Here in northwest Arkansas, we’ve been setting records daily for high temperatures. This heat, understandably, makes a lot of us crave cold treats like ice cream or snow cones to cool us off. Although refreshing, these snacks can caused heightened tooth sensitivity in some patients. Untreated cavities could be the root of the problem as you might suspect, but one of the major causes could be gum recession brought on by improper brushing. Brushing too vigorously could cause gums to recede, increasing tooth sensitivity. Dentists recommend using a soft bristled tooth brush, or an electric toothbrush with a sensitivity gauge. See the video below to learn what other things can cause your teeth to be sensitive to chilly food items.
A large number of people do not have room for wisdom teeth. This may be the result of an evolutionary change because our diet has changed over thousands of years and we don’t eat as many greens and nuts and our jaws are not as big as they used to be. We are seeing more and more people in the past few generations did not even form some of their wisdom teeth. Those who do have wisdom teeth and don’t have room for them will get impacted teeth. When a tooth becomes impacted it can do damage to the tooth in front of it.
Depending on how it’s sitting in the jaw bone(or what happens in most cases) the wisdom tooth will come part way out of the jaw and then the gum tissue surrounding the enamel covered crown of the tooth can’t adhere to the enamel and a pocket forms. Food can get trapped in the pocket and cause an infection caused periocornitis. This infection causes swelling and pus from around the wisdom tooth that will come and go but become more frequent and severe over time. Quite often it is necessary to remove those wisdom teeth and, in many cases, it is a surgical procedure to extract the tooth.
In our office, we provide IV sedation so that the patient isn’t aware of the treatment while it is going on, and will recover better than with just using a local anesthetic. Taking out wisdom teeth is sometimes an elective thing but it is usually best to do it when the patient is younger before the bone becomes dense. Early extraction also gives less likelihood of the wisdom teeth causing damage to the other teeth, caused by the patient’s bite or resorption of the tooth in front of it. If extraction of wisdom teeth is ignored and it is growing into the molar in front of it, the patient may get almost like decay but its resorption similar to the resorption you get when permanent teeth come under the baby teeth and resorp the roots. Sometimes if you ignore it, you will end up losing multiple teeth: the wisdom tooth and the one in front of it, and then the one above it because it doesn’t have a tooth to function against. For these reasons, extraction of wisdom teeth is an important thing to evaluate at an early stage.