Know the Facts on Impaction

Wisdom teeth impaction is less common with a ready removal of up to 85% of wisdom teeth, but it is still a risk that you should be aware of.

The Low-Down on Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth is the third set of molars, they are considered vestigial structures, as we no longer need them. It is possible that in the past they were used to chew on more coarse food, but now they are not necessary. Wisdom teeth arrive between the ages of 17 and 25 and can cause crowding of the mouth.

What is an Impacted Tooth

Impaction – the key word of today’s article. A wisdom tooth becomes impacted when it cannot erupt because it becomes blocked by another tooth. This most commonly happens when the tooth is turned sideways, at an angle, or pointing anywhere but up. If there is little space left in the jaw, your wisdom teeth will almost surely become impacted.

A Description of Impaction

When an impacted tooth erupts, it can cause gum swelling and pain that you may or may not notice in your jaw, teeth, gums, or even an ear on the side of your head. This can become extremely uncomfortable and need attention from your dentist as soon as possible.

Impaction Symptoms

Be on the lookout for:

  • Pain or difficulty moving the jaw
  • Swelling
  • Halitosis
  • An unpleasant taste
  • Pain with biting, chewing, or opening mouth.

If you or your teenager are in need of a wisdom tooth extraction, we would be more than happy to help. At Charm Dental in Spring and Richmond, TX, we are more than equipped to help our patients get the exact treatment they need, and we are eager to meet you and your family! Give us a call or visit our office to see the difference in our practice, where we truly treat you like family!

Your Routine Dental Checkup is the Ideal Time for an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is on the rise and with it the need for cancer screening. Some forms of oral cancer have more than doubled in prevalence since 2002. In fact, about 50,000 people this year will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and only about half of them will live for another five years. Every year, almost 10,000 people die in the United States due to oral cancer. The biggest reason for low survival rates is lack of early detection. That is why oral cancer screenings are so important. The Oral Cancer Foundation states that the majority of oral cancer cases aren’t noticed until they have already spread to other organs.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

While there is no single cause of all types of oral cancer, there has been a staggering rise in HPV-related oral cancer all over the world. There are many different strains of HPV, and most will never develop into cancer, but at least 1% of people do not have an immune system that can fight HPV-16 and are at great risk of developing cancer because of it.

Other causes of oral cancer include smoking, excessive drinking, chewing tobacco, UV damage, and old age.

Screening and Prevention

Since oral cancer often goes unnoticed until it has already spread to other organs, early detection is important. Here at Charm dental, we can offer you oral cancer screenings along with your routine dental checkup. The dentist will visually examine, not just your teeth, but the entire oral cavity. Beyond the visual examination checking for sores and lumps, a physical examination will help the dentist determine if you are experiencing symptoms of oral cancer such as lumps, thickening of the skin, numbness, or pain.

If you seem to exhibit symptoms that point to oral cancer, you may be referred to further screening. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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