April 2019

Medical Marijuana and Oral Health

Dental Appointment Marietta GACannabis, pot, hash and weed are common names for marijuana. While once used only as a recreational drug, the medical and health-related benefits of using cannabis continue to show great promise. In fact, many states (not including Georgia) have legalized cannabis, which has undoubtedly increased the number of marijuana users nationwide. While different forms of cannabis have been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, epilepsy in kids, arthritis, sleep problems, migraines and more, it is important to realize the side effects that marijuana may have on both systemic and oral health.

While marijuana can be consumed in various forms (inhalation, oral and topical), the smoking of marijuana seems to produce the most serious and obvious setbacks within dental health. In fact, a study published June of 2016 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, stated that long-term medical marijuana usage increases risks of developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition and the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.

Other dental disadvantages and oral health risks from smoking marijuana include the following:

  • Tooth Stains
  • Oral Cancer
  • Dry Mouth
  • Gum Disease
  • Lowered Immune System

The above setbacks are very consistent with those of smoking cigarettes, as any inhaled vapor or smoke can be harmful to the teeth, gums and delicate oral structures. Whether or not medical marijuana is morally right or proven effective, the proposed benefits must be weighed against the consequences it can produce inside your mouth. At the least, you should let your dentist know of your marijuana usage so that your dental health can be monitored more closely. Keep in mind that keeping your oral health in check can also mean protecting your body health.

To learn more about the impact of medical marijuana on your smile health, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD – Atlanta Dentist
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752

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Can Chewing Gum Be Good for Your Teeth?

Three Smiling Girls Atlanta GA Believe it or not, chewing gum can actually be good for your teeth. While you may think a stick of gum is only keeping your breath fresh, there are several benefits it can provide towards the health and appearance of your smile. Scientific evidence proves that chomping on sugarless gum can increase your saliva production. This opens the door for a full range of oral health benefits, including:

  • Reducing Dry Mouth
  • Neutralizing Harmful Acids
  • Rinsing Away Food Particles
  • Remineralizing Tooth Enamel

Your spit is more helpful than you think. Not only does saliva help your food break down and digest more easily, it can also protect your teeth from decay. When acids, bacteria and food particles linger in the mouth, it creates an environment that fosters decay, disease and infection. Therefore, anything you can do to increase your saliva production is often advantageous for your dental health. Chewing sugar-free gum is an excellent example! This simple and easy task can also help remove dark-colored food particles and liquids that may stain your teeth until you get to your toothbrush.

The Fine Print is Important

There are two criteria you should know about chewing gum to benefit your dental health. First, always choose sugarless gum. Failing to do so may sabotage your efforts and cause harm instead of good. Second, be mindful about the amount of time you are chewing. Chewing places strain and pressure on your jaw muscles, or your TMJ. Excessive demand on this joint can lead to irritation, pain and dysfunction (TMJ disorder). If your gum habit is causing a sore jaw or stiff jaw, scale back the amount of time you are chewing.

ADA Approved Gum Options

Sugar-free gums that have the American Dental Association® (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are sweetened with artificial sweeteners that do not cause decay, such as aspartame, sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol. Some types of sugarless gum even help whiten your teeth and fight back on decay. If you prefer to keep a healthy smile, you can rest easy when choosing the following brands of gum:

  • Dentyne® Ice™ Sugarless Gum
  • Trident® Sugarless Gum
  • Wrigley’s 5® Sugar Free Gum
  • Wrigley’s Extra® Sugar Free Gum
  • Wrigley’s Orbit® Sugar Free Gum

Remember that chewing gum after eating does not serve as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Stay informed on easy ways to maintain a healthy and vibrant smile with Dr. Wayne Suway of Marietta.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD – Atlanta Dentist
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752

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Developing a Good Dental Routine

Marietta GA DentistCaring for your teeth and mouth are essential if you want your smile to last a lifetime. There are not many things that come easy or free for any of us in our lifetimes, and maintaining oral health is no exception.

In order to ensure that your mouth and teeth are healthy, it is important to have a plan. Below are ways to develop a good dental routine that will help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

  •  Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Each day millions of bacteria thrive inside your mouth. They create the sticky, white substance on your teeth known as plaque. These bacteria create acids that are responsible for cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day, you are helping to clean your teeth of these damaging bacteria so that they do not wreak havoc on your mouth.
  • Floss daily. It may surprise you to learn that flossing your teeth is even more important than brushing your teeth. Toothbrush bristles cannot fit in the tight spaces between the teeth where bacteria thrive. It is in these tight spaces where food particles become trapped and bacteria congregate in droves. Flossing cleans out these spaces to prevent serious, and quick forming, damage.
  • Take care of your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is a tool that you use to clean your mouth. If you are not taking proper care of it, you are simply putting a dirty object in your mouth – and that is not helpful. By rinsing it under fast, running water, allowing it to air dry in an upright position, and replacing it every 3-6 months, you are ensuring that your mouth will be cleaned well.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental visits will help to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. You will receive a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque buildup, and your dentist will be able to examine your mouth for issues that may have developed since your last visit. These regular appointments will allow issues to be caught in their earliest stages so that early intervention may be started. Early intervention is the key to any treatment’s success.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A diet that is high in sugar will wreak havoc on your teeth. Bacteria thrive off of sugar, and the more sugar you introduce into your mouth, the more damage the bacteria will do. Diet drinks may contain artificial sweeteners – but it is important to note that they taste like sugar to bacteria. Bacteria cannot distinguish between real sugar and artificial sweeteners, therefore, they will do just as much damage from your consumption of diet drinks.

By developing a good dental routine, you are setting your mouth up for success. Dr. Wayne G. Suway has been practicing dentistry for over 35 years, and he knows the importance of making your oral health a priority. Call our practice today to schedule an appointment for a thorough cleaning and exam.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE, #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD.

Our Patient Reviews

4.8 / 5.0

Based on 40 reviews

Missy Stone

I have known Dr. Suway for 30 years. My parents found him originally and made me a believer and life long friend and patient. In the years since, I have recommended my husband, son and friends. I would hear that going to the dentist was a fear of many people. I could never understand that because it was always a pleasure to come to Dr. Suway’s office. His staff are so professional, gentle and kind. It’s nice to see the same faces twice a year. You can tell they love working with him. I tell people that Dr. Suway gives the best shots – you can’t even feel a pinch. My son who hates needles, has no problem getting a shot for a filling. I love Dr. Suway’s personality. When you walk in the office you might hear him singing a country western song. I have porcelain veneers on my front teeth and am so thrilled. It’s been 10 years and they are still white and beautiful. He is an artist and perfectionist who loves to make people happy. I recommend Dr. Suway to become your dentist. He is a man of character and professionalism, yet down to earth. If you choose Dr. Suway, you’ll get an excellent dentist, but also a friend for life.

Dennis & Maria Liber

Dr. Suway is very relaxed and as a result we find that we are very relaxed as well. He takes the time to listen when we have concerns and he answers questions fully. We never feel like he is rushing from us to another patient. When we do need fillings, crowns or any other extensive work, he is concerned that we are comfortable and feeling no pain.

Nealean K. Austin

Through the years, we have found Dr. Suway to be a skillful perfectionist in all areas of his profession. He keeps abreast of and utilizes the latest dental techniques to improve and ensure the longevity of his patient’s teeth. He is a caring, personable professional who always greets his patients with a sincere, ready smile. Dr. Suway is also a ‘confidence booster.’ I say this because by the time I was 30 years old I was wearing dentures. He immediately recognized a self-conscious young wife, mother and professional who needed his professional help. His approach to boosting my confidence was through dental implants. At that time dental implants were a relatively new procedure. Dr. Suway carefully explained to me the advantages of dental implants and was proactive in working with my insurance provider to ensure that they understood the correlation between the required dental procedures and health plan benefits. I can smile with confidence forever because of Dr. Suway. Dr. Suway’s staff is a mirror image of his positive professionalism. They are always courteous, knowledgeable, efficient and personable. Appointments are scheduled at your convenience. You know that your time is valued because at the precise time of your appointment you are greeted, then immediately seen by either Dr. Suway or a hygienist. His work is outstanding and he is one of a kind.

Allison Lewis

My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Suway since 1988. Dr. Suway and his staff have provided us with state-of-the-art oral health care in a pleasant, friendly and compassionate environment for many years. Dr. Suway has done many procedures for me including root canals, crowns and a bridge. His work is beautiful. He is truly a perfectionist and that is exactly what I want in a dentist. I would never trust my smile to anyone other then Dr. Suway.