September 4, 2014
Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in your mouth. They typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the “Age of Wisdom.” These teeth can often grow in crooked, sideways, or otherwise misaligned. As they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding.
When wisdom teeth come in, they can be painful. You’ll feel wisdom teeth pain at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. If you look into a mirror, you may even notice that your wisdom teeth have begun to poke through your gums. The area might also be red, enflamed and tender to the touch. However some people don’t have any visible symptoms of wisdom teeth pain.
When a tooth doesn’t fully grow in, it’s called “impacted”–usually unable to break through the gums because there isn’t enough room. About 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
An impacted wisdom tooth can damage neighboring teeth or become infected. Since it’s in an area that’s hard to clean, it can also invite bacteria that lead to gum disease. In some cases, a cyst can form around the base of the impacted tooth, which can lead to more serious problems.
Dr. Tillman recommends removing them when there are infections and/or periodontal (gum) disease, cavities that can’t be restored or there is damage to neighboring teeth and overcrowding. This is a common procedure that Dr. Tillman performs in the office and typically only a few days of rest are needed before returning to your normal routine.
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August 29, 2014
My Baby is Getting Teeth!!
Knowing what to do when those first teeth start poking through is the first step. Caring for your little one’s teeth is critical to ensuring their overall health and instilling good habits. With that in mind, we thought we’d share some tips on pediatric oral hygiene.
Don’t wait to start cleaning. A clean damp washcloth does wonders for the gums. As soon as that first tooth pokes through, begin twice daily brushing.
Get that baby to the dentist! It should happen sooner than you might think. Dr. Tillman recommends that the first visit
occur by the age of 1 or 2 years old, but no later than 3. The first visit is really more of a meet and greet. Dr Tillman wants to make your child feel comfortable with someone else looking in their mouth. This will pave the road for future “happy visits”. They will get to sit in the BIG CHAIR with Mom or Dad and they will get to meet our hygienist and Dr. Tillman. We will do as much of an
examination as they will sit through. Ideally Dr. Tillman wants to take a look in their mouth, checking their gum tissue and counting teeth. As your child grows Dr. Tillman will do more and more at each visit until they are ready for their full blow cleaning every 6 months.
Using the correct items:
- Toothpaste – until age 3, you should only be using a small dab (grain of rice size) of fluoride toothpaste. From about ages 3 to 6 that can increase to the size of a pea. If your child is not able to effectively spit, have them tilt their mouth so the paste dribbles out into the sink so that they won’t swallow it.
- Soft bristled toothbrush –Dr. Tillman recommends using something very soft and age/size appropriate – children’s brushes are sold with recommended age ranges listed, so they should be easy to find.
- Floss – you should begin flossing for your little one as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Doing this as a family can
encourage good habits for both you and your baby.
- Rinses – If you are uncertain that your little one can rinse and spit without swallowing, we suggest avoiding rinses. Typically around age 6/7 they will have this skill down. At this point Dr. Tillman recommends using a fluoride rinse twice a day under close adult supervision.
Make it FUN!! Usually singing 2 rounds of “Happy Birthday” is the approximate amount of time your little one should be brushing. KEEP THEM EXCITED!! Once your child is a little older, let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. This can motivate them to use the items that they have selected. Just be sure to double check their work and help them get to the areas they might have missed.
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July 20, 2012
A lot of our patients play sports, and now is a great time to remind all of you to take care of your mouth while participating in summer sports – especially contact sports such as soccer, football, baseball and basketball.
One of the most important pieces of sports equipment you can wear on the field this summer is a mouth guard. A well-fitted mouth guard allows you to breathe and speak more clearly, in addition to protecting your mouth. Only by using a mouth guard can athletes avoid serious mouth and jaw injuries. The next time you’re in for an appointment, we encourage you to let us know if you’re playing or planning to play any sports. We can recommend a mouth guard that will work best for you. Also, here are five quick tips for keeping yourself safe during sport activities this summer:
• Wear a helmet
• Stretch before and after a game or practice
• Wear protective eyewear
• Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
• Be observant, even as a spectator
We hope this helps! You can always contact us if you have any questions! Good luck on the field!
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