22 March 2017

Oral Piercings Related to Oral Health

Oral piercing sites include the tongue, lips and cheeks. Oral piercings are considered body art and is a personal statement. The jewelry is made of stainless steel, gold, titanium or niobium, and consists of studs, barbells or hoops.

Dangers of Oral Piercings:
  • Pain, swelling and bleeding.
  • Tissue scarring.
  • Gum damage (recession) from trauma caused by the jewelry rubbing.
  • Infection that can travel through the bloodstream.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth.
  • Problems swallowing.
  • Choking on or aspiration of jewelry.
  • Difficulty eating/loss of taste.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Bad breath (halitosis).
  • Tartar formation on the oral jewelry.

Care for Oral Piercings to Help Avoid Complications:
  • Wash your hands before touching the piercing.
  • Brush and rinse after every meal.
  • Clean the piercing site with an alcohol free antiseptic mouth wash after every meal.
  • Brush the jewelry to remove any plaque present.
  • Remove the jewelry before eating, sleeping or playing sports.
  • Any yellow or green pus suggests an infection is present; a physician should be contacted immediately if this occurs.

Dental Hygienist are aware of the possible consequences and risks associated with oral piercings. During regular dental examinations your dental hygienist will check for cracked or chipped teeth, as well as gum infection/damage (recession). The Ontario Dental Hygienist Association does not recommend any type of oral piercing.

8 March 2017

Importance of Dental Care for Caregivers

Good oral care is important at any age. However certain segments of the population require help with their oral hygiene care, including elderly, sick and mentally or physically challenged. Studies have shown that many family members are taking on the role of a primary care giver and oral hygiene should be another important area of focus to consider for any caregiver.

There is a huge link to oral health and overall health, and keeping the mouth healthy, keeps the body healthy (since the two are connected). A thing to consider is micro- organisms (bacteria) from oral infections that can enter the bloodstream and lungs and travel through the body. This can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disorders.

Brushing and flossing are crucial activities that effect general health just as much as medications, proper diet and physical activity. Seeing a dental hygienist regularly aid in the process of general well being, and should be a part of everyone's regular routine.

When providing care to an individual with needs certain signs should be observed for inadequate oral care:
  • Food debris
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Red, swollen, bleeding tender gums
  • Loose teeth/ tooth pain
  • Abscess or pus around gums or teeth
A good routine to get into with oral hygiene should include:
  • Brushing and or cleaning the mouth twice daily for two minutes
  • Remove and brush dentures twice daily or more if needed
  • Floss teeth at least daily
  • Brushing or scraping tongue
  • Booking regular dental hygiene/ dental visits.

An important resource to utilize should be your dental professionals. We can aid in advice and tips to help make home care effective and give you the tools to help make sure that individuals, no matter their disability, receive the proper care they need to maintain oral and overall health.