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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nancy A. Barnett

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Winter is finally here! I for one am glad to see the snow! I hope all are staying safe and warm with this weather. Here are some current topics to keep you busy reading while you stay inside. But if you do decide to go out…

Winter driving tips: Make sure your tires are inflated properly and have a good tread. Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your car, do not use cruise control, never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed garage and do not tail while driving. Lastly, keep an emergency kit including flares, water, power bars, extra clothing, blankets and a charged cell phone.

Cannabis is coming. What does that mean to your patient’s home care and oral health? Several factors influence the periodontal health of those who use the product. These include:

Increased risk of periodontal disease-increased stain, calculus formation, inflammation

Xerostomia-the lack of saliva increases inflammation, caries risk and oral discomfort such as burning mouth syndrome.

Leukoplakia-white patches that may develop into something more serious such as cancer

Increased Caries risk- besides the decreased saliva, cannabis increases the ‘munchies’

Chronic inflammation from smoke- smoke is an irritant can cause irritation and thus gingivitis.

Vaping or E-Cigarettes. Studies have shown that smoking one cartridge of e-cigarettes is equivalent to 2-3 packs of regular cigarettes. This habit leads to oral changes as well as serious lung issues. Specifically, the oral changes can be equal or worse than regular smoking due to changes in the molecular structure of the oral environment. The additives in the e-cigarette products have flavorings which are chemical irritants to the gingiva. This then leads to chronic irritation, gingivitis, periodontitis, dry mouth, caries, and oral cancer. Since the use of e-cigarettes has become very popular, screening for oral cancer is a must, even in your younger population.

Please discuss these increased risks with your patients to keep their oral ecosystem healthy.

Newer products to enhance regeneration in periodontal therapy are here. In my office we have multiple products to increase the success of therapy. We have the BioXclude which is an amnion-chorion allograft membrane, Gem21S- a growth factor enhanced matrix and Emdogain- an enamel matrix derivative. We also have the LANAP laser for osseous surgery and multiple bone graft and membrane options. Please contact my office if you wish to further discuss these products.

To keep you healthy during these winter months, eat vitamin rich foods:

Foods containing calcium-cheese, almonds and leafy greens.

Foods high in phosphorous- meat, eggs and fish.

Food high in vitamin C- citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, peppers sweet potatoes.

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