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Wisdom Teeth: Your funniest molars?

wisdom teeth removal Viral 2

Search the internet for “wisdom teeth aftermath video,” and you’ll have over 1.5 million options to choose from. Filming family members and friends recovering from dental anesthesia has become a huge social media trend. Several hilarious examples – including this one and this one shown above – have gone viral, generating hundreds of millions of views and national TV coverage.

What Are They?

Wisdom teeth – also called 3rd molars – are the only teeth that don’t develop until after we’re born. Most often they start to emerge in late adolescence, usually between ages 17-24. Humans have always had wisdom teeth, but have become a problem our modern diets are short in specific key nutrients that are critical to bone and jaw development. Because of that, the 3rd molars crowd the rest of the teeth, potentially causing serious oral and other health problems. There are approximately 10 million wisdom teeth removed each year, at an estimated cost of more than $3 billion.

How Much Ouch?

Despite producing some of the internet’s funniest moments, wisdom tooth extraction is a medical procedure usually performed under full sedation, which carries some minor risks. However, the procedure is fairly straightforward, and very few of instances of serious complications occur. Once the teeth are removed, the resulting holes are stitched and the wounds packed with gauze. Patients are restricted to a liquid diet during recovery, which lasts 3-4 days. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage short-term pain.

It is extremely important to adhere to the treatment and follow-up recommendations. Failing to do so can lead to excessive swelling, discomfort, infection or a painful condition known as dry socket. Fortunately, the remedy for dry socket is simply to remain fully hydrated post-surgery, rinse your mouth frequently, and avoid drinking from a straw during your recovery

 

wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last permanent molars to develop.

But what about MY teeth?

In past decades, it was commonplace to have 3rd molars removed as a preventative measure against potential future problems. However, since 2000 public health policy has been shifting away from routine removal of asymptomatic wisdom teeth, according to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. However, while adopting a wait-and-see approach can avoid a potentially unnecessary procedure, both the patient and dentist must vigilant. To avoid wisdom teeth complications such as pericoronitis, unchecked decay, or infected roots, regular check-ups are required to monitor for signs of potential problems through roughly age 30.

The bottom line is to always maintain good communication with your dentist through regular checkups, exams and X-rays. Drs. Meyer and Johns will explain to you how your 3rd molars are developing, and what problems they might expect with your teeth, based on their years of experience.

Have more questions? Ask us at your next appointment.

 

Why Meyer & Johns Needs to Know About Your Heart Condition

dental care heart conditions
Heart conditions can impact dental care. Tell us about yours!

Since February is American Heart Month, you’ve probably heard a lot about cardiac health in the past four weeks. Our nation’s healthcare focus has been on the prevention, treatment, and awareness of heart conditions. But at Meyer & Johns Dental, that awareness extends throughout all 12 months.

We take special precautions for our patients with heart conditions, and may ask you questions about any new diagnoses, existing conditions or ongoing treatments. And it’s important for us to know, because there are numerous unexpected heart complications that can arise from routine dental procedures.

Heart Conditions

Sometimes during normal cleanings, minor bleeding can occur in the mouth. This could allow oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream, potentially making its way to the heart. In heart patients, this increases the risk of endocarditis, which is inflammation of valves or tissue within the heart. In some cases, an antibiotic may be recommended before any visit to the dentist, according to the American Heart Association.

Heart Attack

The general advice for heart attack survivors is a six-month waiting period before having any dental treatments or procedures. As always, it’s important for those patients to let us know about any medications they’re taking, particularly blood-thinners or other anti-coagulants. Even basic conditions that include irregular heartbeat (including some heart mumurs) can present problems unless your dentist is aware of them.

As always, out top priority at Meyer & Johns Dental is the safety and comfort of our patients. Please help us by keeping our staff updated of any changes in your overall health (especially heart conditions). We look forward to making sure your mouth – and the rest of you – stays healthy!

It’s Children’s Dental Health Month!

There’s still one week left in February, and still plenty of time to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month! It’s the perfect excuse to discuss (and practice!) good dental habits with your kids.

What It Is

National Children’s Dental Health Month began as a one-day event in Ohio during the 1940’s. In 1949 it became an officially-observed national recognition day, followed by expansion to a weeklong event in 1955. The national Children's Dental Health Monthprogram became a month-long event in 1981 and since has grown into a focused nationwide program.
Thanks to the observance, positive messages and dental health knowledge reach millions of people in communities across the country and beyond. According to the American Dental Association, local events often include poster, coloring and essay contests, dental health fairs, free screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations and dental office tours. The American Dental Association hosts a web page full of resources for parents and educators, including free coloring and activity sheets.

 

Why It’s Important

As we’ve discussed in posts HERE and HERE, the teeth habits that are established early will last a lifetime. This observance gives you a perfect opportunity to engage your kids in developing proper brushing techniques. And while Meyer & Johns Dental pays special attention to our young patients, the most important factor in their oral hygiene habits is YOU – because parents with healthy teeth have children with healthy teeth!

Also This Month

According to the American Dental Association events page, “National Tooth Fairy Day” is celebrated on August 22 each year. However, #nationaltoothfairydayit is also widely recognized on February 28 – an anomaly for which there is no recorded explanation.  But when it comes to talking about teeth, Meyer &
Johns Dental always believes that “More is Better”. So why not celebrate twice? Next Wednesday, wish someone a Happy (1st) Tooth Fairy Day 2018! #NationalToothFairyDay

New Year’s Dental Resolutions That We WISH Everyone Made

Dental resolutions
Maybe your 2018 goals include eating healthier or exercising regularly. We have some resolution suggestions for your mouth.

As we begin the New Year, almost half of Americans will make a New Year’s Resolution. Unfortunately, 80 percent of those resolutions will fall by the wayside within six weeks, according to a U.S. News article.  But the good news is that for one out of every five people who make a positive change, they will stick with it long enough to become a habit.

The most common areas targeted for improvement are health-related and include weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and stopping smoking. But if Doctors Meyer and Johns could put together a list of resolutions for our patients, it would include:

Brush and floss daily

Sure, it’s a no-brainer. But we see a lot of patients who aren’t as consistent as they think they are. More than the occasional missed brushing can be the beginning of bad habits.

Pay attention to your gums

As we’ve mentioned, gum disease can be caused by a variety of factors. Make sure you to check for any discoloration or soreness, and point out any problem areas at your next appointment.

Cut the sugar

This may go hand-in-hand with one of your other resolutions. Limiting processed sugar intake is a simple way to improve overall health. Plus, reducing the number of sugary drinks (soda, sports drinks, sweetened/frozen coffees) positively impacts the overall amount of plaque that can accumulate between brushings.

Don’t ignore pain

If you have discomfort in a tooth, gum or jaw, call us! Sudden or persistent pain can be a sign of something seriously wrong in your mouth, so don’t wait to get it checked out.

Whatever your resolution, or even if you don’t make one at all, each of us at Meyer & Johns Dental wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Celebrate safely, and we’ll see you in 2018!