Dental Tips Blog

Jul
3

Meth Mouth

Posted in Dental Implants

Illicit drug use can lead to a lot of oral health complications, but none of them are known to cause the extensive amount of dental problems as methamphetamine use. In fact, the term “meth mouth” was coined to describe the condition, because it is so unlike any other that a dentist will see in their profession.

Meth mouth typically represents itself as extensive tooth decay throughout the entire mouth. Nearly every tooth, and every surface of each tooth, is decayed or damaged in some fashion. Not only is the drug damaging, it can also cause people that take it to crave high amounts of sugary substances while they are on methamphetamine. As a result, severe amounts of tooth decay unlike any other occur on a very rapid and progressive scale.

Treating the oral health needs of people that have recovered or are battling methamphetamine use can be quite a challenge. Typically, full mouth rehabilitation is needed when meth mouth is involved. Different options include restoring teeth one-by-one with full coverage crowns and endodontic therapy, allowing patients to preserve their natural teeth. However, this can become costly and recurrent decay can occur around new restorations if habits or addictions cannot be avoided. A more dramatic, but effective approach is to remove all of the teeth involved and deliver a full coverage denture that is either removable or supported by dental implants. The decision is a personal one, and one that needs to be discussed with your dentist and your support system.

Your dental care is confidential, no matter what your history or health status is. Getting care for meth mouth for you or someone you love is one of the best things you can do for their health, their self-confidence, and the way people perceive them in social settings.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry

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Mar
24

Are You a Candidate For Dental Implants?

Posted in Dental Implants

Most likely if you are asking the question whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants, you have missing teeth. Whether your teeth were lost through an accident, disease, or decay, dental implants are an excellent method of tooth replacement for most everyone. Dental implants are considered the best and most permanent solution for missing teeth.

There are a few basic criteria that people must meet in order to be considered a good candidate for dental implants. They must have enough bone density to support the dental implant. Dental implants are surgically placed within the jaw bone, therefore, if there is not adequate bone density a dental implant will not be successful.  Bone grafts can restore sufficient bone density to support dental implants.

Patients must be free of gum disease. The gum must be healthy enough to undergo surgery, to heal from surgery, and to support the tooth once it is surgically placed. Periodontal therapy may be necessary to treat gum disease prior to placing dental implants.

Ideally, the patient should be a non-smoker or quit smoking during the dental implant process. Smoking slows the healing process. Nicotine has a negative effect on blood flow, and that affects the bones and tissues surrounding a dental implant. Without proper attachment and healing, the chances are  increase that the implant will not be successful for those who smoke. People who are taking any medication(s) that could interfere with bone growth are also not good candidates for dental implants.

In some cases, those who are not candidates at one certain time can become a candidate later. For instance, if a person stops smoking, s/he may become a good candidate for dental implants. Because the procedure for dental implants is a very meticulous one, and one that requires a good deal of money, you want to be sure that you are a good candidate before you undergo the procedure. Your dentist can help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry

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