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What to Eat — and NOT to Eat — to Improve Oral Health

Eating right can improve your oral health as well as your overall well-being. Your mouth is sensitive, and proper nutrition sets the foundation for optimal dental health.

improve oral health Utah

The USDA dietary guidelines recommend that we eat a wide variety of nutritious foods each day, consisting mainly of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and other protein sources. Fats, added sugars and sodium should be limited.

But did you know that by following a few additional dietary guidelines, you can help minimize cavity-causing bacterial plaque in your mouth?

The Best Food Choices to Improve Oral Health

Oral surgeons and dental experts advise limiting between-meal snacking, as it increases the time your teeth are exposed to acids that attack the tooth enamel. At the same time, many physicians recommend eating smaller, more frequent mini-meals throughout the day.

When you need to have a snack or mini-meal, go for a glass of milk, a handful of nuts, cheese, grilled or baked chicken or another lean meat. These foods help protect against tooth decay by providing calcium and phosphorous, both of which help strengthen and remineralize tooth enamel.

Firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables are also good choices to boost oral health. Apples, pears, carrots and sweet bell peppers contain natural sugars, but they also have a high water content. This dilutes the effect of the sugars and stimulates the flow of saliva to keep tooth damage at bay.

The Worst Food Choices for Teeth

Eating foods high in sugars — particularly those that stick to or get caught between the teeth — are the most damaging to your oral health.

Consequently, it’s important to limit how often you and your family members indulge in candy, cookies, cakes, muffins and dried fruits. You might be surprised to know that salty snacks (like chips, pretzels and crackers) are almost as harmful as sweets. The enzymes in saliva break down these simple carbohydrates, converting them to simple sugars — just like the kind found in candy. Plus, tiny, sharp bits of salty snacks can become lodged in the gums, causing irritation and trauma to the tissues.

Acidic foods, including citrus fruits and tomatoes, can increase the acid production in your mouth, damaging your tooth enamel. To avoid decay, enjoy these foods as part of a larger meal, rather than a stand-alone snack.

Skipping a snack in favor of sucking on a mint or hard candy is also a poor choice for your oral health, as the sugars they contain can increase bacterial plaque and decay.

The Truth About Oral Health and Beverages

What you drink throughout the day can also affect your oral health. Tap water is the best choice, as it contains fluoride, a natural cavity-fighter. Milk and unsweetened tea are other options that help make for strong, healthy teeth.

Drinks that contain sugar significantly increase the risk of tooth decay. Avoid soda, which also contains harmful levels of enamel-destroying phosphoric acid. Limit your consumption of fruit juices, cocoa, lemonade and coffee or tea with added sugar. When you do enjoy these beverages, do so alongside a meal or with a glass of water to dilute their effect on your tooth enamel.

Brush and floss after eating to optimize your oral health, or if that’s not possible, chew a piece of sugarless gum. One word of warning: If you’ve had an acidic snack, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you avoid brushing for 30 minutes, or you can damage your tooth enamel.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, your family’s oral health is always our primary concern. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule an appointment.

Avoid Oral Surgery by Minimizing Tooth Misalignment

Tooth misalignment is often passed down from one generation to the next. However, oral
habits and dental issues during childhood can also play a role in the development of a
problem bite, a condition known as malocclusion.

first oral exam Utah

For some patients, even radical orthodontic treatment is insufficient for correcting
significant jaw or tooth misalignment. Instead, they must undergo oral surgery
(known as orthognathic surgery) to resolve the problem.

Malocclusion may not be preventable, but fortunately, parents can take steps to
minimize the severity of tooth misalignment in young children and — hopefully — avoid
the need for surgical tooth alignment.

Schedule an Oral Exam When the First Tooth Erupts

Many parents and caregivers wait too long to take their young children in for an oral
exam, believing that the baby teeth aren’t that important, since they’ll eventually be
replaced with permanent teeth.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association both
say that children should have their first oral exam within six months after the first
baby tooth pops through the gums, but no later than the first birthday.

An oral exam offers an opportunity for an early diagnosis of cavities, late-arriving
primary teeth and other factors that could lead to jaw and tooth misalignment. So don’t
wait. As soon as you see the first baby tooth erupt, call to schedule a professional oral
exam for your child.

Curb Problems that Lead to Tooth Misalignment

Certain childhood oral habits can be problematic to the development of a proper bite.

Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and the prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle can cause
tooth malocclusion, as these habits put pressure on the teeth. Forceful sucking is more
likely to result in a bite problem.

The larger concern comes when the adult teeth begin to emerge. Once the baby teeth
are gone, the damage has a greater potential to become permanent.

Your pediatrician, along with your oral surgeon or orthodontist, can offer tips on curbing
childhood oral habits that lead to malocclusion of the teeth and jaws.

Treating Children at Risk for Tooth Misalignment

In some children, the primary teeth stick around longer than they should, creating a
problem for the incoming permanent teeth. To prevent overcrowding and to make room
in the gums, your orthodontist or oral surgeon may recommend strategic, proactive tooth

In addition, dental space-maintaining appliances may be used to guide the permanent
teeth into the proper position as they grow. These space maintainers can prevent the
teeth from shifting inappropriately and becoming misaligned.

Young children who lose teeth early due to decay, injury or trauma are also at risk for
tooth malocclusion, and may need professional assistance to avoid developing a
problem bite.

The experienced oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can help
preserve your child’s smile for the future. Call one of our convenient Salt Lake City-area
offices to schedule an appointment today to learn how we can minimize jaw and tooth
misalignment in your young child.

The Facts about Dental Implants and Metal Allergies

Can dental implants cause you to have an allergic reaction?

dental implants metal allergies

Implants are widely considered to be the best option to replace missing teeth, as they look, feel and function just like natural teeth. But while implant surgery is appropriate for most patients, not everyone is a candidate.

Fortunately we have good news, even for those patients with metal sensitivity.

What Metals Are Used in Dental Implants?

If you have metal allergies, you’re probably concerned about how your body will react to implants. You may wonder if this method of tooth replacement is even possible for you. The answer may depend on the specific metals that affect you.

Most patients who have metal allergies are sensitive to nickel; however, cobalt, copper and chromium are also common triggers.

Implants are made primarily of a titanium alloy. Trace amounts of other metals may be included, but titanium is the base metal.

What Is the Risk of Being Allergic to Dental Implants?

Titanium is considered to be nonallergenic and is the material of choice for dental implants. Thanks to its high resistance to corrosion and its biocompatibility with the body’s immune system, titanium is also preferred by the medical field for orthopedic implants that are placed within bones.

In addition, titanium dioxide, the most common titanium compound, is used as an additive and flavor enhancer in many foods and consumer products, including toothpaste and cosmetics.

Despite its wide use, studies have shown that people can be allergic to titanium-based materials. Symptoms of this type of metal allergy may include muscle pain, swelling, fatigue, a metallic taste in the mouth and skin rashes or lesions.

However, titanium carries a much lower allergic risk than other metals. So patients who react to implants are often allergic to the other metals that make up the titanium alloy.

Can You Get Dental Implants if You Have Metal Allergies?

If you have any metal sensitivities or other medical health conditions, bring them up at your initial implant surgery consultation. To determine if you are a candidate for implants, our oral surgeons must have a clear and complete picture of your overall health.

For patients with a history of allergies or a hypersensitivity to metals, a patch test or blood test can help answer your questions. These tests may be able to determine if you will have an allergic reaction to the titanium or any other metals used in the dental implant posts.

Implants rarely trigger metal allergies, even in people with known sensitivities. But if a reaction does occur, removal or replacement of the implants with a different titanium alloy typically provides relief from any symptoms.

Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge, the implant surgery specialists at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, can answer all of your questions about tooth replacement. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule your dental implant consultation.

Wisdom Tooth Removal: What Happens to Your Gums?

The wisdom tooth removal process itself makes many patients squeamish. In fact, you may not want to know details about the procedure. But if you’re like most of our patients, you have questions about what to expect afterward.

wisdom tooth removal Utah


One of the most common questions we’re asked involves the extraction site and what to expect from the healing process. Will the sockets where your teeth used to be fill as you heal from your wisdom tooth extraction? Or will you have permanent holes in your gums after having your teeth removed?

How Gums Heal After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Immediately following your wisdom tooth removal procedure, we will treat the extraction site to promote proper gum healing. Some patients require dissolvable stitches, but in many cases, a section of gauze placed over the gum area is sufficient to control bleeding.

A bit of bleeding is normal, but soon after the tooth extraction, a blood clot will begin to form inside the now-empty socket. This sets the foundation for proper healing and begins the process of soft tissue growth within the gums. After a day or two, this tissue will fill the empty tooth socket(s).

Caring for Your Gums Following Wisdom Tooth Removal

The first few days after you have your wisdom teeth removed are critical for proper gum healing. If the blood clots are dislodged (or dissolve) before the extraction sites have healed, your recovery period will be extended and potentially complicated.

This condition can also be painful. When the blood clot is displaced, the underlying nerves and bone are left exposed — a condition known as dry socket. If this occurs, you’ll have to return to our office for further treatment.

To prevent dry socket, avoid strenuous activities and exercise for at least 48 hours. Physical exertion can interfere with how your gums heal after tooth extraction. You also must be careful about what you eat. For the first few days, sticking to a soft food diet will be necessary.

Finally, avoid smoking and drinking through straws after your extraction procedure. Suction from these activities can dislodge your blood clots.

The Gums May Take Time to Close After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Over time, the soft tissue that has filled your gum sockets will be replaced by bone, leaving the holes completely and permanently closed. But this may take a while.

Although you should be pain-free within a week or so, your gums will require three or four weeks to heal completely. For some patients, however, bone growth in the gum sockets takes several months.

In the meantime, be diligent about your oral hygiene, and keep your gums and teeth clean to prevent infection and other complications.

The experienced oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah specialize in oral surgery and tooth extraction. Call our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Toole office today to learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss your wisdom tooth removal.

Oral Surgeons Support Children’s Dental Health Month

Oral surgeons across the country, along with the American Dental Association, want parents to keep National Children’s Dental Health Month in mind this February.

oral surgeons children

“Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” is the theme for this year. Bottled water may be popular, but tap water can be a better choice for your children’s oral health.

Why Oral Surgeons and the ADA Advise Drinking Tap Water

Fluoride is a cavity fighter, and the mineral is present in water supplies, but the trace amount that occurs naturally is not enough to prevent tooth decay.

According to the ADA, an optimal level of fluoride can reduce tooth decay by at least 25 percent in both children and adults. For this reason, fluoride is added to the municipal water supply in most communities to help prevent cavities.

Bottled water often comes from the same municipal groundwater source as tap water, and is not necessarily any cleaner or safer to drink. In fact, the FDA quality standards for bottled water are not as strict as the EPA’s standards for tap water.

The real issue for oral surgeons, however, is the fact that bottled water doesn’t usually have added fluoride. Consequently, drinking bottled instead of tap water offers no dental health benefits.


How Fluoride Benefits Dental Health

Fluoride in the foods and beverages your child consumes strengthens developing tooth enamel, even before teeth break through the gums. As the hard surfaces of the teeth become stronger, they are better able to resist decay. So consuming enough fluoride early in life has a positive effect on our lifelong oral health.

Once the teeth erupt, fluoride can help rebuild weakened tooth enamel. Drinking tap water puts the mineral in saliva, and works to prevent and reverse tooth decay.

When Children Should Use Fluoride Dental Health Products

Oral surgeons caution that children who ingest too much fluoride when the teeth are still under the gums can develop dental fluorosis, or a change in the appearance of the tooth enamel. This condition has no effect on tooth function and is usually quite subtle, but parents typically prefer to avoid the mild enamel spots or discoloration.

To prevent dental fluorosis, oral surgeons recommend that parents brush the teeth of children younger than 3, using a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste — about the size of a grain of rice.

Children between 3 and 6 years old can brush on their own with supervision. But parents should be in charge of the fluoride toothpaste, dispensing just a pea-sized amount.

Mouth rinses that contain fluoride can provide additional resistance to tooth decay. But oral surgeons advise that children under age 6 should not use these dental health products, as they may end up swallowing the fluoride rinse instead of spitting it out.

Oral Surgeons Address Parent Concerns about Fluoride

The ADA has prepared an excellent set of scientific resources to help parents learn about fluoride safety. If local water safety is a concern for your family, your dentist or oral surgeon can prescribe fluoride supplements for your child, or you can buy fluoridated bottled water.

To learn more, talk to us about fluoride during your next visit, or check out some of the excellent online information regarding kids’ oral health.

If you have concerns regarding your kids’ teeth, schedule an evaluation with the professional oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. We are committed to providing exceptional care for your entire family. Contact one of our Salt Lake City area offices today.

The 3 Most Common Oral Surgery Procedures Today

Oral surgery is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating diseases, defects and injuries in the face and jaw, or the maxillofacial area.

oral surgery procedures

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform a wide variety of treatments. The three most common surgical procedures provided today at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are tooth extractions, dental implants and jaw surgery.

Tooth Extractions

Although general dentists can pull teeth, some tooth extractions may require oral surgery. For this reason, general dentists, orthodontists and physicians frequently refer patients to oral surgeons.

Any damaged, nonfunctional or badly positioned teeth that cannot be easily reached require surgical extraction. Oral surgery can move or remove bone and gum tissue and expose the tooth for removal.

Patients with impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth are frequently referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for tooth extraction. Teeth that are severely damaged or misaligned may also require surgical removal.

Many orthodontic treatment plans may include strategic surgical tooth extraction to reduce crowding or to achieve better alignment.

Dental Implant Oral Surgery

Dental implants are increasingly becoming the preferred method to replace missing teeth. The implant process includes oral surgery, so that the titanium rods that function as replacement tooth roots can be implanted into the jawbone. In addition, some patients require bone grafts prior to having dental implants.

Some general dentists offer implant placement services to their patients. However, oral and maxillofacial surgeons undergo an additional four to six years of surgical training in placing dental implants.

Thanks to this extra training and experience, and because placement for some implants can be complicated, industry experts generally recommend an oral surgeon for dental implant procedures.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery is used to correct dental and skeletal irregularities that affect chewing, speaking and breathing. Also known as orthognathic surgery, these procedures may involve reconstructing and realigning one or both jaws to improve function and facial appearance.

Often, orthodontic treatments are completed in conjunction with these surgical procedures.

Corrective jaw surgery can also resolve bite problems and dysfunction caused by facial trauma or congenital defects. Temporomandibular joint and muscle problems in the jaw, or TMJ disorders, may also be treated successfully with orthognathic surgery.

Doctors Maxfield and Partridge, along with the professional treatment team of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, provide a full range of diagnostic services and procedures for patients throughout the greater Salt Lake City area.

Call our Cottonwood Heights, Tooele or South Jordan office today to learn more, or to schedule your oral surgery consultation.

Chewing Gum for Oral Hygiene — Good Idea or Bad?

Is it true that your oral hygiene can improve if you chew gum?

chewing gum oral health

Most products found in the candy aisle at the grocery store aren’t exactly good for your mouth. Eating sugary treats can create the ideal environment for decay-causing bacteria to thrive, leading to plaque, cavities and a loss of critical tooth minerals.

However, some types of chewing gum carry a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association. This means that, instead of being harmful to the teeth, these chewing gums can help boost your oral hygiene.

Chewing Sugarless Gum Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

The ADA says that chewing gum for 20 minutes after each meal can help prevent tooth decay. But this is only with sugarless gums. Products that contain sugar have a detrimental effect on your oral hygiene.

How does chewing sugarless gum benefit your oral health? The physical act of chewing along with the flavor of the artificial sweeteners work together to stimulate your saliva production. Saliva can flow at up to 10 times the normal rate when you chew sugar-free gum.

This increased flow of saliva washes away food particles and neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. The calcium and phosphate contained in your saliva also help to strengthen tooth enamel.

Some sugar-free chewing gums that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain therapeutic agents that provide additional dental benefits. For example, you can find gum with an active ingredient — xylitol — that helps to remineralize the teeth and reduce gingivitis.

Can Chewing Sugarless Gum Replace Other Oral Hygiene Habits?

Chewing sugar-free gum is an effective supplement to your oral hygiene habits, but it can’t be used as a replacement for your normal routine.

The ADA recommends that children and adults brush twice per day for two minutes, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Sonic toothbrushes are also a good option, as they can clean the teeth and mouth more thoroughly.

Flossing and rinsing with a dentist-recommended mouthwash are also essential steps to your daily oral health care.

Can Chewing Gum Improve Oral Hygiene for Everyone?

For most patients, chewing sugarless gum after meals is a good idea — particularly in situations where brushing and flossing simply aren’t practical. When you can’t get to a toothbrush and dental floss, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum is the next best thing.

However, not everyone should chew gum. If you have any type of jaw pain or suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), chewing gum is not recommended. Chewing gum stresses the jaw joint and can increase or worsen symptoms.

The professional team of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is dedicated to your oral health. Contact our South Jordan office today to learn more about the benefits of effective oral hygiene.

Dental Implant Surgery Impacted by 2 Drugs

Dental implant surgery has a success rate of up to 98 percent when performed by an experienced oral surgeon, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

dental implants Utah

However, recent research from the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, indicates that two commonly prescribed medications can have an effect on the success of dental implants.

According to the studies, taking a beta blocker or proton pump inhibitor can influence how your bone cells heal, which can significantly improve surgery success.

Antihypertensive Drugs May Decrease the Risk of Dental Implant Failure

Beta blockers, drugs used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, are known to have a positive effect on bone formation. Scientists have previously studied their use in the treatment of osteoporosis and fracture healing.

The McGill University scientists suspected that these medications could also be beneficial for dental implant surgery patients. And their research proved their theory, revealing a clear relationship between beta blockers and implant success.

In the study, patients taking antihypertensive drugs had a much lower rate of implant failure — just 0.6 percent. In patients not on beta blockers, 4.1 percent of the implants failed.

The research findings suggest that because beta blockers boost bone formation, they can increase the chances of successful implant healing.

Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Implant Surgery Failure Risk

Proton pump inhibitors, used to treat heartburn and acid reflux, have been scientifically shown to have the opposite effect on bone formation, as these drugs impair the absorption of vitamin B12 and calcium. Long-term use and high doses have been associated with an increased risk of fractures.

The McGill University researchers found that these medications also increase the risk for implant surgery failure.

Study participants using proton pump inhibitors had a failure rate of 6.8 percent. Implants failed in only 3.2 percent of the patients not on these drugs. These findings suggest that patients who take some heartburn and acid reflux medications may have a greater risk of implant failure.

Talk to your Oral Surgeon About Dental Implant Surgery

Does this mean you should start taking blood pressure medication before having implants, and stop using your proton pump inhibitor?

Doctors and dental professionals agree the answer is no. These studies are the first to demonstrate relationships between these classes of drugs and implant success rates, and much more research is necessary to reinforce their findings. Never alter your professionally prescribed medication regimen without professional advice.

Instead, talk to your oral surgeon about your concerns. Our experienced doctors can evaluate your risks and create a treatment plan that ensures the best chance of successful implant surgery.

The experienced oral surgeons of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have the extensive training and experience necessary to provide top-quality dental restorations. Call one of our Salt Lake City offices today to schedule your dental implant surgery consultation.

Oral Surgeon vs. Orthodontist — What’s the Difference?

Which dental issues are handled by oral surgeons, and which are typically treated by orthodontists?

If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Dental specialties can be confusing, and many patients don’t know which type of professional they should see for different dental problems.

oral surgeon

Oral surgeons and orthodontists each specialize in specific aspects of dental care and treatment, and each plays a different role in maintaining oral health.

What Do Oral Surgeons Do?

Both dental specialties require four years of regular dental school, studying anesthesia administration, dental anatomy, radiology, diseases and dental health. After that, oral surgeons and orthodontists receive additional training in their area of specialty.

Typically, training for oral surgeons focuses on the bones, tissues and connective structures of the face, mouth and jaw. Along with surgery procedures and techniques, they study plastic surgery and emergency medicine.

As you might expect, these professionals often perform dental or maxillofacial surgery. Facial and jaw structures damaged due to trauma, disease and congenital defects are commonly corrected with surgical procedures.

However, that’s not all these dental specialists do. They have the qualifications and experience to extract teeth, place dental implants and treat a variety of chronic conditions, including head and neck cancer, obstructive sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

What Do Orthodontists Do?

After dental school, orthodontists complete training in methods and techniques to properly align the teeth. Orthodontists study the construction and placement of braces as well as other orthodontic equipment, like headgear and retainers.

Crooked or crowded teeth aren’t just a cosmetic issue. Improper tooth alignment can cause uneven tooth wear, difficulties with hygiene and jaw pain, all of which can affect the ability to bite, chew and speak.

Orthodontists use a variety of tools and procedures to move the teeth into the proper position and make eating and talking more comfortable for patients.

Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists Often Work Together

Some oral health problems require the expertise of both of these dental specialties. Often, patients who have jaw and facial deformities need both oral surgery and orthodontic treatment.

When corrective jaw surgery is necessary, oral surgeons work together with orthodontists to develop comprehensive treatment plans. Many patients require orthodontic treatment both before and after oral surgery.

Treating difficult dental issues that require orthodontic and surgical treatment can take several months or years to complete. Consequently, patients are best served by working with well-established professionals who can be trusted for long-term commitment to a treatment plan.

The professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are fully trained and board certified in the practice of oral surgery and related treatment protocols. We have years of experience successfully serving patients in the greater Salt Lake City area. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our expert oral surgeons today.

What NOT to Do After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Most patients recover from wisdom tooth removal in just a few days, but complete healing of the gums can take three to four weeks.

wisdom teeth removal utah

However, the way you care for yourself after having your wisdom teeth removed can make a big difference in the length of your recovery. If you want to heal quickly — and who doesn’t? — you need to follow a few simple rules.

Avoid Chewing After Your Wisdom Tooth Removal

After your wisdom tooth extraction, you must be careful about what you eat.

Immediately after the procedure and for the first few days, you’ll need to stick with a soft food diet. Your mouth and gums can be damaged by foods that aren’t soft. If you try to eat anything crunchy, chewy or sticky, you may end up with pain and swelling in and around the extraction site.

To avoid irritating this sensitive area and causing damage, also avoid acidic or spicy foods and beverages.

So, what can you eat after getting your wisdom teeth removed? We provide patients with detailed information about a soft diet, but yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, gelatin, scrambled eggs and soup are all nutritious options that keep you full.

No Suction after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom tooth extraction can be a stressful and uncomfortable procedure.

If you’re a smoker, you’ll probably feel like lighting up once you get home. You might also be tempted to sip cool beverages through a straw, so that you don’t have to open your jaw as widely as you would to drink from a cup or glass.

Unfortunately, both of these actions can hinder your healing after tooth extraction. Sucking on a cigarette or straw creates negative pressure in the mouth. This can dislodge the blood clot that forms at the extraction site (and that is keeping it sealed), a condition known as dry socket.

With dry socket, the bone and nerves are left exposed. As a result, you may suffer pain around the extraction site as well as other potential complications. This pain can be severe, radiating through your face and neck. Healing from dry socket can take anywhere from a week to 10 days.

Avoid Strenuous Activity after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Physical activity can interfere with how your gums heal after a wisdom tooth extraction. If you exert yourself too soon, even mildly, your blood clots may not form properly. Exerting yourself physically can also cause bleeding and pain at the extraction site.

For at least the first 48 hours, you’ll need to rest and take it easy. No bending or heavy lifting, and you’re off the hook for housework. You’ll especially need to take a break from exercise and sports.

After a couple of days of rest (or whatever the surgeon may recommend), you can return to your regular activities. But do so gradually, as your gums will continue the healing process for a few more weeks.

The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah provides specific instructions for making your recovery period as comfortable and short as possible. Contact one of our northern Utah offices — in Tooele, Cottonwood Heights and South Jordan — to schedule your consultation for wisdom tooth removal.