Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Will I Need To Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?

“My friend at school just got their wisdom teeth out. Will I need to get my wisdom teeth out?”

Wisdom teeth, also known as 3rd molars, are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt into the mouth. Often, due to lack of space in the mouth and jaws, wisdom teeth never erupt into the mouth at all and become impacted, where they remain under the bone and gums. Frequently impacted wisdom teeth become a problem for people because of the wisdom tooth’s position under the gums and closeness to neighboring teeth. Left alone, the impacted wisdom tooth can often lead to an infection in the gums or jaw, and can often cause damage to neighboring teeth.

In our practice, if we detect that wisdom teeth are currently a problem, or if we suspect that the wisdom teeth will be a future concern, we recommend an evaluation by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, where the parents and patient along with the doctor can make an informed decision about how to manage the wisdom teeth.

 Occasionally wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth normally and, with proper diet and oral hygiene, can be healthy, functional teeth.

As any other issue in healthcare, it is always better to address a health concern such as wisdom teeth as early as possible and not wait until symptoms develop.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baby Teeth

“Why should I have my child’s teeth fixed? Aren’t they just going to fall out eventually?” This is an important question that we hear from many parents at our dental office. Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, are just as important as permanent teeth. Baby teeth help kids chew and speak properly.  Baby teeth also maintain space in the mouth to allow the permanent teeth to erupt normally.  If a baby tooth is lost early or is missing, the permanent tooth in that area may not come into the mouth in the right position, or may not erupt into the mouth at all, leading to future dental problems.

The first baby tooth usually can be seen in the mouth between 6 and 12 months of age.  The American Dental Association recommends that parents take their children to the dentist by the child’s first birthday.

Baby teeth are prone to decay, pain, and infection in the same manner as permanent teeth.  Even though baby teeth are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, often kids as old as ten or twelve years of age still have one or more of their baby teeth in their mouth.

Baby teeth are very important! Keeping them healthy is a vital component to having a healthy and happy child.