Is piercing of the tongue and/or lips bad for your teeth?

I have noticed quite a number of broken teeth from tongue piercing. I have also seen infections. Below is an article from smile-on.com about lip piercing.

Tuesday, March 29 2005 smile-on.com: Lip Piercing 'Can Shrink Gums' (no surprise here) Researchers have found that having a lip piercing is bad for the gums and can make them shrink back from the teeth.  The longer people wear the piercing, the worse the recession is, researchers from Ohio State University in found - in a study of 58 young adults.  In 2003 The British Dental Association reported the same risk with tongue piercings in the BDJ. Oral piercing - a trend growing in popularity - can cause life-threatening infections and reactions, it said. The Ohio team said that people with lip piercings were far more likely to have receding gums than those without piercings, reports the BBC. When the dental researchers examined the young people's mouths they found average recession depth was more than double in those with piercings, compared with those without piercings.  Dr Dimitris Tatakis and his team presented their findings at a conference of the International & American Association for Dental Research. Professor Jimmy Steele, from Newcastle University's Dental School in the UK, told the BBC that people who had, or were considering getting a lip piercing should take heed of the findings. `The metal of the lip stud is physically rubbing over the gum at the neck of the tooth causing the gum to recede. Once this has happened, you don't get the gum back and it often becomes more difficult to clean and therefore even more prone to gum disease in the future. The effect is quite localized so it will only be one or two teeth affected - but they are front teeth, so not ones you want to lose.'

Is Mountain Dew and Coca Cola really that bad for my teeth? And what about sports drinks?

Sugared sodas are very bad for your teeth. We are seeing more and more people, especially teens, with rampant tooth decay from excessive soda drinks. The most popular seem to be Mountain Dew and Colas. Remember, if you are going to drink these beverages, drink them with a meal. Drink them quickly and do not sip on them for hours. It is the length of time they are in your mouth that is the most damaging.

Here is a surprise. Sports drinks are even worse than the sodas. Here is an article on that subject:
Operative Dentistry - JADA 2005 Jan/Feb
Effects of sports drinks and other beverages on dental enamel
J. Anthony von Fraunhofer, MSc, PhD
Matthew M. Rogers, DDS

A high percentage of people consume soft drinks that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and various additives. The popularity of sports (energy) drinks is growing and this pilot study compares enamel dissolution in these and a variety of other beverages.

Enamel dissolution occurred in all the tested beverages, with far greater attack occurring in flavored and energy (sports) drinks than previously noted for water and cola drinks. No correlation was found between enamel dissolution and beverage pH. Non-cola drinks, commercial lemonades, and energy/sports drinks showed the most aggressive dissolution effect on dental enamel. Reduced residence times of beverages in the mouth by salivary clearance or rinsing would appear to be beneficial.

Should I clean my infant's gums after feedings?.

Wipe the gums with a clean, damp cloth or gauze pad. Parents should brush children's teeth daily with a soft wet toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Supervise your child's brushing to ensure proper brushing habits.  To prevent nursing bottle mouth , if you must give your baby a bottle at nap or bed time, fill it with plain water -- not milk, formula or juice.

Are Electric Brushes Better?

Below is an article from smile-on.com

Wednesday, May 18 2005:  The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has warned consumers to be cautious when choosing expensive electric toothbrushes after scientists found that many of them are no more effective than ordinary manual brushes.  The BDHF was speaking after the Cochrane Review 2005 found that many consumers are paying extra for the same performance. The news comes after the Foundation's own National Dental Survey 2005, completed last week, found that nearly one in two people now use an electric toothbrush.  Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, commented, `Nationwide, millions of people are going out and buying electric toothbrushes because they assume that they will be better for their teeth - but this isn't always the case. The only brushes to genuinely offer improved performance are rotating oscillating brushes. These have small circular heads that rotate in opposite directions and can help reduce plaque by around 11 percent.  `However, other electric brushes are much less effective. In fact you can get just as good results using a manual brush as you can using an expensive sonic toothbrush - so think twice before you go spending your money!'  The Foundation's advice came during National Smile Week (May 15-21), the biggest oral health campaign in the country.

What are the Health Effects of Radiation?

A report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) states that, although no radiation is risk free and can increase the risk of cancer,  the health risk posed by radiation from x-rays and other health procedures is so small that it should not deter people from seeking needed medical care.  The report states that in the United States people are exposed to background radiation at an average dose of 3 millisieverts annually, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the radiation dose from a dental x-ray ranges from 0.04 to 0.15 millisievert.

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