FAQS about Wisdom Teeth

The average adult will eventually have 32 teeth, but the human mouth is ideally designed to hold only 28. Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the final four teeth to erupt. Often, wisdom teeth grow in sideways, cause crowding, or only partially erupt through the gums. The following questions and answers will provide more information about wisdom teeth.

Does everyone have their wisdom teeth removed?
When these teeth come in properly, you don’t need to have your wisdom teeth remove, but that rarely occurs.

What does it mean when wisdom teeth are impacted?
The term impacted is used when the third molars are caught behind bone, tooth structure, or soft tissues. To extract these teeth, the dentist or oral surgeon will need to cut away the bone or tissue and gain access to the teeth.

Do all people have four wisdom teeth?
Because of dietary and evolutionary changes over the centuries, people have between one and four wisdom teeth. With dental X-rays, your dentist can determine how many third molars you have and if they need to be removed.

Is removal of wisdom teeth painful?
Thanks to modern anesthesia options, dentists can keep their patients relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.

What happened after the extraction process?
Most patients experience mild swelling and some mild discomfort. Your dentist will give you directives on how to control the pain. Follow your doctor’s instructions to promote healing and avoid complications such as dry sockets.

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When Emergency Dental Care is Needed

As much as you hope it doesn’t happen, dental emergencies can sneak up on you. Some clinics offer emergency dental care to provide quick, effective, and safe treatment. It’s important to know what kinds of dental problems require urgent care, as opposed to those that can wait until you can get a regular appointment with your dentist. Here are some common types of emergencies that warrant immediate treatment.

Severe toothache
A painful toothache that won’t go away should not be ignored. These can occur suddenly, be confined to a single area, cause pain when eating, and also involve your gums. Symptoms like these may indicate an abscess, which can also lead to facial swelling. Sometimes your airway can even become blocked. A severe toothache requires immediate relief, and therefore is considered a dental emergency.

Excessive bleeding
If you have oral bleeding from something like losing a tooth and you can’t get it under control, you need to see an emergency dentist. Normally when a tooth falls out, the bleeding will stop after a few minutes. If the blood won’t clot for some reason, or if there was severe trauma, excessive bleeding can occur. A dentist can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure, using a hemostatic agent, or even using stitches.

Fractured teeth
Infection may occur when a tooth is fractured, especially if the break goes deep into a permanent tooth, so immediate care is necessary. An emergency dentist will apply dentine padding to the affected area, so that you can visit your own dentist the next day for further treatment.

Surgery complications

If you have had oral surgery and the pain is more severe or lingering than your dentist anticipated, you should seek treatment immediately to make sure complications like a dry socket or jaw fracture hasn’t occurred.

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Smile Makeovers After Quitting Smoking

If you have kicked the smoking habit, congratulations!!! Your whole body thanks you, including your mouth. Now that you’ve tossed your tobacco, you may need some extra dental care to help with any damage that was created by using tobacco.

Teeth cleaning
Even if you practiced good dental hygiene during the time you used tobacco products, the chemicals likely still stained and damaged your teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a thorough cleaning. Sometimes an even deeper cleaning is recommended to get rid of stubborn plaque and discoloration.

Examination for oral health problems
Your dentist will also examine your mouth for signs of gum disease and other problems. If any infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed. Other issues like exposed roots or cavities may require further treatment such as root canals. You want to take care of problems right away so that your mouth function and your smile will get better instead of worse.

Cosmetic procedures
After your teeth have been professionally cleaned and treated as necessary, you may want to consider cosmetic procedures if you’re still unhappy with your smile. Professional teeth whitening may help brighten your smile, or you might need something like dental implants to replace any teeth that couldn’t be saved. Veneers might also be helpful if your teeth are too discolored from long years of tobacco use. Let your dentist know if you have any additional goals for your smile, because there are likely additional treatments that could benefit you.

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Stages of Gum Disease

Caused by bacteria in plaque, gum disease can lead to pain, inflammation, and tooth loss. Though gum disease can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in adults. Conservative estimates suggest that 80 percent of adults in this country have some level of gum disease, but many don’t realize they have a problem.

Left untreated, gum disease can damage your oral health and impact overall wellness. Various studies have linked gum disease to larger health concerns like increased risk of stroke, osteoporosis, and low-birth weight babies. Often, gum disease begins with mild symptoms, so it may be easy to miss. To protect your mouth, it helps to understand the progression of gum disease.

Stage 1: Gingivitis
Initially, gum disease presents as inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up and the toxins released irritate the gum tissue. With this early stage, gum disease can successfully be reversed because the bone and supporting tissue are still in good shape.

Stage 2: Periodontitis
When gum disease reaches this level, pockets begin to form below your gum line, which causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth. By this point, the bone and supporting tissue have sustained permanent damage, but periodontal therapy can restore your oral health and halt further progression.

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
If gum disease continues to the state of advanced periodontitis, the supporting structures in your mouth are in dire condition. Without intense therapy, you risk permanent tooth loss.

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