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new westminster oral surgery

Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Surgery

Our dental office in New Westminster has compiled a list of top questions regarding Oral Surgery. If you need immediate treatment or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our dental clinic at: (604) 544-0894

1. Who will need an oral surgery?

Oral surgical procedures involve the incision, excision, or reflection of tissue that exposes the normally sterile areas of the oral cavity. Examples are biopsy, periodontal surgery, apical surgery, implant surgery, and surgical extractions of teeth (removal of erupted or nonerupted tooth requiring elevation of the mucoperiosteal flap, removal of bone or section of tooth, and suturing if needed).

2. Who will need periodontal surgery?

Periodontal or “gum” surgery is needed when conservative non-surgical treatments are ineffective in completely eradicating the periodontal disease. Luckily, periodontal surgery is a very simple and extremely effective technique to treat advanced periodontal problems.

3. What is apical surgery?

Apical surgery is considered a standard oral surgical procedure. It is often the last resort to surgically maintain a tooth with a periapical lesion that cannot be managed with conventional endodontic (re-)treatment. The main goal of apical surgery is to prevent bacterial leakage from the root-canal system into the periradicular tissues by placing a tight root-end filling following root-end resection. A major step in apical surgery is to identify possible leakage areas at the cut root face and subsequently to ensure adequate root-end filling. Only a tight and persistent apical obturation will allow periapical healing with good long-term prognosis.

4. When do I need a surgical extraction of teeth?

If a more volatile tooth has yet to grow in, however, your dentist needs to remove gum tissue or bone in order to extract it. This is called a surgical extraction and requires stitches to close the site so that it can heal properly.  If a tooth breaks off during the procedure, for instance, it may need to be taken out in pieces. Wisdom teeth often face surgical extraction because they are usually impacted, meaning they are not completely erupted into the mouth. This condition requires cutting through bone and tissue. Removing severely broken down teeth, root tips or teeth with long-curved roots are other examples of surgical extractions. Then there are times when the bone around a tooth has become dense, resulting in the need for surgical treatment.

5. What will happen during my procedure?

Your oral surgeon/dentist will explain how they plan to perform your surgery. Without having to get into too many specifics, you will know where your incision is being made, and any other details about what the procedure entails and what the goal is.

6. Do I need to be sedated during my oral surgery instead of the local anesthesia?

A dentist will request in-depth past medical history before a patient can be sedated. Not all patients are able to be sedated. Patients who are anxious, nervous, or scared of dental visits may request sedation for a variety of dental care from a regular cleaning to wisdom teeth extractions. However, there may be other techniques to help a patient receive the necessary dental treatment in a safe and comfortable manner.

7. How long will the procedure take?

It depends on which oral surgery that your dentist consulted you to take. It could be from one hour to four hours or more. Ask your dentist for more details to suit your schedule.

8. How long is the recovery?

It depends on the kind of oral surgery. Wisdom teeth extraction usually takes a few days to one week for the pain and swelling to subside. The gums can take up to a month to completely heal. Your dentist will recommend a soft diet for a few days and provide detailed recovery instructions, such as how to deal with discomfort and swelling. Dental implants also require some healing time and this varies from patient to patient and procedure to procedure.

9. What food should I eat and avoid after surgery?

For 2 days after surgery, drink liquids and eat soft foods only. Such as milkshakes, eggnog, yogurt, cooked cereals, cottage cheese, smooth soups, mashed potatoes, refried beans, ice cream, pudding, fruit smoothies and protein shakes. On day 3 after surgery, eat soft foods that do not require much chewing, such as macaroni and cheese, cooked noodles, soft-boiled /scrambled/ poached eggs and soft sandwiches. Avoid tough or crunchy foods, such as pizza, rice, popcorn, and hamburger. Avoid spicy and acidic foods. Most patients may resume their normal diet 7 days after surgery.

10. What should not you do after oral surgery?

  • Do not apply heat to your face, unless your surgeon told you to do so.
  • Heat can increase swelling.
  • Do not use straws, suck on anything, or smoke.
  • These actions cause negative pressure in your mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot that is keeping your wound closed, causing more bleeding, and delay your healing.
  • Do not blow your nose. Wipe instead.  If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open.
new westminster teeth grinding

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Teeth Grinding

Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

What causes you to grind your teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

Source: WebMD

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

Treatments for bruxism designed to reduce symptoms or get rid of teeth grinding altogether include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Drinking more water
  • Getting more sleep
  • Not chewing gum or on other objects
  • Consciously relaxing the face and jaw throughout the day
  • Buying a teeth grinding mouth guard
  • Avoiding alcohol, which increases the urge to clench the teeth
  • Avoiding caffeine, which can make you jumpy and tense

The most popular and widely used of these solutions is mouth guards.

Source: Arizona Family Dental

Why do I want to clench my teeth?

My dentist explained that bruxism, a condition most often caused by stress, involves grinding your teeth, either at night or throughout the day, without realizing it. Are you waking up with headaches, a sore jaw or neck pain? Then you may be unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth, as well.

Source: Colgate

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a habit that affects around 8-10% of the population. It is broadly characterized by grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw that causes tooth wear and breakage, disorders of the jaw (pain and limited movement) and headache.

What can I do to stop teeth grinding?

Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax. Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Source: WebMD

How can I stop clenching my teeth at night? Home Remedies

  1. Reduce your stress. Stress is one major cause of teeth grinding, so you should aim to relieve your stress. You can relieve the stress in your life by attending stress counselling, exercising, or meditating. You may also consider looking into natural remedies to reduce stress. There is also a large variety of tea plants, like chamomile and lavender, which can calm you down before bed time.
  2. Remove caffeine from your diet. Stop drinking soda, coffee, and energy drinks and try not to eat too much chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant which will make it more difficult for you to relax your mind and the muscles of your jaw, especially at night making you agitated throughout the day.
  3. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant which will make it more difficult for you to sleep healthily. Teeth grinding tends to get worse after alcohol consumption. Though alcohol may make it easier for you to fall asleep, it will make you sleep a less restful, more shallow sleep, which will increase your teeth grinding.
  4. Stop chewing on non-foods. Stop yourself from stress-related habits that have to do with your mouth. Chewing non-food items is a sign of an increased stress level. For example, if you tend to chew on pencils or pens when you are stressed out, you should eliminate that habit. If this is particularly challenging, you can chew gum or suck on a mint whenever you have the urge to chew on non-foods, and slowly wean yourself off of them.
  5. Train yourself not to clench your jaw during the day. If you notice that your jaw is tense or that your teeth are gritted together, practice relaxing the jaw by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
  6. Add calcium and magnesium supplements to your diet. Calcium and magnesium are necessary for muscle function and nervous system health. If you don’t have enough, you can have problems with clenching, tension, and other muscle problems. Remember that your heart is also a muscle and it can suffer from stress or lack of calcium.
  7. Relax before bed. It is important to reduce stress before bed so that you’re more relaxed during the night and therefore less likely to grind your teeth. Here are some ways to relax before bed and have a more restful sleep

What does it mean when you clench your jaw?

Because of anxiety or other issues, some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw thousands of times a night while they sleep. They put so much pressure on their jaws — 250 pounds (or more) worth of force — that they wear down their teeth, sometimes even causing joint and muscle problems.

Source: Everyday Health Media, LLC

Can grinding teeth cause ear pain?

The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). Grinding can wear down your teeth. … Earache (partly because the structures of the temporomandibular joint are very close to the ear canal, and because you can feel pain in a different location than its source; this is called referred pain).

Source: Medline Plus

Can grinding my teeth cause headaches?

Here’s how it happens: Your jaw muscles tighten when you grind or clench your teeth – or do things such as chew gum. The pain from your jaw created by the clenching then travels to other places in the skull, causing headaches or, in severe cases, migraines. You may also experience toothaches, earaches or shoulder pain.

Need to talk to a dentist? Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at: (604) 544-0894 and one of our dentists will be happy to help you.