At the rate knowledge about your body and your health develops, your dentist NEEDS to value continued education!
Imagine a person entering the medical profession say in the 70’s or 80’s and never attending classes, conferences and workshops to develop their techniques to match up with developing understanding, technology and science. Also, there are developments in products and behaviors of patients that require dentists to seek alternate practices. As an example, oral piercings (lip and tongue) have become a popular for of self expression. Could these impact your oral health? How? What should your dentist know? How does your dentist get that information and education?
Continued Education in Dentistry Concerning Oral Piercings
Can Oral Piercings impact your oral Health?
Yes. Impact is common at the time of piercing and as the pierce site heals. Dentists need to learn about the impacts of oral piercings in terms of immediate potential of infection to long term potential for changes in your mouth, lips, gums and teeth.
What should your dentist know?
- Infections: caused by everyday bacteria entering your blood stream via the oral piercing site. These are including an not limited to Herpes Simplex Virus, Hepatitis B and C and Endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart or its valves)
- Transmission of diseases. Oral piercing is a potential risk factor for the transmission of herpes simplex virus and hepatitis B and C.
- Nerve damage/prolonged bleeding. Numbness or loss of sensation at the site of the piercing or movement problems (for pierced tongues) can occur if nerves have been damaged.
- Gum disease. People with oral piercings — especially long-stem tongue jewelry (barbells) — have a greater risk of gum disease than those without oral piercings. The jewelry can cause damage to gums on the back side of your teeth due to constant contact.
- Damage to teeth. Teeth that come into contact with mouth jewelry can chip or crack.
- Difficulties in daily oral functions. Difficulty chewing and swallowing food and speaking clearly primarily due to excessive stimulation of saliva production.
- Allergic reaction to metal. A hypersensitivity reaction — called allergic contact dermatitis — to the metal in the jewelry can occur in susceptible people.
How does your dentist get that information and education?
The Dentistry Community sees needs in their industry by working with patients. Patients present everyday situations and problems. As behaviors and products evolve and change dentists face new challenges in maintaining solutions for dental health concerns. Dentists and other dental professionals create studies to examine problems and solutions that are practically and financially feasible for implementation. When solutions are discovered, tested and successful the community works to share new innovations with the community. The American Dental Association supports innovation with their stamp of approval. That means the innovation has the research and documentation required for widespread use.
The Best Dentists begin patient care with a comprehensive consultation to determine your best plan for care. Be sure all of your needs can be met.