Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

9 Tips for a Better Recovery From Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

wisdom teeth removalEvery year, there are about 10 million wisdom teeth taken out of five million mouths in the United States, according to the American Public Health Association (APHA). There are a variety of reasons dentists recommend their patients undergo the wisdom teeth removal procedure. They include infection, tooth crowding, disease, and cavities.

Often the wisdom teeth removal surgery is done by an oral surgeon. While tooth extractions are routine and are known to alleviate tooth pain, it is not abnormal to experience some swelling, pain, and discomfort. The good news is that there are lots of options to keep people from experiencing too much pain and discomfort and pain during and after the procedure. Here are some things you can do to have a better experience.

  1. Get yourself ready before you have the work done. Get in and talk to the dentist or oral surgeon and ask them all the questions that you can think of. This will help you get a better idea of what you can expect during and after your wisdom teeth removal surgery. Most dental professionals will give their patients a list of things they should do before and after the procedure is done. It is crucial that you read over the list and talk to the dental office. If you do not understand something, ask them about it.
  2. Stock your kitchen. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about foods and drinks that are good after wisdom teeth are removed. Many people stock up on soups, ice cream, and other softer item. Getting the right things before you go in for surgery will make the process easier.
  3. Get the timing right. While a wisdom tooth extraction is a routine surgery it is still a surgery. You should make sure you have time to let your body heal afterward. You will need to have a friend or family member come with you to your appointment and get you home safe and sound after your procedure is complete. Some people make plans to have someone stay with them after the operation.
  4. Be careful with what you eat and drink after your procedure. Most dental experts recommend people start off with liquids right after the surgery. As time passes, people graduate to soft foods. After a few days, it is often possible to move on to more solid foods. You will want to skip eating very spicy foods or anything that is too hot. Also, you should avoid straws and smoking as either can lead to “dry sockets.”
  5. Make sure you rest up. Again, the wisdom teeth removal procedure is surgery and your body need rest to heal. Many people want to get back to their regular routines as soon as humanly possible. The problem with that is it can mean the actual healing process is delayed. Exercising too soon after surgery can cause more swelling and bleeding. It is better to spend a few days resting and relaxing. Prop your head on a pillow and just give your body and yourself a break.
  6. Open and close your mouth. You need to work through the stiffness if you feel any. To do anything else may cause bigger problems. Start slowly but be persistent with this.
  7. Take the time to rinse your mouth. You may get a special rinse from your dentist or oral surgeon or you may be advised to use saltwater. Either way, rinsing with one of these can help with the healing process if you are able to do this a few times throughout the day. This should be done after eating. You will experience less pain and swelling if you do this.
  8. Tea bags and gauze can help with bleeding. It is normal to bleed after this surgery but it is always better to bleed less than more.
  9. Follow the instructions you are given by your dental professional. They have made up a plan that is specific to your health and will help your recovery period. They know what they are talking about and their instructions should always be adhered to.

It is possible to have a good experience after a wisdom teeth removal operation. These nine tips can really help with the healing process.

Three Facts About Jaw Problems and Jaw Surgery

jaw surgeryGoing to the dentist or oral surgeon may be scary, but could alleviate symptoms suffered by many people. Jaw surgery may be an option to treat some conditions and symptoms that are caused by improper alignment of the jaw, such as a misaligned bite, speech problems, protruding jaw or weak chin, and difficulty breathing. Here are three little known facts about jaw surgery:

TMJ Disorder Is Usually Not Treated With Jaw Surgery

The temporomandibular joint (or TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. In the United States, approximately 35 million people have been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is the name for a collection of conditions that cause jaw pain and dysfunction of the jaw joint. TMJ disorder includes pain and discomfort in the muscles that control the jaw, physical dysfunction of the jaw joint, and inflammation or degeneration of the jaw joint.

There is no single cause of TMJ disorder. Some cases are caused by trauma to the face, jaw, or head or repetitive stress, like grinding or clenching the teeth. Other causes might include arthritis or genetics. Some cases have no apparent cause.

Jaw surgery is usually reserved for only the most severe cases of TMJ disorder. Most cases of TMJ disorder are treated with rest, pain medication, and anti-inflammatory medication.

Not All Jaw Pain is Caused by TMJ Disorder

While TMJ disorder causes jaw pain and discomfort, jaw pain may also have other causes, such as sinus infection, tooth pain, misaligned jaw, birth defect, or periodontal disease. A dentist can determine whether jaw pain is caused by TMJ disorder or by something else.

Jaw Surgery May Be Used to Treat Some of These Other Conditions

While orthodontics can re-position teeth, jaw surgery can be used when the jaw itself needs re-positioning. Jaw surgery can address jaw pain as well as correct facial appearance, bite problems, breathing problems, and speech problems.

Because the jaws grow at different rates throughout adolescence, jaw surgery is usually delayed until after growth ends. For females, this means jaw surgery is delayed until after the patient is 14 to 16 years old; for males, this means jaw surgery is delayed until after the patient is 17 to 21 years old.

Conclusion

TMJ disorders are usually treatable without jaw surgery. However, jaw surgery may be an option for correcting facial appearance as well as problems with bite, breathing, and speech.

Dental Implants: Four Good Reasons to Have Oral Surgery

dental implantsWhile you are at your check-up, the dentist informs you that you need a procedure. Whether it is a dental implant procedure, an oral bone graft or a surgical tooth extraction, this is not the news you really wanted to hear. 

What do you do next? The first thing you need to do is find an experienced oral surgeon. Knowing some facts that might help you relax and reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. Here are four good reasons for having oral surgery, including a few types of oral surgery procedures such as surgical tooth extraction, dental implants and wisdom tooth surgery.

1. Oral Surgery For Aesthetic Reasons

If you are anxious or hesitant about visiting the dentist, but you don’t like the way your teeth look, you are not alone. In fact, many adults deliberately do not smile for this very reason. A visit to an oral surgeon who specializes in implants can help you with this. Caps, crowns, and dental implants can make your smile more beautiful than ever. 

2. Oral Surgery To Remove Your Wisdom Teeth

It seems to be the most predominant rite of passage into adulthood for Americans: wisdom tooth removal. In fact, annually in the U.S., surgical tooth extractions of wisdom teeth is done to approximately 5 million people. The procedure is done every year on an outpatient basis. Beyond a rite of passage, wisdom tooth removal is one step in a lifelong process of taking good care of one’s oral health.

3. Oral Surgery To Make You Smile

Are you missing a tooth? Or teeth in one or both of your jaws? Well, if so, you are not alone. There are reportedly over 35 million Americans with this problem. But there is no need to keep your hand over your mouth for the rest of your life. A dentist can fill that gap with a crown or bridge replacement. Your smile will come to life!

4. Oral Surgery To Maintain Gum and Bone Health

There must be something special about dental implants: 3 million people already have a tooth implant today. And the number is growing, with every year finding that 500,000 more people having dental implants. Taking care of your teeth also helps take care of your gums and your bones, too.

Today, the many remarkable advances in general dentistry and oral surgery make it possible to make sure you take care of your oral health. Good oral health has an impact on your overall health, including digestion and nutrition. It is also important to know that taking good care of your teeth impacts your overall appearance and how your teeth look, too. With all these great reasons to take care of your smile, isn’t it time for you to call and make your next appointment with your dentist? 

Dental Implants: Your Questions Answered

oral surgeonNo one wants to feel insecure about their smile or worry about being unable to use their teeth as intended. Unfortunately, that is very much a reality for many people. Thanks to new advancements in the field of dentistry, however, both aesthetics and function can be restored with dental implants. Your oral surgeon can undoubtedly provide you with detailed information about this type of procedure and help to determine whether it’s right for you. But in today’s post, we’re answering some of the most common questions that dental clinicians receive about this treatment option.

 

What exactly are dental implants?

Essentially, dental implants are prosthetics that are permanently embedded into the jawbone by an oral surgeon. On top of that small titanium post, a crown, bridge, or denture can then be attached a few months later after healing has occurred. It’s a long-term, highly functional solution for people who require tooth replacement.

 

What are the reasons someone might obtain dental implants?

Someone who has a single missing tooth or several missing teeth might consider dental implants as a welcome alternative to conventional dentures or other options. Whether you’ve had missing teeth your whole life or had to remove certain teeth due to surgery or decay, dental implants may be an option for you.  Dental implants are especially helpful for those individuals who have used conventional dentures that do not fit well enough for them to enjoy eating or smile in public like they used to.

 

Can anyone with a need for implants have them placed?

Although an estimated 3 million people now have dental implants, not everyone is a viable candidate for this procedure. If you do not have enough bone in your jaw, you may be required to undergo other types of procedures before you can have an implant placed. Those who have advanced periodontal disease may not be able to obtain dental implants due to the progressive nature of that condition. In addition, those who have certain chronic diseases or take certain medications may not be able to undergo this procedure due to a compromised healing process. While most adults are typically good candidates for implants, it’s important to talk to your oral surgeon, whom you can trust to evaluate your concerns and to assess whether you are personally able to have this procedure performed.

 

Will getting dental implants be painful?

Typically, this procedure will be performed under local anesthesia, meaning that patients will experience little to no pain during the treatment itself. We at East MS Oral & Facial Surgery, however, are well qualified to also provide IV conscious sedation or general anesthesia should you have any dental anxiety issues or concerns.  While the healing process may be slightly uncomfortable, most patients do not experience a great deal of pain. In the majority of cases, any inflammation experienced post-treatment can be addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. Whatever small amount of discomfort you may feel will certainly be offset by your restored function and confidence.

 

Are implants as strong as natural teeth?

Actually, your oral surgeon will probably tell you that your implants are likely to be stronger than your natural teeth could ever be! Because implants are not prone to dental diseases, these new teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. They also provide much greater functionality than patients would be able to obtain with temporary or removable alternatives. You should be able to enjoy all foods and smile to the fullest knowing that your teeth will literally be made to last.

 

If you have further questions about dental implants or want to know whether they could be an option for you, we’re here to help. To make an appointment, please contact our offices today.

4 Types of Tooth Pain, Explained

dental clinicTooth pain can range from uncomfortable to downright dreadful. While some very minor pain is nothing to worry about, most types of mouth pain warrant a trip to the dentist.

Some severe types of pain might even need to be treated at an emergency dental clinic. Use this guide to identify which type of pain you have, and what the cause might be. With more information, you’ll be better able to determine the best course of action to protect your oral health.

1. Constant, Dull Pain

This type of tooth pain is the most common. If your pain is minor, constant, and accompanied by mild gum swelling, the pain might not be cause for concern– you could simply have something lodged between your tooth and gum. However, if the pain doesn’t subside after a few good flosses, it might actually be caused by tooth grinding at night, especially if the discomfort extends to your jaw. If pain persists or worsens, contact an oral surgeon to discuss possible causes and solutions.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity doesn’t always cause pain; some patients describe the sensation as tingly. This mild sensitivity can be managed with special kinds of toothpaste. However, for others, sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweets causes short bursts of fairly intense pain. Intense sensitivity or sensitivity that lasts more than 30 seconds could signal tooth decay, which impacts more than 1 in 4 (27%) U.S. adults.

3. Inconsistent, Sharp Pain

Occasional sharp bursts of pain are unpleasant surprises that definitely should be checked out by a dentist. Don’t put off your visit just because the pain isn’t always present. Inconsistent pain that occurs when you bite down, yawn, or touch the affected tooth most often signals physical tooth damage. You may have a tooth fracture or cracked enamel. Act fast and schedule an appointment to prevent that occasional pain from becoming constant.

4. Severe Pain

If your tooth pain is severe, throbbing, and rarely subsides, head to an emergency dentist or oral surgeon. Often, this kind of pain comes with facial or gum swelling which may indicate a dangerous infection. Whatever the cause, if your pain is severe enough to distract you from daily life, let a dentist help you solve the problem. You might need oral surgery or a tooth extraction to finally find relief.

No matter the type, tooth pain can be frustrating and scary. Use this guide to determine what might be causing your discomfort. Recognize when to see an oral surgeon or when to call an emergency dentist, so that your pain doesn’t worsen. For more great tips about protecting your smile, contact East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery today!

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Here’s What You Need To Know

tooth extractionsEvery year, 5 million U.S. teenagers and young adults have their wisdom teeth removed. Although tooth extractions like these are common oral procedures, wisdom teeth extraction is still major oral surgery.

That said, it’s important that you get the recommended amount of rest after your surgery and that you follow the instructions of your oral surgeon to a T.

To help put you at ease for your surgery and to make sure you’re properly informed, here are a few things you need to know about getting your wisdom teeth removed.

You’ll need to bring someone with you

Whether you have your license or not, you’ll need to bring someone with you to your oral surgeon’s office on the day of your surgery. This is because you’ll be medicated during your surgery and it’ll take a little while for the effects to wear off.  Minors under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or guardian on the day of surgery.

You will receive general anesthetic via an IV catheter and be placed into a safe and relaxing sleep.  You’ll also receive a local anesthetic first to numb the area of the extractions.

Everyone reacts differently to anesthesia, so it’s recommended to have someone come with you to drive you home. The effects of the medication will wear off within a few hours after the procedure.

You’ll need to keep your head raised.

Rest is important after your wisdom teeth removal, but it’s also important to keep your head raised. This will help to reduce the swelling in your face because it keeps your fluids from going to your head.

After approximately 72 hours, the swelling will begin to subside. It also helps to apply a cold compress to the swollen area during the first 24 hours.

Resist the urge to brush your teeth

You’ll want to avoid brushing your teeth for the first day after your surgery. That includes rinsing and spitting, too. The pressure from your toothbrush can cause problems with your stitches.

If the feeling of your unbrushed teeth really bothers you, you can use a damp cloth and gently wipe your tongue and carefully around the inside of your mouth. You can also use gauze to absorb any blood from your surgery.

Do you need wisdom teeth removal or other tooth extractions?

Tooth extractions are a common practice, especially wisdom teeth removal. An estimated 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted every year, according to the American Public Health Association

If you need your wisdom teeth extracted and you’re looking for a consultation, East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery has the professional oral surgeons you need. To learn more about how we treat tooth pain, our wisdom teeth removal procedures, or our TMJ treatments, contact East Mississippi Oral and Facial Surgery today.

TMJ Treatment To Help Relieve Pain

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. When the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly, symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound occur.

Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and TMJ treatment are important.

If you have trouble opening your mouth wide, suffer from jaw pain, hear a clicking or grating noise when you open your mouth, use the following list to help relieve some of the pain:

1. Apply Heat To The Area Of The Joint

Applying heat to the area of the joint can reduce pain and relax the muscles. For heat, apply to the area for 15-20 minutes.

2. Take Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

If your pain is too excruciating, taking Advil, Motrin, Aleve or other over the counter anti-inflammatory medications drugs can help. Short-term use of over these medicines can reduce joint and muscle pain.

3. Massage The Jaw and Neck Muscles

Use your fingers and provide a constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles that are most affected by the TMJ pain. Doing this improves blood flow and removes the irritating materials resulting in some pain relief.

4. Eat Soft Foods and Avoid Chewing Gum

Avoid chewing gum, jelly candies or any hard food such as ice or hard candies when big bites are necessary. Chewing gum and hard foods put a strain on the temporomandibular joints, and the muscles surrounding these joints and wear them down.

5. Relax The Jaw

A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night.

 

If you are one of the million people who suffer pain from TMJ, avoid chewing gum, relax the jaw, massage the jaw, apply ice or heat, or take over the counter pain relievers to help with TMJ treatment. If the pain is extreme, contact the oral surgeons at East Mississippi Oral & Facial Surgery, LLC at 601-485-2494 today.