Dental Tips Blog

Aug
3

What to Do When You Fracture a Tooth

Without a doubt, breaking a tooth can be scary and painful. But there’s no need to panic! A few simple precautions can help you minimize the damage and even save your tooth entirely.

  1. Determine How Your Tooth Broke

Teeth sometimes fracture without showing any outward signs of damage. You might know something’s wrong because the tooth will be very temperature sensitive or hurt when you release your bite.

Locate any missing pieces if your tooth suffered an obvious fracture or chip. You don’t want to accidentally swallow any of them, especially if your dentist can bond them back in place.

  1. Rinse

Swishing with warm water to cleanse the area is a good idea. If there is any bleeding, firmly but gently pack some gauze around the tooth. A tea bag is also helpful since it promotes blood clotting.

  1. Ice

Numb the area around your sore tooth by icing your cheek or lip outside your mouth. This can help to bring down swelling. Take a painkiller, if needed.

  1. See Your Dentist or Oral Surgeon ASAP

You will definitely need an x-ray or two to determine the full extent of the damage. If your root is fractured, a tooth extraction may be necessary. Otherwise, your dentist may be able to save it with a dental crown or root canal.

Small damage, like a painless chip, can often be smoothed out with just a bit of bonding.

It’s also possible to bruise the ligaments around your tooth. If this happens, your tooth will hurt for a few days without actually having suffered a fracture.

The only way you’ll know for sure is to see your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible!

Posted on behalf of:
Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists
481 Garrisonville Rd. Suite 103
Stafford, VA 22554
(540) 322-1808

Nov
30

Will I Need to Have Teeth Removed to Get Braces?

A lot of folks are afraid that being told they need braces means having teeth extracted. It’s true that some people need to have teeth removed, but this isn’t true in every case. It’s actually becoming far less common.

In fact, having extractions can cause the treatment process to drag out just a little longer. For this reason, orthodontists aren’t quick to recommend having teeth removed. If it is advised, that’s because it’s essential to the success of your treatment and creating room for other teeth.

Most Common Reasons to Remove Teeth Before Braces

Here are a few reasons why an extraction may be necessary:

  • Wisdom teeth, if present, which usually wind up impacted
  • Extra teeth/retained baby teeth
  • Tooth crowding
  • Jaw alignment issues (alternative to surgery)

It’s very possible for your mouth to be too small for all those teeth. In some cases, the arch of your mouth can be adjusted with expanders and other devices. But if your mouth is limited for how far it can be expanded, then the only logical option is to limit how many teeth are vying for a spot!

Braces move teeth through bone. But too many teeth in a small area aren’t going anywhere. Removing a couple teeth (usually premolars/bicuspids) could free up a lot of necessary space in your mouth.

Braces Are Worth It!

Braces, whether for cosmetic or health reasons, are a worthwhile investment. If you’re going to commit to treatment, you need to go all the way and follow the professional advice. This will ensure that you get the best results.

Ask your dentist for recommendations and a full explanation of the suggested treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Jun
22

Does My Tooth Have To Be Extracted If It’s Not Bothering Me?

It may feel like more hassle than it’s worth to have a tooth removed when it doesn’t hurt. However, your dentist has your best interests in mind when he or she advises you to have it extracted, anyway.

How could that be the case? Consider three common scenarios in which extraction is a good idea.

Effects of Gum Disease

Advanced gum disease gradually loosens the supports, which anchor teeth in place. Once those supports break down, your tooth would become very loose and useless for chewing. Taking out the diseased tooth prevents the infection from spreading to other teeth and gives you a clean slate for replacing it with a dental bridge or implant.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When your dentist finds a wisdom tooth growing in the wrong direction on an x-ray, he or she may recommend that you have it removed before it goes any further. An impacted wisdom tooth can push other teeth out of alignment and even permanently damage the roots of neighboring teeth. You might not feel it now, but later on, you very well could!

Extra Teeth or Retained Baby Teeth

A tooth that sits out of alignment with the rest of your teeth may cause you more problems than you’d expect. Being out of line makes it harder to keep clean. It’s more likely to trap bacteria in hard-to-access places, putting it and neighboring teeth at risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Schedule a consultation with your local dentist for a complete dental examination. Your dentist will help you make the best treatment decisions for your smile, whether or not that includes any extractions.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Mar
27

3 Reasons NOT To Pull Your Tooth

If you have a toothache or a cavity, pulling the tooth may sometimes seem like your best option. After all, extractions provide fast relief, are inexpensive, and you can deal with the problem later on when you have more time. Right? Not exactly. Here are 3 reasons why it may be in your best option to not have your tooth pulled: 

It’s Better to Preserve Your Natural Tooth

If a tooth can be repaired, it’s best to try to retain it. After all, there’s nothing quite like having the integrity of a natural tooth. Repairing a damaged area right now with a crown is a better option than pulling the tooth and getting a bridge later. 

Missing Teeth Impact Your Entire Bite

Pulling just one tooth can cause other teeth to shift out of place – even teeth in the opposing arch! If you’ve invested in braces in the past, or have a relatively straight smile, this can create a nightmare. Each tooth plays an important role in the placement and alignment of other teeth in the mouth. One extra space can create a chain reaction of shifting throughout your entire smile. 

It Costs More Money Over Time

While an extraction may seem like your cheapest option, you need to step back and look at the big picture. How do you plan to replace the tooth in the future? It is typically more cost effective to fix the tooth and extend its lifespan.

If cost of care is a concern, ask your dentist about financing options that may be available. In most cases, treating your toothache sooner will be more cost effective and affordable for your future smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Mar
14

Are You Suffering From Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, which are the molars in the very back of your mouth, typically erupt through the gums somewhere between 17 and 21 years of age. These are the last of your teeth to emerge, but often there’s not enough room to accommodate them, causing them to become impacted. Your wisdom teeth may end up displaced, misaligned or crowding other teeth as they attempt to come in.

Wisdom Teeth Impaction Is Rare

Due to better oral health care availability, dentists are more likely to note the likelihood of wisdom teeth impaction before it occurs. Preventative surgery is often recommended to remove your wisdom teeth before they become a painful problem later on.

Symptoms Of Wisdom Teeth Trouble

When wisdom teeth become impacted, it’s important to seek help from your dentist. Untreated, it can lead to an infection known as pericoronitis, which can spread to the throat, potentially requiring surgery and hospitalization. Impacted wisdom teeth can alter your bite and in some rare cases cause cysts that affect your jaw growth.

To ensure your best oral health, immediately notify your dentist of any persistent symptoms that may indicate a problem with your wisdom teeth, such as:

  • Bad Breath
  • A Bad Taste Lingering In Your Mouth
  • Difficulty Opening Your Mouth
  • Discomfort When Chewing, Biting or Speaking
  • Headache Or Jaw Pain
  • Swollen Gums Or Swelling In The Back Of Your Mouth
  • Oral Infection
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes Along The Neck

Your Dentist Can Help

The best way to prevent suffering from impacted wisdom teeth is by visiting your dentist every 6 months for a thorough oral exam and routine x-rays. If you’re already experiencing symptoms of wisdom teeth trouble, call your dentist right away for immediate care to restore your dental health and wellbeing.

Posted on behalf of:
Frederick Dental
805 S Broadway, Suite 210
Boulder, CO 80305
(303) 442-4846

Sep
10

Recovering From Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

It might have sounded like a scary experience when you first learned you would need to have your wisdom teeth extracted! But now it’s all over. It wasn’t as bad as you thought. Now, however, you’re concerned with making your recovery as comfortable and brief as you can.

Immediately After the Procedure

Your mouth will still be numb, so be very careful when talking that you don’t accidentally bite your cheek or tongue. Those spots will hurt once the numbing drugs wear off! Keep biting down on gauze pads with gentle pressure and change them out as they become saturated. The bleeding should taper off throughout the rest of the day. Avoid lying down. Sitting upright or reclining slightly will keep your head above your chest and should help reduce bleeding. Keep applying ice to your cheeks to help bring down inflammation and reduce bleeding.

Over the Next Few Days

Get lots of rest! Too much physical activity can raise blood pressure and disrupt the clotting process so vital to your mouth’s healing. Rinse as often as needed with warm salt water to bring down pain and swelling. At this point, it is ok to use moist heat on your cheeks to relieve discomfort. Avoid smoking or using a straw because the suction of those activities can also disturb the clots. Stick to soft foods that don’t require any chewing. Maintain a routine of brushing and flossing your other teeth, but take care to not bother the surgical sites with your finger, tongue, or toothbrush.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Sep
9

4 Signs that Your Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

How can you know whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out? Most people wait until their teeth start to hurt before they ask their dentist about it. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth taken out, but removing them before they cause problems can prevent discomfort and lengthy recovery times.

Here are 4 signs to look for:

Crowding of Your Anterior Teeth

As the 3rd molars start to form, they may begin to push into the back of the other teeth. This slight pressure pushes the teeth forward, which creates a chain reaction throughout the entire mouth. As teeth begin to shift forward, the very front teeth become crowded. 

Swelling Along the Back of the Jaw

If infection develops around the erupting wisdom tooth, this can create swelling in the back of the jaw. Cysts are fairly common, as well as infection due to food packing under the gums around the tooth. 

Off-and-On Pain

Wisdom tooth pain tends to come and go off and on as the teeth develop. It’s fairly common for the pain to be present one day but not the next. Eventually the pain may be closer together until it does not go away at all. 

Food Packing Behind the Back Teeth

When there isn’t enough room for the tooth to erupt completely, it will only erupt partially through the gums. Areas like this are difficult if not impossible to keep clean. As a result, food starts to pack under the gumlines, creating bad breath, infection and decay around the adjacent teeth.

A quick x-ray and exam is all that you need to find out if your wisdom teeth can stay or need to go. Call your dentist today!

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Sep
9

Should I Sleep Through My Extraction?

If the thought of having a tooth pulled makes you feel uneasy, you might consider sedation dentistry. Depending on the type of extraction that you need, sleeping through your procedure could help it go more smoothly and comfortably.

Not every type of tooth extraction is the same. For instance, some extractions are simple, while others are surgical. The size, shape, location and health of your tooth will impact how easily the tooth can be removed. For some people, a very simple extraction need only be done with local anesthesia.

More tedious extractions can take a bit longer. Even though the area is still completely numbed with local anesthesia, some people would prefer to not know what is going on. In this case, sleeping through the extraction may be the best option. Choosing sleep dentistry is a common method used in more complex extractions such as wisdom tooth removal.

Which type of sedation is best? Not all dentists offer sedation, or all types of sedation. You may want to discuss the pros and cons of options like oral sedation vs. IV sedation. In most cases, oral sedation is one of the simplest ways to sleep through the extraction. You simply take a prescription sedative prior to the procedure, and feel as if you’re napping throughout the entire thing. The medication wears off after a few hours, giving you enough time to make yourself comfortable at home before the medication wears off.

When in doubt, it’s best to ask your dentist which type of sedation he or she would recommend. Everyone responds differently and has different comfort levels – your sleep sedation dentist can give you input on the choice that’s right for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

May
4

3 Signs You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, but a lot of people do. Wisdom teeth may cause severe pain or be completely asymptomatic. Here are a few signs your dentist will look for when it comes to whether or not your wisdom teeth need to go or stay:

Partial Eruption

Sometimes a wisdom tooth will only erupt partially through the gum tissue. This creates an opening in the gums that allows food and bacteria to pack into. Since areas like this are nearly impossible to clean, they often become a source of chronic infection. Pain, swelling and tenderness may be your first sign that something is wrong. 

Decay on Erupted Wisdom Teeth

Because wisdom teeth are the 3rd set of molars to erupt, they are typically very difficult to keep clean. Even if they erupt completely straight into the mouth, some people find that wisdom teeth easily decay. Treating cavities on these teeth may not be a good investment, as tooth decay may simply reoccur a year or two later. 

Impaction Against Neighboring Teeth

If the wisdom tooth is wedged into the next tooth, this pressure could create irreversible damage to the otherwise healthy tooth. Sometimes the tooth will experience nerve damage, movement, or decay due to difficulty maintaining oral hygiene in that area. Shifting of teeth throughout the rest of the mouth is usually evident.

Your dentist will take a panoramic x-ray to evaluate the development of the wisdom teeth and how they relate to the other structures surrounding them. Don’t wait before it’s too late – if your dentist recommends having your wisdom teeth extracted, early care can prevent problems from affecting other teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

May
2

Do Wisdom Teeth Hurt the Rest of My Smile?

A lot of people come into the dental office asking whether or not their wisdom teeth are causing any problems for the rest of their smile. Unfortunately there is no straightforward response, because the answer can change from person to person. Many people enjoy fully erupted wisdom teeth that are easy to care for and never cause any problems whatsoever.

However, wisdom teeth can create problems for other teeth when they are:

Infected or Decayed

Even fully erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to keep healthy, simply due to their location in the mouth. This means they are also more likely to get cavities or gum disease around them. Unfortunately those cavities or bone loss don’t just impact the wisdom teeth – they almost always create problems for the tooth right next to it.

Partially Erupted

If a wisdom tooth is only partially erupted through the gums, bacteria and food can become lodged down underneath the gum tissue surrounding the tooth. As mentioned previously, this makes the area difficult to clean and infections around the tooth typically develop. 

ImpactedLet’s say that the wisdom tooth never erupts at all. Instead, it is impacted at an angle against the other tooth, preventing it from going anywhere. Although this may seem harmless, the pressure caused by the wisdom tooth could actually damage the neighboring healthy tooth. Some common side effects include bone loss, cavities or trauma to the nerve.

Your dentist can evaluate your wisdom teeth by taking a large panoramic image of your teeth and jaws. This simple x-ray makes it easy to see exactly what is going on in your smile. Most patients should have a panorex taken every 3-5 years.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

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