July 9th, 2019
Have you been thinking about getting an oral piercing lately? It could seem enticing because they look trendy or cool, but it’s worth know the health risks associated with oral piercing. Even if you already have one, you may learn a few things you didn’t know.
The human mouth contains millions of bacteria. Even without piercings, it’s not uncommon for people to develop an infection every once in a while. By adding an oral piercing, you increase your likelihood of getting an infection.
Many people who have piercings tend to develop the habit of touching them regularly, which is the like opening a door and yelling, “Welcome home, infections!” And because these piercings are in your mouth, particles of all the food that comes through can accumulate and eventually cause a pretty serious health situation.
It’s hard to ignore the presence of an oral piercing, so biting or playing with the site is fairly common. Doing so can lead to teeth fractures, however. While a fracture might be on the enamel of a tooth and require a simple filling, it can also go deeper, which could entail a root canal or even tooth extraction.
Other risks include hindering your ability to talk and eat, nerve damage, gum damage, and even loss of taste.
If you’re still determined to get an oral piercing, at least be aware of the time it will take to heal. It can take anywhere from four to six weeks, and can cause great discomfort during that time. Be willing to give it that time in order to lower your chances of infection.
Make sure you understand that getting an oral piercing will involve adding further responsibility to your daily dental health duties. It’s essential that you commit to regular upkeep on your end, and not just while it’s healing.
July 2nd, 2019
Did you know that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and oral cancer are linked? This information may prevent you or a loved one from suffering from oral cancer if a diagnosis is made early. Dr. James McCreary and our team want you to understand how you can prevent the spread of oral cancer and protect yourself if you have HPV.
People don’t often speak up about this common virus, but we believe it’s important to educate yourself to prevent the potential spread of oral cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 80% of Americans will have HPV infections in their lifetime without even knowing it. Symptoms usually go unnoticed, though it’s one of the most common viruses in the U.S. The body’s immune system is generally able to kill the HPV infection without causing any noticeable issues. If you think you might have HPV, talk with primary care physician about getting the preventive vaccine or taking an HPV test.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, “HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers (the very back of the mouth and throat), and a very small number of front of the mouth, oral cavity cancers. HPV16 is the version most responsible, and affects both males and females.”
Common signs of oral cancer may include:
- Ulcers or sores that don’t heal within a couple of weeks
- Swelling, lumps, and discoloration on the soft tissues in the mouth
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Pain with chewing
- Persistent sore throat
- Numbness of the mouth or lips
- Lumps felt on the outside of the neck
- Constant coughing
- Earaches on one side of your head
If you experience any of these side effects, please contact McCreary Family Dentistry as soon as possible.
We hope this information will help you understand the interactions between HPV and oral cancer. Please remember to take precautionary steps if you notice anything out of the ordinary with regard to your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our Pensacola, FL office.
June 18th, 2019
At McCreary Family Dentistry, we have patients coming in asking us why a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee becomes a painful experience, or why brushing or flossing makes them wince or cringe. The answer, usually, is sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity typically occurs when the underlying dentin layer of the tooth is exposed in the oral cavity, and most people experience tooth sensitivity at some point in their lives.
So, why do people experience sensitivity and how do you know if tooth sensitivity is something to be worried about? The most common cause of the sensitivity is exposure of the dentin, which is the layer surrounding the tooth’s nerve. Contributors to tooth sensitivity include teeth whitening and dental work such as fillings, periodontal treatment, and the placement or adjustment of braces. These are temporary and should be of no concern.
Permanent hypersensitivity, however, may require treatment at McCreary Family Dentistry. The first step is to determine the cause, and that begins with a visit to our Pensacola, FL office.
The reasons your teeth may become sensitive vary, but possible causes include:
- Tooth decay (cavities) near the gum line
- Cracked or fractured teeth
- Fillings that are worn
- Gum (periodontal) disease, or recession of the gums
- Worn tooth enamel
- Brushing too hard
- Consuming acidic foods
Dr. James McCreary and our team at McCreary Family Dentistry want you to know that sensitive teeth can be treated, and the type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Dr. James McCreary may suggest one the following treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste, which contains ingredients that seal off the microtubules inside the exposed dentin to reduce tooth sensitivity
- Fluoride gel, which strengthens compromised tooth enamel, helps prevent tooth decay, and decreases hypersensitivity of the teeth
- A crown, inlay, or bonding, which is used to treat tooth decay and prevents sensitivity
- A surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this procedure will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
- Root canal: If you are experiencing severe and persistent sensitivity which cannot be treated by other means, Dr. James McCreary may recommend you undergo a root canal to eliminate the problem.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, give us a call today so that Dr. James McCreary can provide you with some much-needed relief!
June 11th, 2019
The third molars have long been known as your “wisdom teeth,” because they are the last teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime during the late teens to early twenties. This is a time in life that many consider an “age of wisdom”; hence the term, “wisdom teeth.”
Extracting the third molars does not have any effect on your actual wisdom … and Dr. James McCreary and our staff are sorry to say that holding on to them can’t make you smarter, either. So if you somehow feel that you became wiser and smarter when your wisdom teeth appeared, chalk it up to age rather than teeth.
In fact, you may just be showing how smart you are by having your wisdom teeth removed. Mankind once relied on the wisdom teeth to replace teeth that were damaged or missing, thanks to a poor diet. But dietary changes and advances in modern dentistry make it possible for many people to hold on to their teeth for many decades, which eliminated the need for third molars.
For many people, wisdom teeth cause nothing but problems: becoming impacted, irritating surrounding gum tissue, or even causing other teeth to become crooked or overlap. By removing them, patients often enjoy a lower risk of decay, infection, and aesthetic complications.
So rest assured that extracting your wisdom teeth will have no effect on your immediate or long-term intelligence.