NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Inc.
Most people need their wisdom teeth removed, so why do we have them in the first place? Here’s a quick history lesson of wisdom teeth and the important role they once played!
Wisdom teeth were once an extremely valuable asset to our ancestors. When a typical diet consisted of chewy plants and uncooked meat, third molars (wisdom teeth), which fit easily into our ancestors’ larger jaws, were absolutely necessary. Wisdom teeth were the evolutionary answer to the need for chewing power to combat excessive wear.
Today, our diets are not as rough as those of our ancestors. With modern marvels like forks, spoons, and knives, as well as softer food, the need for wisdom teeth is virtually nonexistent. And yet, on average, about 65% of the human population is born with wisdom teeth which usually erupt between the ages 17 and 25.
Although wisdom teeth were incredibly advantageous for our ancestors, they pose a bit of a problem for the modern mouth. Humans have evolved to have smaller jaws, and so wisdom teeth are often either too big for the jaw or the jaws themselves are just too small. Either way, third molars crowd the mouth. Because of this lack of space, molars often grow sideways, only partially emerging from the gums, or actually get trapped inside the gums and jawbone.
These impacted wisdom teeth can be chronically contaminated with bacteria associated with infection, tooth decay, inflammation, and gum disease. And because they’re so far back in the mouth or trapped underneath gums, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to keep them clean. Even when wisdom teeth come in fully, they are so far back in the mouth that it’s just too easy for food to get trapped, leading to plaque, cavities, and gum disease.
Although wisdom teeth were very important to our ancestors, nowadays, they pose a serious problem to oral health. Are you worried that your child may need wisdom teeth removal? Call our office at NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777 to find out more.
Are you considering dental implants but are worried about the recovery time?
Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the facts!
The recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and how well the individual manages his or her recovery. The science and technology behind dental implants have improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.
Typically, you will have the fastest recovery time if you had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but this can typically be managed with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafts are needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.
It is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with saltwater beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to be extremely gentle around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing process. Remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. Stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.
As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you, and always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call.
Did you know that mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide? The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer.
Remember—early detection saves lives! It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.
What are the risks?
Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:
- Smoking and using tobacco products are a known long-term historic cause of oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
- The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:
- Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
- The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
- Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth
- Dramatic weight loss
- Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
Don’t wait any longer. Be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!
If you or your child are getting your wisdom teeth removed, you must have questions! We are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible. As always, if you have other questions feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you understand more on your upcoming procedure. Read on for some frequently asked questions:
1. Why do we have Wisdom Teeth?
Centuries ago our human ancestors used wisdom teeth to help them grind up tough food, like leaves and roots. Their jaws were larger and had more room for extra molars. As we evolved, our diets changed to include softer foods. The third molars became unnecessary as our jaws became smaller.
2. Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
There are several reasons why you would need your wisdom teeth extracted, as they can cause a variety of complications.
• Impaction: If there is not enough room in your mouth, your wisdom teeth will become impacted and grow at an angle. This can cause problems such as pain and discomfort while eating.
• Damage to other teeth: Your impacted tooth can begin pushing against your second molars, causing potential tooth decay.
• Disease: Spaces between the impacted tooth and your molars allows room for bacteria to grow, putting you at risk for inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.
3. When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth usually come out between the ages of 17- 25, and are typically removed during your high school years. The longer you wait, the more complications that may arise. The root will continue growing and can cause potential permanent nerve damage.
4. When are wisdom teeth okay to keep?
If there is enough room for them to erupt correctly without causing any damage, then they are safe to keep. It is also important to note that not everyone is born with all four wisdom teeth, as evolution has been removing them for generations.
We hope this article has helped you, and if you have any other questions please contact us. Everyone’s teeth are different, and we want to make sure we take the right course of action for your wisdom teeth.
Dental implants typically consist of three components: the post, the abutment, and the restoration. The post is a screw which is inserted into the bone. The abutment is attached to the post and the restoration is placed on top, giving the finished product a beautiful, realistic look.
Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth, but when is getting a dental implant the best option for you? There are a few circumstances where receiving an implant might be the best option for improving your smile.
To restore and preserve your appearance
One of the main functions of dental implants is to restore a smile back to its original glory. They are built to last a lifetime, and last much longer than dental bridges. If you are looking for a permanent solution to damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are your best option.
To protect and preserve a healthy jawbone
Missing spaces in your smile can lead your jawbone to deterioration. Dental implants are the only option which will protect and save your natural bone. Waiting to get a dental implant can continue to increase the chances of your jawbone not being able to support dental implants in the future.
To stop your teeth from shifting
Losing a tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and look unnatural. These teeth can become crowded or can be shifted unevenly. This can cause your teeth to become harder to clean and can also cause your face to sag and appear sunken.
These are just a few of the instances in which you should consider getting dental implants. Dental implants are one of the most useful and successful restoration options available today. For more information on how we can restore your smile with dental implants, contact our practice today at NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777 !
Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.
Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.
Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!
It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!
These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!
Jun 4th, 2019
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on 3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy
Missing a tooth? Meet your new best friend—dental implants. Before choosing to opt for a dental implant, it’s important that you understand the in’s and out’s of these replacement teeth and how they will benefit your smile. When replacing a tooth or a gap with a dental implant, you are not only giving your smile the perfect finishing touch, but also allowing yourself the normalcy of a full set of teeth. Below are three reasons as to why dental implants are the best tooth replacement option.
Lasts A Lifetime: Dental implants are made with a combination of titanium (yes, the same titanium used in airplanes and spacecrafts!) and jawbone that creates a sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth. This replacement tooth is able to withstand numerous years of regular wear and tear when paired with a proper oral hygiene routine that is consistent and thorough. This powerful replacement tooth (or teeth) is permanent—so you won’t have to worry about getting a new one anytime soon. To ensure that you keep your dental implants in tip top shape, take the initiative to clean your implants after enjoying any foods or drinks—just as you would with your natural teeth.
Can Prevent Gum Disease: By having a dental implant in place of a gap, you are able to prevent any debris or bacteria from being trapped within the crevices between your teeth and gums. In fact, a dental implant can give you the appropriate amount of space you need to maintain a daily brushing and flossing ritual, reducing the risk of irritation of your gums, like periodontitis.
Restores Chewing Power: One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is being able to fully chew and eat again! In fact, studies show that many patients fail to even find a difference between a natural tooth and a dental implant, as they look and feel just the same. With the ability to chew properly, you’re able to maintain a normal and healthy balanced diet (and life) by being able to eat a variety of your favorite foods.
When looking for a replacement tooth option, consider dental implants. Need more information or want to learn more? Give us a call at NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777 to explore the next steps to regain not only your smile back, but your confidence too.
Not all foods are created equal. Some can be good for you and some can cause detrimental damage to your teeth (EEK)! Below are a few snack ideas that are not only tasty and easy to whip up, but healthy for your mouth too.
1. Apple Cinnamon oatmeal:
Due to the high fiber and crunchy consistency, apples naturally clean your teeth. They can also help fight plaque buildup and remove surface stains from teeth. By removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue, apples also fight bad breath.
Cinnamon contains a natural plant oil, known as cinnamic aldehyde, that has shown abilities to destroy bacteria in your mouth. Coupled with the apples, cinnamon takes fighting bad oral bacteria to the next level.
Now for the oatmeal. Whole grains have been linked to a higher quality of periodontal health. This is why we recommend to load up on the oats! Whole grain foods, such as oats, barley, bran and brown rice, may indirectly improve oral health by improving the body’s ability to process blood sugar.
2. Carrots and celery snack pack:
Celery is nature’s toothbrush! It acts almost like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Dip in some ranch or spread on some low-sugar nut butter for a satisfying snack!
Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a raw carrot at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A.
Studies have shown that yogurt reduces hydrogen sulfide, the chemical associated with bad breath! It also helps reduce plaque and gingivitis. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some yogurt!
4.Green garden salad:
Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel, making them strong. They also contain folic acid, a type of Vitamin B that has numerous health benefits, such as helping the body produce and maintain new cells.
5. Trail mix with almonds, raisins, and dried fruit:
Crunchy almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar. They’ve been shown to lower blood sugar while simultaneously increasing the production of saliva. On the other hand, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that fight off the bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. Dried fruit, like Cranberries or dried plums, have a similar impact, as long as you brush your teeth after eating them as they still have quite a bit of sugar. Put all these together and mix them all up for a healthy power snack!
It’s easy to eat mouth healthy snacks when they taste good too! If you have any questions about foods that are good for your teeth, give our Blacksburg office a call today! NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777
Apr 2nd, 2019
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on 5 mouth healthy snacks that are delicious too!
Wisdom Teeth are the back molars that come in last, usually between the ages of 18-25. These molars are typically removed due to lack of space that can cause shifting of the surrounding teeth. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Below are a few things to keep in mind following a successful wisdom teeth removal surgery.
What to Expect:
Wisdom teeth removal can be uncomfortable to some degree; however the amount of pain varies from person to person and how many teeth are removed. It’s important to note that the anesthesia wears off approximately six hours after the procedure, which is when you may need to use the pain medication your doctor has prescribed.
Foods to Eat:
Eating after having your wisdom teeth removed can be difficult, as you will most likely not be able to eat your typical foods. We always suggest to stock up on soft foods beforehand so that you’re adequately prepared. Below are a few suggestions:
• Jell-O or Pudding
• Mashed Potatoes
Foods to Avoid:
There are quite a few foods to be on the lookout for, as they can cause a significant delay in healing time and potentially cause complications.
• Anything that can get stuck in the extraction site, irritate the gums, or reopen the stitches (i.e., rice, quinoa, or types of seeds).
• Hot, crunchy, and spicy foods that can cause irritation.
*Please note that you should also refrain from drinking through a straw to avoid dry socket that occurs when a blood clot loosens due to the suction.
Taking proper care of the wound after surgery is crucial, as it plays a detrimental role in the amount of time it will take to recover. Full recovery can take anywhere up to two weeks to following a wisdom tooth removal surgery. It’s very important for you to follow the aftercare instructions provided to you after the procedure. If you think it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed, give us a call! NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777
What exactly is a bone graft?: Bone grafting is a surgical procedure done when you need to repair bone fractures or replace bone loss. When a tooth is missing or retracted from the alveolar bones that support your roots, gums and teeth, it eventually evaporates, causing facial features to shift and sag over time. This then creates potential problems such as pain in your mouth, not being able to speak properly, or chew food adequately. Fortunately, with the help of bone grafts, the bone that has been lost can be built again, which will not only heighten your appearance by providing strength back into your jaw bone, but also allows us to place a dental implant (artificial tooth) on top of it! In simple terms, the goal of bone grafting is to provide a safe, long-term solution to tooth loss!
How it works: The procedure itself is done by using a piece of bone (typically from your own jawbone; however artificial is also an option) as the base for your implant. Depending on the type on dental implant you plan on the receiving, and the condition of your jawbone, the process of recovery can take up to several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough to fully support the implant. Once the jawbone is healed, titanium, screw-like posts act as the new implant’s roots for fully functioning tooth support. The final step of dental bone grafting is to make molds of your teeth and jawbone, which will then follow with the placement of your realistic-looking artificial tooth!
After The Procedure: Bone grafting is a very popular and safe procedure, with over two million surgeries being reported each year. Of course with any surgery, come a few risks. Common ones include infection at the source, damage to the surrounding teeth or blood vessels, nerve damage, and sinus problems. The post-procedure discomforts include swelling of the gums, brushing on the skin, and minor bleeding. Any discomfort after the procedure should only last a few days and can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication, as well as ice therapy.
Following a successful bone grafting and implant surgery, it is recommended to practice excellent oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to ensure proper functioning of your implant! To learn more about bone grafting or think you are a qualified candidate to have it done, give us a call at NRV Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Blacksburg Office Phone Number 540-951-8777!