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.

Treatments and Solutions for Bad Breath and Halitosis

Treatments and Solutions for Bad Breath and Halitosis

Find yourself having to chew gum or use breath mints all the time to get rid of that stubborn odor? You might be one of four people in the world that suffer from chronic bad breath or halitosis. Halitosis is a condition in which the odor from your mouth exceeds what is deemed socially acceptable.

Now, bad breath and halitosis are caused by many factors from disease to common lifestyle choices. If you have a consistently dry mouth and use tobacco products regularly, you have a much higher likelihood of developing bad breath. Poor dental hygiene, having dentures, and odor-causing bacteria are other notorious factors contributing to halitosis. Some serious conditions such as periodontal disease and a respiratory tract infection could also be causing that problematic and pesky smell.

Now not to worry, halitosis and bad breath are not something you have to get used to and accept. There are several ways in which you can overcome this annoying hurdle. The main steps are:

1) Treatment of Underlying Disease
After visiting a dental specialist, you may be diagnosed with periodontal disease or a respiratory tract infection. It is very common to experience bad breath when dealing with these conditions. By going to a dentist, you will get treated for all the infections within your gum line which may cause inflammation. This is most often caused by a lot of yellow buildup of plaque around the teeth very close to the gum-line.

2) Removal of Build-Up
A build-up, similar to the one seen in periodontal disease, may cause bad breath even before causing disease. It would be a good precaution to look out for this as most dentists will be able to remove all the plaque. Bacteria build-up on the tongue is also a cause for concern. However, brushing regularly, using a tongue scraper as well as a bacterium-killing mouthwash could make the build-up subside within days or weeks.

3) Reinstating Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing regularly would be the best course of action if you do not have a condition or build-up. By being more proactive in oral hygiene, such as brushing longer and in different directions, you are sure to improve your breath.

4) Avoiding Certain Foods
Certain foods you eat could adversely impact how your breath smells. Some foods to avoid would be onion, garlic and an excessive consumption of coffee all have the potential to make your breath smell unpleasant.

Vitamins for Healthy Gums

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Vitamins and minerals play a significant role in healthy gums and overall oral health. The good news is that many of the vitamins and minerals that are required for healthy gums can be obtained from a balanced diet. People who have a vitamin deficiency can experience oral health problems such as tooth decay, bleeding gums, receding gums, and even tooth loss. It is important to understand which vitamins and minerals are needed for people with gum disease in order to prevent any future complications. Better still, the same vitamins can help prevent gum disease in the first place.

Vitamin C
This powerful antioxidant protects and strengthens gum tissue and the connective tissue that holds everything together in your mouth. It is one of the most important vitamins for oral health as it also helps fight off bacteria that can lead to inflammation and infections. Vitamin C reduces bleeding gums and can turn periodontal disease around in many cases.

Vitamin D
Also known for its help with overall tooth health by promoting mineralization, vitamin D is also a necessary nutrient for healthy gums. Deficiencies directly lead to inflammation, gingivitis, and other painful and unattractive problems. While studies are inconclusive about whether it actually offers a cure or treatment for existing gum issues, they are much more prevalent in people without sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin A
This essential vitamin for gum disease health boosts your body’s natural ability to protect your teeth and gums by influencing saliva production. Although many might not like to think about it, saliva does a very important job in your mouth. It helps break down food molecules and keeps things clean in between tooth brushing and flossing.

B Complex Vitamins
Lack of sufficient B vitamins also leads to bleeding gums, inflammation, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, and other periodontal diseases. This is especially true for folate and thiamine.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3s contribute greatly to the overall health of gum tissue. Studies have clearly demonstrated improvement in existing gum disease after taking these supplements. The study results have shown spaces between gums and teeth decreased while more connective tissue reattached the gums versus groups not ingesting these essential fatty acids.

Zinc
Although this is a mineral instead of a vitamin, it is an essential part of maintaining gum health and preventing periodontal disease. It has actually shown to reduce levels of plaque in the mouth for both children and adults, especially those with diabetes. Zinc is also an anti-inflammatory and shows promise in minimizing the severity of chronic gum disease overall.

Coenzyme Q10
Another well-known antioxidant that benefits a host of body systems, CoQ10 has demonstrated excellent levels of protection for people with gum disease. It minimizes inflammation and especially helps the healing process after invasive dental procedures. This supplement can get you on the road to gum disease health and recovery more quickly.

On your next check-up visit to Sahara Dental Las Vegas, ask your dentist what vitamins and minerals you may need for healthier gums.

Protect Teeth While Playing Sports

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Sports are a great pastime or way to stay in shape but sports have a history of being a contributing factor to injuries. When we think of a ‘sports injury’, terms like a dislocated or a sprained ‘body part’ comes to mind but teeth are at risk too! Especially when it comes to broken or knocked out teeth.

Across all age groups, from the child on the elementary school team to the professional athlete in the big leagues, there are reports of dental injuries and injuries to the mouth. They come in by the boatloads with about 80% of athletes suffering injuries relating to the mouth or teeth. Despite the traditional image of a hockey player with a big smile and missing teeth, basketball is actually the sport that tends to cost players the largest quantity of pearly whites. Luckily for the athletically inclined, there are ways to protect teeth and gums while out on the field.

Helmets and mouth-guards are the most common safety gear.  It can be argued that this equipment can look silly, limit mobility, vision or may even be uncomfortable.  However, protective gear can help reduce the severity of injury or guard against it all together.

When it comes to mouth-guards, there are a few available options.  Generic mouth-guards are sold at sports stores that are not custom fit and are largely reported to be uncomfortable for the user. There are some mouth-guards that can be molded but are less reliable than ones custom fitted made by dentists. If a tooth should be injured in some way, it is possible to put a porcelain veneer on it, put it back in or replace it with a dental implant. If taking up sports, be sure to get a medical exam and visit your Las Vegas dentist for your oral health.

Top Solutions to Replace One or More Missing Teeth

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One or more missing teeth can make it impossible to chew food correctly, may affect the positioning and health of nearby teeth, and can destroy your self-confidence quite easily. This is especially true if you lose one of your front teeth necessary to give you an attractive smile. Professional dentists can help restore a good-looking and functional mouth with these top solutions for replacing missing teeth.

Dental Implants
Dentists and patients alike overwhelmingly prefer implants for their ability to closely match existing teeth and offer a permanent solution that needs no real special care. Whether you are missing one or multiple teeth, you can get individual dental implants to replace them.

The process involves attaching a post to your jawbone to anchor a false tooth to the top. In the end, they look nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth. The main drawback involves a higher cost than other options. Nevertheless, dental implants remain one of the most popular ways to manage your mouth if you have lost one or more teeth.  Dental implants are generally permanent and will last the rest of your life without any need for replacement or other invasive procedures.

Dental Bridge
Multiple types of dental bridges can give you the appearance of natural teeth. These include implant-supported, tooth-supported, and a resin-bonded bridge. As the first two indicate, these are false teeth supported by either implanted teeth on either side or the natural teeth that still exist in your mouth. The third type only works for front teeth that do not do a lot of biting or chewing. The false tooth is attached via wings to teeth on either side rather than with complete caps like a tooth-supported bridge.

Partial Dentures
This removable option to replace one or more missing teeth functions just like a whole denture but leaves open spaces for your existing teeth. This affordable option gives you the appearance of an attractive smile but does require more maintenance than the other options listed above. You will need to remove the dentures and clean them separately from your existing real teeth.

Some people find these uncomfortable or awkward, which makes implants and bridges a better choice. Also, partial dentures may make it difficult to eat certain foods. The focus is mostly on aesthetics and not function.

This temporary option for one or more missing teeth is usually used before one of the above solutions is completed. These molded retainer-style inserts are highly affordable, easy to use, and offers a relatively realistic way to fill gaps in your smile. They do not, however, help with overall mouth structure, protecting other teeth, and they must be removed when you eat.

Speak with your Sahara Dentist about the best options for you when it comes to replacing one or more missing teeth. Whether you opt for implants, a type of bridge, partial dentures or a temporary flipper, you can create a better looking and functioning mouth. The dental technology available today offers more options than ever before for maintaining a healthy and attractive smile.

Explore the Future of Dental Fillings

Explore the Future of Dental Fillings

More than 90% of the adult population in the United States experiences cavities in their lifetime. A full quarter of them have more than one dental filling. Even with the best dentistry available, it may be difficult to avoid the future need for this treatment. Understanding today’s options and the future of dental fillings will equip you to work with your dentist and determine the right solutions for you.

Problems With Historical Dental Fillings
People with cavities have received fillings made from a variety of different materials over the years. The earliest modern ones used from the 1800s on were made of amalgam, which is a combination of a few different types of metal like tin and silver. These contained small amounts of mercury, a toxic metal, which is known to have cause many health concerns. These fillings are also hazardous to the environment.

At present, most regular fillings are made from a composite material without dangerous substances in them. They are safe, generally affordable, and white, so they can be used in visible locations in the mouth. These common options protect exposed parts of a tooth with a cavity but do nothing to improve the overall health of a patient’s mouth.

Dental Technology is Always Improving
The future of dental fillings continues to introduce new options to the market. While ordinary composite materials are vastly improved over amalgam, dentists want better choices for their patients all the time. Oral health and increasing interest in cosmetic dentistry has led to a variety of advancements. These include nano options, improved tooth bonding, and more moldable forms used to correct chipped or cracked teeth.

Bioactive Glass — Regrowing Healthy Teeth
Dentists and patients alike have dreamed of regrowing damaged teeth for the whole history of dental care. That is now becoming a reality as researchers develop bioactive glass composites. The first term in their name refers to the material’s ability to replace minerals and actually regrow teeth. This unique type of filling, which is made of crushed glass with interactive properties, also blocks damage caused by bacteria and prevents cavities from forming.

Instead of using a composite one that fills a whole but does nothing to protect the leftover tooth, bioactive glass does both at the same time. While it may sound almost magical, the science behind these future dental filling varieties makes sense. If you introduce the calcium and phosphorus that makes up teeth on a material that oral bacteria do not like, the overall result is a much healthier and stronger mouth.

Dental technology and science continue to improve at a rapid rate. With so many people needing dental fillings every year, it makes sense to explore and understand the options. The future of this common dental procedure is transforming the way professionals help their patients. Speak with a Sahara dentist about the best options to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.

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.

New Year, New Smile!

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For some, a New Year is turning a new leaf and making positive, impactful changes.  Make 2021 a new year for maintaining a healthy, stunning smile – which is as easy as 1,2,3! And 4. And 5.

Number 1 – Brushing – Simple and effective, even preschoolers know the amazing benefits of maintaining a schedule for brushing teeth. Make sure to use teeth whitening toothpaste to keep those teeth bright. Also, always have a toothbrush on hand that isn’t flayed or too old. Getting a new toothbrush is recommended after about 3 months or after an illness. This reduces the amount of bacteria on the brush while also ensuring bristles that can effectively brush away plaque and bacteria.

Number 2 – Flossing – Flossing works the same as brushing but it gets where a toothbrush simply cannot. Food is notorious for getting stuck between teeth and flossing is a great way to get food unstuck as well as scraping away plaque on smaller, tighter corners of the tooth.

Number 3 – Brace Yourself – Braces / Invisalign help straighten teeth which can make flossing and brushing easier along with making a smile simply look nicer. Contact us today to learn more about effective, affordable teeth straightening options.

Number 4 – Making Healthier Choices – Things like sugar and tobacco are the enemy of good oral health as they cause tooth decay and can stain teeth. On the other hand, calcium-rich dairy foods that strengthen teeth are always a safer choice. After a meal or snack, chewing gum with Xylitol can help keep teeth healthy and bright by discouraging plaque build up and bacterial growth while also neutralizing acids. Just be sure to keep track of what comes into contact with that smile!

Number 5 – Routine Dental Visits – Even with a dedicated schedule and extra care to things like reducing sugar intake, routine dental visits with a dentist at Sahara Dental Las Vegas are still key to maintaining good oral health.   X-Rays and professional knowledge of oral care help ensure that overall dental health is kept at the highest standard possible.

Time to Take Advantage of Insurance Benefits

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Insurance companies often have set dollar amounts available to account holders until the end of the year. This means that once the year ends, any money available to account holders will be forfeit and will become unavailable to use. In layman’s terms: It’s wasted money.

Time is running out to take advantage of this coverage. As we move to the end of the year, the date gets even closer to losing these benefits that only come once per year.

Life is busy and sometimes, it’s easy to lose track of things like change, keys and appointments. Let this be a friendly reminder to take a look at any coverage available for dental appointments and be encouraged to use them. Even a simple procedure like a teeth cleaning can have huge benefits in the long run.

During procedures that whiten teeth, dental care experts may also apply agents that help strengthen enamel which can help prevent more troublesome or serious issues in the future. Just like finding cash in the couch cushions while looking for the remote, small problems can be spotted early and taken care of long before they cause any real harm or lasting damage. This can save a lot of money, time and pain.

Reaping benefits available for use is not just a smart move for account holders and their families but also an easy way to save time and money in the future.