Wisdom Teeth: Should They Be Removed or Not?

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You have probably heard that wisdom teeth need to be removed, but is that really the case? Or could leaving them in be a smarter decision? In this blog post, we will go over the pros and cons of having wisdom teeth removed so you can make the best decision for your dental health.

What Exactly are Wisdom Teeth?
Most people have four wisdom teeth, which are the molars (large grinding teeth) at the very back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth typically appear in your late teens or early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth cause no problems, and they never need to be removed.

But for others, wisdom teeth can be problematic. They may grow in crooked, become impacted (stuck), or grow only partially through the gum. When wisdom teeth are not removed, they can crowd or damage surrounding teeth and make it difficult to keep your mouth clean.

Common wisdom teeth pain symptoms can occur when wisdom teeth become impacted or start to grow in. If you experience pain, you may notice:

  • •Swelling and tenderness in your gums
  • •Pain when biting down
  • •A bad taste in your mouth
  • •An unpleasant odor coming from your mouth

If you are experiencing any wisdom teeth pain symptoms, see your dentist or oral surgeon to discuss whether you need your wisdom teeth removed.

Are Wisdom Teeth Really All That Necessary? 
For years, wisdom teeth have been seen as a necessary evil. While they may eventually provide some extra chewing surface, they often cause more problems than they are worth. Wisdom teeth removal is a common surgery, and even then, wisdom teeth can cause problems like crowding, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth.

So why do we have wisdom teeth in the first place? Scientists believe that wisdom teeth were once helpful for our ancestors who had to chew tougher foods. However, as our diets have softened over time, wisdom teeth have become less and less necessary.

Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth  
There are a couple of good reasons to keep your wisdom teeth. For one thing, they can provide extra support for the jawbone as we age. Overall, asymptomatic or pain-less wisdom teeth do not pose a threat to other teeth like the second molars and can be kept to avoid the hassle1.

Second, there is also a risk of damaging nerves during wisdom teeth removal, which can cause numbness in the lips or chin.

When Wisdom Teeth Should be Removed 
While wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth, they often cause problems when they become impacted, or fail to erupt properly. When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can grow at an angle and push against other teeth, causing pain and crowding. In some cases, wisdom teeth may even become fused to the jawbone.

If wisdom teeth are not removed, they can lead to a host of dental problems, including:

  • •Infections
  • •Cysts
  • •Gum disease
  • •Inflammation

A 2020 study points to some evidence that suggests that keeping pain-less disease-free impacted wisdom teeth can increase the risk of gum diseases like periodontitis2. Another 2015 study suggested that dentigerous cysts may actually become increasingly common as a person ages as the inflammation becomes prolonged3.

Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively straightforward procedure, and removal pain can be effectively managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications. In most cases, wisdom teeth pain relief is just a matter of waiting for the healing process to complete.

While there are pros and cons to keeping your wisdom teeth, we believe that making an informed choice is always best.

 

 

References:

  1. Kaye E, Heaton B, Aljoghaiman EA, Singhal A, Sohn W, Garcia RI. Third-Molar Status and Risk of Loss of Adjacent Second Molars. Journal of Dental Research. 2021;100(7):700-705. doi:10.1177/0022034521990653
  2. Ghaeminia H, Nienhuijs MEL, Toedtling V, et al. Surgical removal versus retention for the management of asymptomatic disease-free impacted wisdom teeth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;5(5). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003879.PUB5
  3. Asnani S, Mahindra U, Rudagi B, Kini Y, Kharkar V. Dentigerous cyst with an impacted third molar obliterating complete maxillary sinus. Indian Journal of Dental Research. 2012;23(6):833-835. doi:10.4103/0970-9290.111275

Minimize the Impact of Sugar on Teeth

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Bacteria in the mouth may be both useful and dangerous.  When sugar is consumed the bacteria in the mouth quickly start producing acid.  Infectious bacteria feed on sugar, which produces acids that eat away at teeth’s protective enamel.  Cavities and holes in teeth are a result from the bacterial infection caused by the acids. If left untreated, cavities may penetrate into the inner layers of teeth, causing discomfort and tooth loss.  Fortunately, there are steps we can take to repair the harm that acids produce.

Start by educating yourself with the amount of sugar in foods and drinks.  It is also important to be informed of the many different forms and names of sugars in the foods and beverages we consume. What are the foods and drinks consumed daily?  For instance most of us drink coffee or tea daily, slowly start decreasing the amount of sugar you sprinkle in your tea or coffee.  Over time, taste buds become accustomed to the subtle taste difference and it is an easy step to help reduce your sugar consumption. Switching to agave nectar rather than sugar in your daily coffee is another option.  Agave’s glycemic index is lower than sugar’s, it will not cause as much of a jump in blood sugar levels.  In addition to being available in most supermarkets, agave nectar is also becoming more common in coffee shops. When agave is not readily available at local coffee shops, or if the taste of agave is an issue, simply reduce the amount of sugar.

When consuming something sweet or sticky try to shorten the amount of time the residue stays on teeth.  Leaving sugary, sticky residue on teeth for longer periods of time may cause additional harm to your teeth since they will be exposed to more acidic conditions.  To help reduce the residue on your teeth schedule a dental deep cleaning and checkup twice per year.

Whenever the sweet tooth urge starts to kick in be equipped with nutritious sugar-free snacks.

Or make one half of the snack nutritious sugar-free before you indulge. An excellent example is pairing chocolate with almonds, oats, or strawberries.  There are many useful resources on the internet that can help you discover and create healthier teeth friendly snacks.

Cleaning between teeth: The secret behind a truly healthy smile

Sahara Dental - Flossing

The secret to having a beautiful, healthy smile is maintaining impeccable oral hygiene. We all know how important it is to brush our teeth twice a day to keep them clean and devoid of debris and bacteria. Ideally, it would be best to use a good quality dentist-recommended toothpaste and soft nylon toothbrush to clean your teeth. However, some of us forget one small but integral addition to our regular oral hygiene practice: cleaning between the teeth.

Why is it important to clean between teeth?
Brushing teeth is one of the most effective ways of keeping our teeth clean, but it only reaches about 60% of a tooth’s surface. The surface between two teeth is not reachable by a usual toothbrush and often gets missed. The tiny space between two teeth, also known as interdental spaces, is a favorable hiding spot for disease-causing bacteria.

Our mouth is a host of millions of bacteria, and while most of them are harmless and even essential, some can be disease-causing under suitable conditions. These suitable conditions are provided to the bacteria by the food debris that gets dislodged between two teeth.

Plaque is a sticky, yellowish film that forms daily on the surfaces of the teeth and houses these disease-causing bacteria. Proper toothbrushing eliminates plaque from the tooth’s outer surface but fails to remove the plaque that forms between the teeth.

Bacteria from this plaque metabolize the sugars from the food debris and release toxic by-products in the mouth responsible for oral ailments like dental cavities and gum diseases.

Interdental cleaning ensures proper and complete plaque removal, thus reducing your risk of contracting dental infections, dental decay, and gum diseases.

Tools for proper interdental cleaning
To ensure you are correctly cleaning between your teeth, you must have the right tool. Fortunately, there are various options for you to choose from, and you can select one which fits your needs and requirement.

Floss
Floss is the most commonly used interdental cleaning aid. It is usually made from nylon, can be waxed or unwaxed, and comes in a plastic case.

To properly floss your teeth, break off about 18 inches of floss and wrap the two ends on the middle fingers of both your hands. Hold the floss and make it taut. Next, guide the floss between your teeth and push it down, forming a c-shape on one tooth while coming up. Continue till you have covered all the teeth. Make sure you discard this piece after a single-use.

In recent times, single floss sticks have also been made available in pharmacies to ensure a hassle-free flossing experience.

Interdental Brush
It is a specially designed toothbrush that has a small, conical shape tip and is used to clean the small gaps between the teeth, gums, and areas around braces. The shape of the brush allows it to pass through the tiniest of spaces and ensures adequate cleaning.

Oral Irrigators (Water Irrigators)
Oral irrigators or water irrigators have gained immense popularity in recent times. These devices let out a jet stream of water which flushes out the bacterial debris lodged between two teeth. It is a safe and reliable interdental cleaning and has shown effective results.

Cleaning between teeth is vital for a healthy smile and must be done at least once every day. If you have any doubts about interdental cleaning or which tool to use, you can also consult with your dentist. After all, excellent oral health and a healthy smile are key to our physical and mental well-being.

Top Dental Tips for Thanksgiving

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In just a week, families and friends will gather for Thanksgiving and enjoy many delicious foods and treats together. Can you imagine the mashed potatoes with gravy, grandma’s famous apple pie, and candied yams? In the preparation for the big day, you may not give a second thought to your teeth. Before you dig into the feast, consider these important dental tips.

Roast Turkey Tops the List

Turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table. This delicious main dish has lots of protein and other health benefits. However, even the best-cooked bird can have stringy bits that may get stuck between your teeth. Bring along some dental floss to the family gathering and excuse yourself for a quick treatment after dinner.

Sticky Green Bean Casserole

A classic family favorite, green bean casserole comes with healthy vegetables but a generous helping of sticky soup or sauce that can cling to your teeth after the meal is done. Give your mouth a swish with water and floss to make sure no particles are left.

Pile Your Plate with Vegetables

Not only do vegetables without sauce taste delicious, but they also represent a healthy option for your teeth during the Thanksgiving celebration. Get calcium from leafy greens like spinach or kale. Improve gum health with vitamin C from orange and red vegetables like peppers and carrots.

Avoid Acidic Foods When Possible

For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy a true feast and not worry too much about their diet. If you focus is more on preserving dental hygiene, avoid acidic foods that may weaken your tooth enamel. At least mix different types of foods together and drink water to help wash the acid away. Some problem foods include wine, cranberry juice or sauce, and anything with citrus.

Put a Limit on Sugar

Holiday gatherings, the dessert table often looks as full as the dinner table. How can you enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends without a slice of pumpkin pie or apple crumble? If you opt for a fruit dessert, you do get some vitamins and fiber from that. Pumpkin and sweet potato, for example, have a lot of vitamin C and A. However, the high sugar content can work against your healthy teeth plans. Practice moderation and always finish with a swish of water.

Starches Turn Into Sugar, Too

It may seem obvious to avoid candied yams piled high with marshmallows, but mashed potatoes with a high starch content can also transform quickly to sugar when they come in contact with enzymes in your saliva. Potatoes do have a lot of nutrients like vitamin C, B6, and potassium. Other starches like bread rolls can have a lot of healthy fiber, too. You do not have to skip your favorite side dish. Just understand the importance of limits and proper oral hygiene soon after Thanksgiving dinner.

Bring along your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to your holiday gathering year. Not only will you protect the health of your teeth and gums, you will also have fresh breath and whiter teeth for greeting family and friends all day long.

Improve Professional Success With a Bright New Smile

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Your career standing may change at any time, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries in a big way. If you find yourself on the hunt for a new job, you may struggle to know the best steps to take to maximize opportunities. Of course, career-focused tasks like polishing your resume, networking with other professionals and updating your online presence can help make the right impression on potential employers. You might even want to update your wardrobe or get a new, professional hairstyle. However, do not forget the importance of upgrading your smile at the same time.  After all, the vast majority of people say that they notice teeth health and appearance before almost anything else when meeting someone new.

No matter how closely you follow a dental hygiene regimen, time affects the look of your teeth and smile. Discoloration and yellowing occur normally due to time and everything you eat or drink.  Stress can cause wear and even cracks or chips.  Any repaired cavities may spread or fillings get loose over time. Corrective and cosmetic dentistry procedures can help.

Although dealing with cavities, cracks, and gum disease are essential parts of maintaining and improving mouth health, cosmetic procedures focus on the front teeth only. Whitening, veneers, and other procedures can greatly improve your first impression, make you look a decade younger, and give the impression of vigor and energy. Your smile tells people a lot about the type of person you are.

The Time Has Come for a Brand-New Smile

If you are unsure about how cosmetic dentistry can improve your chances of landing a new job or advancing your career, take a few moments to do this smile test. Give each detail a score between one and ten, with ten being the highest rating that needs no improvement.

  • Color and appearance of your gums
  • Tooth whiteness
  • The line or curve of your smile
  • The length and shape of your teeth
  • Empty spaces or gaps between teeth
  • Angles and alignment

Any score over fifty-five indicates your overwhelming satisfaction with how your smile looks. If you score below that, it is time to consider cosmetic dentistry procedures. An expert can help you explore all the options and determine which are best for your specific needs.

While Covid-19 continues, take the opportunity to work on self-improvement projects that can help you succeed no matter what happens next. Part of that is making an appointment with a cosmetic dentistry service provider to improve your smile. It is part of making a great first impression with company representatives and HR professionals. An attractive, bright smile will also give you the confidence you need to stay competitive in your industry or niche.

A smile makeover starts with an on-site digital imaging examination so the dentist can show you exactly what you can look like in the end. With the latest dental technology and a wide range of services at Sahara Dental in Las Vegas, you can enjoy a return to the brilliant smile of your youth or a completely reimagined look that helps you make great strides forward with your career.

Keep Hydrated, Combat Dry Mouth

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Dental damage sneaks up on us.  One thing that is usually overlooked in terms of oral hygiene is dehydration which if left untreated can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth is also referred to as xerostomia.

Some common symptoms of dry mouth are frequent thirst, dryness in the throat, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and bad breath.

Hydrated mouths produce enough saliva which helps combat dry mouth.  Saliva is essential in cleansing and keeping mouths moist which aid in the digestion of foods.  A mouth that lacks enough saliva cannot aid in regulating the amount of fungi and bacteria growing in it which can cause infections.  Tooth decay can happen because the lack of proper saliva flow allows food to get stuck to teeth and not wash away naturally. A dry mouth can also cause plaque to harden on teeth and cause inflammation which can gradually wear away gums.

Xerostomia can also be caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking, side effects of certain diseases & medications, medical treatments and nerve damage.  Sometimes an increase of water intake can quickly remedy this issue.  However, if the cause is medical, having a discussion with your doctor who can adjust the dosage or change your medication may be necessary.

To avoid these problems, be sure to keep hydrated. Making sure the ‘hydrated’ days outnumber the ‘dehydrated’ days can stave off most common oral hygiene problems and inconveniences. If dry mouth persists, however, be sure to check in with a Sahara Dental oral care expert.

Best Ways to Make Your Mouth Extra Kissable for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is more than a romantic holiday, but a yearly reminder for all of us to keep our mouths healthy and kissable.  Therefore, start preparations now for the most attractive smile, the freshest breath, and the most memorable experience ever.

Start Early With Cosmetic Dentistry

Do not wait too long for dental procedures or your mouth may feel too sore for kissing at all.   Some of the top options are alignment correction with invisible braces, retainers, and other dental devices, gum line reduction or correction, enamel bonding to correct chips or cracks, and dental veneers. Ideally, these more invasive procedures should happen months in advance of your making your mouth kissable.

A Clean Mouth is Extra Kissable

Good dental hygiene is a must when it comes to impressing your date or partner. Now is the time to brush up on your technique, buy a new toothbrush, and invest in a water pick system or flossing tool. Having an extra kissable mouth on Valentine’s Day requires more than a quick scrub with toothpaste. If in doubt, research best techniques or ask your dentist for a demonstration.

Teeth Whitening Gives a Great Impression

Everyone loves a bright, white smile. Cosmetic teeth whitening is one of the most common and accessible dental improvements you can make before a special date or romantic event on Valentine’s Day or any time of the year. While at-home products can improve the appearance of your teeth, consider a professional appointment for a safer and more effective outcome. Having a whiter smile can be as simple as changing your toothpaste or purchasing whitening strips from your local shop. Cosmetic dentistry experts recommend healthier alternatives in office for better results.

Fresh Breath is a Must for Romance

When it comes to kissing, nothing puts a man or woman off faster than bad breath. No one wants to kiss someone with this obvious sign of poor oral hygiene or health. To get fresh breath, practice toothbrushing, flossing, and a dental hygienist to remove debris and bacteria from every surface of your teeth and gums. Consider an antibacterial or anti-plaque mouthwash to finish. On the special day itself, breath mints can help keep your mouth fresh and ready for the romantic meeting. Beware mints with sugar, however, as they can stick to your teeth, damage enamel, and provide food for bacteria.

Red roses, gourmet chocolates, and romantic experiences means so much on Valentine’s Day. Your date or partner will appreciate you even more if you make an effort to freshen and beautify your mouth for a memorable kiss. Take care of your teeth every day but practice exceptional dental care and hygiene if you really want to make the right impression.