Teeth have one great weakness: acid. It eats away tooth structure. Where does acid come from? Our diets. Acidic foods and drinks directly affect and dissolve tooth enamel....
narcotic, or they may have to simply prescribe a stronger one for a short while. But the goal is to limit the use, or at least the duration, of any narcotic. If your wisdom teeth are not impacted in the bone, but are either partially below the gum or through the gum, ibuprofen should be fine. Even aspirin will be quite effective. Plain Tylenol or acetaminophen may not be as effective.
Generally speaking, the more complicated the surgery, the greater the chance for needing any narcotic prescription. In any case, if you have a higher or lower tolerance for pain, that will also help determine what is most effective for you. You certainly won't be required to use opioids.
Michael A. Conrad, DDS, PC
Michael A. Conrad, DDS, PC
As we age, some people notice a decrease in saliva production. Unfortunately, aging and age-related issues can happen to anyone. Treatment is usually limited to topical rinses and gels to make the patient more comfortable. I have no idea how old you are.
Systemic diseases can cause the same problem. Some are related to a decrease in tear production as well. They are often auto-immune problems, where, for some reason, the body begins to attack itself, affecting the cells that produce saliva and tears. That requires a medical diagnosis and treatment, but often can only be treated with the rinses and gels.
Finally, a systemic disease that often causes dry mouth is diabetes. If you are diabetic, or have recently transitioned to that condition, dry mouth is a warning sign of elevated glucose levels.
So, if you're on medications for anything, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if dry mouth is related to any meds. If not, check with your physician and dentist to see if any of the other possible causes are affecting you. It could be nothing but a bothersome condition, but it could be a sign of a more serious, underlying problem.
indicated. It can eliminate most of the stains commonly found on the crown of a tooth, but can cause extreme sensitivity on the root surfaces with little result in lightening. If the teeth are bleached, any darkened fillings will have to be replaced to match the newly lightened teeth, since fillings will not lighten. In cases of extreme staining, sometimes it is necessary to cover the teeth with bonding, crowns or veneers to restore them to a lighter, more acceptable shade.
If bleaching is done, please be advised that the process leaves the enamel temporarily more porous and easier to stain. That means that you should avoid smoking and consuming dark beverages during the duration of the bleaching process (up to 10 days), otherwise the teeth may lighten with little polka dots of stain - not the look we are trying to achieve.
Also, please re-evaluate smoking in general. If you notice stain on your teeth, what is it doing to your lungs? When you consider all the possible cancer and heart risks, perhaps teeth staining is a serious warning sign. If you have only been smoking for a few years it is time to stop.
In my practice I see many patients, some of whom are smokers. Everyone is different. Some people smoke as many as 3 packs a day, and there is no tobacco smell on their breath or clothes and no stain on their teeth. Some smoke less than a pack a day and we can smell the evidence of their habit as soon as they arrive. They often have dark black or brown stain on their teeth. And we see patients in between those extremes. But the point is, everyone is different in their makeup and metabolism, so there is no one way that everyone responds physically to smoking, and that includes staining of the teeth and any other physiological effects that it may cause.
Please, it is time to stop.
Michael A. Conrad, DDS, PC
Wisdom teeth are molars, and with any molar extractions, especially lowers, there is a chance of developing a postoperative infection. Sometimes, it happens because the patient does not correctly follow the post-op instructions. But sometimes it just happens. It can be called a "dry socket" and usually occurs when, for whatever reason, the blood clot is lost too soon, leaving a naked bony socket that is completely exposed to all the bacteria of the mouth. It often occurs around the second or third day after the surgery, after the patient was starting to
feel really good and recovered. The pain associated with a dry socket can be quite severe, more so than the initial extraction. It requires pain medicine, antibiotics, and a medicinal packing in the socket over a period of 3 to 5 days to resolve the problem.
Lower molar extractions have a higher chance of this happening because the blood supply of the lower jaw is not as robust as that of the upper jaw where there is a terrific blood supply. Consequently, clots on the lower jaw are simply lost easier, and the dry socket infection results. Dry socket infections can occur in the upper jaw, but are pretty rare.
relieve sensitivity, but that will also diminish with time. Switching again to another different brand usually helps again, for a while. Eventually, the patient may end up getting good results from the original formulation once again.
As the gums recede, the root is exposed. There is no hard enamel on the root; in fact, it is much softer. Extra vigorous brushing over the root will actually wear away the exposed root and create a ditching effect, which itself can contribute to more recession. Yay.
So always use a soft toothbrush and start your brushing at the gum line and work away from it. Don't brush up and down or use the toothbrush like a scrubbing brush. More is not better- sometimes more is just more- and it will cause a problem.
If scrubbing and over brushing are not the problem, then investigate a clenching and grinding problem. Perhaps you might benefit from a night guard to prevent the problem when you are sleeping.
Also be aware that sometimes you may have had recession for a long time but it is stable. Perhaps the previous dentist noticed that and did not record any changes, so there may not have been a good reason to address it with you. A new dentist, not knowing your history, may be going only.
abscess is visible usually in later stages of the condition when
infection has affected and dissolved some of the bone surrounding the
root, leaving a dark area or shadow in that area. Usually, when
visible, the condition has been growing for 6 to 9 months. But
sometimes, in the early stages of an abscess, when the infection hasn't
yet caused too much visible damage, we have to rely on symptoms for the
diagnosis of abscess. Some of those symptoms are: pain to biting,
spontaneous pain (toothache), pain to hot or cold that lingers beyond a
few seconds, or a draining "blister" alongside the tooth. We can even
test the tooth with a mild electric current to see if the nerve
reacts. If it doesn't, it means that the pulp of the tooth has mostly
or totally died and an abscess is forming.