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What You Need to Know About Tobacco, E-cigarette Use and Your Oral Health

What You Need to Know About Tobacco, E-cigarette Use and Your Oral Health

There is little doubt that tobacco products and e-cigarette use (also known as vaping) are seriously bad for you. We’ve all heard the dangers, and there are many (cancer, heart disease, breathing problems). It’s not just smoking. Using tobacco in just about any form is detrimental to your body, including your oral health.

Let’s start with the more benign and cosmetic effects of tobacco. First and foremost it causes terrible breath and stains your teeth and tongue. The thought of yellow teeth and smoky breath isn’t very attractive for you and certainly not enjoyable for anyone you need (or want) to get close to.

Tobacco in different forms (including cigars and chewing tobacco) can mix with your saliva to cause an abrasion that wears down teeth faster than in non-smokers.

E-cigarettes are no better than traditional tobacco use. New studies suggest that chemicals in e-cigarettes can cause what is known as xerostomia, also known as dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to an increase in cavities, gum disease, and other health issues such as sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

Did you know?

  • The amount of nicotine in one standard JUUL cartridge is roughly equal to the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs, according to the JUUL website.
  • Vaping can be considered a gateway drug that leads individuals to try other drugs that are harmful to their health.
  • Vaping and smoking cigarettes can have permanent detrimental changes in a teen’s developing brain.

The flavoring in e-cigarette liquids is also suspected to cause a reduction in the hardness of your tooth enamel. Additionally, vaping is suspected to cause gum inflammation and cell degeneration. Not to mention the possible danger of exploding batteries, which can cause damage to your mouth and teeth.

Smoking can also reduce your sense of smell and taste, making food much less enjoyable that it could be.

Tobacco users are more prone to periodontal disease, which can cause tooth loss and sensitivity. The more you smoke the worse it can get. Tobacco users also get more tartar on their teeth and are more likely to lose more bone as gum disease progresses. Basically, smoking can make a bad situation even worse.

There is also the fact that smokers can’t heal as fast, meaning recovery will be delayed longer than in non-smokers after a tooth extraction or oral surgery. And, because of reduced blood flow, increased bacteria and inflammation, a patient who smokes might find they have fewer dental treatment options.

Of course, tobacco use is also known to increase the risk of oral cancer.

There is no real way to prevent the associated risks that come along with tobacco and e-cigarette use. Quitting is the only answer. We know it’s not easy and we want to help. Below are several resources that can help you on the road to becoming a non-smoker.

We’re saddened over the news that lung illness (linked to vaping) has taken the lives of five people. Read more here.

At Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr’s practice, we care about your total health. Call us today at 818-886-666 to schedule an appointment where we can ascertain your oral health and help with a strategy to put you on the road to better overall health.

Read This Before Ordering Orthodontic Treatment Online

Read This Before Ordering Orthodontic Treatment Online

These days you can do almost anything with the click of a button. Order school clothes. Get a ride across town. Watch your favorite tv show.  Order delivery for dinner. It seems like every day there’s a newer and easier way to do almost everything. We’ve been programmed to accept that anything can be ordered online and delivered right to your front door. However we believe there is one thing that has no easy replacement: orthodontic treatment. There is no match for experienced and highly trained professionals when it comes to your dental health.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) agrees. They recently issued a Consumer Alert listing key questions to ask about direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies. You can download a print-friendly version here.

The issue is that many direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies do not involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your treatment we provide at Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr’s practice. This type of supervision is crucial because there is more to creating a healthy, beautiful smile than moving the visible portions of your teeth. If not done correctly any dental work can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as:

  • Tooth loss
  • Gum loss
  • Changes to your facial profile
  • Mobility of anterior teeth
  • Posterior open bite

An orthodontist like Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr has many tools in his or her arsenal to help create your beautiful smile – Invisalign, for example, is just one of them. It’s important to have a fully qualified and certified orthodontist involved when making any changes to your teeth.

The Top Questions To Ask

The AAO advises that when researching orthodontic treatment (including treatment models from direct-to-consumer companies, you should consider many key questions, some of which include:

  1. As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?
  2. As part of your treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office during your treatment?
  3. Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?
  4. What are the possible risks (financial, health, etc.) associated with your orthodontic treatment?
  5. Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment? Is it you? If it is a doctor not associated with your treatment, who pays for those check-ups?
  6. If an emergency arises, does the company have a dentist or orthodontist in your area that you can see in-person? If not, who would cover the costs associated with seeing a dentist or orthodontist in your area?
  7. If you are injured or have another dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, how is it handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.) and what rights do you have?
  8. Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state? To check your state’s dental laws, click https://www.aaoinfo.org/state-laws-and-regulations. Information for your state dental board can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.

Where You Receive Your Health Care Is A Very Important Personal Decision

Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – it is a professional, medical service. Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr completed her orthodontic training at the University of Southern California, where she also received her Dental Degree and her Master’s Degree in Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Azar comes from a dental family. She is a third generation dentist. Her maternal grandfather was the first Dean of Dental School in Seoul National University in Korea. Her parents are both dentists and professors at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Her husband is also an orthodontist. In addition to her private practice, she previously taught at the Orthodontic Department at UCLA Dental School. Dr. Azar is currently the president of the USC Orthodontic Alumni Association. Dr. Azar is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (PCSO), the California Association of Orthodontists (CAO) and the San Fernando Valley Dental Society (SFVDS).

Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having a complimentary in-person consultation. Our friendly team is waiting to answer any of your questions and start you or your child on a path to a gorgeous smile. Call us for a complimentary consultation, at (818) 886-6666 or click here.

Here’s a recent article that I thought was interesting, on the partnership between one of the direct-to-consumer aligner companies and CVS:

Invisalign: The Clear Alternative

Invisalign: The Clear Alternative

Invisalign® is one of the newest advances in orthodontics.  In addition to metal and clear braces, you can now be a candidate for a clear “invisible” solution. The Invisalign system has been proven effective in clinical research and in orthodontic practices worldwide.  However, only a certified orthodontist like Dr. Azar, can undertake this procedure. Dr. Azar was among the first group of doctors to become certified in Invisalign. Dr. Azar is an Top Invisalign Provider orthodontist, which means she is among the top 5% of all Invisalign Providers in North America and that she has successfully treated more cases than most dentists and orthodontists combined.

How does Invisalign work?
Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr uses the iTero Digital Scanner to take 3D impressions on each Invisalign patient, allowing us to permanently retire that uncomfortable, gooey, impressions material that is typically used. At the same time, it provides more precise information for better fitting appliances and by using the Invisalign Outcome Simulator, we’re able to show you your before and after smile within minutes! Next, a series of custom clear aligners are manufactured that fit over your teeth, and gradually straighten them without the need for metal wires or braces.

The first step to achieving a dream smile? Understanding the benefits of Invisalign so that it can help you make a decision as to whether it could be the right fit for your teen or yourself!

  • They’re Completely Clear:
    Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No closed-lipped selfies here! If your teen is self-conscious about his or her appearance in photos, Invisalign could be the right choice.
  • They’re a Confidence Booster
  • They’re Removable:
    Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing your teen to eat and drink whatever they’d like while in treatment – and play certain sports more easily.
  • And here’s a benefit for parents: With Invisalign there are fewer and shorter appointments because you have the freedom to change into your trays without making an office visit. There are also virtually no emergencies – you don’t have to worry about broken brackets or poking wires. Put all these benefits together and there is a clear reason to ask about Invisalign.

Adults and responsible teens can benefit from this revolutionary system to improve their smiles.  To determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign, simply schedule an appointment or call (818) 886-6666 for a complimentary Invisalign evaluation by our Top Invisalign Provider, Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr.

Arleen Azar-Mehr, D.D.S., M.S.

9535 Reseda Blvd
Suite 206
Northridge, CA 91324

(818) 886-6666

Our Hours
Monday:8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday:8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday:8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday:8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday:8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday:9:00 am – 11:30 am

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