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The Jaws of Life: 4 Different Reasons for Jaw Reconstruction Surgery

Posted on . Filed under: Jaw Reconstruction

Brunette FaceAs a very intense oral procedure that typically involves your oral surgeon having to surgically break your jaw and reform it, jaw reconstruction surgery can be done for a multitude of reasons. Whether your jaw has started to deteriorate due to bone loss or you have bone loss due to cyst removal, jaw reconstruction surgery will help you to get back the facial structure you once had and will prevent your jaw from deteriorating any further.

 

Old Age and Dentures

As you age, your bones because softer and more brittle. That’s why you tend to hear about a lot of elderly people falling and breaking major bones like their hips. As your body loses its ability to absorb calcium, your bones become softer and more prone to any injuries. When it comes to your oral health, the same type of bone loss can be seen. As you age, many people lose their teeth either due to some sort of oral infection or disease, and you are required to get dentures. As your mouth adjusts to your dentures, many people suffer from a deteriorating jaw that starts to sink around the dentures. If you are suffering from a condition like this, jaw reconstruction surgery is an ideal solution for you.

 

Bone Resorption of the Lower Jaw

Due to a number of things like blunt trauma, tooth decay, or even old age, bone resorption is a condition that is more prevalent as you age. This disease causes your teeth to loosen and your jaw to collapse a little bit, leaving you with a more hollowed out appearance. If you suffer from bone resorption of the lower jaw, jaw reconstruction surgery can help you have a more natural appearance once again.

 

Bone Loss Due to Trauma

If you were a professional athlete in a sport like boxing or football, where you received a lot of trauma to the jaw area, then you might suffer from extreme bone loss. Or if you received some sort of trauma to your jaw due to another circumstance, you might be suffering from the same type of bone loss. Through this loss of bone, your jaw starts to deteriorate and leave you with a less structured facial appearance. However, through jaw reconstruction surgery, you can help to preserve the rest of your bones and get your original appearance back.

 

Bone Loss Due to Cyst Removal

If you recently had a cyst removed in your jaw, chances are that during the surgery, some of your bone had to be removed as well— leaving you with a weakened jaw. However, jaw reconstruction surgery can help you with bone loss and leave you with a healthier jaw line.

 

To learn more about jaw reconstruction surgery, contact our office today!



How to Combat Bad Breath

Posted on . Filed under: Oral Health

Two old peopleEven though you might feel like a million bucks after indulging in a nice oversized garlic burger, your breath probably smells nothing short of terrifying. Everyone suffers from bad breath at some point during the day— whether it’s morning breath, or you just eat something that leaves your breath smelling a bit..interesting, it can be super embarrassing. However, with these three tips, you can help combat bad breath and not have to worry about covering your mouth up during conversations.

 

Brushing

Brushing your teeth and tongue, especially in the morning, are one of the best ways to start your day off with fresh breath. After eight hours of sleep, your mouth can smell like a garbage can, which to the person sleeping next to you, is a virtual nightmare. Rid your mouth of any bacteria that may have accumulated while you slept, and brush your teeth focusing primarily on your tongue. Once you’re done brushing, be sure to rinse your mouth with water, this will help to freshen your breath a little further.

 

Floss

Yes, flossing is a pain, but it’s an important part of dental hygene, and getting rid of bad breath. By helping to remove any bad breath causing foods that may be trapped in between your teeth, flossing is one of the most helpful ways to get your mouth smelling minty fresh.

 

Drink Water

Water is basically a cure all for everything, including your oral health. By drinking water, it encourages the prodcution of saliva which helps to rid your mouth of food, bacteria, and any other particles that may be contributing to your bad breath. If you’re not in the habit of drinking a lot of water throughout the day, now is the best time! Simply carry around a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up every time it gets empty.

 

Gum and Mints

Sugarless gum and mints are also, and obviously so, a great way to help minimize the odors caused by bad breath. Not only does the mint flavor help to cover up any smell, but as with water, they stimulate the production of saliva.

 

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, and you can’t seem to get rid of it, it might be a sign of a more severe disorder such as gum disease. Meet with your dentist to get to the root of the problem.

Schedule an appointment with or office today.



Be a Bore and Eliminate the Snore: How to Combat Snoring

Posted on . Filed under: Sleep Apnea & Snoring

sleeping womanIf your spouse snores to the point that you can’t even stand to look at them in the morning, you might have to play the bad guy and break the news to them. Although they might be embarrassed or annoyed that you’re even bringing it up, snoring is a serious issue that can be fixed by an experienced dental professional— and it will give you back your sleepful nights. Whether it’s to eliminate annoyance or if you think your spouse is suffering from sleep apnea, here are 3 ways to combat snoring.

 

In order to get to the root of the problem, your dentist will need to conduct multiple tests to decipher whether your snoring is caused by sleep apnea or not.

 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes the airways to collapse or become obstructed during sleep, which causes people to stop breathing up to 30 times per hour during their sleep cycle— which to the person sleeping next door, it sounds like a bunch of snoring and loud breathing.

 

  1. Oral Appliance Therapy

There are over 50 types of oral appliances available on the market. However, the most common appliance is designed to reposition the jaw, bringing it forward, and moving the tongue along with it. This in turn will prevent your tongue from falling back into the mouth and causing you to snore. Speak with your dentist about what type of oral appliance therapy solution is ideal for your condition.

 

  1. CPAP

If your dentist discovers that your spouse does indeed suffer from sleep apnea and depending on the severity of the disorder, your dentist may suggest that they use a CPAP machine every night. Only prescribed by medical physicians, CPAP machines are designed to help the wearer to breathe oxygenated air during sleep every night, eliminating any snoring.

 

Instead of grabbing the pillow next to you and having to cover your ears every night due to your spouse’s excessive snoring, take matters into your own hands and schedule an appointment to see if they have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder today.

 

Contact us to schedule an appointment!



Have an Impact on Your Wisdom Teeth: 4 Signs You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Posted on . Filed under: Wisdom Tooth

Unlike their name, the only wisdom that wisdom teeth provide is usually accompanied by some pain, discomfort, and yes, the inevitable surgery required to remove these unnecessary teeth. If you are suffering from some oral comfort, read about these 4 signs of impacted wisdom teeth in order to get to the root of the problem.

 

  1. Tender or Bleeding Gums

If you’re not a frequent flosser, your gums might get irritated and start bleeding after you floss. However, if you notice that your molars are feeling extra tender and are bleeding more than normal, this is an indication that your wisdom teeth might be impacted. Pay close attention to when your gums start to bleed and if the bleeding subsides.

  1. Difficulty Opening Your Mouth

This is one of the most fervent indications that you have impacted wisdom teeth. Difficulty opening your mouth is due to the intense inflammation of your jaw caused by the pressure of the wisdom teeth moving upwards. Try icing your jaw for a day or two and if the problem hasn’t subsided, go to a dentist to have it checked out.

  1. Red or Swollen Gums

Although impacted wisdom teeth aren’t notorious for being very painful, if you notice that your gums are swollen or are bright red near the back of your mouth, then it’s time to get them looked at.

  1. Bad Breath

If you have bad breath when you wake up in the morning, it’s natural and is nothing to be alarmed of. However, if you have bad breath right after you’ve brushed your teeth, and you’re experiencing some of the other signs of impacted wisdom teeth, it may be time to see a dentist. When teeth are impacted, they tend to crowd your other teeth, causing the frequency of food being trapped and bad breath occurring.

 

Bad breath and tender gums are fairly common oral problems that may occur on an almost daily basis. However, if you are noticing excessive symptoms or the addition of symptoms such as difficulty opening your mouth, you might have impacted wisdom teeth. Contact a dentist today to learn more.

 



Get the Facts (or the Jaw) Straight: Orthognathic Surgery

Posted on . Filed under: Orthognathic Surgery

Whether you are having problems with your tooth or jaw alignment, in serious cases you might need to have orthognathic surgery. But what is it? What does this entail? And how exactly will it help you? We’re here to tell you all about this surgery that is fairly common and yet fairly unknown.

What Does “Orthognathic” Mean?

This word is long, but it’s not too confusing once we break it up. You’ve heard the prefix “ortho” before in “orthodontics.” And in context that makes sense, as “ortho” comes from the Greek word for “straight.” The second half of the word, “gnathic,” comes from the Greek word for “jaw.” If you put them together, “orthognathic” is essentially just an old, fancy, Greek word for “straight jaw.”

What Does It Mean to Have a Crooked Jaw?

While you might not be able to visibly see the fact that your jaw is not straight (although sometimes you will be able to see it), you will certainly be able to feel it. If your jaw is not in alignment, you might suffer from a lot of unnecessary pain and inconvenience. These problems can include:

  • Speech problems
  • Chronic pain in your jaw
  • Problems eating (such as chewing and swallowing)
  • Excessive wear on the teeth
  • Snoring or sleep apnea
  • Inability to bring teeth or lips together properly

Often it will look like your jaw is pushed back, forward, or to the side, like you are jutting out your chin or purposely gaping your mouth open. However, these are not purposeful, and although you may think they are harmless, they are really causing you a lot of pain.

What Happens During the Surgery?

During the surgery, your jaw will be completely repositioned and realigned. Both parts of your jaw will be divided into smaller sections and often surgically separated and moved to line the teeth up properly. Everything is planned out to the most exact measurements. Even though it sounds intense, you will be out of the hospital soon after the surgery is complete—within the day or the next.



Have the Chiseled Features of a Roman Sculpture

Posted on . Filed under: Cheek Implants

rhino-aug-11The Greeks and Romans may have lived thousands of years ago, but we still know them for their perfect facial features thanks to their everlasting sculptures. The perfectly straight and slanted noses. The lips that are perfectly full yet thin. And perhaps most importantly those cheekbones—high and prominent cheekbones. Sow how can you get cheekbones that are as well defined as that sculpture you saw in the Louvre? The answer is simple: cheek augmentation.

Implants

Cheek implants are a great choice if you want a more permanent option. Often, implants are inserted through the mouth, as this doesn’t leave any visible scarring. These implants are usually made of silicone or Gore-Tex, and are placed directly on the cheekbone. The added volume makes them project out more, giving your face a more defined contour.

It is also possible for implants to be placed below the cheekbones to fill in a sunken middle face, although of course this implant placement will give you a different look.

Fillers

Injections are also a popular opportunity to redefine the shape of your face. There are many benefits, especially as far as general medical risks go. It is much less likely to develop an infection or excessive bleeding with fillers, as you are not having a surgery. However, it is only temporary. No matter how much you like the look of your face with hyaluronic acids injected into the cheekbones, it won’t last forever. Even more permanent options are absorbed into the skin in time. However, you can always get injected again and again.

Another option for cheek fillers is a fat transfer. While it still will not be as effective as an implant, it will last longer than any hyaloronic acid filler, as you are being injected with natural (but processed) fat that has been removed from your own body.

Whatever your choice, you can soon bask in your own celestial beauty. You can become a Greek god or goddess through your cheek augmentation procedure. While you might not be on display at a world-famous museum, everyone will ooh and ah over your high and defined cheekbones.



Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Posted on . Filed under: Oral Cancer

Woman cryingCancer can strike anyone at anytime, even oral cancer.  However, if you are a male over the age of 55, you are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as a female of the same age.  As with any disease, there are certain risk factors we’ve outlined for you here that may increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer.

  • The risk of contracting oral cancer increases with age. More than two-thirds of those who have oral cancer are 55 years or older, and the average age of of those at diagnosis is 62.
  • Men are twice as likely than women to be diagnosed with oral cancer, perhaps because of their use of alcohol and tobacco – both major risk factors for oral cancer. As women who have used tobacco and alcohol age, the American cancer Society reports seeing more cases of women diagnosed with oral cancer.
  • Just like skin cancer, oral cancers are seen more frequently in those who work outside, or have prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • In case you needed more reasons to eat your veggies… diets low in fruits and vegetables have shown an increased risk for oral cancer.
  • We know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but tobacco use is also a risk factor for oral cancer. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can result in cancer of the mouth, cheeks, and gums.  If you need more reasons to stop smoking, take oral cancer into consideration.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to oral cancer. If you drink and smoke, your risk may be 100% greater than someone who does not.

If you have a sore in your mouth that just won’t heal, a constant sore throat, problems chewing or swallowing, or red or white patches in your mouth you should be screened for oral cancer.  When caught early, oral cancer can be treated easily!

We have the latest and greatest technology to help detect oral cancer at its earliest stages.  If you are over the age of 55, or have used tobacco and alcohol regularly, give our offices a call for a consultation.



Dental Implants: What You Need To Know

Posted on . Filed under: Dental Implants

Happy womanDo you have one or more missing teeth?  Do you hide your smile, embarrassed by your teeth?  If so, dental implants might be right for you. The decision to get dental implants requires a lot of research, and we understand it can be scary – so we’ve assembled a short list of a few of the great benefits of dental implants.

  • Dental implants are often the first choice of doctors and patients. Implants are usually the best way to replace a missing tooth in a way that looks and feels natural.  Dental implants work just like real teeth!  While other replacement options can damage or deteriorate the bone structure of surrounding teeth, implants are a close replacement to natural teeth.  Implants enable you to smile, talk, and eat as you normally would without anyone knowing you have an implant.
  • Dental implants are made for the long haul. Implants are superior to dental bridges, which may only last 5-7 years and will eventually need to be replaced.  It’s likely a dental implant may need to be adjusted at some point, but with proper care, these tooth replacements can last a lifetime.
  • Dental implants stay in your mouth – all the time! Dentures can be awkward, and need to be removed to be cleaned properly.  Implants stay in your mouth, removing the fear that your teeth might slip or fall out.  Cleaning involves only the brushing, flossing, and rinsing that you’re already used to.
  • Dental implants don’t get cavities! An added bonus of dental implants is that they don’t decay like regular teeth.  Although you will still need to visit your dentist for regular care, you don’t have to worry about fillings in your dental implants.

We want you to live your life without worrying about your teeth!  Everyone deserves to go out to dinner and enjoy the company of good friends without worrying that missing teeth or dentures will become an embarrassment during the evening.  Teeth that are restored with a dental implant allow you to be the best version of yourself and let your smile shine through.

If you’re still wondering if dental implants are right for you, give us a call!  We’re happy to evaluate your individual concerns and recommend the best course of treatment.



How Can You Treat Your Snoring?

Posted on . Filed under: Sleep Apnea & Snoring

2739_shutterstock-66221323Many people suffer from their partner snoring. The ironic thing about snoring is that it often doesn’t visibly affect the person actually snoring. While he or she may not sleep as well and wake up tired, it is often their family and friends who notice it most. If you snore, chances are you are keeping your spouse  or roommate up much more than it is affecting you. So when the problem arises, how can you treat your snoring?

How Success is Measured

Snoring success does not necessarily mean that your snoring will completely stop. While that is the ideal situation, your success will be determined by your actual goals—and how your partner feels. Before being treated, discuss with your partner and your doctor what your expectations for the procedure are.

Don’t Go Under the Knife

Although many snoring cases need to be treated via surgical procedures, you don’t necessarily need to go under the knife. Before undergoing surgery, try treating your snoring with one of the following.

  • Changing Your Behavior. There are many elements of your lifestyle that could be causing your snoring. These include a heavy weight, your sleeping position, alcohol and tobacco, and even medications. Changing one of these can often help abate your snoring.
  • Various Devices. Since snoring is caused by the way your air flows through your nose and mouth as you sleep, there are many devices that you can use in or on your mouth or nose that can help open up your cavities, providing the air with more space. While these devices are very effective, they can cause other problems and are often uncomfortable and inconvenient.

When Surgery Is Necessary

Sometimes the fixes listed above will not provide you with the success you want. In this case, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. This treatment usually effects your nose, the top of your mouth, and your tongue. Extensive tests will need to be done first, however, to ensure that surgery is the best route and to help choose the surgery that is right for you.

If you and your partner suffer from your terrible jackhammer snoring, come into our office and talk about your treatment options today!



The Different Types of Oral Cancers

Posted on . Filed under: Oral Cancer

Woman cryingTumors can develop almost anywhere in your body, and your mouth is no exception. And when they’re cancerous, it’s a huge problem. Although there are many things that could be a factor in the development of oral cancer, smoking or chewing tobacco is often a major factor. Here’s what you need to know about the various types of oral cancer.

Precancerous Tumors

Although technically not cancerous themselves, these two conditions are anything but benign. If a whitish patch starts to form inside your mouth, you might have leukoplakia. If a similar patch appears except it is red and raised, it might be erythroplakia. Either of these conditions can become cancerous, and so you should get them checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

90% of oral cancers fall under this category. Your squamous cells are the cells that line your entire oral cavity: mouth, tongue, and lips. Therefore, this cancer affects the linings of your mouth and throat. It is not invasive until it spreads beyond the lining.

Lip Cancer

The most common oral cancer, lip cancer is usually a type of squamous cell carcinoma. It affects men much more than women. Symptoms include:

  • A sore on the lip that will not heal
  • A lump
  • Constant or consistent pain
  • White or red patches in the mouth, as mentioned above
  • Toothache

It is important to pay attention to the symptoms, as many people originally believe them to be signs of a persistent cold or something much milder than cancer.

Tongue Cancer

This is another cancer that is most often in the squamous cells. Very similar to lip cancer, this is defined by oral pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and a sore throat. The main difference is that the symptoms will be concentrated around the front part of your tongue. If you are experiencing pain in the back 1/3 of your tongue, it is actually not considered oral cancer, but rather head and neck cancer.

 

Mouth Cancer

More general, mouth cancer has similar symptoms but can affect any part of the mouth. It can actually include both tongue and lip cancer.

 

If it is detected early enough, the best treatment is surgery to remove the cancerous growth. However, lip cancer can also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and drugs.