Are E-Cigarettes Safe for Dental Surgery?

E-Cigarettes vs. Traditional Cigarettes

Marketed as safer than traditional tobacco products, electronic cigarettes still are packed with nicotine, that notorious component which inhibits wound healing, increases the risks of anesthesia, and may lead to other complications during and after surgery. If you are thinking of having dental implants and you are an e-cigarette smoker, something is going to be amiss.

Anesthesia providers in the dental clinic setup are part of any oral health team, and together with dentists, surgeons and hygienists, are well aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to general oral health. A 17-year veteran of the sector, Cathy Harrison, DNAP, MSN, CRNA, talks about it in Dentistry Today.

Risks for Smokers

She says that that smokers, whether cigarettes or e-cigarettes, have very reactive airways, such that when they are sedated, they may start coughing during procedures. This also presents a hazard for the dentist, particularly in invasive procedures, such as when using a drill for implantation.

Effects of Nicotine

Nicotine impedes the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to organs and tissues. If the body is not using oxygen and promoting adequate circulation, this decreases the body’s capability to heal appropriately and increases the risk of infection.

Smoking also is a risk factor for periodontal disease, which can lead to bone loss and loose teeth. This is an important consideration for anesthesia providers who provide general anesthesia because there is a large population of smokers who need surgery.

Even 12 to 24 hours after a surgery can significantly increase the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to vital organs and tissues. Patients should be advised not to smoke or use e-cigarettes after dental procedures as simple as extractions. E-cigarettes can cause negative pressure, which can pull the clot from the extraction site and cause dry socket, which is extremely painful.

Detailed Health History

A thorough health history is important for the anesthesia provider to understand the patient’s health status and adjust the anesthetic or sedation plan accordingly. Smokers must disclose their history promptly.

E-cigarettes Are Not Less Risky

Best advice is to quit smoking or vaping. Either way, the potential complications are not to be ignored. For surgeries such as dental implants, let’s show you the way to treatment success, sans e-cigarettes. Please make sure to go over any questions or concerns you may have for our Bellevue dentist, Dr. Young Lee.

Living With Stress Can Affect Oral Health

Oral Manifestations of Stress

It has been well studied that stress can contribute to serious health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Less obvious, though, is that stress can leave their signs on our teeth and gums as well. Sometimes we end up with issues we didn’t even know are dental, and we are even clueless that we are stressed.

Common Symptoms

A common dental problem that can be related to stress is teeth grinding. Day time and especially night time teeth clenching applies undue pressure on teeth and gums. It can cause headaches, chipped or flattened teeth surfaces, and tight jaw muscles. Unchecked, it can lead to improper bites and the breakdown of the temporomandibular joint connecting the skull to the jawbone. If you’ve been grinding teeth beforehand, stress exacerbate the situation.

There are certain drugs taken for depression and anxiety, including Prozac and Zoloft, that may lead to jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding many people are not aware they cause. This is a case of anti-stress drugs causing stressful situations.

Some studies linked stress to oral issues. A review of scientific studies in 2007 found a relationship between stress and periodontal disease, which also includes the lesser form, gingivitis. A Canadian report, only recently, found that participants who were more stressed had poorer oral health and greater oral pain compared with participants who had less stress. A hormone involved in the body’s stress response, cortisol, weakens the immune system, making a person more susceptible to gum disease.

People who are stressed out most of the time pay little attention to self-care routines, and oral hygiene is one of those. They disregard proper oral hygiene, leading to inflamed gums or tooth decay.

Today’s times are proving to be more stressful for Americans. According to a recent “Stress in America” report from the American Psychological Association, Americans on average reported more physical symptoms of stress in 2017 compared with 2016, including anxiety, anger, and fatigue. Most commonly cited reasons were the “future of our nation,” money, and work. It was the first significant increase in stress levels found by the APA since the inaugural survey in 2007.

Stress-Free Living for Better Oral Health

As if living with stress isn’t bad enough for one’s general well-being, unchecked stress can create havoc on oral health as well. We always remind our patients that oral issues are mostly as preventable as dealing with stress.

Oral Bacteria Link To Genes?

Is it Nature or Nurture That Causes Cavities?

A new study, out of La Jolla, California, led by the J. Craig Venter Institute, that has been published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, investigated oral microbiomes present in childhood twins. Microbiomes refer to oral microbes plus their genetic material. They said that twins are more likely to have a very similar upbringing, they are ideal subjects for studying the “nature versus nurture” question with regards to oral health. A large cohort of twins, both identical and non-identical, were studied to determine the influence of host genotype and the early shared environment in shaping the oral microbiome profile.

While there has been growing evidence of links between the oral microbiome and other illnesses, including oral cancer and cardiovascular disease, there are also studies that say there are links between the gut microbiome and general health. While the genetic makeup of the host can be linked to the presence of the microbes in the gut, there have been hardly any link seen between oral microbiome and host genetic background.

In the study, the oral microbiomes of 485 pairs of twins aged between 5 and 11 years were investigated, 205 were identical twins and 280 were fraternal, and there was also one set of triplets. True enough, and as expected, oral microbiomes of identical twins were more similar to each other (versus those of non-identical twins), suggesting that the host genetic background influences the types of bacteria present in the mouth. Also discovered, that the types of bacteria most closely linked to host genetic background were not ones that play a role in tooth decay.

Another finding was that comparing children aged five with those of age 11, the bacteria most closely linked to host genetic background tend to decrease in abundance as the children age. Lastly, the twins whose diet included a lot of added sugar had fewer of the types of bacteria linked to lower rates of tooth decay and more of the types that are linked to higher rates of tooth decay.

The study does not end here as the researchers will continue to follow-up the twins, look at the changing patterns in their oral microbiomes, and compare the health of identical and non-identical twins with functional differences in their oral microbiomes.

Watching Your Sugar More

Your Bellevue dentist says that it is the environment or the nurturing that plays a huge role in cavity development and tooth decay. The higher and more frequent is sugar intake, the higher are the rates of tooth decay.

New Report: Half of UK Kids’ Sugar is Not Healthy

Controlling Sugar: Not Just Parents’ Efforts

Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK, reports that half of children’s sugar intake comes from consuming unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.

Public Health England’s study shows every year children are consuming around 400 biscuits, over 120 cakes, buns and pastries, about 100 portions of sweets, around 70 chocolate bars and 70 ice creams, with more than 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink. On average, children consume at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with a third consuming four or more.The overall result is that children consume 3 times more sugar than is recommended.

High sugar intake can lead to future issues of obesity and painful dental decay among children. Parents may be indulging their young towards this path without really thinking about it or are finding it difficult to manage their kids’ snacking habits. Sweets, in their various forms, do energize children, keep them occupied, and even resolve some babysitting issues quite quickly.

However, Public Health England is starting encouraging parents to limit children’s snacks to only 100-calorie snacks, two a day maximum, all as part of its Change4life campaign. The campaign is promoting healthier snacks, encouraging parents to purchase healthier snacks than the ones they currently buy. They can also get money-off vouchers from Change4Life to help them try healthier options. Selected supermarkets are supporting the campaign.

PHE’s improved Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app also shows parents how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in their food to help make healthier choices easier. It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Many children leaving primary school are already overweight or obese. Controlling obesity is not just up to the parents, but requires wider action. PHE is working with the food industry to cut 20% of sugar from the products children consume most by 2020, with work to reduce calories due to start in 2018.

Bellevue Dentistry’s Role in Sugar Control

It is indeed not just the government’s role looking after the public’s dental health and not just parents’ efforts as well to see to their kids’ sugar consumption. Dentists also play a significant part in checking for, educating and treating diet-related oral issues of young patients. Contact us to set up an appointment today.

Your Children and Toothpaste: Managing Oral Hygiene

Watching Your Child’s Oral Hygiene Practices

Pediatric dental care is an important part of your child’s development. Hence, it is to the parents’ advantage that they have the proper information to guide them in instilling good oral habits in their young. The case of toothbrushing and the use of toothpaste is a case in point.

In 2014, the ADA revised its position on the use of fluoride toothpaste with children under two years of age. To prevent early onset of tooth decay, children are exposed to flouride tooth brushing in a consistent and correct manner. This enables the strengthening of baby enamel so that it goes on to proper development.

The ADA recommends that children use a smear of toothpaste (size of a grain of rice) from the first tooth until age 3. From 3 to 6 years, children should use a pea-sized amount of paste. These amounts help limit the exposure of children to fluoride from ingested dentifrice to levels below those suggested by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (0.05 mg/kg/day).

Excessive fluoride ingestion may result in fluorosis during the period in which permanent teeth are developing. Fluorosis can range from mild, in which white flecks or striations appear on the tooth, to severe, which may result in brown spots and/or pitting of the enamel. In addition to the appropriate amount of toothpaste to be used, the ADA recommends that caregivers supervise children during brushing to ensure that the children spit rather than swallow the paste.

Parental supervision of the children while brushing can teach them to remain personally responsible throughout their childhood and while growing up. That they are using the right products for oral hygiene is also part of the monitoring The ADA seal of acceptance has always helped parents in their confident choices for safe and effective products to use, ADA-approved and consistent with the scientific claims.

The right size toothbrush when kids start brushing is also important. This can make the practice of good oral hygiene fun and effective for kids, especially if brushes are colorful, with soft bristles, a good grip. Mouth washes can be useful for all age groups as well. heck with your dentist or dental hygienist to make the right choice, and ensure your child enjoys a cavity-free childhood.

Child-Friendly Dental Practice in Bellevue

Initiate your child into proper oral hygiene practices at home. Don’t forget to also introduce your young one to a children dentist, from whom the child will learn the reasons why a good toothbrush and the correct toothpaste are so important for a sparkling smile and fresh breath.