Last updated 2 months ago
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, generally erupt between the ages of 16 and 23. Most individuals have four wisdom teeth, though it is possible to have fewer or none at all. If your dentist has told you that you have wisdom teeth, you may be wondering if you should have them removed or not. Discuss the questions below with your dentist to determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
Will They Affect Your Tooth Alignment?
When the wisdom teeth erupt from the gums, it is possible for them to change the alignment of your other teeth. This can be detrimental to the health and beauty of your smile. Before your wisdom teeth erupt, ask your dentist if they are likely to change the current alignment of your teeth.
Can They Erupt Fully?
It is possible that your mouth and jaw are too small to accommodate your wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth begin to erupt but cannot fully do so, your gums and jaw may become infected. A flap of gum tissue will sit over the partially erupted tooth, and this may trap food and bacteria. If you experience pain in the area of one wisdom tooth or find that a bad taste forms in your mouth as your wisdom teeth erupt, talk to your dentist right away. He may recommend extracting your wisdom teeth as soon as possible to stop the spread of the infection.
Will They Erupt at the Correct Angle?
Some wisdom teeth erupt at a crooked angle. If this occurs with one of your wisdom teeth, the crooked wisdom tooth may push against the adjacent tooth. This can impact the health of that tooth and make it more difficult to clean between the teeth, putting you at greater risk for gum disease. Ask your dentist if your wisdom teeth will erupt at the correct angle. If one or more will not, your dentist may recommend removing your wisdom teeth.
Only your dentist can give you a definitive answer regarding wisdom tooth extraction. If you would like to schedule a consultation to find out if your wisdom teeth should be removed, contact West Chester Dental Arts in Pennsylvania at (484) 881-3501. Our dental team will evaluate your oral condition and recommend the best course of action for you.
Last updated 2 months ago
Even if you have great oral hygiene, it is normal for you to have bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria naturally form a film called plaque, which can accumulate on your teeth. If this plaque is not removed on a regular basis, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Continue reading for an overview of how dental plaque causes cavities.
Plaque Forms on Teeth
The bacteria in your mouth live off of the food you consume and tend to thrive on sugars and starches. When bacteria utilize food particles in your mouth, they release acids. Plaque consists of bacteria, the acids those bacteria produce, and food particles. It begins to form on the surfaces of your teeth shortly after you eat any food.
Plaque Breaks Down Enamel
The acids in plaque can damage the enamel that protects your teeth. As the dental plaque sits on your teeth, the acids break down your tooth enamel by removing its essential minerals, creating holes that can lead to decay. If plaque is not removed quickly, it can harden into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed with brushing and flossing, so it allows the acids to continue to eat away at your teeth.
Decay Reaches Dentin
Once the acids in plaque create a hole in a tooth’s enamel, they can begin to harm the tooth’s dentin. This layer of the tooth is softer and more vulnerable than the enamel, so it takes less time to erode away. If this decay is left untreated, it can end up reaching the inner chamber of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are located. If this occurs, an infection can begin in the pulp chamber and a root canal treatment may be required.
Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can help ensure that any cavities are caught in their initial stages when simple treatments like fillings are all that are needed. At West Chester Dental Arts in Pennsylvania, we offer general dental checkups and treatments for tooth decay. If you are anxious about dental exams and procedures, we can provide sedation dentistry to help you relax and have a comfortable appointment. For more information, call (484) 881-3501.
Last updated 2 months ago
Have you noticed that your teeth have become discolored over the years? If so, the problem is likely the foods and beverages you’ve been consuming! Check out this video to learn about the common causes of tooth discoloration.
Coffee is one of the worst drinks for the color of your teeth. If you drink coffee regularly, add milk to the coffee to help minimize its staining effects or drink your coffee through a straw to keep it away from your teeth. To find out more about the foods and drinks that stain teeth, be sure to watch this video clip.
At West Chester Dental Arts, we offer teeth whitening and dental cleaning services to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. We also provide sedation dentistry to ensure that each patient is comfortable during dental procedures. For more information, call us at (484) 881-3501.
Last updated 3 months ago
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs when plaque along the gum line irritates the gums, causing them to become inflamed. Over time, periodontal disease can lead to tissue and bone loss that allows pockets to form within the gums. Bacteria and food particles can accumulate in these pockets, leading to infection. It is also possible for plaque and tartar to gather in these gum pockets, which may cause additional inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissues.
Flap surgery is a procedure that your dentist may perform to remove tartar deposits from a pocket within your gums. Flap surgery can also be used to reduce the size of the pocket, which will help ensure that the area can be kept clean and infection-free. At the end of the procedure, sutures are used to ensure that the gums sit snug against the teeth.
If your gums are inflamed or bleed easily during standard oral hygiene practices like brushing or flossing, you may be suffering from gum disease. Visit West Chester Dental Arts for an oral health evaluation right away. Our dentists can recommend the best treatment to heal your gums and improve your oral health. Schedule an appointment by calling (484) 881-3501 today.
Last updated 3 months ago
Grinding your teeth may seem like a harmless habit, but it can actually cause a number of complications for your health. Many individuals grind their teeth in their sleep due to stress, while others grind their teeth because their upper and lower teeth are misaligned. No matter the reason for your teeth grinding, it is important to ask your West Chester dentist for help with treating this condition. Listed below are some of the risks associated with grinding your teeth.
One of the most common complications associated with teeth grinding is chronic headaches. If you grind your teeth, you may feel as if you constantly have a dull headache. You may also feel pain throughout your face or experience ear aches. These symptoms are due to the stress put on your facial structures.
Grinding your teeth can cause permanent tooth damage. You can wear through the protective tooth enamel, putting your teeth at greater risk of decay. It is also possible to significantly wear down the entire structure of several teeth, causing your teeth to appear too small or misshapen. Tooth grinding can also weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to cracks and chips. If you have crowns, bridges, or other restorations, they may become loose or break due to teeth grinding.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the point at which your upper and lower jaws meet. Teeth grinding puts pressure on the TMJ which wears away the cartilage of the joint. This results in a condition called TMJ disorder which can cause jaw stiffness and pain. You may find it difficult to open your mouth or chew properly after waking up in the morning, and you may even hear your jaw popping or clicking as you open and close your mouth.
Whether your partner has recently told you that you grind your teeth at night or you have heard your child grinding his teeth at night, West Chester Dental Arts can help. At our dentistry practice in West Chester, PA, we provide evaluation and treatment for teeth grinding. We also offer sedation dentistry to ensure that each appointment is a comfortable one. To schedule an evaluation, contact us online or call (484) 881-3501.