Stars blinged-out braces may be linked to tooth decay and gum disease
Grills, which have been synonymous with big name hip-hop acts since the dawn on the rap era in the 1980’s, have been making a comeback as of late. This month both Madonna and Katy Perry were seen sporting the fashionable features. The only problem is that these bejeweled dental appliances have been known to cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Grills, or Grillz as they are sometimes known as, are decorative teeth covers. Often these ornamentations are made with gold, silver, platinum, or even jewels. Rapper Nelly created a resurgence in the popularity of grills across America with his 2005 hit “Grillz”. Historically, grills may have come from the fact that gold fillings are one of the most expensive dental procedures, and displaying that gold was seen as status symbol.
Imitation Causing Irritation
Part of the problem is the fans of such famous celebs like Kayne West, Lil Wayne and Beyonce often get lower quality grills, which are not fitted properly and can cause serious mouth problems. These cheaper versions of grills can also sometimes instigate allergic reactions and gum irritation. Wearing grills can also cause plaque to build up due it ability to trap food particles.
Periodonal Woes & TMJ
Grills can also help lead to periodontal (gum disease) and could even rub away part of the tooth enamel. Because grills are meant to worn over the teeth they also can prevent a wearer form be able to bite down fully This could lead to a changing of the position of the jaw and can cause the muscles there to become tense. Jaw tension can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), which can cause headaches and other pains.
Six Figure Smiles
It is said the rapper Lil’ Wayne's diamond encrusted grill is worth as much as $150,000. Though it was reported that Lil’ Wayne replaced his expensive grills with ones a bit less showy for his stint in behind bars. Even Olympian swimmer Ryan Lochte sported a bling-encrusted smile to the 2012 games. Rapper Paul Wall, who actually designs many celebrity grills, is also a fan. His designs start at $65 per tooth and can be made with diamonds or gold. Wall’s own set of grills cost him $20,000 and singer-songwriter and rapper T-Pain’s set, featuring yellow diamonds, reportedly cost $30,000. Rapper Lil John's ostentatious grills, sporting platinum and diamonds are said to cost $50,000.
Bling Comes At Cost
Whether the grills are permanent or removable it is hard for wearers to keep their teeth clean at proper levels. As any middle schooler will tell you, retainers of any kind are hard to clean and even harder to floss and brush around. When proper oral hygiene is not followed, it can lead to acids and bacteria building up at the gum line, causing plaque and bad breathe.
Though they may be flashy and all the rage at the moment, grills can cause a host of problems for ones’ teeth. Sometimes there’s nothing like flashing a million-dollar smile with just your own pearly whites.
Eli Madrone, a freelance health and wellness writer, learned about grills from Portland Periodontics, a Dental Implants Portland OR dental office.