Dental Advice for the Sweet Tooth

Hey! I'm Frankie, and welcome to my dental advice blog. I'm a foodie and I love sweet treats, but I also love my teeth! It can be hard to keep your dental health in top condition when you've got a sweet tooth, but it's not impossible. Over the years, I've learned tons of great advice from friends, family members and dentists, and I'd love to share it with you. My blog is here to give you all the tips and tricks you need to stay free of decay and other tooth problems without giving up all your favourite foods and snacks.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Is Removal the Only Option?

Dentist Blog

Ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away is not especially wise when it comes to your teeth. Are you ignoring the discomfort associated with your impacted wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth management is something that your dental services provider can certainly assist you with, although management is often achieved by eliminating the problem (extracting the teeth in question). However, this is not the only option available to you.

Pericoronitis and Your Wisdom Teeth

Your discomfort is likely due to a condition called pericoronitis. Your wisdom teeth didn't properly emerge from your gums like the rest of your teeth did, and this means that the tooth is surrounded by an accumulation of gingival tissue. When it's located around the margin of an impacted tooth, this tissue is known as operculum. It's difficult to clean a tooth in this situation, meaning that a bacterial build-up can result in an inflammation of the operculum, which is pericoronitis. It's uncomfortable, and while it can escalate and subside in its intensity, it's not going to entirely go away, meaning you need to see your dentist.

The State of the Tooth

A dentist will make specific recommendations depending on your specific circumstances, and wisdom teeth extraction might be their advised course of action. This isn't always the default option, and the physical state of the wisdom tooth plays a role in your treatment. If the tooth is free of cavities, isn't causing overcrowding in your dental arch and if its position doesn't interfere with your bite pattern, extraction may not be necessary. 

An Operculectomy

Treatment for pericoronitis generally targets the inflamed operculum, using a procedure known as an operculectomy. It might sound space-age, but your dentist may be able to perform your operculectomy with a laser. This totally obliterates the inflamed tissues, with the heat of the dental laser simultaneously disinfecting and cauterising the tissue as it moves across the target area. This treatment option is more efficient than surgical removal with a scalpel, and is infinitely more pleasant than one of the earlier treatment methods, which involved removing the inflamed operculum with trichloroacetic acid. 

For many patients, an operculectomy may offer a permanent solution, but there's the possibility that the operculum will regrow and become inflamed again. A second operculectomy can be performed. However, this might be the stage when you should seriously consider wisdom teeth removal. For more information about dental services, contact a dentist.


4 June 2021