Tooth Gems Have Potential Dangers

Dentist Blog

If you're considering getting a tooth gem adhered to one of your teeth, be aware of how weak the adhesive might be. It should be strong enough to hold the gem on there without interference. However, it's also weak enough so that you could remove it with dental floss. While that sounds harmless, it does mean that you'll have to be very careful with the gem.

Not Worry-Free

Tooth gems are small rhinestone-like decorations that dentists can adhere to your teeth. The adhesive can last for several months if the gem is cared for properly. Tooth gems are somewhat controversial because of their potential problems. For example, you have to be very careful to brush well so that the enamel around and under the gem isn't stained.

One other problem is that the temporary adhesive is apparently weak enough so that you could snap the gem off by dragging dental floss down across the base of the gem. In fact, that's a recommended way to remove the gem yourself if you don't want to wait for another dental appointment to get the gem removed.

That means the adhesive bond can be broken by other things that aren't very strong. You could bite into an apple and break off the gem -- and not know until you try to bite down on it. That can crack your tooth if you bite down too quickly or firmly. A more distressing possibility is that the gem could be dislodged and then actually inhaled through your mouth. That can be very dangerous because even if the gem is too small to block anything in your lungs, it can still irritate tissue. You would have to get to a doctor immediately and possibly undergo procedures to remove the gem.

Speak to Your Dentist

As far-fetched as inhaling the gem sounds, it is possible. And, there are more side effects than just having the gem come loose unexpectedly, such as bacterial buildup. Speak to a dentist, like Robert Tartaglione DDS, about how to care for the gem so that it doesn't break off unless your dentist is actively trying to remove it. In fact, speak to your dentist about whether or not you're a good candidate for a gem at all. If you are not willing to visit the dentist for regular maintenance or have a thorough oral health routine, a tooth gem might not be the best fit for your lifestyle.


10 December 2014

Understanding Dental Problems

Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!