Yearly Archives: 2016

For Tooth Extractions, Let Oral Sedation Calm Your Anxiety

Does the idea of tooth extraction turn you into a bundle of nerves? Are you tempted to cancel procedures because they stress you out?

tooth extraction sedation

If so, you’re not alone. Many patients are anxious and fearful of dental procedures, sometimes to the point of avoiding treatment. Oral sedation is a safe and effective solution for this problem, and a great way to overcome even your most overwhelming tooth extraction anxieties.

What Is Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation diminishes nervousness, allowing patients to relax in the dental chair. Also referred to as sedation dentistry, this method of anesthesia typically comes in the form of a tablet that is swallowed prior to the extraction procedure.

Most medications used with sedation dentistry are benzodiazepines, which work to stop the chemical reactions that produce anxiety and fear. Your oral surgeon will determine which medication is appropriate for your extraction procedure, but common brand names include Halcion, Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.

What Is Tooth Extraction Like under Oral Sedation?

Once the medication kicks in, you’ll find yourself delightfully drowsy and relaxed. Your fears and worries will melt away, and you’ll feel calm and ready for your tooth extraction. Thanks to the medication, the extraction procedure will seem to go by very quickly.

Most patients remain slightly alert after taking an oral sedative, though some become groggy enough to doze off during the extraction procedure. If you do fall asleep, you’ll be easy to wake and able to respond to instructions from the oral surgery team.

Sedation dentistry temporarily impairs cognitive and motor function, so you’ll need someone else to drive you to and from your appointment. Once you get back home, however, the effects of the medication will wear off quickly. You’ll be back to your normal self in just a few hours.

What if Oral Sedation Doesn’t Help Your Tooth Extraction Anxiety?

Sedation dentistry is usually enough to overcome most patients’ nervousness about having an extraction. But if you have a severe dental phobia, you may not find much comfort in antianxiety medication.

The oral surgery team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah understands dental anxiety, and we take the utmost care to help you have a positive experience in the dentist’s chair. To that end, we offer several other anesthetic options.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a common choice for anxious patients. With this safe form of anesthesia, your perceptions are altered. You will feel lightheaded, happy and at ease for your tooth extraction.

If you’d rather be unconscious, you may be a candidate for intravenous (IV) sedation. Once this type of anesthesia hits your bloodstream, you’ll be knocked out, completely unaware of the extraction procedure. Although it’s not recommended for everyone, the oral surgeon will let you know if it is appropriate for your procedure

With today’s advanced options for safe and effective anesthesia, you don’t have to be afraid of dental procedures. The compassionate treatment team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is committed to making our patients feel safe and comfortable. Call one of our convenient offices today to discuss anesthesia options to help alleviate your tooth extraction anxiety.

Could Better Oral Health Be as Easy as Popping a Pill?

To improve your oral health and prevent cavities, would you consider taking a pill?

You may already take medications to manage or prevent certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma or osteoporosis. And thanks to recent research, you may one day be able to keep cavity-causing bacteria at bay with a simple pill as well.

better oral health

What does this mean for the future of oral health and dental care? We think it may be exciting news.

Scientists Discover New Bacteria that Wards Off Cavity-Causing Agents

You may be creeped out by the idea of bacteria in your mouth, but not all types are bad. Some strains of bacteria are beneficial to your oral health, which is why we can’t simply eliminate all of it to stop tooth decay. Consequently, scientists have been looking for ways to get rid of the harmful bacteria, while leaving the beneficial strains behind.

Researchers at the University of Florida recently discovered a new strain of mouth bacteria that may keep the cavity-causing types in check. Called A12, this potentially beneficial bacteria is a previously unknown strain of streptococcus. Scientists have mapped out the entire genetic code of A12, hoping to use the strain in the future as a tool for preventing cavities.

How the New Bacteria Strain May Help in Preventing Cavities

For your mouth to stay healthy, the chemical environment must remain relatively neutral. If it becomes too acidic, you may start seeing tooth decay, gum disease and related problems.

Two main compounds help to maintain a neutral chemical environment: urea, which everyone has, and arginine, an amino acid. The researchers determined that in people with few or zero cavities, arginine is more easily broken down. This suggested the presence of a beneficial bacteria helping to keep the mouth’s environment neutral, which the scientists found in A12.

A12 doesn’t just work at preventing cavities by neutralizing acid, though. Researchers found that the strain may also interfere with or even kill Streptococcus mutans, harmful bacteria that contributes to cavity formation and poor oral health.

The beneficial bacteria may have future use as a diagnostic tool, to identify patients who are at the greatest risk of tooth decay. Eventually, it may be possible to use A12 to develop a supplement for preventing cavities and improving overall oral health.

Preventing Cavities and Tooth Decay Today for Better Oral Health Tomorrow

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has awarded the University of Florida research team a five-year, $3 million grant to continue their work with the A12 bacteria strain. But results are a long way off, so don’t count on taking an anti-cavity pill anytime soon.

Instead, you’ll have to rely on basic cavity-fighting measures to ensure your ongoing oral health. This includes consistent daily dental hygiene habits and regular examinations from an experienced oral health care professional. Seeing an oral surgeon for advanced problems will help ensure early treatment and the best chance for keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, with offices in Tooele, West Jordan and Cottonwood, provides advanced care and treatment for the whole family, to ensure and protect your oral health and overall well-being.

Can Wisdom Teeth Erupt and Then Sink Back into Your Gums?

Can wisdom teeth come and go?

As strange as this question may sound, patients sometimes complain that it feels as if their wisdom teeth begin coming in, but then the molars sink back into the gums after a few days or weeks.

wisdom teeth erupt

Is that even possible?

In most cases, the answer can be found in the condition we generally refer to as impacted wisdom teeth.

What’s Really Happening with Your Wisdom Teeth?

These teeth can’t cut through the gum tissue and sink back down. When you experience that sensation, the likely reason is that they are impacted, or stuck in the gums, and unable to fully erupt.

When the third molars start to penetrate the gum tissue but are not able to come all the way through, infection is likely. Bacteria can easily accumulate around impacted teeth, and thoroughly cleaning the gum tissue can be difficult.

As a result, infection makes the gums swell up, over and around the impacted teeth. This process can make it feel as if they are sinking back into the gums. Once the infection clears up, you’ll feel as if the third molars are erupting once again.

Causes of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Nine out of every 10 U.S. residents have at least one impacted wisdom tooth, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Why so many? Essentially, it’s because our jaws have evolved to become narrower. Our early ancestors needed the third molars for chewing, but thanks to the modern human ability to cook, we really don’t need them any longer.

And, because of how our skull structures have changed over time, many patients don’t have enough jaw space for the impacted teeth to erupt properly. Their mouths are too crowded, so the third molars can’t completely break through the gum tissue.

Treating Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted third molars don’t always cause pain or discomfort, and sometimes patients aren’t even aware of the problem. Nonetheless, oral surgeons recommend seeking prompt treatment for impacted teeth. In most cases, removal is necessary to prevent a variety of problems.

Teeth that are impacted often grow in at an angle, pushing against the nearby teeth and causing damage. Over time, this can result in a misaligned bite. In some cases, fluid-filled tumors can develop around the base of impacted teeth. Allowed to grow unchecked, these cysts can hollow out the jawbone and prevent the jaw from functioning normally.

Any infection in the gums can become life-threatening, as it could spread from the mouth tissues to vital organs and tissues throughout the body.

The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah has expertise in complex tooth extractions. Call one of our convenient Salt Lake City offices today to schedule a consultation to evaluate your impacted wisdom teeth.

Dental Implants: Debunking 3 Common Myths

Dental implants are usually the best option for patients with missing teeth. Yet many patients who might benefit from implant surgery are hesitant, as the result of incorrect information they heard or read online.

Dental Implant Myths

You can find a vast amount of misconceptions about implants online. We are often surprised by how quickly these can spread — electronically or live. But by putting some of the more egregious myths to rest, we can help our patients make truly informed choices about their oral care.

Myth No. 1: Dental Implant Surgery Is Painful

Fear of pain during treatment stops many patients from replacing their missing teeth. The good news is that implant surgery involves only a brief period of discomfort. In fact, most of our patients tell us that having implants was much easier and less painful than they thought it would be.

Implant surgery is accomplished in a series of steps, each under the anesthesia. Often, local anesthesia is all that is required, but other options are available to help you feel more comfortable during the procedures.

Oral sedation or laughing gas can help calm your nerves, for example, or intravenous (IV) anesthesia can put you into a type of “twilight sleep,” which feels to you like a lovely little nap.

Myth No. 2: Dental Implants Often Fail

Many patients believe that implant surgery is still an experimental type of procedure. We can tell you with full certainty that proven success rate of up to 98 percent.

The first implants were placed over a half-century ago, way back in 1965. Since then, countless millions around the world have opted for this highly effective method of tooth replacement. And the American Dental Association (ADA) says that in the United States alone, more than 5 million implants are placed each year.

With proper care — regular oral surgeon or dental visits and consistent oral hygiene habits — your implants can last a lifetime.

Myth No. 3: Any Dentist Can Place Dental Implants

Technically speaking, this one is true — general dentists are legally allowed to perform implant procedures. But make no mistake, getting implants involves surgery. Some dentists attend only short training programs to learn about implant placement.

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, undergo four to six years of extensive surgical training after dental school. Plus, during their hospital-based residency programs, they complete advanced training in implant placement and in dealing with potential complications that may arise during oral surgery.

General dentists simply don’t have the same level of education and experience, and many are not experienced with handling surgical complications. So while dentists are allowed to place dental implants, seeking this procedure from an oral surgeon is the safer choice.

The oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah specialize in implant surgery. Both Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge have the advanced training and professional qualifications to expertly replace your missing teeth.

Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation with our experienced and friendly team. We look forward to helping you learn more about safe, effective — and permanent — dental implants.

Corrective Jaw Surgery — What Can You Eat Afterward?

For the first several weeks following corrective jaw surgery, you’ll likely be restricted to a liquid diet. After that, you’ll still have to stick to a soft food diet for several more weeks. To most patients, this sounds pretty bland and boring.

Corrective jaw surgery food

You won’t be able to chew much, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat a wide variety of tasty and nutritious soft foods. In fact, you can enjoy many mouthwatering meals during your jaw surgery recovery that will also help meet your nutritional needs.

Delicious Breakfast Foods for Jaw Surgery Recovery

Smoothies are a great choice for breakfast during the surgical recovery period. Try combining different fruits and veggies, and add some Greek yogurt or peanut butter for a protein boost. You can also blend in other healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed, oats and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Not a fan of smoothies? Try a smashed banana, smeared with nut butter. Or go for soft scrambled eggs, adding some ricotta or cheddar cheese for more flavor.

Cooked cereals, including oatmeal and cream of wheat, are also good breakfast choices. Try stirring in a dollop of pureed fruit, a few spices or some peanut butter for variety.

Flavorful Soft Foods to Enjoy at Lunch and Dinner

Cooking shows often feature vegetable purees in recipes. Why not make your own? Mashed potatoes are a no-brainer, but you can also puree many other healthy veggies, including carrots, cauliflower, squash, onions and bell peppers. All you need to do is roast them on a sheet pan in the oven, then blend with some vegetable stock and seasonings.

Polenta, couscous, risotto and refried beans can also make for a healthy — and tasty — lunch or dinner after jaw surgery. Many different recipes are available online, so you can switch up the flavor to keep from getting bored.

Pasta dishes may also work well for you, although you’ll need to increase cooking time to make the noodles softer. Creamy rice casseroles and tender, flaky fish are other lunch and dinner options to consider, all packed with vital nutrients.

Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth After Corrective Jaw Surgery

You don’t have to worry about missing out on sweets after surgery, as there are tons of delicious soft dessert foods to help you through the recovery period.

Ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt and gelato are popular choices, but be sure to avoid the chunky varieties. Or, opt for pudding, mousse or cheesecake in your favorite flavors.

You can also eat some baked soft foods during the surgical recovery period. Tender, moist muffins and cakes can melt in your mouth, and fudgy brownies (without nuts, of course) may be soft enough for you to eat.

As your ability to clean your teeth and gums is diminished after jaw surgery, your oral surgeon will likely recommend limiting the amount of sweets that you consume. After all, the sugars they contain can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. So while you need not deprive yourself, indulge in limited quantities.

Contact the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah today for even more tips and advice for a smoother recovery period after your corrective jaw surgery.

Can Drinking Green Tea Help Prevent Oral Cancer?

Does green tea hold the power to ward off oral cancer?

This popular beverage has been associated with a number of health benefits, including the prevention of heart disease and high cholesterol. Studies have also shown that regular green tea consumption may help protect against breast, colon, lung, ovary and prostate cancer.

Green Tea Oral Cancer

Now, oral cancer can be added to that list. Research has revealed that regularly drinking green tea could also be beneficial in the prevention of oral and oropharyngeal carcinoma.

Green Tea Consumption Helps Defeat Oral Cancer

The idea that drinking green tea could help prevent and even reverse the progress of mouth and throat cancer was first publicized back in 2002. A group of oral and maxillofacial pathology researchers from the Medical College of Georgia discovered that this beverage had anti-cancer powers.

A compound or polyphenol in this green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) was found to induce death in cancer cells — without affecting the noncancerous cells. At the time, researchers couldn’t determine exactly why EGCG only targets those cells. But they concluded that regularly drinking this type of tea could help prevent oral carcinoma.

New Research Regarding Green Tea and Oral Cancer Prevention

A recent Pennsylvania State University study has confirmed the earlier findings — the EGCG in green tea may kill cancerous cells.

This time around, researchers gained a greater understanding of the mechanism that causes the compound to selectively kill cancer cells. They found that EGCG triggers a reaction in the mitochondria in cancer cells, causing a cycle of damage that ultimately results in their deaths.

EGCG doesn’t cause this reaction in healthy cells. Instead, it boosts their defense mechanisms to help protect against mouth and throat cancer.

A protein called sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) may also play an important role in this process. Researchers believe it’s likely that EGCG affects the activity of SIRT3 differently in cancerous and non-cancerous cells.

Taking Oral Cancer Prevention Research Further

With limited clinical data, it’s too early to say how useful drinking this beverage may be in preventing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer. And it may never become a first-line treatment for patients who are already afflicted with the disease.

However, the emerging studies are promising, and researchers are eager to complete further testing and clinical trials. The hope is to one day use the EGCG compound to help create an effective anti-cancer treatment that doesn’t leave patients stricken with the side effects that are common with chemotherapy drugs.

In the meantime, patients can reduce their chances of developing oral carcinoma by avoiding certain risk factors, including smoking and drinking alcohol. Even more imperative in prevention is visiting an oral surgeon for regular checkups to help detect early warning signs. Discovering the disease early means treatment is more likely to be successful.

The experienced surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have extensive training in oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer prevention and treatment. Contact one of our Salt Lake City area offices today to schedule your oral cancer screening.

Are Antibiotics Necessary before Oral Surgery?

Is oral surgery in your future?

You may have heard that some patients require a course of antibiotics prior to their surgery to help prevent infection. Will you be required to do this as well?

oral surgery antibiotics

The chances are good that you won’t have to undergo antibiotic treatment before your procedure. A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study determined that preventive antibiotics can do more harm than good in healthy patients. In addition, the American Dental Association (ADA) only recommends precautionary antibiotics for a patients with specific medical conditions.

ADA Guidelines for Oral Surgery Patients with Joint Implants

Historically, dental patients with prosthetic joint implants have been advised to take antibiotics prophylactically to prevent infection in the joint. However, in a review of the research, an ADA expert panel found no link between dental procedures and artificial joint infections.

Consequently, ADA guidelines state that preventive antibiotics are not automatically recommended for joint implant patients. However, anyone who has had previous medical issues related a prosthetic joint may still be required to undergo a pre-surgery antibiotic regimen.

ADA Guidelines for Oral Surgery Patients with Heart Conditions

Patients with heart conditions often assume that a course of antibiotics will be necessary before an oral or dental procedure, as they’ve been told they are at risk for infective endocarditis.

However, the ADA, along with the American Heart Association (AHA), has determined that precautionary antibiotics are generally only appropriate for a small subgroup of heart patients. Guidelines suggest antibiotics for patients with prosthetic cardiac valve repair, a history of infective endocarditis or heart valve disease after a cardiac transplant. Some congenital heart conditions also call for a round of antibiotics before oral and dental procedures.

Medical Conditions that May Require Antibiotics Before Oral Surgery

Patients with certain medical conditions may have a higher chance of developing an infection after oral surgery.

Preventive antibiotics may be advised for anyone with a health issue that affects the immune system, as those patients cannot fight off infection as easily. This includes patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, insulin-dependent diabetes and hemophilia.

Some medications can also suppress the immune system and increase the likelihood of infection after oral surgery. Patients on steroid drugs, including corticosteroids and asthma inhalers that contain synthetic steroids, may need precautionary antibiotics. Patients who take certain heartburn, cholesterol, depression or pain medications may also require antibiotics before undergoing a dental procedure.

The ADA encourages oral surgeons and dental professionals to consider their guidelines, but recommends that treatment be tailored to meet the patient’s specific needs.

The experienced surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have the expertise to determine whether you will need preventive antibiotics. With convenient office locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, we look forward to serving all of your family’s oral surgery and health needs.

The Facts About Wisdom Tooth Extraction & Pregnancy

Questions regarding wisdom tooth extraction are quite common for expecting moms. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can make gums extra sensitive, causing swelling and bleeding. In many cases, these issues affect the wisdom teeth and result in pain.

wisdom teeth pregnancy

If you’re having this problem, you may want to have your wisdom teeth removed. But is this procedure even possible if you’re pregnant?

Consult with Your Obstetrician and Oral Surgeon

Expectant moms are justifiably cautious about any type of medical or dental procedure, and the potential effect it could have on the fetus. Some pregnant women have extra risk factors that must be considered when planning any surgical or dental procedure.

For that reason, it’s important to consult with both your obstetrician and your oral surgeon if you’re thinking about undergoing a wisdom tooth extraction. In fact, some oral surgeons request that their pregnant patients obtain approval from their obstetrician before the procedure.

That said, the American Dental Association encourages pregnant women to be diligent about their oral health and to go ahead with any necessary dental procedures that are deemed safe. In many cases, removing the wisdom teeth is recommended. Removing the third molars can be important for reducing or eliminating the risk of infection. Infection can increase the risk of early labor and other pregnancy complications.

Timing Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The safest time for wisdom tooth removal is during the second trimester, or when you’re between four and six months pregnant. During the first trimester, the baby is developing major organs, and oral surgery during this time could affect that process. And in the third trimester, many expectant moms find it difficult to sit comfortably in the dental chair long enough for the procedure.

If you are faced with having to postpone your wisdom tooth removal, your oral surgeon may recommend an oral irrigation in the meantime to help relieve pain and swelling. As an alternative, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic if you have an infection. Most pregnant women can safely control persistent pain with acetaminophen.

The Safety of Medications Used in Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Studies have shown that local anesthetics, typically lidocaine shots, are safe for expecting moms. Oral surgeons administer as little medication as possible to pregnant women, but rest assured that enough is given to keep you comfortable for the surgery. After all, any pain and stress you experience could also place your baby under stress.

Other anesthetics, including oral sedatives and intravenous (IV) or general anesthesia, are not recommended for pregnant women.

Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah understand the importance of working with our patients to maintain oral health during pregnancy. If you’re expecting and you think you may need wisdom tooth extraction, call one of our convenient Salt Lake City area offices to schedule a consultation.

Oral Health Watch: Heed the Color of Your Tongue

Did you know that your tongue can forecast your oral health?

tongue oral health Utah

If you’re like most people, you don’t look at your tongue very often. So open wide and take a peek now. A normal, healthy tongue is pink, and it may have a thin, pale white coating. If yours looks different, it could be a sign of a health problem.

What is the color of your tongue telling you?

Oral Health Problems Associated with a White Tongue

An occasional white tongue can be the result of irritation or inflammation of the papillae, the tiny bumps that cover the surface. Dehydration or dry mouth is typically the cause, and poor oral hygiene may also play a part in some cases.

If your tongue has patches of white here and there, you could have a condition called thrush. Thrush is a type of oral yeast infection that sometimes result from a weakened immune system. Taking antibiotics can also lead to a thrush infection.

White patches that don’t rub off could indicate a health problem called leukoplakia. This condition is most often seen in patients who smoke or use tobacco. Though most cases do not pose a serious health risk, leukoplakia may be a potential precursor to oral cancer.

Oral Health Problems Associated with a Red Tongue

A bright-red tongue usually indicates that your body is lacking in vitamin B12, iron or folic acid. But the color may also be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as strep throat, scarlet fever or Kawasaki disease.

A red patch could mean that you have geographic tongue, a harmless condition that usually resolves on its own. Don’t be tempted to ignore red patches, however, as they can also be erythroplakia lesions, which may be a symptom of oral cancer.

Oral Health Problems Associated with a Black Tongue

A black tongue may look rather unsightly, but the color doesn’t usually indicate a health problem. In most cases, the black shade results from too much bacteria growth in the mouth. The bacteria build up on the papillae, causing them to darken and develop a hairy appearance.

Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes a black or hairy-looking tongue. The condition may be linked to certain medications, including some antibiotics and drugs that contain bismuth, like Pepto-Bismol. Having dry mouth, smoking and regularly using astringent mouthwash may also cause your tongue to turn black. In many cases, however, the likely culprit is poor oral hygiene habits.

If you notice a change in the color of your tongue, it’s important that you see an oral surgeon immediately. Trust your oral health to the experienced professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Call one of our convenient Salt Lake City-area offices to schedule a consultation to discuss your oral health concerns.

Tips to Prevent Cavities for a Healthy Smile Over the Holidays

To prevent cavities, you could give up your favorite cookies, candies, cakes and desserts this holiday season. But who really wants to do that?

prevent cavities holidays Utah

Holiday sweets can be pretty tough on your teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself to avoid tooth decay. Instead, keep cavity-causing bacteria in check during the holidays — and all year long — by practicing diligent oral care.

Brush Up on Your Technique to Prevent Cavities

Two times each day for two minutes: That’s how often the American Dental Association says you should brush to keep your mouth healthy. The ADA also recommends daily flossing, as well as a mouthwash rinse. Sticking to a routine can help stop tooth decay.

But if you plan to eat lots of sweet treats this holiday season, you may need to brush more often. Brushing after eating sugary snacks reduces the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which lessens the effect that sweets have on your teeth.

Consider keeping a portable toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste on hand at all times so that you can brush after eating holiday sweets. Or to make brushing easier, carry a disposable toothbrush with built-in toothpaste.

Prevent Cavities by Drinking Plenty of Water

Let’s be real. You won’t always be able to whip out a toothbrush after eating a sugary treat. It just isn’t practical. Or you may forget to grab your brushing supplies when you leave the house.

The next best way to rid your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria is to rinse with water. Rinsing will wash away food particles that can cause tooth decay.

Drinking water more often than other beverages (especially sweetened beverages) can help prevent cavities. If you’re indulging in lots of sugary snacks this holiday season, skip the sugary sodas, sports drinks and juices.

Choose the Right Holiday Sweets to Prevent Cavities

During the holidays, you’ll be faced with a variety of treats to tempt your taste buds. But not all sweets have the same impact on your smile.

When you eat caramels, candy canes, pecan pie, fruit cake, popcorn balls and other chewy snacks, the sugars they contain stick to your teeth and make them more susceptible to decay. Enjoy them if you must, but aim for times when you can brush afterward.

Pound cake, butter cookies, pumpkin pie and fudge are better choices. These holiday treats dissolve more quickly in the mouth, which means that less cavity-causing bacteria sticks around to cause tooth decay.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we want your smile to remain healthy all year long. With convenient office locations throughout the Salt Lake City area, we provide a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgery services for your entire family. We are here to serve your needs, from wisdom tooth extraction to dental implants. But we don’t want to see you any sooner than necessary, so eat smart this holiday season and practice good dental hygiene to prevent cavities from forming.