What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth are third molars at the back of the mouth that don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth need to be removed as soon as possible so they do not cause problems in the future. 

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt in the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth in the back of their mouth – two on the top and two on the bottom. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to the rest of your teeth, or other dental problems. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may cause no immediate problems. However, since they are hard to clean, they are more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than the rest of your teeth. 

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause problems or symptoms. If the tooth is infected, damages other teeth or causes other problems, you could experience these symptoms:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • Bad breath 
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth 
  • Difficulty opening your mouth 

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing any symptoms behind your last molar, you should see a dentist as soon as possible as it can be associated with an impacted wisdom tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth can become a serious problem so it is best to see a dentist before it causes issues. Learn more about wisdom teeth removal at Capital Dental by clicking the button below.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

X-Rays are commonly used by dentists to see beneath your gums and into your bones. However, x-rays use radiation to create their pictures which can cause anxiety in some people. Radiation can have potentially harmful effects and you can find lots of information online about the dangers of radiation. But are dental x-rays really dangerous? Join us at Capital Dental as we dive into the information about x-rays and radiation.

How safe are dental x-rays?

In short, dental x-rays are considered to be very safe. When performed properly, dental x-rays give off extremely low levels of radiation. Additionally, over the years there have been many improvements to x-ray technology that continue to improve the safety of the procedure.

Just how little radiation do you get exposed to with dental x-rays? A set of 4 bitewing x-rays will expose you to 0.4mrem of radiation. Compare that to the amount of radiation you are exposed to from a variety of things you do in your daily life – drinking water exposes you to 5mrem per year and using natural gas for heating/cooking exposes you to 9mrem per year. You are even exposed to 35mrem of natural radiation from the soil every year.

We also take additional safety precautions to minimize your exposure to radiation during the x-ray. We will have you wear a lead apron to protect most of your body. We also have a leaded thyroid collar that protects the thyroid, which is more sensitive to radiation. If you are pregnant, please let your dentist know so they can take extra precautions or they may decide against taking x-rays at that time to protect you and your fetus.

What are the benefits of dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are very useful and help us diagnose a number of oral health problems that can cause patients pain and discomfort. Letting these issues go unchecked can cause far worse problems than the small amount of radiation received from the x-ray. The problems that we can identify include:

  • Tooth decay occurring between the teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Tumors or other growths
  • Changes in a root canal
  • Infections between the teeth and gums

If these problems are not promptly addressed, they can lead to serious long-term issues for your oral health.

Overall, the benefits of having x-rays taken vastly outweigh the risks associated with being exposed to such a small amount of radiation. If you have more questions or concerns about dental x-rays, call our Lincoln, NE dental office at (402) 420-0999 and we will be happy to give you more information.

Learn More About Our Dental Technology

Cold Sores Have You Shivered?

Cold sores can be painful and embarrassing, but where do these pesky things come from and how can you get rid of these irksome ailments?

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or herpetic lesions, are a very common viral infection. According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than half of the people in the United States have been infected with the virus that causes cold sores. Of the people that have the virus, about 20-40 percent of them will go on to develop cold sores. Just because they are common does not make them any less painful or troublesome.

Cold sores spread from person to person by intimate or close contact. They are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Outbreaks of this virus are often triggered by exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold, a weak immune system, changes in hormonal levels, and even stress. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason an outbreak begins but once it commences, you can expect several days to weeks of healing ahead.

How Long Do They Last?

Cold sores typically begin with a tingling, burning, or itching sensation on or around the lips, beginning about 12-24 hours before the cold sore develops. Next, the area erupts from the skin and the area becomes red, swollen, and painful as the blisters form. Over the succeeding two to three days, the “weeping phase” causes the blisters to rupture and ooze. Around four to five days after the cold sore appears, it crusts and scabs over. Do not be alarmed if they crack and bleed as it heals. From start to finish, you can expect a cold sore to take one to two weeks to completely heal.

Treatments

While there is no cure for these irritations, there are treatments that can significantly lower the amount of time it takes to heal from cold sores. With ointments or creams, you can expect a recovery time of around three to four days. With in-office lasers, recovery from cold sores only takes two days! Cold sore laser treatment at Capital Dental in Lincoln, NE is a low-cost way to receive high-end results. By drastically cutting the length of recovery time, this option may be perfect for those who are about to walk down the aisle or even hit the town with the confidence of a clear smile.

Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a result of bacterial growth in your mouth that causes harm to the gum tissue surrounding your teeth. While some symptoms are easier to ignore, if gum disease is untreated it can lead to bone and tooth loss. Don’t ignore the signs of gum disease—we can treat the problem before it gets worse. At Capital Dental in Lincoln, NE we offer gum disease treatment solutions for any stage of gum disease.

The earliest sign of periodontitis is an irritated gum line that might present some discomfort or bleeding when you brush, floss, or have your teeth cleaned professionally. If not treated, the gums will start to retract and pull away from the teeth. This creates spaces between the teeth and gums called periodontal pockets that can quickly become filled with harmful accumulations. Your dentist will typically measure the depths of these pockets to determine how far the condition has spread and what treatment is needed to correct the problem. If gum disease eventually makes its way down to the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth, the jawbone can deteriorate, and teeth can be lost.

Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Gum recession
  • “Long teeth”
  • Tooth mobility (loose tooth/movement)
  • Sore teeth when you chew/bite
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Deep pockets under your gums
  • Visible bone loss on X-rays
  • Heavy tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Swollen, red gums

Please keep in mind that if you smoke, vape, or use tobacco products, you may not see the same symptoms as someone who doesn’t. Your tissues could look “healthy” due to the lack of bleeding or swelling, even if the disease is present.

Gum disease is a very common oral health problem that with proper treatment can minimize the harmful effects. Call our team at Capital Dental with any questions and for treatment options.

Call Capital Dental in Lincoln