Many patients consider orthodontic treatment to be a purely aesthetic decision. And, while it’s true that orthodontic care can give you your dream smile, it can actually do so much more than that. Today, our San Francisco dentists are going to be reviewing some of the ways that improving dental alignment can help you smile as a whole. Let’s get started!

Effective Cleaning

Patients with crowded and crooked teeth have a more difficult time reducing plaque and tartar levels. You’ll find that both brushing and flossing are more effective with a thoughtfully aligned smile. Over time, this can reduce your instances of developing dental caries as well as gum disease.

Shifting Teeth

If you are someone with large gaps in your smile, you may notice that adjacent teeth move around over time. Closing gaps can give your smile stability as neighboring teeth actually work to hold other teeth in place.

TMJ Issues

People with poorly aligned bites are at a greater risk of developing damage to the temporomandibular joints—these are the joints that attach your lower jaw to your skull. You may experience soreness, clicking/popping sensations, and even jaw locking. Over time, teeth can wear down unevenly and prematurely due to unconscious alternations that the patient makes in his or her bite/chewing movement in order to accommodate for the poorly balanced smile.

When you undergo orthodontic treatment with our San Francisco Invisalign dentists, we address both aesthetic and functional issues at the same time. During the treatment process, you’ll wear a series of aligners, and each set of aligners will move you closer to your goal smile.

If you are unhappy with the current state of your smile, there are treatments available to help you! You can always call our San Francisco dentists to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation. 

The key to effectively treating dry mouth is to choose a solution that directly addresses the underlying cause of your issue. This may include:

  • Revamping your oral hygiene routine to clear away plaque and bacteria, and give your smile as much of a clean slate as possible moving forward.
  • Adding a mouth rinse to your morning or nightly routine, or even as a supplemental step throughout the day. We’ll help you determine what type of rinse is right for you—there are formulations on the market designed to fight dryness, kill bacteria, freshen breath, and more.
  • Focusing on optimizing your water usage throughout the day. This means, first of all, drinking plenty of water to ensure that you’re hydrated. However, it may also mean rinsing your mouth with water after meals and snacks, as a way to clear away dental debris and jump-start saliva production.
  • Talking to your dentist about any medications you’re taking. Dry mouth is a common side effect of all types of medications. If you take medications daily, you may want to ask your doctor if there are alternatives available that are not as drying. Your doctor may also have recommendations for supplemental medications or mouth rinses that can alleviate your symptoms.
  • Treating sleep apnea in a timely manner. Sleep apnea occurs at night, and it prevents the patient from inhaling an adequate amount of oxygen due to airway obstruction. Consequently, sleep apnea sufferers end up sleeping with their mouths open, leading to dry mouth. Traditional CPAP machines as well as innovative oral appliances can improve sleep apnea symptoms.

If you are a experiencing chronic dry mouth, then you are probably already aware that this one issue can affect your oral health in a myriad of ways. Seeking prompt treatment is crucial to avoiding more serious damage down the road.

Our San Francisco dentists are here to help you make the best decisions for your smile, so don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or through our Contact Us page

15Nov

 

Many people are born with a third set of molars most commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, and while Dr. Robert M. Walley certainly does his fair share of wisdom tooth removal, the truth is that not everybody has to have those teeth removed. For many patients, it is imperative for their overall dental health and hygiene to do so, while some people are born without them entirely.

 

The trick is knowing when these wisdom teeth should come out and when they should stay. While Dr. Walley can consult with patients and talk them through their options, those interested in knowing the ins and outs of wisdom tooth extraction can get a sense of whether or not they’ll require removal by looking for a few warning signs.

 

When to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Put simply, if your wisdom teeth are impacted—if they are for one reason or another blocked from growing properly—it will be in your best interest to have them removed before they can cause any bigger problems in your mouth.

 

Your third molars are supposed to stand upright and erupt through your gums like all your other molars did as a kid, but if they are lying horizontally, it means there isn’t enough room for them to grow the way they should. If they creep sideways into a neighboring tooth, they can not only cause crowding and shifting, but they can accumulate plaque and bacteria more easily. Those cause cavities, which can lead to infections, all of which should be more than enough reason to consider removing them.

When to Leave Your Wisdom Teeth Alone

That said, some people have enough space in their mouth to allow upright wisdom teeth to erupt and sidle right in alongside existing teeth. If they aren’t shifting other teeth, if they have enough room to grow, and, most importantly, if they aren’t causing you any pain or discomfort, it is perfectly reasonable to leave your wisdom teeth in your mouth. They will ultimately function like any other molar.

 

That means the choice is up to you as to whether or not you’d like them removed. Sometimes, even wisdom teeth that erupt upright and function properly can develop problems over time. They are very far back in the mouth, which makes them the most difficult teeth to clean. If you do decide to keep your wisdom teeth, make sure you give them plenty of attention in terms of brushing and flossing.

Make an Appointment With an Experienced Dentist

Removing wisdom teeth does require oral surgery, but Dr. Walley is a respected wisdom tooth dentist with years of experience, so he can make the procedure as efficient and painless as possible. Keeping wisdom teeth when they should be extracted is much more painful than simply ridding yourself of the headache preemptively. As is the case with all such procedures, consult with Dr. Walley to make the best plan for your teeth. If that means removing those third molars, we can help, and if it means leaving them alone, we can at least provide you with the peace of mind in knowing you’re doing the right thing.

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