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This page is designed to provide important articles and timely preventative dental health information to everyone concerned with improving their own personal dental health and hygiene. An educated dental patient is an interactive patient who will have a healthier and longer lasting smile.

Web site to raise Methamphetamine awareness

It's not a pretty site. The United States Department of Justice's meth awareness website gives viewers graphic details of this addictive drug's effects. From open sores to rooted teeth, the site is intended to give viewers basic information about the drug, its effects and how to fight against it. 

"Methamphetamine abuse has become a tremendous challenge for the entire nation," states the web site.  "Education, prevention and community involvement are key parts of our National Strategy to reduce the demand for meth. People who know about the destructive effects of meth on the user and the community, are far less likely to use meth."

According to a 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 10.4 million Americans age 12 and older tried methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes. Meth users can go from having healthy teeth to extremely sensitive teeth and eventual tooth loss in about a year, warns the ADA. This condition is often referred to as "meth mouth."

"Meth mouth robs people, especially young people of their teeth and frequently leads to full-mouth extractions and a lifetime of wearing dentures, said Robert M. Brandjord, ADA past president. "Meth mouth is characterized by rampant tooth decay and teeth described by meth users as blackened, stained, rotting, crumbling or falling apart."

The ADA suggests that dental professionals who suspect a patient may be using methamphetamine should:

Complete a comprehensive oral examination that includes taking a thorough dental and medical history.

Attempt to educate the patient about the profound negative effects the drug can have on oral health.

Refer the patient to such resources as physicians or drug counseling services.

Use preventive measures such as topical flourides.

Encourage the patient to drink water instead of sugar-containing carbonated beverages.

Be cautious when administering local anesthetics, sedatives/general anesthesia and nitrous oxide or when prescribing narcotics because of potential drug interaction.

Take opportunities to educate patients about the risks associated with methamphetamine or any illicit drug use.

For informational vides, presentations and links to health related web sites, visit the Department of Justice's web site at: more additional information and resources regarding meth mouth visit the ADA's web site at:


Dentists tell players keep the mouth guard, take out the barbell

March 1, 2002 Chicago- Perhaps more than most people, athletes view their bodies as their temples.
Seeking to emulate their professional herois, a growing number of high school and younger athletes
are adorning those temples through oral piercings.

But intraoral piercing and tongue jewelry place athletes at risk for serious medical and dental
consequences, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists
dedicated to continuing dental education.

"For years, we have been urging athletes to wear mouthguards when they are playing," says
Academy spokesperson Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD. "Now we have to tell them to take the barbell
out of their tongues."

According to a new article in General Dentistry, the Academy's peer-reviewed clinical journal,
out of every five intraoral piercings results in infection from contaminated puncture wounds.
Athletes are more likely than most people to develop infections because the increased blood flow
and breathing rate involved in vigorous excercise, as well as the increased chance of bleeding
from a contact injury, can spread infection more quickly.

And the dangers don't stop with infection. In a recent survey, 24 percent of pediatric dentists
reported that they had treated patients with complications resulting from intraoral piercing.

Common problems include hemorrhaging, airway restriction and chemical burns from the use of post-
piercing care products. After the piercing is healed, damage to teeth and gums is common.

Suzann P. McGeary, DDS, lead author of the General Dentistry article, says the risks are even
higher for athletes. "The athlete who participates in contact sports may be particularly susceptible
to airway restriction because an empact may dislodge the tongue jewelry, which could be aspirated
(inhaled). It also could be swallowd, which could cause injury to the gastrointestinal tract."

Damage to teeth by tongue jewelry is another danger intensified by participating in contacr sports.
"We have seen so many cracks and fractures in teeth caused by clicking,tapping or rubbing the jewelry
on them that it has gotten its own name- the wrecking ball fracture," says Dr. DeGinder.
"The danger of this is much higher on the playing field."

According to Dr. McGeary, the jewelry can also injure the gums and other soft tissue, as well as
interfere with proper salivary functioning, conditions that decrease the body's defenses against
infection and disease. Dr. DeGinder's first suggestion regarding oral piercing is, "don't do it."

Mixing tongue jewelry and a mouthguard is aparticularly bad combination, says Dr. DeGeary. "The
jewelry may interfere with the mouthguard and cause increased salivary flow and gagging, or
inhibit breathing or speech." "Remove the tongue jewelry-not the mouthguard," says Dr. McGeary.

For additional information on oral piercing, please visti the Academy of General Dentistry's
Web site, The Academy also provides a free phone service to consumers across the
nation in need of a dentist, providing the names of up to three general dentists in their area by
calling 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327).

The Academy of General Dentistry is a non-profit organization of more than 37,000 general dentists
dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through continuing education. A general dentist
is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis,
treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patient's oral health needs.

Why see a Dentist Twice a Year?
For your Teeth, your Gums, your Health

The three most common human afflictions are the common cold, cavities, and gum disease. For maximum oral heath, almost everyone should:
    See a dentist at least twice a year.
    Brush three times a day.
    Use fluoride toothpaste.
    Buy a new toothbrush every three months.

Regular visits to the dentist can help:
    Prevent tooth decay.
    Prevent or treat gum disease.
    Prevent further health complications.
        >Periodontal disease has been associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease
          and peripheral vascular disease, placing people at risk for heart attack or stroke.
        >Bacterial infections of the gums, resulting from gingivitis or periodontitis, may infect
          the lungs, causing bacterial pneumonia.
        >Poor periodontal health in pregnant women is a risk factor for the delivery of premature
          or low-birthweight babies.

Twice-yearly dental visits are especially important if you:
    Have any change in recent medical history.
    Have diabetes, since gum disease can result in poor control of insulin levels.
    Smoke, since tobacco makes gum disease worse.
    Are pregnant, since hormonal changes are associated with gingivitis.
    Take prescription or over the counter drugs that reduce saliva, heightening risk of gum disease.
    Take herbal remedies (such as ginko), which can cause gum disease.

Don't become a statistic: Find a Dentist

Public health surveys show that 31% to 57% of the U.S. population does not visit a dentist even once a year, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education. Two visits per year are recommended for good oral health.

Regular visits to the dentist can prevent cavities and gum disease, two out of the three most common human afflictions. But just trying to find a dentist may deter consumers from capitalizing on preventative oral health care. "We want to help people establish a loyal, lasting relationship with their dentist, " says J. Nick Russo, DDS, FAGD, president of the Academy of General Dentistry.

"Dental care is a very personalized service that requires a good relationship between the dentist and the patient" says Dr. Russo. "Finding a dentist you're comfortable with is like finding a good hairdresser, or a good mechanic." Good communication and planning are the keys to patient satisfaction. Dr. Russo suggests the following questions to ask the dentist that you are considering to be your dental care provider:

Begin the Search
What do they like about the dentist?
What do they like about the office?

Start with a Consultation

Does the dentist belong to a dental organization?
Do they take continuing education?
What dental procedures are in office?
What procedures are referred out?
Are they up to date with the latest procedures?

Note Office Environment
Note your reaction to the welcoming reception.

Is staff personable?
Do they spend enough time and answer questions?
Do they accommodate your schedule?
Is there an office emergency line?
Can they schedule emergencies the same day or the next day?

The Appointment
Do they spend enough time and answer questions?
Do they run on schedule and not make you wait too long?
Do they ask you medical history?
Do they demonstrate professionalism at all times?
Are they honest, patient, and compassionate?
Do they give you alternative treatment if finance is a concern?

Help line to assist in finding a dentist: toll free 1-877-2x-a-year (1.877.292.9327)
Callers can get names, addresses, and phone numbers for up to 3 general dentists 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the US or in Canada. Or check out the AGD website at
Click on the Member Directory section, punch in your zip code and receive info on 6 randomly selected dentists in your area!

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