David M. Barney, DMD
June 20th, 2017
Many smokers believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply isn’t the case! In fact, smokeless tobacco can cause serious health concerns.
Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and goes by many names: dip, snuff, snus, or simply chewing tobacco. Use of these products usually involves sucking or chewing on shredded or loose tobacco leaves, sometimes flavored, for a prolonged period. There are even products that emulate a dissolvable candy-like consistency which are made of compressed tobacco powder.
What are risks and smokeless tobacco?
Whichever form a tobacco product takes, the dangers of using or consuming them is very real. According to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are upwards of 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco that are known to cause cancer. And these products are habit-forming just like any other tobacco product that contains nicotine. Using them will increase your risk for many serious diseases including but not limited to: cancer (especially oral and esophageal), gum and heart disease, cavities, and pre-cancerous mouth lesions.
At the end of the day, long-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause serious health issues. These products really take a toll on both your oral and overall health. They put a strain on your immune system and make it less capable of warding off infection and disease.
Dr. David Barney and our team strongly advise you to stop using smokeless tobacco—or any kind of tobacco product—and not to pick up the habit if you aren’t. There is no safe level of tobacco use, smokeless or otherwise.
Need to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products?
You can and should always talk to your doctor, healthcare practitioner, or Dr. David Barney for help quitting. But there are many other resources available today for those who’d like to quit. The National Cancer Institute offers information, support (local and online), and tools to help smokers and smokeless tobacco users quit. They offer live online chat with cessation counselors Monday through Friday and even have a smartphone application available to help people who are serious about quitting.
You can take a look at their website at smokefree.gov or call them toll-free at 1–877–44U–QUIT (1-877-448-7848). There is also help available from your state’s quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Make the best choice for your health and well-being; avoid the bad habit of tobacco products. If you have any questions about how tobacco related products affect your oral health and hygiene, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our Beaverton, OR staff members.
June 13th, 2017
People who have diabetes are usually familiar with many of the other health risks they face, including damage to the nerves, eyes, heart, and kidneys. But did you know that if you have diabetes you also have a much greater chance of developing gum disease? It’s true, and like other diseases related to diabetes, the risk potential severity of gum disease is directly related to how well blood sugar is controlled.
In diabetics, there are two primary mechanisms that increase the risk of developing gum disease, also called periodontal disease:
- Bacterial growth: Bacteria love sugar including the glucose found in blood and bodily fluids. Elevated levels of sugar in saliva can provide a very hospitable environment for bacterial growth. The risk may be elevated if your gums bleed.
- Circulatory changes: In diabetes, the blood vessels become thick, making it more difficult for blood to carry oxygen to the gums and to carry away harmful waste products. This decrease in circulation can weaken the mouth’s natural resistance to decay. If you smoke, circulation can become even more compromised, significantly increasing your risk of periodontal disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you’re diabetic, the number-one key to preventing gum disease is to make sure you do all you can to keep your blood sugar under control. In fact, studies show diabetics who have excellent control of their blood sugar levels have no more risk for gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes. Here are some other tips to keep your gums healthy:
- Floss your teeth gently, curving the floss so it can gently reach just below your gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Rinse your mouth when you’re done flossing.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to brush teeth twice daily, using small circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard on tooth surfaces.
- Brush your tongue gently to remove germs that can hide there.
- Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill germs that are hard to reach.
- Keep track of how well your blood sugar is controlled and let Dr. David Barney know at each visit.
- Be aware that having diabetes may mean it takes you longer to heal after undergoing oral surgery.
Most importantly, be sure to visit our Beaverton, OR office for regular checkups and tell Dr. David Barney about your diabetes so you can be sure to get the care you need. Follow these steps, and you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
June 6th, 2017
The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. David Barney and our team at Barney Family Dental thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.
To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day to clean between your teeth
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
- Visit Dr. David Barney for scheduled appointments
If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!
May 30th, 2017
Toothpastes come in many forms and boast different flavors, benefits, and endorsements. All are designed to remove surface bacteria and prevent the buildup of plaque that can cause tooth decay. With so many choices, Dr. David Barney and our team at Barney Family Dental know that selecting the right toothpaste can be intimidating. After all, some benefits are welcome bonuses, while others are absolutely essential. So how can you know which toothpaste is best for you?
ADA Seal of Approval
While all toothpastes must first be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale to consumers, the American Dental Association puts these products through further rigorous tests for safety and effectiveness. Toothpaste that boasts the ADA Seal of Approval can be trusted to do exactly what it claims.
Fluoride is an essential ingredient in a daily toothpaste. It helps to protect the tooth from decay by removing plaque and strengthening the enamel. Although fluoride is found in many public water supplies, many people are deficient in it due to the consumption of bottled water instead of tap water. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Approval contain fluoride.
If a toothpaste meets the ADA’s standards and contains fluoride, the next step is to clear it with your dentist. This is especially true if you decide to use a whitening toothpaste, which often contains abrasives to remove surface stains. Though abrasives are an effective aid in tooth whitening, they may not be recommended if you have weak tooth enamel.
In certain situations, Dr. David Barney may suggest or prescribe specialty toothpaste, depending on your oral health needs. For example, patients who are prone to tooth decay and cavities despite frequent brushing and flossing may benefit from prescription-strength fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent the weakening of tooth enamel. Others who suffer from tooth sensitivity may benefit from the use of desensitizing toothpaste. Talk with Dr. David Barney if you think a specialty toothpaste could be right for you by scheduling an appointment at our Beaverton, OR office.