Tag Archives: oral health

Nervous about Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction? Learn What To Expect

Wisdom teeth aren’t necessary teeth and most adults have them extracted due to impaction, infection, or crowding. While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, those that do have them taken out typically do it in their late teens or early twenties. At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. López uses digital x-rays to decide when it’s necessary to remove wisdom teeth that are not coming in properly or may cause problems.

wisdom teeth extraction at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

What are wisdom teeth?

While most of us only have room in our mouth for 28 teeth, we actually have 32. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, that don’t usually erupt until later in life. Most people have them removed in their late teens or early twenties, and a lucky few never need to have them removed at all. Your wisdom teeth serve no essential purpose, so having them removed won’t damage or inhibit your oral function in any way.

While we don’t need our wisdom teeth to maintain our health, they were originally used to help early human ancestors grind plant tissue. Early humans were thought to have larger jaws, with room for more teeth, helping them ingest a diet made of foliage and plants.

Why Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

Due to the fact that most of us don’t have big enough mouths to accommodate these extra molars, they don’t have enough space to erupt properly. They can cause overcrowding, or come in sideways and impacted, meaning that they are not growing in straight. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, that can damage surrounding teeth, causing infection. Removing your wisdom teeth makes it easier to maintain your oral health and prevent your teeth from shifting out of place.

What To Expect From An Extraction

Fortunately, wisdom teeth extractions are an extremely common procedure. Dr. López wants you to feel at ease during the process. With the use of sedation dentistry, you will be able to rest pain-free during the extraction, leaving you with little to no memory after your teeth have been removed. As everyone’s wisdom teeth are unique the extraction process is different for each patient.

If your wisdom teeth have already come through the gums the procedure will be similar to any other tooth extraction. However, if your wisdom teeth are still covered by gum tissue, our Spokane dentist will make a small incision, giving him access to the area and allowing him to extract the tooth. It may be necessary to split the tooth into multiple pieces to make it easier to remove.

Recovery From Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Following your procedure, someone will need to drive you home to heal. Immediately following your procedure, your lips, and cheeks may still feel a little numb or sore, however, medication should prevent any feeling of pain. During the next few days, it is important to get plenty of rest, avoid hard foods, or foods that are too hot as this can aggravate the extraction site.

Dr. López will provide medications to help reduce swelling, pain, and prevent infection as you heal. Most patients experience little to no discomfort and are able to return to normal activities such as work within a few days. Working out and heavy physical activity should be avoided until you are healed to prevent complications with your extraction site.

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Removing your wisdom teeth is usually recommended to protect your smile from damage. At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, wisdom tooth extractions offer many benefits to improve your oral health. Some of the benefits include:

  • Preventing damage to surrounding teeth
  • Improving oral health
  • Prevent shifting in teeth
  • Stop overcrowding
  • Preventing infection

Leaving your wisdom teeth in place when they are impacted or causing overcrowding can cause permanent damage. Wisdom teeth can make it hard to properly clean your back molars, causing tooth decay and cavities. They can also affect the health of your gums trapping bacteria and food debris that can cause gum disease.

It’s natural to be nervous when undergoing serious procedures, however, Dr. López and the team at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry are experienced in keeping you comfortable and worry-free during your entire treatment. We provide sedation dentistry and will walk you through every step to make sure you know exactly what to expect.

Visit Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Today!

Removing your wisdom tooth will protect your smile from damage, and relieve pain that can be caused by inflamed gums or impacted teeth. Dr. López is dedicated to providing stress-free dental care in a comfortable and caring environment that will put your mind at ease. Contact our Spokane office today!

Dental Signals You Should Never Ignore

Too often, serious dental conditions go unnoticed. Not only does this force patients to experience serious dental pain for longer than necessary, it also requires much more invasive care in order to restore our patients’ smiles to optimal health. If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions, be sure to schedule a visit with our Spokane dentist today.

Bleeding, Red or Tender Gums
While easy to dismiss, bleeding gums or bright red gums are the earliest indicator that your gums are under attack from gingivitis. Left untreated, this inflammation can quickly evolve into gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, this condition quickly causes the gums to recede, leaving tooth roots exposed and vulnerable to infection. In its most severe state, gum disease can even cause tooth loss.

Protect your smile from gum disease by scheduling a visit with Dr. López as soon as you notice that your gums are bleeding, are tender, or have become a brighter red than their natural pink color.

Tooth Sensitivity
Do you have a tooth that only hurts when exposed to extremely hot or extremely cold foods/drinks? Do you chew on one side of your mouth because a tooth on the other side hurts too much? If so, chances are you’ve had a deep cavity that has exposed the inner chamber of your tooth to infection. While it may be easy to ignore this sensitivity and “bite through the pain”, getting the tooth properly treated is in your best interest. If left untreated, severe tooth decay can require full extraction and eventual replacement. Visiting our dentist in Spokane as soon as you start experiencing tooth sensitivity ensures that your smile gets the care it deserves.

Jaw Pain or Grinding
Do you wake up in the morning with your teeth clenched? Are the tops of your teeth worn down? Do you experience jaw pain when you bite, chew, or speak? If you answered yes to any of these, chances are that you are experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD. Rather than describing one specific issue, this condition refers to any side effects caused by damage or deterioration in the jawbone. Common health issues that result from this condition include bruxism, bite misalignment, and muscle pain, all of which have a domino-like impact on the rest of the smile. Visiting your Spokane dentist for treatment can help prevent these conditions from compromising your oral health.

Loose Teeth
Unless you’re losing baby teeth, there is absolutely no reason that healthy teeth should be loose in your smile. However, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Dental accidents, gum disease, and bone loss caused by missing teeth are all factors that can lead to an otherwise healthy tooth become loose.

Treatment for this oral health issue varies from patient to patient and in some, may require extraction and replacement with a dental implant.

Always Being Parched
Staying hydrated throughout the day isn’t just good for your overall wellbeing – it’s important for your oral health. High saliva production is another important part of achieving and maintaining a healthy smile. Both help wash away bacteria after meals and limit how much plaque sticks to teeth.

If you find yourself frequently parched, you may be showing signs of dry mouth, a condition caused by insufficient saliva flow. If dry mouth is left untreated, patients face complications like constant sore throat, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

At Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our mission is simple – keep patients with healthy, beautiful smiles for as long as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the above conditions or have gone more than six months since your last dental cleaning or exam, it’s time to schedule a visit with Dr. López today!