Scott W. Grant, DMD

FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

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avoiding bleachorexia teeth whitening

Avoiding Bleachorexia When Considering Teeth Whitening

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re proud to offer high-quality, safety-tested teeth whitening services. We utilize a custom-made tray that patients wear during the day or at night, with products that have been proven not to lead to cavities, gum issues, brittleness or any other such concerns. Unfortunately, not all teeth whitening methods are this reliable. Whitening teeth is a growing trend in recent years, and some people try to take the cheaper route and purchase over-the-counter products here. Not only are these less effective, they may pose several specific risks to the teeth. One such risk, particularly when using products high in bleach, is known as bleachorexia – a real condition that has formed in large part due to over-reliance on these products. Let’s go over the risks associated with bleachorexia and certain teeth whitening products.

Bleachorexia Basics and Rising Occurrences

While the name may sound fake when you first hear it, bleachorexia is a legitimate condition that is characterized by major bleaching of the teeth, leading to several potential damage issues. The term draws part of its name in connection to anorexia, which is also a compulsive condition where a certain behavior cannot be avoided over repetitive periods. People with bleachorexia simply cannot shake the feeling that their teeth are not white enough, and will continue to use bleach and other low-quality whiteners over and over again to obtain the “perfect” smile. Unfortunately, the rates of bleachorexia are only increasing these days, as more and more emphasis in society is placed on perfect appearance, including white teeth.

Carbamide Peroxide

Much of the issue in these cases tends to come back to carbamide peroxide, a common ingredient used in OTC whitening products. Carbamide peroxide is a chemical that strips the teeth of its enamel, leading to major side effects like brittleness, easy breaking and others. Some who use too much of this chemical may also experience chalky exterior areas, plus extreme sensitivity on the teeth – enamel is very important for preventing this sensitivity normally.

Stripped Enamel Effects

Perhaps the largest area of concern with carbamide peroxide and stripping of enamel? Once enamel is completely gone from a given tooth or tooth area, it’s virtually impossible to get it back at the same levels. Teeth are eroded at this point, making them thinner and potentially resulting in translucent spots when the teeth are exposed to light. Those with bleachorexia may think they’re bringing themselves a whiter smile, but they’re often actually worsening their permanent ability to obtain this.

Professional Whitening

For all the reasons above, you should always count on professionals if you’re looking to whiten your teeth. We’ll assess your needs and provide you with safe, tested products that do not risk any of the concerns here in this blog. For more on teeth whitening or any of our family dental services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
dental care cigarette smoking

Dental Care Areas Impacted by Cigarette Smoking, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the primary issues associated with cigarette smoking and its negative impact on dental health. Cigarettes can have noted negative health impacts in several major areas, and the mouth and gums are at or near the top of the list. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we discourage smoking and will offer quitting programs or alternatives wherever possible as part of our preventive care. Here are a few additional risks that are presented by smoking cigarettes, plus some information on modern smoking formats that have become more and more popular in recent years.

Gum Disease

While gum disease is possible for anyone, it has several major risk factors that heighten the possibility someone will get it – and cigarette smoking is one major such rusk factor. Those who smoke are about two to three times more likely to develop gum disease, including severe types that lead to bone loss and other major soft tissue concerns. Cigarette smoking promotes plaque and bacteria growth in the mouth, and as these multiply, they cover more and more of the tooth surface and begin to impact the gums. This is what leads to gum disease. When it goes untreated, gum disease will trickle down into areas like tooth loss and other major tissue damage, the sort that creates permanent issues in some cases.

Taste Loss

While it’s not necessarily a health area per se, the long-term and recurring use of cigarettes or any form of tobacco has been proven to lead to dulling of the taste buds. This is due to the large quantities of chemicals found in these products, many of which outright damage the taste buds and make them unable to function how they once did. On the flip side, many people who quit smoking after a period of time report that their taste improves significantly afterward. The damage to taste buds is not always permanent.

Vaping and E-Cigarettes

Cigarette smoking has certainly decreased over the last several decades, but at least over the last several years, it’s been partially replaced by vaping and e-cigarettes, which often describe the same thing. This is still something of a newer area, both for dentists and doctors alike, and more research is needed. But there’s no question that introducing smoke into the lungs is a negative for overall health, and due to logical concerns about how these items will impact oral care, they are generally not recommended by dentists. If you’re using one to help you quit cigarettes, speak to your dentist about some tips. For more on how cigarette smoking risks your oral health, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
dental care cigarette smoking

Dental Care Areas Impacted by Cigarette Smoking, Part 1

Here at Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, preventative care is one of our priorities with all patients of all ages. We provide a huge range of dental care services for almost any oral care issue, from root canals to dental implants and many more, but our first goal is always to prevent the sorts of conditions that require these services to begin with. Unfortunately one of the most common preventable cause of oral health issues is cigarette smoking. Despite the fact that cigarette smoking rates are dropping significantly in the US compared to previous decades, over 10 percent of the population still uses them – this means millions of Americans. Not only are cigarettes detrimental to your overall health, carrying heightened risks of several major diseases, they’re very harmful to oral health as well. This two-part blog will examine the impact of cigarettes on the mouth, including a look at a modern alternative that’s on the market.

Stains and Discoloration

While it’s not the most serious health-related risk, cigarette smoke can have a huge impact on the color and appearance of your teeth. Many longtime smokers have stained teeth that appear more yellow or even orange. Those who care about a beautiful smile will often spend more on teeth whitening and similar services. Not only are stained teeth a drain on self-esteem, they can impact your daily life in indirect ways. For example, people with yellowed teeth are less likely to get a job after an interview, and may notice issues in their social lives.

Tooth Decay and Resulting Complications

Cigarettes contain a huge number of harmful chemicals, including various forms of acid, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, nicotine, tar and others. These chemicals are known to directly lead to tooth decay, primarily through stripping the protective enamel from teeth and making decay more likely. As a result of this decay, cigarette smokers are at higher risk of losing teeth than non-smokers. This tooth loss can in turn shift other teeth and damage the entire mouth. Those who smoke are more likely to need to undergo a root canal, need crowns or bridges, or use cosmetic items like implants and veneers in the mouth.

Tongue Cancer

Another major risk of cigarette smoking is tongue cancer, which is diagnosed in almost 10,000 Americans each year. Those in the early stages of tongue cancer may note small white bumps that grow in size – if it’s not treated promptly, it can spread to other areas of the body and create a major life risk. For more on the risks inherent in cigarette smoking, or to learn about any of our dental services for the whole family, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
temporary pain relief toothaches

Temporary Pain Relief for Toothaches, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the primary methods you can use to soothe a toothache, whether for yourself or your child. This might only be during the period while you make your way to the dentist, but toothaches can be very painful and knowing this basic information is important. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help with this and numerous other areas of preventive dentistry care. Here are a few alternatives for keeping toothache pain at bay when it comes on, including several that only utilize natural ingredients that might already be in your home.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is great for multiple areas of toothache pain. For one, it’s known to have several antiseptic and anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it perfect for this kind of soothing need. But in addition, it’s also highly acidic – this means it actually works to kill the bacteria that are causing the infection to begin with even while it numbs the pain. It can be found in most houses, and can be applied easily by soaking into a cotton ball and then pressing it to the painful area.

Extract, Leaves and Tea

There are several items in this realm that you might consider for dulling the pain of a toothache:
  • Peppermint: Available in tea, leaf or extract format, peppermint helps reduce swelling and soreness. Any of these formats are useful depending on what you have available in your home, with chewing peppermint leaves serving as the most direct form.
  • Vanilla, almond or lemon: Extracts of any of these substances may help as well. Each involves the same format as apple cider vinegar – soaking in a cotton ball and then applying for a short period of time until pain begins to subside.

Oils

There are a number of different oils you might use here for temporary pain relief, several of which have anti-inflammatory characteristics. Some require a combination with water, while others can be applied straight to a cotton ball and then pressed on. Some options here are sunflower, sesame, nutmeg, clog, tea tree or oregano oil.

Other Natural Items

You have several other options available to you in the natural realm:
  • Leaves and roots: Things like plantain leaves, garlic root and ginger can all relive pain temporarily.
  • Potatoes: You may not have thought of potatoes as a primary option, but they can absorb moisture produced by your saliva and help lower the swelling. Onions may also do the same.
  • Citrus: Lemons and limes provide pain relief, plus similar to apple cider vinegar are highly acidic and will work to break down bacteria that are causing the pain.
  • Turmeric: This is a spice found in many pantry racks, and has antibacterial properties that can help relieve pain. You’ll need to make it into a paste using some water.
For more tips on relieving toothache pain, or to learn about any of our other family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
temporary pain relief toothaches

Temporary Pain Relief for Toothaches, Part 1

Whether they take place in children or adults, toothaches are often very painful and can be signs of several different oral issues. If left untreated, they can lead to even more significant problems in many cases. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re always available to handle emergency dental care needs like sudden toothaches. And whether it’s just for the ride over to our offices or while you or another toothache sufferer waits for transportation, we can also offer some basic tips on relieving what can be very strong pain temporarily until our dentist can see you. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over several of these – starting with the symptoms that signal a toothache.

Toothache Symptoms

  • Sharp pain in the tooth, almost as if someone is stabbing the area with something sharp.
  • Possible throbbing, often mirroring your heartbeat.
  • Irritated gums and inflammation around the tooth area.
  • General mouth pain that can’t be easily defined.

Ice or Other Cold Compress

The easiest and often simplest way to limit toothache pain temporarily is through the use of ice or some other cold compress. This can be used on either the inside or outside of the mouth, on the side where the affected tooth sits.

Salt and Hot Water

Another very common method for relieving toothaches or several other kinds of pain in the mouth is using a combination of warm water and salt, which is easy to make using ingredients everyone has in the kitchen. This combination helps draw out gum fluid that may be leading to irritation and inflammation, reducing the aching you feel in the mouth. Rinsing and gargling repeatedly can be a big help.

Alcohol

This one obviously will be off-limits for children or anyone under legal drinking age, but swishing a little alcohol around in the mouth can also do wonders for relieving toothache pain. Several kinds will do the trick, from scotch or whiskey to vodka or brandy. These forms of alcohol will directly kill germs present, plus help numb the area that’s in pain. You don’t even necessarily need to take a full sip of alcohol – a cotton ball soaked in it will usually be enough to do the job.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another common household item is hydrogen peroxide, which is usually found in the bathroom or First Aid kit. It’s commonly used for several applications, and can be diluted with water and used in a similar gargling format as salt and warm water. You can also use pure hydrogen peroxide if you don’t mind the taste. For more on how you can temporarily relieve toothache pain for yourself or someone else until you’re able to see the dentist, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading

"The entire staff is friendly and fun. I always hear laughter in the office when I’m there. Dr. Grant seems to genuinely care about his patients.”
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With our office conveniently located in Meridian, our services are well known throughout the entire Treasure Valley area. Our dental office is fun and friendly with a kind and caring staff to support Dr. Grant and bring you first-class care.

With Dr. Grant you’re in the hands of a family dentist who cares for you and the Treasure Valley community.

You'll find our dentist office is fun and professional with staff dedicated to your first-class dental care. Whether you require routine dentistry, IV sedation dentistry, emergency tooth care, veneers, a same day crown, teeth whitening, or want cosmetic dentistry work, come see Dr. Grant and you'll be happier about your smile in not time!

Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
208-215-7449
2275 South Eagle Road Suite 140 Meridian, ID 83642