Salt Lake City Dentist Blog

Dental Care and Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, and Bisphosphonates

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Nov 14, 2011 9:58:00 AM

Many people suffer from osteoporosis and increased risk for fracture of bones. This condition is often treated by medications, mostly in the bisphosphonate class, that slow down the process of decreasing bone density. These medications can increase a patients risk for osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) following invasive dental procedures. ONJ is a condition where the bone in the area of the treatment remains exposed, fails to heal, and areas of the exposed bone become necrotic and die. This condition is very difficult to treat. Because it is difficult to treat, many physicians, dentists, and patients are unsure regarding dental treatment if the patient is taking this medicaton.

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Tags: Dental Implants, prevention, Oral Hygiene, Drug Effects on teeth.

Two and a Half Teeth: A Salt Lake City Dental Hygienist's Thoughts

Posted by Jonathan Campbell on Mar 7, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Charlie Sheen has given the media endless hours of material over the past weeks with his wild rants and erratic behavior.  Unable to escape the spotlight... his teeth.  There are many reports and some photos suggest that Charlie Sheen’s teeth are losing the battle against his drug abuse.  His are visibly worn, black and decayed or missing. The likely cause of is unsightly smile is drug abuse.  It is the professional opinion of Dr. Jonathan Campbell that Charlie Sheen is likely wearing a prosthetic device to snaps over his rotting teeth.  There are some photos and interviews where Sheen is shown without this prosthesis and his appearance is alarming.
 
Unfortunately, the tragic results of drug abuse are not something we escape seeing at Legacy Dental.  We often treat patients whose dental health has paid the price of their drug use and abuse.  The effects of drugs on the teeth are both psychological and physiological.  Drug users are unlikely to value oral health rituals when under the influence and they tend to turn to high calorie, carbonated and sugary drinks when they are using.  The physiological effects include dry mouth, clenching or grinding of the teeth and decreased blood flow.  Dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, because saliva acts as a "buffer"  against acid.  Decreased salivary flow significantly increases a patient’s risk of tooth decay. Clenching and grinding may lead to worn and broken teeth. Decreased blood flow can affect the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth contributing to gum (periodontal) disease. Drugs such as methamphetamines are made with a dangerous mix of chemicals: bleach, drain cleaner, battery acid, gun cleaning solvents and gasoline additives are just a few of these harmful chemicals.  None of which are meant for consumption and all of which are incredibly harmful to the teeth.
 
Back to Sheen, all of these chemicals are certainly able to "melt your face off" and likely to melt your teeth off, figuratively speaking.  Even Sheen's Tiger's Blood is not a cure for tooth destruction caused by drug abuse.  Adonis' DNA cannot escape it.  I admit that I have soaked up many of the interviews with Sheen in pure disbelief, I have used and continue to use many of his outrageous quotes and engaged in water cooler conversation about his behavior. But as I took a step back to write this article, I was truly sad for Sheen.  I am sad for his children, family and the people who love him. I am sad for the all those who are being held in the grips of this deadly addiction.  I hope for all of those people the gift of sobriety and happiness without drug use. 

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Tags: Dentist, Salt Lake City, Abscess, Oral Hygiene, Drug Effects on teeth.

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