Dental Tips Blog

May
19

7 Things to Avoid During Recovery from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Did you just have your wisdom teeth removed? Get a gum tissue graft? Whatever the reason may be, a restful recovery will help you heal quickly and get back on your feet in no time.

Smoking

Smoking is the biggest thing that can slow down healing in the mouth. It constricts the blood vessels, which prevents healing nutrients from reaching the surgical site. If you smoke, try to give the habit a break for at least a few days.

Drinking Through a Straw

Sipping on a straw creates a vacuum in the mouth that can pull the healing clot right out of a surgical site. You need that clot to stay in place to stop bleeding and promote healing.

Exercise

Physical activity ups your blood pressure. While you do need plenty of circulation around the injury, too much pressure can put stress on the tissue and disturb the blood clot.

Bending Over

Bending over too often or for too long can also increase blood pressure in your head and mouth, disrupting the healing site.

Sleeping Laying Down

Keep your head always slightly elevated, even while sleeping. This will keep both swelling and blood pressure to a minimum.

Vigorous Rinsing

You may have instructions to swish with a medicated rinse or warm salt water in the first days after a tooth extraction. Just be extremely gentle – a vigorous swish can unplug the healing clot and lead to dry socket.

Hard or Chewy Foods

Soups, smoothies, and ice cream are the safest things to eat right after oral surgery.

Your oral surgeon may have other instructions tailored to your needs so contact him or her if you have any other questions or concerns.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Apr
14

How to Recover Quickly from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Whether you’ve had some wisdom teeth extracted, your jaw reconstructed, or gum grafting done, it’s time to rest and baby yourself a bit.

Rest Up

Too much physical activity can raise your heartrate and disrupt the blood-clotting process. Your body needs to relax and spend its energy on healing up a wound. Take a few days off from work and stay in bed (or on the couch.) Avoid doing any tasks that require you to bend over. Now would be a good time to binge on your favorite TV series.

Ice It

Placing an ice pack against the sore area on the outside of your face can help reduce swelling, pain, and bruising within the first 24 hours.

Brush Gently (or Not at All)

Oral hygiene shouldn’t take a vacation, but things are different when you have a surgical wound in your mouth. You don’t want to disrupt any stitches, dressings, or blood clots. Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully when it comes to routine for the first few days following your procedure.

Take Painkillers as Directed

Over-the-counter pain meds can be just as effective as the stronger drugs only a doctor can prescribe. Easing the discomfort after oral surgery will help you get that vital rest your body needs. But be careful to only take what your surgeon recommends; have a friend or family member measure out the medication for you while you’re still woozy from anesthesia.

Eat a Soft Diet

Stick to cool liquid or soft foods for a while. Soup is okay as long as it’s mostly broth with no chewy ingredients (and it’s not too hot.) Yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, ice cream, and fruit and veggie juices are good, too.

Ready to bounce back after your next oral surgery? Ask your surgeon for more tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Mar
13

Why Some People Need “Bone Grafting”

Posted in Oral Surgery

Bone grafting in dentistry is when an oral surgeon builds up weak areas in a person’s jaw with bone tissue or a similar substitute. The bone may be taken from your own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft).

Grafting isn’t just for the jaw; it can also repair defects on the upper half of the mouth, too.

Why do some people end up needing a bone graft at all?

After an Injury

Cancer or an accident can lead to someone losing a large portion of bone in their jaw. A bone graft is thus necessary to restore normal function or anatomy.

To Protect Teeth

Severe gum recession or disease can lead to teeth losing vital support and protection. The exposed tooth roots are at risk for decay and extreme sensitivity, or they can fall out altogether.

Someone with compromised teeth may need to have some bone tissue replaced if they want to save their natural smile.

Prepare for a Dental Implant

Perhaps one of the most common reasons for bone grafting is to prepare a site in the mouth to receive dental implants.

Some spots in the dental arch can become too low or thin to support an implant. Natural existing bone can wear down with time if teeth are missing or if it’s actively attacked by gum disease.

Whatever the reason for getting a jaw bone graft, it takes time to heal after the procedure. It can be several months before a site is ready to support a denture or withstand an implant procedure.

Wondering whether a bone graft is right for you? Talk to a local dentist or oral surgeon.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Mar
3

What Are the Benefits of Oral Surgery?

Posted in Oral Surgery

As with any other medically-necessary surgery, if you need oral surgery, it’s not an optional procedure. Still, you may be wondering if you’re better off delaying it.

What are some of the ways oral surgery could change your life for the better, if you do require it?

Snoring Treatment and Relief from Sleep Apnea

Oral surgery can involve tissues in the throat that are responsible for problems like snoring and sleep apnea. By removing excess tissue, oral surgery can help you to breathe easier when you sleep.

Freedom from TMJ Pain

Surgery tends to be a last-resort when it comes to treating TMJ disorder, but it could be the step that finally brings you relief.

Saving Your Teeth

An oral surgeon may be the one to perform your next tooth extraction. By removing diseased or impacted teeth, your remaining ones will have a healthier environment to thrive in.

A More Comfortable Bite

Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases of crooked teeth or jaws. Braces can align your teeth, but only surgery can even out the height of your jaw.

Treating Oral Cancer

You might be referred to a specialist like an oral surgeon for removing dangerous growths such as cysts, pre-cancerous tissue, and tumors.

Dental Implants

May dentists restore dental implants by putting crowns on them, but not all are able to place the implants themselves. You may need to see an oral surgeon for getting an implant, even though it’s not considered to be an invasive procedure.

Rebuilding Your Smile

Are you recovering from an injury or disease that left your smile permanently damaged? Oral surgery can help you look like yourself again.

To find out whether oral surgery is in your future, schedule a consultation with a local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Jan
28

How to Prepare for Your Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Whether it’s wisdom tooth extraction or dental implant placement, your oral surgery will be an important date on your calendar. Help your surgery be as successful as possible by planning well in advance. Good preparation can also ensure a quicker recovery.

The following tips will help you prepare for most upcoming surgical procedures.

Phone a Friend

Never plan to get yourself home from an oral surgery! Have a trusted friend or family member bring you home after your appointment.

Go Grocery Shopping

You may need to stay on a soft foods or liquids-only diet for a few days. Prepare beforehand by buying things like protein shakes, soups, pudding, yogurt, juices, and cottage cheese.

Pick Out an Outfit

Loose, comfortable clothing is best for any surgery. Don’t wear your nicest clothes or anything that’s too restricting. Layers are best.

Get Some Rest

Plenty of quality sleep can help you remain calm, rather than anxious, right before your appointment.

Watch What You Eat

You’ll receive specific instructions from your dentist on what you can eat before the procedure. If you’re going to be sedated with anesthesia, then it’s generally advised to avoid food and liquids for around eight hours beforehand. Make sure you get hydrated with plenty of water before you reach that cut-off point.

Say No to Smoking

You should refrain from having a cigarette for at least 12 hours before your surgery. The surgeon or dentist will also remind you to avoid smoking for at least a day after the procedure. Smoking cuts off circulation and can lead to healing complications.

Talk with your dentist or surgeon for more tips on preparing for a successful oral surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Jan
6

Are You “Tongue-Tied?”

Posted in Oral Surgery

Many of us occasionally wind up in situations where we just don’t know what to say. This is where we get the metaphoric term “tongue-tied.” But did you know that some people actually do have tongues that are literally tied down?

What It Means to Be Tongue-Tied

The thin piece of skin that attaches your tongue to the floor of your mouth is called a frenulum. There are also frenula (the plural of frenulum) which attach the base of your lips to your gums.

Some people are born with a very short frenulum under their tongue. This secures the tongue close to the floor of the mouth in a condition known as ankyloglossia.

Tongue-Tied Problems

Having a slightly shorter-than-average frenulum isn’t usually a big problem. It may keep someone from being able to stick out their tongue out very far.

But ankyloglossia can cause serious trouble with eating, speaking, and even oral hygiene.

The resulting complications can sometimes lead to social anxiety because of atypical speech patterns. Babies with tongue ties may find it difficult to nurse. Ankyloglossia isn’t always a serious medical problem, but it can affect individuals differently.

How to Fix a Short Frenulum

Whether you are someone just now looking to do something about your tongue-tie or the worried parent of a new baby with ankyloglossia, there is hope.

A simple minimal procedure to snip the skin is all it takes to free a tied tongue.

Your dentist can safely trim, snip, or treat the frenula with a laser. This procedure is minimally invasive, fast, and allows the patient to recover quickly with minimal discomfort. To learn more, call a dental professional near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Dec
26

Types of Bone Grafting Used in Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Bone grafting is used to rebuild sections of the mouth that were lost to injury, disease, or even a birth defect. Without a solid foundation of bone, the jaw can’t close properly, and teeth won’t stay in place.

There are different kinds of bone grafts typically used in oral surgery.

Allograft

Allografts are bone tissues donated by another person, made available upon their passing. These grafts are sterilized and thoroughly screened before placed in a new person, but they are not living bone cells. An allograft simply provides the framework for new cells of your own to grow on.

Autograft

An autograft is a section of tissue taken from your own body. When it comes to a bone graft, the sample is usually collected from bone somewhere on your chin or hip in a separate surgery. Autografts are very common and extremely successful. They contain live tissue which makes healing and new bone growth happen the fastest, because it’s so well accepted by your body.

Xenograft

Xenografts, or xenogenic bone, are taken from the nonliving bodies of animals, most often cow bone. These grafts work similarly to those taken from a human cadaver – they only supply structure, not new bone.

Which Bone Graft for You?

The kind of graft you receive will depend on a few factors:

  • How easy it is to obtain the graft material
  • How much time you can invest in the procedure
  • Whether or not you can handle additional surgeries to harvest a graft

Your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss your options with you.

Are you missing a tooth or have severe gum recession?

A bone graft may be right for you. Contact your local oral surgeon, periodontist, or dentist for more information.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Oct
18

Tips for a Successful Recovery from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Are you ready for your upcoming dental implant placement, tooth extraction or other oral surgery procedure? These reminders will help you recover quickly and keep discomfort to a minimum.

Rest well.

Avoid physical activity for at least 2-3 days after your procedure. This will help your body heal quickly and avoid disrupting any bandages, sutures, or blood clots. If you’re used to regular workouts, take things slow.

Take meds as directed.

Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe painkillers and/or antibiotics. But always ask before taking any over-the-counter drugs so that you don’t experience any unexpected interactions.

Eat soft foods.

Stay away from hard, crunchy, sticky foods or anything that has small bits that can get stuck in the surgical site. Opt for things like soup (not too hot), smoothies (not made from berries with seeds), pudding, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

Expect some swelling.

Swelling is a normal outcome from surgery. You can reduce it by keeping your head elevated even when you rest, and placing an icepack on the outside of your face.

Have a friend drive you home.

Even if your surgery was a small procedure, you absolutely cannot drive yourself home if you’ve had sedation. You MUST have plans in place for a friend or family member to transport you back home safely to rest after your surgery. 

Have someone stay with you.

You will likely be on some high grade pain medication after your operation. You may even still be feeling the effects of the sedation or anesthesia. It’s a good idea to make sure someone can stay with you for the first few hours after the surgery.

Your companion can also make sure you take medications as directed, do cooking for you, and contact help if you experience an allergic reaction or some other emergency.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-0021

Sep
9

Smile Destroyed in an Accident? Here’s How to Restore It

Posted in Oral Surgery

At first, you were just grateful to still be alive. You were lucky that you didn’t suffer much more than some jaw damage.

But now that some time has passed since the accident, you realize that the damage to your smile has made day-to-day living a nightmare.

Things like missing or broken teeth or a poorly-aligned jaw can interfere with your speech and eating ability. You may even be embarrassed to show your teeth in a smile.

What can you do to repair your smile?

Full-mouth reconstruction (FMR) may be the answer.

An FMR case is a series of procedures to get your mouth as close to a healthy state of function as possible.

Your unique treatment plan may include things like:

  • Crowning multiple teeth to even out their fit and appearance
  • Gum tissue grafts
  • Extracting teeth that can’t be restored
  • Replacing missing teeth with dentures or implants

Full-mouth restoration focuses on restoring function so it’s more medically-necessary than a simple smile makeover. But an FMR will also take aesthetics into consideration. You will end up with a beautiful set of teeth that you can chew comfortably with by the time the process is over.

Getting FMR is usually a process of several months to a year. It does take time to complete everything on your list, but it’s best to do it all back-to-back so that you don’t lose progress.

If you were recently in an accident, you may first need an oral surgeon’s help to reconstruct facial features. Once such injuries are stabilized, you’ll work with a dentist to rebuild your smile.

Contact your dentist today if you think full-mouth restoration is right for you.

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

May
6

When Should You Visit an Oral Surgeon?

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgeons are known for extracting teeth, most people aren’t aware of what else they can do.

What occasions necessitate treatment with an oral surgeon?

Procedures commonly offered at oral surgery centers include:

  • Sleep apnea treatment
  • Facial reconstruction
  • Jaw surgery
  • Removal of tumors and cysts
  • Oral cancer diagnosis
  • Repairing birth defects

So what’s the difference between your dentist and an oral surgeon?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

General dentists and oral surgeons both complete at least four years of education. Individuals who want to specialize in surgery go on to study for another 3-6 years. A surgeon then focuses on treating conditions in procedures like those listed above.

Your regular dentist is often your first line of defense when it comes to dental care. He or she is the one you’ll visit for a checkup, or dental cleaning. If you need a more complicated procedure requiring surgery, your dentist will refer you to a reputable oral surgeon in your area.

When to Go?

In rebuilding facial structures, you want a surgeon who knows the anatomy best. After a car accident, for example, you may need to go to an ER right away. But once you’re stabilized, it’s time to call in an oral surgeon.

If your dentist says you should see a surgeon for something like a biopsy, then you probably shouldn’t put it off. But if your condition isn’t urgent and you just want to make an esthetic change or two, then you have a little more freedom in choosing when to go.

You can also do a search for oral surgeons in your area and contact one if you’re interested in finding out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

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