• Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Adults and Older Patients

    The third molars, or wisdom teeth, are generally not present until the teenage years or later. Some people choose to leave their wisdom teeth in place if they do not cause immediate issues.  Most people associate wisdom teeth removal with adolescence, but in reality, many people make it well into adulthood with all of their teeth intact. Later in life, patients who experience problems with their wisdom teeth have to weigh the issues they are having against the potential complications associated with wisdom teeth removal in adults. If you’€™re an adult who still has their wisdom teeth in San Diego , here are some of the reasons you need to consult with an oral surgeon about removal.

    wisdom - teethChronic Pain

    If you still have your wisdom teeth, they may be asymptomatic for decades and then suddenly begin causing pain. When this occurs, removing the wisdom teeth may the only way to get relief. The pain can begin for a number of different reasons, from pressure on wisdom teeth nerves as they continue to develop as you age to the formation of cavities in the teeth near your wisdom teeth. Consult with an oral surgeon to determine if your wisdom teeth are the cause of your pain and if removing them could resolve the issue.

    Infections

    Frequently, wisdom teeth only erupt partially, which can cause a pocket to form along the gum near the teeth. These pockets often fill up food particles, plaque, and bacteria that are difficult to remove by brushing and flossing. Without proper cleaning, infections can grow in those pockets that can spread to neighboring teeth and gum tissue and cause serious complications. These kinds of infections can even enter your blood stream and cause systemic health problems.

    Tooth Decay

    Even when wisdom teeth erupt properly, it is not easy to clean them. They are often crowded by the teeth that are next to them, making flossing impossible and obscuring parts of the teeth surfaces so that they can’€™t be brushed thoroughly. Cavities are common in both wisdom teeth and their neighboring teeth for these reasons. Sometimes, oral surgeons removing wisdom teeth in adults have to remove the neighboring teeth as well because of advanced decay.

    How Wisdom Teeth Extraction Works
    Wisdom teeth removal is normally a quick and complication-free procedure. This procedure requires incisions so that the dentist can reach the wisdom teeth. Under many circumstances, though, wisdom teeth removal results in minimal trauma to the gums and surrounding bone. Prior to performing oral surgery , a dentist may ask that patients refrain from taking blood-thinning medications that might make it difficult for the body to form blood clots. He might also discuss postoperative care options, as patients must typically have someone look after their needs during the first 24 hours after the procedure.

    Why Older Patients Should Consider Wisdom Teeth Extraction
    Pain is often the primary reason why patients turn to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal. As long as the third molars continue to push upon the other teeth, they will cause discomfort for sufferers. However, pain is perhaps the least damaging side effect of having problematic wisdom teeth. When the third molars cannot erupt properly, they might trigger infection in the gums. Infection can then harm nearby healthy teeth and contribute to more oral health problems. The force of the wisdom teeth on the rest of the mouth can also prompt the movement of other teeth. This can result in misalignment issues that require additional dental work so that the teeth can return to their proper alignment.

  • Recovering from Your Dental Implant Procedure

    After having a dental implant procedure in San Diego, your surgeon will give you detailed aftercare instructions to follow . Don’t be alarmed if you see some bleeding or pinkish saliva for the first 24 hours. If the site does start to bleed excessively, you can bite down gently on a piece of sterile gauze. Alternatively, bite down on a moistened tea bag. Do not use a straw after a dental implant procedure, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot that forms at the surgical site. This will cause more bleeding.

    Rest quietly at home during the initial recovery. Your dental implant surgeon will let you know when you can return to your usual activities, and when you can resume exercising. Take antibiotics as directed to prevent infection, and take the over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications as directed. Applying an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time will also help control your discomfort, as well as relieve the swelling.

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  • What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk of Facial Trauma in Sports?

    Facial trauma can affect athletes of any age. The risk of severe injuries in certain sports is well known, including contact sports like football and boxing. But even less aggressive sports can lead to serious facial trauma, such as tennis and softball. Maxillofacial trauma requires the specialized expertise of an oral surgeon in San Diego. A skilled oral surgeon can treat injuries like facial lacerations, fractured facial bones, fractured jaws, lacerations inside the mouth, and knocked out teeth. sports - helmet

    Helmets and Facemasks

    Full-face helmets and facemasks are required for certain sports. But even if you don’t belong to a team that requires the use of safety equipment, you should invest in a high-quality helmet or facemask regardless. Professional skiers, for instance, often protect themselves from facial trauma by wearing special racing helmets that feature an extension to protect the lower jaw from fractures in the event of a fall. When you shop around for a facemask, check that it will fit the helmet you have. Additionally, check with your coach or trainer regarding the right configuration of bars for your particular sport and position. Some facemasks are designed to offer more protection for the mouth area, while others are intended to offer less protection in favor of better visibility. This is why in football, linemen have more protective facemasks with less visibility, and quarterbacks have lighter facemasks with a more open bar configuration.

    Mouthguards

    Mouthguards are a must for preventing sports-related facial trauma that could require oral surgery. They’re also relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the expense of emergency treatments for mouth injuries. You could try an over-the-counter mouthguard that doesn’t require adjustment to fit your mouth, but you’ll likely find it too bulky. These are also more likely to slip out of place, and to interfere with speech and breathing. Instead, look for a boil-and-bite type of mouthguard that fits your teeth better. If you’re a serious athlete, you’re better off visiting a dental professional for a custom-made mouthguard. These tend to be the most comfortable and longest-lasting type of mouthguard.

  • The Link Between Gingivitis and Bleeding Gums

    Sometimes, brushing and flossing can cause the gums to bleed. This shouldn’t be ignored, as it can indicate the presence of gingivitis. As you’ll learn when you watch this video, gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If it’s allowed to progress untreated, you may need to visit an oral surgeon in San Diego for extensive dental care. It’s possible for advanced gum disease to cause the teeth to loosen, which means you might need one or more dental implants.

    This featured video explains that healthy gums fit snugly against each tooth, are a pale pink color, and have a slightly rough, orange peel-like texture. If you have gingivitis, you might notice that your gums are a darker red, smoother, and swollen. Although gingivitis causes bleeding gums, it doesn’t typically cause pain.

  • Examining the Role of PRP in Your Oral Health Care

    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an exciting medical development currently in use in multiple fields’ from orthopedist clinics to oral surgery offices in San Diego. PRP essentially magnifies your body’s own healing abilities to help you recover faster. If your oral surgeon agrees that PRP therapy is right for you, you’ll have a small amount of blood taken and processed. The platelet-rich plasma, which contains concentrated growth factors, is then reintroduced to the surgical site to support healing. dentist - repair

    PRP for Fistula Repair

    Fistulas are abnormal pathways between structures. An oronasal fistula is a pathway between the nose and the mouth. An oromaxillary fistula is a pathway between the roof of your mouth and one of the sinus cavities on either side of your nose. It’s possible to be born with a fistula, or it may develop from trauma or surgery, such as a cleft repair. Fistulas can also develop from oral abscesses. Your oral surgeon can perform a fistula repair to close off the hole. PRP therapy can play a vital role in fistula repair because it contains bone morphogenic protein (BMP). This protein encourages the formation of new bone tissue to heal the area.

    PRP for Bone Defect Repair

    All medical treatments have the potential for complications, and oral surgery is no different. Sometimes, after the surgeon extracts an oral cyst or a failed tooth, a bone defect may develop. This refers to the deterioration of the bone mass. Bone defects can also develop as a result of periodontal disease, facial trauma, unanchored dentures, facial tumors, and teeth misalignment. Oral surgeons can use platelet-rich plasma to build up the deteriorated bone mass. The surgeon can saturate the area with PRP, and apply bone substitute materials to restore the integrity of the bone.

    PRP for Dental Bone Grafting

    Oral surgeons may perform bone grafting as a precursor to dental implant surgery. The bone graft adds mass to an area where the jawbone has deteriorated and is not capable of securely supporting an implant post. Your surgeon can use PRP therapy when placing the bone graft material to help strengthen the new bone tissue and heal the area more quickly.

  • FAQs About Dental Bone Grafting

    Dental implants replace missing teeth by fusing to the jawbone and anchoring the white, porcelain crowns that look like natural teeth. But what happens when there isn’t enough bone mass to anchor a dental implant? Patients who have had missing teeth for a while, especially those who smoke, are more likely to have insufficient bone mass. This conundrum is correctable with dental bone grafting , which allows patients in San Diego to have dental implant surgery, even if they weren’t initially considered good candidates for it. bone - grafting

    Where will the bone graft come from?

    In past years, surgeons took bone from elsewhere in the patient’s body to graft onto the jawbone. It’s called an autologous graft when the patient’s own bone is used. Now, surgeons prefer to use other bone graft material whenever possible. The most common choice is a xenograft of bovine or cow bone. The idea of receiving cow bone in the jaw might be a little off-putting, but patients can rest assured that the bone is only taken from cows proven to be healthy. Harvested bone goes through an exhaustive sterilization process. In the end, all that’s left is the mineral structure of the bone material.

    What’s a sinus lift?

    Unique challenges are associated with the placement of dental implants in various parts of the upper and lower jaws. The maxillary sinus is a very close neighbor of the maxilla, which is the upper jaw. Only a thin strip of bone separates the sinus cavity from the tooth roots. Because of this, patients who lose a tooth in this area generally must undergo a sinus lift before getting a dental implant. This procedure builds up the bone mass so that it can safely support the implant post. During a sinus lift, the surgeon lifts the sinus membrane to place the bone graft right into the floor of the sinus.

    What will the recovery be like?

    Patients should always follow the instructions their surgeons give them, as they can differ from patient to patient. In general, patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity for two to three days after having a bone graft. Swelling is normal. Patients can apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 hours to minimize the swelling. The surgeon can prescribe pain medication to keep the patient comfortable and antibiotics to prevent infections.

  • Why Dental Implants Might Fail and How to Prevent It

    When the procedure is performed by a skilled oral surgeon, dental implants have a high rate of success. But sometimes, problems do occur. Before getting dental implants, talk to a specialist in San Diego about the potential risks, causes of implant failure, and ways of preventing these problems. With careful research and dentist-guided preparation, you can look forward to having your new smile for a lifetime. dental - implant

    Infections

    Infections are among the most common reasons for failure of oral implants. An oral infection that occurs after a dental implant procedure is called peri-implantitis. This infection results in inflammation of the gum tissue and, if left untreated, damage to the bone mass that is supporting the implant post. As a result, the implant may fail. Occasionally, these infections may develop from bacterial contact during the surgery or from leakages of dental cement, but becoming a patient of a board-certified oral surgeon can significantly reduce this risk. One common cause of peri-implantitis is smoking, which is why oral surgeons often require patients to quit smoking before having the procedure. Smoking increases the risk of oral infections in part because it inhibits blood flow, which is necessary for proper healing. Some possible signs of peri-implantitis include:

    • Bleeding gums
    • Reddened gums
    • Deepening gum pockets
    • Pus

    If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the dentist right away.

    Osseointegration Failure

    After the dentist places the implant post beneath the gum line, the area is left to heal for several months before the next procedure can be performed. During this period, the jawbone fuses to the dental implant to keep it firmly in place. This process is called osseointegration. Failed osseointegration is another possible reason for dental implant failure. It’s indicated by the loosening or falling out of the implant, or by the loss of bone mass. Osseointegration failure can be caused by a number of factors, including physical trauma to the jaw, infection, inaccurate positioning of the implant, and the use of certain medications. It might not always be possible to prevent osseointegration failure, but taking the following steps will certainly help:

    • Choosing a board-certified implant surgeon
    • Quitting smoking, if applicable
    • Avoiding high-contact sports during the healing process
    • Discussing medications before having the surgery

    Allergic Reactions

    Most implant posts are composed of titanium alloys. Rarely, a patient may have an allergic reaction to the titanium, which can cause implant failure. Patients can be checked for titanium allergies with the MELISA test.

  • Could Tooth Loss Affect Dementia Risk?

    We know that oral health and overall health are linked in a handful of different ways, which is why you should consider how your dental hygiene impacts your quality of life . Senior citizens are more vulnerable to both dementia and tooth loss, but what exactly is the relationship between them? Although dental implants and dentures in San Diego can replace missing teeth, not all seniors end up seeking treatment for their lost teeth. If you’re wondering if tooth loss could actually affect your risk for dementia, continue reading for some insight.

    When people lose their teeth, they adapt to their new condition in their own unique ways. Some seek dental implants immediately, while others change their diet to avoid hard foods. The problem is that people need strong, sturdy teeth in order to eat healthy meals without struggling. Without the right vitamins and nutrients, you’ll have a harder time avoiding serious health issues like dementia. Even the act of chewing can be helpful for your blood flow, especially when it comes to the brain. If you want to reduce your risk for dementia, talk to your dentist about replacing your missing teeth so you can chew properly and eat healthily.

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  • Why and How to Quit Smoking Before Dental Implant Surgery

    No matter how long you’ve been using tobacco, quitting smoking can still improve your health. If you’re planning on seeing your dentist about dental implants in San Diego, consider using this opportunity to motivate yourself to take the leap. Smoking isn’t good for your health by any means, and it can cause complications when it comes to dental implants. Quitting will increase your chances of treatment being successful and reduce your chances of developing an infection. You can also use your resources for tips and advice on quitting, so put your best foot forward and read on to learn about quitting smoking and preparing for dental implant surgery. smoking - teeth

    More Effective Treatment

    In order to set yourself up for an effective dental implant treatment, you should know what you can do to help and what you can avoid that might hurt. People who use tobacco products don’t tend to enjoy such high success rates with dental implant surgery as compared to nonsmokers. Keep in mind that tobacco products can delay your recovery time, meaning any symptoms that you experience after dental implant placement may last longer and be more uncomfortable.

    Lower Risk of Infection

    Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and hookah can raise your risk for infection. The last thing you’ll want to do before dental implant surgery is increase your vulnerability to infection and complications, so it’s a good idea to stop smoking in advance. Once you’ve cut this habit out of your life, your body will be better able to resist infection, and your dental implant surgery has a better chance of being successful.

    Dental Health Resources

    It is important to be realistic when you decide to quit smoking, and that means setting reasonable goals. The nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, so it might not be so easy to quit the habit. While it might be your dental implant treatment that made you realize the importance, you can still continue to rely on your dentist’s office for support and advice. Take it one step at a time, and think about how much more effective your dental implant treatment will be after quitting.

  • What is a Mucocele?

    Not every bump or sore that shows up in your mouth is necessarily a reason to see the emergency dentist in San Diego, but it’s better to be safe than sorry . Certain types of bumps and cysts may be cancerous, and your dentist can give you some peace of mind. A mucocele is a type of bump that shows up in the mouth, but it might not be cause for panic. Mucoceles aren’t always completely harmless, however, as they can be large and noticeable, to the point where they get in the way of your confidence as well as your ability to eat comfortably. Keep reading to find out exactly what a mucocele is.

    Mucoceles describe one kind of bump that you might find in the mouth. They typically come up on the inside of the lip or the tongue, and they are usually painless. Large mucoceles can get in the way, and direct contact may cause discomfort, but they often go away on their own. You might experience this type of cyst if you’ve accidentally bitten your lip while eating, or if you’ve suffered a trauma to the face. Ask your dentist how to keep mucoceles from recurring.

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