Your wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to emerge. Problem is, they don’t always emerge without complication. Due to a lack of jaw space, it is common for the wisdom teeth to grow in sideways, partially erupt or become impacted below the gum line.
Dentists are quick to remove the wisdom teeth when they are displaying signs of trouble. While each tooth plays an important role in how we chew and speak, the wisdom teeth don’t offer significant functional benefits. In short, wisdom teeth are known for causing more harm than good. In order to avoid the uncomfortable consequences of misbehaving wisdom teeth, it is best to just extract them early on. Wisdom teeth removal is commonly performed between the ages of 17 and 25. At this stage, the roots of the teeth are still forming and recovery can be much quicker than it would be if you wait until later in adulthood. Continue reading
Dental crowns are one of the most common ways to restore a damaged tooth. Crowns “cap” all surfaces of a tooth that has lost too much structure to be restored with a simple dental filling. This can include teeth that are severely decayed, infected or broken. Most modern crowns are fabricated with strong porcelain, a durable material that can be customized in color, size and shape.
While most crowns can last five to fifteen years with proper care, its overall lifespan is determined by how well the crown was made and cemented to the affected tooth. Regardless, dental crowns are not exempt from damage, failure or problems from time to time. Just like any other dental problem, it is important to recognize the signs of crown failure early so that you can get prompt treatment at your dentist. Continue reading
According to the American Sleep Association, teeth grinding (or bruxism) affects 10% of Americans adults and as many as 15% of American children. While this oral habit can occur during any time of day, nocturnal teeth grinding is considered the most common sleep disorder. Unfortunately, nighttime bruxism is more difficult to identify, yet it has the most serious consequences within your smile and your overall health.
Once you have determined that you grind your teeth while you sleep, often realized by your bed partner first, you’ll need to take some steps to prevent this habit going forward. Teeth grinding is not a habit you should ignore. Continue reading
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. This doesn’t mean it is invincible. Your teeth can break, chip or crack under certain pressures. While decay and infection can weaken a tooth, even a strong, healthy tooth can crack during a bad fall or when biting down on something too hard. It is very possible to crack a tooth without immediately realizing you’ve done it. This makes it highly important to know the warning signs of a cracked tooth.
Tooth Cracks Always Need Treatment
A cracked tooth should never be taken lightly. When the outer layers of the tooth are compromised, the entire tooth is left vulnerable to decay, infection and even tooth loss. The good news is that when tooth cracks are caught early, they can be treated conservatively in most cases. A simple dental bonding or composite filling procedure can restore the health and integrity of a cracked tooth. For more serious tooth cracks, a dental crown may be used to remedy the tooth.
Sleep is an important part of your health. It is a chance for your body to rest and rebuild itself in countless ways. However, the way you sleep, or the habits you engage in subconsciously while you sleep, can end up doing more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to your oral health. There are some common sleep habits that patients perform that can end up ruining their smile over time. Continue reading
When it comes to repairing an area of tooth decay, metal fillings were the treatment of choice for many years. While this type of filling can effectively restore a damaged tooth, amalgam (metal) fillings come with several notable drawbacks. Fortunately, patients can avoid these concerns by choosing composite fillings, a tooth-colored alternative to metal fillings.
When it comes time to get your braces off, every patient anticipates a dazzling and beautiful smile underneath. While you can typically expect the alignment of your teeth to be what you envisioned, the color of your teeth may not be. Many patients are plagued with unsightly white spots after their brackets and bands are removed. While stained or yellowed teeth can often be corrected with teeth whitening, the white spots must be treated differently. Continue reading
Let’s face it; as much as we like to think we can plan our dental visits, there are times in which unexpected dental concerns arise. Teeth can demand emergency treatment after an accidental fall or sports injury, or when an underlying oral health issue suddenly makes itself known. Many patients are unsure as to when emergency dental care is really warranted. In such cases, it is always better to call your dentist to find out. Neglecting a true dental emergency could lead to worsening pain and more costly treatment later on. Continue reading
Gum disease is a serious oral health condition. It involves infected tissues that can destroy your teeth’s supporting structures and even impact your overall health. Gum disease, however, is not restricted to the adult population. While kids are not likely to suffer from an acute or severe onset of gum disease, they are prone to chronic gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it is an indication that the gums are not in ideal health. Considering that the gums are the foundation of your smile, chronic gingivitis in children needs to be on your radar as a parent. Continue reading
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes the body to lose too much bone and/or make too little bone. You probably know this condition by its association with aging adults, as it dramatically increases the risk of fracture and falls. But did you know that osteoporosis impacts more than just hips and wrists? It can also affect your dental health.
While your teeth are not actually considered bones, they are anchored into a very important bone in your body: the jawbone. In fact, your jawbone is what encases the roots of your teeth and allows you to chew your food. If the jawbone loses density, it can no longer hold your teeth in a stable position. You may suffer from loose teeth and impaired eating function as a result. In addition, bone loss in the jaw can threaten the appearance and form of your lower face. Patients may suffer from “premature facial aging,” which refers to a hallowed or sunken cheek, chin and jawline. Continue reading