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Answered 2007-08-03 00:07:48

Two answers found: 1) Dentists use cold water when removing old amalgams so that the Mercury vapor and particles so released do not enter the surrounding environment. Cold water is used because warm and hot water causes humidity which carries the mercury particulates in the air. This is not desirable and may have health effects on the patient or dental staff. 2) In general, washing the mouth frequently with cold water strengthens the gums. The contraction of the gums from cold water forms a good bond around the teeth. Warm or hot water causes expansion of the gum tissue. This is not desirable for the majority, if not all, of dental work. One exception found: warm salt water rinses are advisable at times. The warm water expands the gums and lets the salt do its work. Added 8/02/07 : My dentist also explained that the network of tubes used to carry the warmer water used to harbor bacteria and foster it's growth until the change was made to use cold water in those lines to inhibit much of that growth and that it requires less manual or chemical cleaning.

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