the use of Marijuana becomes more common, we will continue to see more of the possible side effects. Thankfully, the legalization of this drug has made it easier for patients to report drug use. Turns out marijuana can affect your dental health!
The rate of decay can increase. We have seen disastrous examples of this in patients using chewables especially when combined with a dry mouth from other drugs they are taking or diseases.
Marijuana use may make you more likely to consume sweet, salty, or foods containing a lot of refined carbohydrates and you may be less likely to maintain proper hygiene – a double whamy in terms of decay.
Marijuana use may leave a slimy dark stain in the tartar or calculus that forms on the teeth that may be difficult to remove. More slime, more tartar, more bacteria, more gum disease and periodontal disease, and more decay.
By using Marijuana, you may be at a higher risk of contracting HIV.
Marijuana abuse can lead to frequent vomiting which can severely harm the teeth by acid erosion. (there are some studies that THC can be helpful with nausea from chemo)
Long-term use can lead to panic disorders and psychosis. Repeated exposure can negatively affect the areas of your brain dealing with forming memories. (remember to brush and floss correctly and eat healthy!)
And, yes, you can develop a dependence. If you are trying to kick the habit (Yea!) expect mood swings, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite.
Everyone may think they are immune to the risks. The benefits must be compared with the risks. Some risks can be minimized by proper oral hygiene (just a friendly tip). So, what are the benefits? I’ll have you ask your medical doctor for that one. It is difficult to compare studies due to how the studies are fashioned and the doses and forms of cannabinoids used.
In the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact the following was noted:
Because Marijuana use can affect your dental health, it is important to be straightforward in informing your dentist about any drugs that you are taking as many can have oral side effects. Even herbal, medicinal and recreational Marijuana. Marijuana use has increased steadily over the last 10 years especially among adolescents, who may not really understand the risks.
Please keep this in mind if you are having a dental procedure completed, “Topical application or local injection of products containing epinephrine, which can dangerously prolong tachycardia, should be avoided . . . as they can lead to complications in the operatory (treatment room).”
What does this mean for you?
If you have recently used cannabis, and you are having any procedure that includes either topical anesthetic (a hygienist may use a solution or gel to make your cleaning more comfortable) or a shot and you need to inform the dental team. Just tell your dentist or hygienist about your recent cannabis use and request that no epinephrine be used for your procedure. Epinephrine could cause extended time with a high heart rate which can cause problems. Avoid marijuana for at least seven days before a scheduled dental appointment that includes anesthesia.
Your health history is confidential and the information you provide should help your dental team take the best care of you. Let your dentist and dental team know the following:
Recent use (smoking or ingesting)
Type of use (edibles, smoking, both)
How long have you done this?
Purpose (for pain, recreation)?
More information will continue to surface about marijuana use and its affect on your dental health as the use continues and increases. Our office will try to keep you posted.
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis DDS, PC
Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health
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I’ve been told that I am Tongue Tied. What is that?
Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can’t stick her tongue out at her brother!
See blog photos under tongue
Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!
What does it mean to be tongue tied? And is this a condition that requires treatment?
When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth. The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.
Possible concerns of being tongue tied:
Difficulty nursing as an infant
Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
Difficulty licking something off your lips
It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!
Being tongue tied is usually not a problem. Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement. If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely. It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment. You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.
The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being ‘tongue-tied’ was comfortably treated with a diode laser.
One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue. In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s. If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility. The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift. There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.
Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.
What is Disclosing Solution or Caries Detecting Dye?
This blog describes the use of disclosing solution which is the same as caries detecting dye and shows photos of caries detecting dye used during tooth preparation.
Cavity between teeth shows up on an x-ray as a dark shadow.
The decay is removed and the tooth looks pretty good. Time to test with disclosing solution!
If your dentist is using disclosing solution or caries detecting dye that means they care about you and they care about your teeth! Caries detecting dye or solution is like disclosing solution. Both are composed of a liquid die that will stain bacteria and bacterial byproducts.
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is used by dentists and dental hygienists for the following reasons:
To show you where bacteria are sticking to your teeth
To improve your brushing techniques
To evaluate if there is decay on your teeth
To be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure
You can see why these things would be good for you! The photos included here illustrate the treatment of a cavity that occurred in the ‘flossing zone’ between two teeth. The dentist has removed the obvious decay and shaped the tooth so that a tooth-colored restoration can be placed. Dark, stained areas of decay have been removed. The tooth looks ready to restore but it isn’t. Now is the time to paint on the caries detecting dye!
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity.
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity and then rinsed away. Remaining dye shows remaining decay!
The dye comes in several colors. Red is the most common. The dye is painted onto the cavity preparation and allowed to remain a couple seconds. The excess dye is rinsed away and any stain that remains indicates the presence of bacteria or bacterial byproducts. This is carefully removed by your dentist. Since tooth-colored fillings or restorations bond to your tooth there is no longer a need to cut in undercuts to help hold fillings in. Your dentist will want to be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure.
The tooth is restored to ideal contours knowing that all decay has been carefully removed.
In our office, we may paint on the dye several times. Each time removing just the areas where decay remains and saving as much tooth as possible. This is just one of the many ways we would like our teeth to be treated and so that is the way we treat our patient’s teeth! Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns. We would love to see you!
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis DDS, PC
Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles
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Would you like to Test Drive an Electric Toothbrush in Our Office? How about the Oral B Pro 5000?
Now you can do just that in our office and here is how:
Purchasing an electric toothbrush to improve your oral hygiene is a good idea. But which one do you buy? How do you know the differences or whether or not you would even like using the electric toothbrush? Our office and Oral B have made this easier for you. You can now use an Oral B Pro 5000 in our office and test it on your own teeth. You can see how this electric toothbrush feels in your mouth and how your teeth feel after using the brush for free in our office.
Our office is always trying to think of ways to make getting and keeping your mouth healthy as comfortable as possible. Although you can clean your teeth very well with a regular manual toothbrush, studies have proven that you will be more effective when you use an electric toothbrush. The Oral B Pro 5000 is a great one to try! My hygienist, Melanie, explains how our patients can text drive the Oral B Pro 5000 in our office. How the electric toothbrush handle is protected and how each patient wanting to test drive the toothbrush gets their own toothbrush.
Call our office in Grand Junction, Colorado at (970) 242-3635 for more information. We would love to have you visit us on Facebook and see all the fun things going on in our office!