Category Archives: Oral Health

Bottle Rot: Don’t Put Your Baby Down With Formula or Milk

Tooth decay in babies and toddlers is known as baby bottle tooth decay. It occurs when the sugars found in sweet liquids, such as milk, formula, and fruit juice, cling to an infant’s teeth overnight. If left untreated, it can lead to a painful infection.

Discover why it’s important to fight baby bottle tooth decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is Detrimental to Your Baby’s Future

Some moms underestimate the importance of their baby’s teeth because they’re temporary. However, baby teeth are essential for speaking, chewing, and smiling. Unfortunately, if your little one develops baby bottle tooth decay, they may form poor eating habits, speech impairment, and damaged adult teeth.

In today’s blog, we will discuss baby bottle tooth decay in depth.

The Importance of Healthy Baby Teeth

It’s essential to keep your baby’s teeth clean and healthy for the following reasons:

  • They make chewing easier for your baby, which helps them learn to eat on their own.
  • They help form the shape of your child’s face
  • They make it easier for your baby to learn how to talk
  • They’re placeholders for permanent adult teeth

Tooth decay in babies can result in:

  • Severe mouth pain
  • Costly dental care
  • Damage to the permanent teeth underneath the gums
  • Frequent hospital visits
  • Infections that can impact your baby’s overall health

Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

If you give your baby formula before bedtime, the sugar will stay on their teeth, and oral bacteria can turn it into acid. Furthermore, the acid can eat away at your baby’s enamel, (the outer coating of the teeth) which might lead to tooth decay.
To inspect your baby’s teeth for decay, have a look at their upper front teeth and molars, as these are the first areas to become infected.

What’s The Best Way to Clean My Baby’s Mouth?

Even before your baby’s teeth grow, it’s best to clean their mouth with a gauze pad or soft cloth. Do the following:

  • Number One: Depending on your baby’s age, you should use one of the following methods to clean their teeth and gums: Hold your baby on your lap and support their head with your hand so you can inspect their mouth. Alternately, you can sit your baby on their highchair, stand behind them, and brush their teeth. Sit on your couch with your baby’s head on your lap.
  • Number Two: Once your baby is situated, place a clean gauze pad or soft cloth over your finger. Dampen it with water, but make sure it’s not soaking wet. Wipe your baby’s teeth and gums gently.
  • Number Three: When your baby’s teeth begin to grow, you can switch to a small, soft toothbrush. Brush all surfaces of their teeth, and don’t forget their gums. Use a mild toothpaste with a small amount of fluoride.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you neglect your baby’s oral health, they may need to get their teeth surgically removed to prevent gum problems. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to help with all your oral health needs, and we can answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today.

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Hurt When They Come In?

From babyhood to adulthood, teeth grow in different stages: first incisors, then canines, premolars, and molars. Just when you thought you were done growing, your wisdom teeth come in at the back of your mouth.

If your wisdom teeth recently came in, you may be panicking. Don’t worry; we’re here to help you with your wisdom teeth journey.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Most people develop four wisdom teeth, each emerging from both sides of the upper and lower jaw. They usually appear in people between the ages of 17-25, according to the American Dental Association. Many people are scared of wisdom teeth growth because they don’t want to experience pain; however, it varies from person-to-person. Some people don’t experience discomfort at all!

Discover the reasons why some individuals experience pain when their wisdom teeth grow.

Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Growth

If you discover new molars growing in the rear part of your mouth, this is an indication your wisdom teeth are coming in. Unfortunately, several common wisdom teeth eruption symptoms indicate a problem, including:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Experiencing an unpleasant taste
  • Difficulty opening your mouth (lockjaw)

These symptoms can arise from improperly cleaned wisdom teeth, and they may be the first signs of infection due to impaction.

What Is Wisdom Teeth Impaction?

Wisdom teeth can become impacted when they don’t have enough room to emerge naturally. This can lead to several problems, such as:

  • Damage to neighboring teeth: If the wisdom tooth pushes against the second molar, it may damage it and result in infection. Additionally, this pressure can cause other problems such as overcrowding in the mouth, which may require orthodontic treatment.
  • Cysts: Because wisdom teeth develop in a sac within the jawbone, it can fill with fluid, leading to cyst formation. Oral cysts can result in jawbone, teeth, and nerve damage. Worst of all, a benign tumor may develop, and an oral surgeon will have to extract tissues and bones from your mouth.
  • Decay: Wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, so food and bacteria can get trapped between your gum and a partially erupted tooth. As a result, they’re at higher risk of tooth decay.
  • Gum disease: Tooth decay can lead to a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis. If left untreated, it can result in bleeding gums, painful chewing, and tooth loss.

What Can I Do to Treat Wisdom Teeth Pain?

The best cure for impacted molars is wisdom tooth extraction surgery. Before the procedure, your oral surgeon will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area, so you shouldn’t be afraid of experiencing discomfort. If you’re having all of your wisdom teeth taken out at once, your surgeon will opt for a general anesthetic, which will put you to sleep.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If your dentist has determined you must undergo wisdom teeth extraction, you won’t have to push your plans aside because recovery only takes a few days. Our board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide you with high-quality care so that you can get back to living your life. Schedule your free consultation today.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, and they can boost your self-esteem. In addition to their cosmetic value, dental implants make it easier for you to eat and speak because they’re firmly secured to your jawbone.

Find out if dental implants are permanent.

The Lifespan of a Dental Implant

Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option, and they may last approximately 25 years with adequate care. Nevertheless, they outlast other tooth replacement alternatives, such as dentures and dental bridges.

Discover how you can increase the lifespan of your dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Understanding what dental implants are made of can help you better take care of them so that they can last for several decades. They consist of:

  • A titanium post that’s placed inside the gum and jawbone to replace the missing tooth root
  • A prosthetic crown, which replaces the affected tooth’s missing crown
  • An abutment, which is attached to the implant’s tip and holds the prosthetic crown in place

Dental implants are made of either titanium or zirconia, which are both regarded as two of the most durable and most hard-wearing materials on earth. Additionally, they’re corrosion-resistant and have antimicrobial properties, making them ideal for implantation.

Moreover, the prosthetic crown is made of porcelain, a special type of ceramic that’s more durable than a natural tooth.

Can I Increase the Lifespan of My Dental Implants?

One of the advantages to dental implants is you can make them last for decades; some people have made theirs last a lifetime. Here are a few tips you can follow to prolong their lifespan:

  • Brush and floss your teeth each day, and visit your dentist every six months, so your implants last over 25 years.
  • Avoid biting down on hard items, such as pencils and pen tips, and refrain from opening bottles with your teeth.
  • Schedule routine check-ups with your dentist so they can check if you’ve gone through osseointegration, which is when your dental implants become a permanent part of your jaw.
  • Smoke or drink alcohol in moderation or cut off these habits completely.

Can My Dental Implants Experience Complications?

Although dental implant complications are rare, they can still occur. Even though they have a high success rate, you should consult with your oral surgeon if the following occurs:

  • Infection around your implant
  • Loose implant
  • Tissue or nerve damage causing tingling in your gums or neighboring teeth
  • Sinus problems due to your implants touching your sinus cavities; this usually occurs if yours are placed in your upper jaw Peri-implantitis, which is when your implant’s surrounding gum and bone become inflamed due to a bacterial infection.

It’s essential to follow routine maintenance at home and follow-up with your oral surgeon to avoid these issues.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you experience problems with your dental implants, consult with an oral surgeon who can examine your surrounding tissues for calcified deposits that may be impacting them. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you find relief. Schedule your consultation today.

Why Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Rinse Isn’t the Best

Many people use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash because it’s a powerful disinfectant that keeps canker sores and mouth wounds from becoming infected, which promotes faster healing.

Learn more about the properties of hydrogen peroxide.

What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic that’s used on the skin to prevent the infection of minor cuts, burns, and scrapes. In recent years, many people have used it as a mouth rinse to remove mucus or to alleviate mouth irritation due to sores and gingivitis. However, if you use it every day, it can impact your overall health.

View more to find out if using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash is right for you.

Are There Benefits to Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouthwash?

If you have a sore throat, using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash can help you experience relief. The antibacterial properties in it can fight off bacterial infections that typically result in sore throats.

Moreover, when the mucus in your mouth comes into contact with hydrogen peroxide, it creates a foam. The foam makes the mucus less sticky, which makes it easier to drain. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide loosens your throat’s mucus, so you likely won’t experience discomfort.

Additionally, using hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing reduces gum inflammation. Another benefit of this product is its teeth whitening properties. If you’re going to a special event, you can use it to achieve an instant Hollywood smile.

To get the most out of your rinse, swish it around the front of your mouth while you’re gargling, so it coats your front teeth and gums.

The Negative Effects of Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Rinse

Although hydrogen peroxide can be beneficial for certain situations, you should only use it a few times a month. Rinsing with undiluted hydrogen peroxide can burn your organs and cause internal bleeding. You may also vomit a foamy substance, but this is a good sign because it means the peroxide is flushing out of your system.

The first time you gargle with hydrogen peroxide, you might notice redness around your gums and irritation inside your mouth. These symptoms should go away within a few hours, but if you throw up and feel weak, you should call your doctor immediately.

Is There a Safer Alternative to Hydrogen Peroxide?

People turn to hydrogen peroxide as their choice of mouthwash because they may find store-bought mouthwash too strong. Traditional mouthwash contains alcohol, which can irritate the mucous membranes in your mouth.

Now that you’re aware of the potential dangers of hydrogen peroxide, you may be looking for an alternative. Consider switching to saltwater rinses, which have proven to:

  • Soothe mouth sores and bleeding gums
  • Freshen breath
  • Loosen and remove food particles
  • Heal a sore throat

Best of all, they’re dentist approved. Simply stir eight ounces of warm water with one teaspoon of salt, and you’re good to go!

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you’ve extensively used hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash in the past, then you may be experiencing oral health problems as a result. If you need oral surgery, you can count on the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah to provide you with quality care. We specialize in wisdom tooth removal, impacted canine treatment, and several other oral procedures. Schedule your consultation today.

Grind Your Teeth? Learn Why This Habit Can Result in TMJ Disorder

If you habitually grind your teeth, you may have bruxism, which is a condition where a person is unable to stop grinding or clenching their teeth. Occasional teeth grinding isn’t harmful, but if it persists, it can lead to temporomandibular joint syndrome, also known as TMJ disorder.
Learn more about the risks associated with teeth grinding.

Teeth Grinding Is More Harmful Than You Think

Usually, people who grind their teeth do it out of force of habit, and they may not be aware of it. It can wear down your enamel, which is the white, outermost layer of your teeth. Worst of all, it can result in TMJ disorder, which is a sharp pain in the jaw joint. In severe cases, it can result in hearing and vision loss.

Continue reading to learn how you can stop grinding your teeth to prevent TMJ disorder.

How Do I Know If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Most people with bruxism usually grind their teeth when they’re asleep. If you have this condition, your significant other or a friend may be the first to notice. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should visit your dentist:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Sore facial muscles
  • Fractured teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

Causes of teeth grinding include:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Sleep apnea
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misaligned bite

Manage Your Bruxism to Prevent TMJ Disorder

If you suffer from bruxism, it’s important to treat it to prevent TMJ disorder from developing. Your dentist may prescribe one of the following treatment options:

  • Sleeping with a night guard: If you grind your teeth when you’re asleep, your dentist can create a customized mouth guard for you to wear at night. This will protect your teeth and prevent further grinding.
  • Reduce stress: If your bruxism is stress-related, handling your emotions may improve your condition. Try incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine, such as deep breathing and meditation.
  • Practicing jaw relaxation: Your dentist can teach you ways to relax your jaw consciously throughout the day.

I’ve Been Diagnosed with TMJ Disorder. What Should I Do?

Even if you try your best to stop grinding your teeth, you may still end up with TMJ disorder due to a combination of genetics and late-stage bruxism. If your dentist diagnoses you with it, you will have to undergo surgery. Do the following to achieve temporary relief:

  • Take pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you a low dose of tricyclic antidepressants, which can help with pain relief.
  • Take muscle relaxants to control muscle spasms.

Your dentist will recommend the following surgical procedures:

  • Arthrocentesis: A minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of small needles into your jaw joint.
  • Modified condylotomy: This procedure is performed on the mandible and addresses TMJ disorder indirectly.
  • Open-joint surgery: This surgery requires replacement of the jaw joint and is reserved for severe cases.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If your bruxism has resulted in TMJ disorder, jaw surgery can help you reclaim your life. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our team of board-certified oral surgeons can show you how your bite will improve after jaw surgery, and we can show you a preview of how your appearance may change. Schedule your consultation today.

How Tooth Decay Can Cause Other Health Problems

Poor oral hygiene can wreak chaos inside your mouth because it can result in tooth decay. Did you know it can also impact your overall health? Adequate oral care not only gives you a bright smile, but it also improves the rest of your body’s health.

Find out more about tooth decay.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is damage to a tooth’s surface, also known as the enamel. It occurs when the bacteria in your mouth produce acids that attack your enamel. Untreated tooth decay can result in mouth pain and infection, and its effects can spread to the rest of your body; this can lead to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other conditions.

Discover more about the correlation between tooth decay and your overall health.

Heart Attacks and Strokes

If you fail to brush and floss your teeth daily, it may lead to plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. Believe it or not, too much of it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Most people are under the false impression that only cholesterol can lead to blocked arteries. Still, research by the American Heart Association proves the bacteria in plaque contributes to artery blockage. It can get into your bloodstream and may clog your heart’s arteries, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.


If you have diabetes, tooth decay can aggravate it. If left untreated, it can lead to gum inflammation, also known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious health condition in which the gums become inflamed to the point where they start pulling away from teeth and
form gaps.

Unfortunately, these gaps usually become infected. If you have diabetes, an infection can make it difficult for your body to absorb insulin medication. Without insulin, your blood sugar levels may remain perpetually low. High blood sugar can exacerbate oral infections, which results in more inflammation; it’s a vicious cycle you may not be able to break from.

For these reasons, it’s detrimental for people with diabetes to maintain good oral health.

Can Tooth Decay Affect My Pregnancy?

Expecting mothers know they need to take prenatal vitamins, avoid certain foods and drinks, and frequently visit their doctor for check-ups. If you’re pregnant, you’re likely not thinking about your oral health because there are several other items you need to take care of. However, you should prioritize your oral health for the sake of your baby’s wellbeing.

An increase in pregnancy hormones can negatively impact your oral health, particularly if you already have existing problems such as tooth decay. If your tooth decay results in periodontitis, it can put your baby at risk of being born prematurely or underweight. Maintaining excellent oral health can protect you and your baby, so in addition to seeing your gynecologist, you should visit your dentist.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to prevent tooth decay. However, if your dentist determines you have tooth decay and it’s lead to other oral problems, you may need surgery. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in dental implants, tooth extraction, impacted canines, and other procedures. Schedule your consultation today.

How Chewing Gum Affects Your Jaw?

Whether you chew gum to freshen your breath or reduce stress, it can have both a positive and negative effect on your oral health. When you’re chewing gum, you’re probably not thinking about how it impacts your jaw. However, it’s worth paying attention to the effects of gum chewing so you can prevent specific oral health problems.

Continue reading to learn more about the correlation between chewing gum and your jaw’s health.

The Gum Chewing Controversy

Most dentists agree that chewing gum once in a while isn’t detrimental to your oral health. Chewing sugarless gum helps stimulate saliva production, which stunts plaque growth and reduces cavities, according to the American Dental Association. On the flip side, some dentists believe it leads to temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ for short.
Find out how chewing gum can lead to TMJ syndrome.

What Is TMJ Syndrome?

The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull. When it’s injured, it can lead to localized pain in your jaw joint, known as TMJ syndrome. Causes of this disorder include:

  • Teeth or Jaw Injury
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Teeth Clenching
  • Bad Posture
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Excessive Gum Chewing

You may have TMJ syndrome if you experience the following:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Jaw Clicking and Popping
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing in Your Ears
  • Headaches
  • Pain in Your Temples
  • Stiff Jaw Muscles
  • Locked Jaw Joint

Why Does Chewing Gum Result in TMJ Syndrome?

If you’re a habitual gum chewer, you may think it’s a harmless habit. Although gum isn’t inherently harmful, it should be enjoyed in moderation.

Even though you can comfortably eat other foods, most people tend to chew gum mindlessly. You’re more mindful of your chewing when you eat dinner, and you probably chew slowly and think about every bite. However, when you chew gum, you may be masticating too hard without realizing it.

Think of gum chewing as a form of mild jaw exercise; similar to other muscles in your body, overusing your jaw can lead to exhaustion. Chronic gum chewing may lead to extreme pain and migraines, and it can result in TMJ syndrome. If you think you’re suffering from this disorder, you should stop chewing gum until you consult with an oral surgeon.

How Can I treat TMJ Syndrome?

If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ syndrome, you may need to undergo surgery. Fortunately, you have options, as there are three types of surgery:

  • Arthroscopy: The least invasive and most common TMJ procedure. An oral surgeon can extract inflamed tissue and prepare your mouth for realignment.
  • Arthroplasty: Involves a large incision to expose the jaw joint. A surgeon will repair and replace the disc that allows you to open and close your jaw.
  • Total Joint Replacement: In severe cases, total joint replacement may be necessary. Patients are required to stay at the hospital for one week.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you’re considering jaw surgery to treat your pain, contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. Every member of our oral surgery team is board-certified, and we will check if you’re an ideal candidate for this procedure. Schedule your consultation today.

Basic Dental Care For Lifelong Healthy Teeth

Maintaining your teeth healthy requires a lifetime of care, and even if you’re confident about your smile, it’s essential to stay on top of your cleaning routine. Read on to learn about the importance of practicing dental care.

Why Does Oral Health Matter?

Some people underestimate the importance of oral health because they don’t value it as much as their physical health; however, there’s a correlation between the two. Your mouth is the gateway to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and if you don’t brush your teeth, bacteria will grow, and it may cause complications. Practicing dental care not only makes your smile attractive, but it also prevents diseases.

Here are three tips you can follow to keep your teeth and overall health in top shape.

1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day to prevent permanent staining and plaque build-up. Ideally, we should brush our teeth after every meal. However, this expectation can be unrealistic because there isn’t always a bathroom nearby. Brushing your teeth every morning and night is enough to combat germs.

2. Use Appropriate Brushing Techniques

It’s not just about brushing your teeth; it’s about how you clean them. Brushing them improperly is as bad as not brushing them at all.
To brush your teeth properly, you will need to brush them in a circular motion. Reach for the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces. Make sure you brush them for a full two minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue at the end to prevent bad breath.

Always brush your teeth gently and slowly, so you don’t make your gums bleed. Replace your toothbrush every four months.

3. Prioritize Flossing

Many people who do an excellent job at brushing their teeth forget one last important step: flossing. Flossing isn’t just about removing pieces of food stuck in between your teeth; it’s meant to stimulate your gums, reduce plaque, and prevent gum inflammation. Best of all, you only need to do it once a day.

Flossing can be difficult for some people, such as children and older adults with arthritis. If one of the following conditions applies to you, consider specialized flossing options.

You have braces: Try a floss with a stiff end that you can thread beneath the wire of your braces.
You struggle to manipulate floss: Try an electric flosser that provides the perfect amount of pressure to make your gums stimulated.

You have a child: Teach your kids how to floss when they’re toddlers, so it becomes habitual. Remember, they’re likely to complain about pain, so be gentle with them and reward them with a small gift for forming a healthy habit.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Practicing simple dental care can keep a host of problems at bay, but as you grow older, the likelihood of problems increases. If you’ve been referred to an oral surgeon by your dentist, the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide you with care. We specialize in jaw surgery, wisdom teeth removal, TMJ treatment, and more. Schedule your consultation today.

Why You Should Visit the Dentist Every Six Months

Not many people like sitting in the dentist’s chair, but scheduling biannual appointments with your dentist guarantees your teeth will stay in healthy condition. Although the American Dental Association recommends you visit your dentist once a year, you should plan on seeing yours twice a year to prevent oral problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Learn more about the importance of dental check-ups.

Prevent Gum Disease

Do you notice a bit of blood in your sink after brushing your teeth? This is one of the first symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It’s usually the result of inadequate brushing and flossing habits, which leads to plaque build-up.

The mild variety is called gingivitis, which means only your gums are infected. If left untreated, it can travel below your gum line and into your bone; this may result in late-stage gum disease known as periodontitis. Both variations may increase your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, pneumonia, heart disease, and cancer.

Your dentist can detect the first signs of gum disease before it becomes a severe health concern. Moreover, they will suggest ways to prevent it, which include scheduling a biannual cleaning with a dental hygienist and teaching you how to floss and brush your teeth properly.

Save Money in the Long Run

Treating oral-related problems early can help you save money in the future. Although it may sound like visiting your dentist twice a year is expensive, routine maintenance reduces the chances of you developing problems that require costly dental work, such as a tooth extraction.

Remember, a root canal is more expensive and time-consuming than a basic filling. Treating gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer can be costly, but by visiting your dentist a few times a year, you probably won’t develop these problems in the first place.

Show off Your Smile

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy by visiting your dentist will motivate you to smile more. Most people who don’t pay a visit to their dentist develop stained teeth, which can make them feel self-conscious. Stains are usually the result of smoking or drinking too much coffee, tea, or red wine.

Fortunately, tooth stains aren’t harmful; however, they’re preventable. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year will treat minor surface stains before they become permanent.

What to Expect During Your Visit

If you haven’t visited your dentist in years, you’ve probably forgotten the process. Don’t worry, checkups are easy-going and are broken into two parts, which are an examination and a deep cleaning. They will look for cavities and take X-rays. Additionally, they will examine your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck.
During your cleaning, your dentist will scale your teeth, which is when they use small tools to remove tartar.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Once you ease into the routine of visiting your dentist twice a year, they may recommend you to an oral surgeon if you require a procedure, such as wisdom teeth extraction. The board-certified surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can give you a smile you deserve. Schedule your consultation today.

What Happens If You Never Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars most people grow in their early years of adulthood. These teeth can be beneficial to your oral health when they’re correctly aligned. Unfortunately, they usually grow misaligned and require surgical removal.

Learn more about wisdom teeth extraction.

The Dangers of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Emerging wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there’s not enough room for them to grow, or if they erupt at the wrong angle. Wisdom teeth become impacted when they grow under your gums or are trapped inside your jaw. As your wisdom teeth break through your gums, your dentist will check your mouth for the following symptoms:

Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position: Misaligned wisdom teeth lead to trapped food in between the gums and teeth, which promotes bacterial growth. Excessive bacteria can result in cavities.

Inability to floss: It may not be easy for you to floss between your wisdom teeth and your neighboring molars.

Infection: If you’re experiencing pain, swelling, and a stiff jaw, you likely have an infection as a result of bacteria growth.

Cysts: Impacted teeth can result in cyst formation, which can damage your teeth’s roots and destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

The Importance of Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing issues, it’s best to undergo extraction to prevent future problems. Everyone experiences wisdom teeth growth differently, and some people don’t grow them at all. Your dentist may recommend a period of observation because it may be too early to tell if yours will become impacted or not.

If you’re considering getting braces, your dentist will advise you to go through with extraction. You won’t qualify for braces if you refuse to go through with removal because the rest of your teeth can’t straighten if there’s an obstruction.

Most people go through this procedure when they’re 18-25 years old because there’s a decreased chance of damaging adjacent teeth, lower risks associated with it, and they recover faster. Getting yours removed too early can lead to a challenging surgery because your wisdom teeth may still be embedded into your jawbone. Conversely, if you wait too long, there will be an increased risk of complications due to weakened teeth, bones, and gums.

Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth

Some people refuse to get their wisdom teeth extracted because they don’t want to experience pain. Although you may not like the thought of surgery, you must understand that removal is less painful than living with crowded teeth. If you decide to keep yours, remember to floss around them each night and visit your dentist regularly.

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you’re tired of the pain and want to live comfortably again, then wisdom teeth extraction is right for you. Once your dentist takes your X-rays, you will need to consult with an oral surgeon. Schedule your consultation with the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah today.