Category Archives: Blog

Find out the effects of cocaine on gums, mouth, and teeth by contacting Recovery Dentistry of the Palm Beaches, Florida

The Effect of Cocaine on Gums and Teeth

Cocaine on gums, and how it impacts your oral health

Regular use of cocaine leads to painful perforation of the nasal septum and palate of the mouth, painful lesions in the gums and other soft tissue of the mouth, and erosion of tooth enamel. Patients with perforations suffer from speech impairment and find it difficult to eat and drink.

Medications used to ease the side effects of cocaine withdrawal can cause xerostomia (severe dry mouth). Without sufficient protective saliva, the risk of tooth decay increases. Because cocaine addicts typically neglect their oral hygiene, do not seek dental treatment while using, and rub cocaine on gums / gum tissue, where contact with teeth erodes dental enamel, the incidence of severe dental caries is high. Tooth loss is high, and tooth extraction is often needed.

Dr. Alexander and the specialists he works with know that the vasoconstrictor in local anesthesia after recent use of cocaine (within 24 hours) can induce an acute increase in blood pressure. During tooth extraction, this has been known to be fatal. Because of the potential medical risks during dental treatment, Dr. Alexander will make sure you have not been using cocaine. He will be alert for signs of recent or chronic use that can put your life at risk.

Since many individuals will deny the use of cocaine, Dr. Alexander only accepts patients who are part of a recovery program and meet with him for open conversation prior to a comprehensive examination and carefully planned treatment.

If you have been in recovery for some time and been successful in achieving complete abstinence for a year, perforations can be repaired by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Gingival lesions can be treated by a periodontal specialist.

If you are part of a recovery program near Boynton Beach, you have a unique opportunity to be in the care of Dr. Jamie Alexander, a general and restorative dentist who has expertise in helping individuals in recovery. He can evaluate your overall needs, collaborate with local preferred specialists, and provide dental restorative treatment (fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, and perhaps, implant treatment). The counsel of this “recovery dentist” can save and transform your life.

As a recovering user of cocaine, you have unique needs and circumstances. Your oral health situation may be quite complex. But, have hope. Schedule an initial, complementary consultation with Dr. Jamie Alexander to talk about your circumstances and seek a new beginning that includes a healthy mouth, restored speech, and nice smile.

Call 561-732-8877 for a compassionate conversation with our receptionist to schedule your initial consultation.

 

 

 

 

Fitness, Oral Health, and Recovery from Addiction | from the desk of Dr. Jamie J. Alexander, the Recovery Dentist of Boynton Beach FL

Fitness and Oral Health

Your Fitness, Oral Health & Recovery from Addiction

A great body of research evidence has made clear that looking after your oral health is important for physical health. Now that you are in recovery, you are no doubt motivated to pursue more physical activities to build your body strength and naturally raise endorphins.

A healthy mouth will improve your systemic health by reducing inflammation, provide improved chewing function so you can eat and digest the full range of healthy nutrients, and enable you to confidently engage with the world.

Oral health, systemic health, social health, and exercise are closely interrelated. Your recovery and ability to live an addiction-free life are supported by all four.

One of our local recovery centers, Delray Recovery Center, has shared this blog The Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery. Enjoy the benefits of exercise and improve your oral health in the safety and compassionate care of Jamie J. Alexander, D.D.S., Dentistry for Those in Recovery. Call our Boynton Beach dental office at 561-732-8877 to learn more and schedule an initial complementary consultation with Dr. Alexander. 

cannabis abuse can affect your oral health | Recovery Dentistry

Cannabis Abuse and Your Oral Health

In general cannabis abusers have poorer oral health than the population of people who do not abuse substances. Oral hygiene neglect and deferral of dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings are not the only factors.

Cannabis smoke acts as a carcinogen and is associated with heightened risk for malignant lesions in the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. Users are prone to oral infections, possibly due to the immunosuppressive effects of cannabis.

Cannabis abuse also can result in acute anxiety and paranoid thoughts, which sometimes makes dental treatment of abusers difficult.

Local anesthetic containing epinephrine that is commonly used with some dental procedures may seriously prolong tachycardia (rapid heart beat) that is already present due to a large dose of cannabis.

If you are in recovery for cannabis abuse or using cannabis while in a recovery program, you owe it to yourself and your dentist to be honest about your usage. If you are fortunate to be in the Boynton Beach, FL area, Dr. Jamie Alexander is a dentist who is dedicated to helping individuals in recovery restore oral health and nice smiles. Being open with Dr. Alexander about your medical history, substance abuse history, and oral health goals will enable him to safely help you.

Seeking dental care does not need to be a frightening experience. The entire care team at Jamie J. Alexander, DDS, is compassionate and understanding. From the moment you call, you will sense they genuinely care about you.

Protecting against teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching when in recovery from addiction | Recovery Dentistry, Jamie J Alexander of Boynton Beach

How to Protect Against Teeth Grinding

Protecting Your Teeth from Grinding & Clenching

In recovery, your stress level is high and one of the oral health problems you may be suffering from is teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching. Fortunately, Dr. Jamie Alexander—Boynton Beach’s “recovery dentist,” is an expert in treating teeth grinding and jaw clenching to eliminate muscle pain and excessive wear on your tooth enamel.

As stress levels increase, it is very common to unconsciously grind and clench your teeth. You may not be aware of the amount of grinding and clenching you are doing, especially during sleep. When the internal stress you are experiencing is transferred via your teeth, it puts significant force on your jaw joints (TMJs), muscles, teeth, tooth roots, tooth ligaments, jaw bone and gum tissue.

Many who are in recovery have tender muscles along their cheekbones, jaw joints, and temples. Their necks, jaws, and heads frequently ache. If you are experiencing this to any degree, Dr. Alexander recommends that you request an appointment to assess your oral health and determine if you should have a mouth guard to wear at night. He is an expert in making custom mouth guards so they are comfortable and appropriately seat your jaw in the joints to relax your jaw muscles while you sleep. These mouth guards, also known as bite splints, can teach your jaw muscles to relax. Many of our patients wear their bite splints during times of the day when they notice they are in pain. Relaxation and comfort are a big relief.

Learn how to deal with teeth grinding in addiction recovery

This is one of many reasons you might want to give us a call—561-732-8877. Our compassionate receptionist will answer your questions and guide you in scheduling the appointment you need. If you are new to the practice, you are welcome to schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation with Dr. Alexander.

Learn more about the dangers of tooth decay due to alcoholism, at Recovery Dentistry of Boynton Beach

Alcoholism and Tooth Decay

Have Concerns about Tooth Decay from Alcoholism?

Now that you are in recovery from alcoholism, you may be wondering why your teeth became decayed during your period of alcohol abuse. The majority of alcoholic beverages contain sugar, the primary cause of demineralization of tooth enamel. During your time of drinking you may have binged and vomited, which caused high levels of acid in your mouth, exposing tooth enamel to erosion. And, since your faculties were impaired, oral health was likely a low priority. The longer optimal oral hygiene lapsed and professional dental cleanings were delayed, the greater the opportunity there was for enamel erosion.

Dental decay is a progressive disease that will not stop until it is treated. A cavity will grow unless damaged tooth enamel is removed, oral bacteria is eliminated from the site of the cavity, and the cavity is packed with a protective filling or the “clean” tooth is covered with a protective crown.  Dr. Jamie Alexander—Boynton Beach, Florida’s “recovery dentist,” compassionately restores teeth with tooth-colored fillings and crowns. If decay or other damage is too extensive for these treatments, dental implant treatment may be the optimal way to replace the unhealthy tooth. Traditional treatments for a lost tooth—a fixed bridge supported on crowned adjacent teeth or a removable denture, also may be discussed as appropriate alternative treatments.

Did you know? Alcohol contains sugar, the main cause of tooth enamel loss

Do you have painful teeth and see the signs of decay when you look in the mirror? Do you want a nice, healthy smile again? Do you long for compassionate care by a dentist who understands your situation and respects your bravery to live a new life in recovery? If you are in recovery from alcoholism, we invite you to contact Dr. Jamie Alexander of Boynton Beach, FL today at 561-732-8877 to schedule a free consultation.

Oral Health Recovery and Heroin Addiction | Dr. Jamie Alexander, Recovery Dentistry in Boynton Beach

Oral Health Recovery and Heroin Addiction

About Oral Health Recovery from Heroin Addiction

Heroin addicts often experience tooth decay and gum disease with resultant tooth loss. This is because heroin causes them to crave sugary foods and drinks that promote tooth decay and gum inflammation. A side effect of heroin addiction is teeth grinding, which can wear away and fracture dental enamel. Add to this long lapses in oral hygiene and a lack of dental care, and the results can be quite severe.

If you are in a recovery program near Boynton Beach, you are fortunate to have a local dentist who is an expert in the care of individuals in recovery.

Dental decay is a progressive disease that will not stop until it is treated. A cavity will grow unless damaged tooth enamel is removed, oral bacteria is eliminated from the site of the cavity, and the cavity is packed with a protective filling or the “clean” tooth is covered with a protective crown.  Dr. Jamie Alexander — Boynton Beach, Florida’s “recovery dentist,” compassionately restores teeth with tooth-colored fillings and crowns. If decay or other damage is too extensive for these treatments, dental implant treatment may be the optimal way to replace the unhealthy tooth. Traditional treatments for a lost tooth—a fixed bridge supported on crowned adjacent teeth or a removable denture, also may be discussed as appropriate alternative treatments.

Gum Disease and Teeth Grinding Treatment for Those in Recovery from Heroin Addiction | (561) 732-8877

Treatment of gum disease can also be successfully achieved in the comfort of Dr. Alexander’s office under most circumstances. Because infectious oral bacterial travel through your blood stream fostering inflammation throughout your body, treatment of gum disease will lower the risks of developing systemic health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and immunological disorders. Many studies have shown that when gum health is restored, other disease conditions improve significantly.

Tooth grinding may have had an impact on your jaw joints and muscles, creating tenderness. The stress of being in recovery commonly causes those in recovery to grind and clench their teeth. This is not unique to those recovering from heroin but all individuals in recovery. Dr. Alexander has expertise in the treatment of tooth grinding (bruxism) and clenching, and other temporomandibular joint disorders.
[ learn more about teeth grinding here ]

You are a brave person who has already achieved much by surrendering to addiction withdrawal and recovery. You can now have oral health and a nice smile that will allow you to confidently pursue employment and social relationships. Your new life deserves a new confident smile!

Give our compassionate receptionist a call and schedule an initial complimentary consultation with Dr. Jamie Alexander to discuss your concerns, oral health objectives, medical status, and what Dr. Alexander recommends for beginning your journey to restored oral health. Call 561-732-8877.

Recovey from Meth Mouth in Boynton Beach with Dr. Jamie Alexander and Recovery Dentistry

Recovery from “Meth Mouth”

Recovering from “Meth Mouth” with Dr. Jamie Alexander

Use of Amphetamines, including methamphetamine, has long lasting effects on brain function, can lead to heart problems and seizures, and is associated with high rates of dental decay and gum disease. A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study of 571 methamphetamine users found that 96 percent had experienced dental cavities and 58 percent had untreated tooth decay. Only 23 percent retained all of their natural teeth, compared to a tooth retention rate of 48 percent among the U.S. general population.

There are four primary factors leading to high incidences of dental decay, gum disease, increased tooth wear, tooth fractures, and tooth loss among methamphetamine users, what is sometimes referred to as “meth mouth”:

  1. Poor oral care while using amphetamines.
  2. Cravings for sugary high-calorie carbonated beverages, as much as several liters a day.
  3. Grinding and clenching of teeth as a side effect of the drug use.
  4. Extreme xerostomia (dry mouth condition) as a side effect of the drug use, reducing the amount of protective saliva.

If you have fought the battle, freed yourself from addiction, and are now in recovery, you can take immediate steps to improve your oral health and restore your smile. An entire mouth makeover is conceivable and doable. Dr. Jamie Alexander and his entire dental team are here to help.

We invite you to read about our services, caring approach, and genuine passion to help you have a healthy life. We welcome you to give us a call at 561-732-8877. We’ll be happy to schedule you for an initial private and complementary consultation with Dr. Alexander in our Boynton Beach dental practice.

Dental Pain Management for Recovery Patients | Dr. Alexander, Boynton Beach

Pain Management for Recovery Patients

Pain Management for Dental Patients Who Are in Recovery

Dr. Jamie Alexander, founder of Recovery Dentistry in Boynton Beach, FL has extensive knowledge and experience working with with patients in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. As a result of his work, Dr. Alexander has developed four goals when it comes to handling dental pain management with his recovery patients:

  1. To take care of your urgent dental needs to provide relief from dental pain.
  2. To deliver adequate local anesthetic during dental procedures to block local pain and at the same time not endanger your health.
  3. To counsel you in post-operative management of any discomfort, such as using an over-the-counter non-opioid pain reliever (for example, ibuprofen) and applying an ice pack to the outside of the cheek to ease swelling.
  4. To make sure you are comfortable, have all your questions answered, are fully alert, and are at ease before you walk out our door.

At the practice of Dr. Jamie J. Alexander: Dentistry for those in Recovery, dental pain management is our highest priority, because we don’t want recovery patients taking matters into their own hands through unhealthy means. Our goal, whether it is an emergency appointments or a regular visit , is to restore our patient’s comfort as quickly and safely as possible. If you are experiencing a dental emergency or have an urgent dental concern, please call us at 561-732-8877.

Dr. Alexander talking recovery dentistry on My Recovery Radio

Dr. Alexander & Recovery Dentistry on the Radio!

In case you missed it….

Heard About the Power of Good Breath & a Nice Smile?

A nice smile, good breath, and the confidence to be close changes lives. Those in recovery have a safe place to come for oral health recovery in the Palm Beach County area

Many have found improved employment and started dating again after improving their oral health and smile at Jamie J. Alexander, DDS, Dentistry for Those in Recovery. But, the power of a nice smile goes beyond this by naturally improving your brain chemistry. When you smile and laugh, your serotonin and endorphin levels increase. Laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release.

Recently Dr. Jamie Alexander was on MyRecoveryRadio.com sharing why he pioneered the field of recovery dentistry and the powerful social impact a healthy mouth has on the person in recovery as well as those around them. You can listen to the podcast here, with his segment beginning 10 minutes into the recording.

Listen to Dr. Alexander’s Story in His Own Words

Dr. Jamie Alexander, founder of Recovery Dentistry in Boynton Beach, FL, was recently a guest on MyRecoveryRadio.com, telling his personal story in his own words (click here to listen to the podcast) Dr. Alexander is a man that has a love and passion for those in recovery. His entire office, located in Boynton Beach, has been affected by addiction in one way of another. In his interview, Dr. Alexander explains how he got into this field, his love for the sick and suffering, and why a nice smile can help launch your recovery.

Ask Dr. Alexander a Question about Recovery Dentistry

Dr. Alexander Recovery DentistryThose in recovery, who desire improved oral health and a beautiful smile, have many questions. Dr. Jamie Alexander, the Recovery Dentist, invites you to email your question to drj@boyntonbeachdentist.com. Your question will receive a personal response and may be the topic of a future blog. If you have a question but need a more immediate response, you can call Dr. Alexander’s office at (561) 732-8877 to set up a consultation.

Restoring tooth enamel using fluoride treatments at Recovery Dentistry in Boynton / Palm Beach

Restoring Tooth Enamel with Fluoride Treatment

How Fluoride Treatment Can Help Restore Tooth Enamel

It’s not at all unusual for those who are recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism to have gone through prolonged periods when they did not receive regular dental care and lapsed from good oral hygiene habits. The resultant toll on the outer surface of their teeth (the tooth enamel) may be significant.

If erosion of the tooth enamel has not gone too deep, the tooth’s surface may respond to re-mineralization treatment. If it does not respond, then, restoration with a filling, crown, or veneer may be recommended for covering the weakened enamel, strengthening the tooth, and eliminating sensitivity.

Fluoride varnish is commonly applied to children’s teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent dental decay. It can also be applied to the teeth of adults. It’s a simple and low cost procedure. Fluoride varnish is brushed on to the outer surface of each tooth and allowed to dry. For a period of at least 6 hours, you will not brush your teeth or consume hot foods and beverages, as these will remove the varnish. During those 6 hours, fluoride molecules will be absorbed into tooth enamel, strengthening your teeth through re-mineralization. The treatment can be repeated every three months.

Use of fluoride toothpaste for sensitive teeth also will help with re-mineralization, as will limiting your consumption of acidic beverages and sugar.

“Make sure you are minimizing acidic foods and beverages, and cleaning your mouth thoroughly after eating and drinking,” says Dr. Jamie Alexander. “Use fluoride toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, and if you can’t brush after every meal, rinse your mouth with water and/or chew gum that is sweetened with xylitol. This will stimulate saliva production and help clear away food debris on and between teeth. But, don’t chew gum for long periods of time, as you will likely develop jaw muscle tenderness. When you read the toothpaste product labels, look for the ingredient amorphous calcium phosphate.”

To find out if you could benefit from fluoride treatments, give us a call at (561) 732-8877 to schedule a comprehensive dental examination and evaluation of your oral health at our office in Boynton Beach, FL.