Silicon Valley OMS

Missing Teeth: More than Just a Gap In Your Smile

missing-teeth-more-than-justWhile it is true that the most obvious effect of missing teeth is a gap in your smile, missing teeth can cause other problems that you might not be immediately aware of. For example, did you know that for every missing tooth you have you lose 10 percent of your chewing ability? Read on to get a better idea of how a missing tooth can affect your life.

Surrounding Teeth
A missing tooth usually means more stress for the remaining teeth. In addition to that, if you are missing a tooth on the lower jaw, the opposing tooth on the top can grow longer to fill the gap in a process known as superuption or extrusion. This could lead to teeth tilting and move out of place by drifting into the space that was left by your missing tooth – a disaster for your beautiful smile!

Digestive Health
If you are missing teeth, you can’t enjoy all of the foods that you are used to eating – bad for your health and bad for your mood! Say goodbye to caramel apples, saltwater taffy, crunchy carrots and even gum. And because the variety in your diet is reduced when a tooth is missing, digestive problems are unfortunate yet common.

Decay and Hygiene Problems
The shifting of your teeth may cause new hygiene issues as it may be difficult to brush and floss like you normally would. This leaves your mouth more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.

Facial Aesthetics
People with more than one missing tooth may also have issues with a collapsed bite which causes a loss of vertical dimension. This could make your face appear shorter, as the distance between the tip of your nose and your chin would decrease.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer anymore! Dental implants can help you avoid all of the problems listed above and let you live your life normally again. It’s never too late for a dental implant, give us a call at Sunnyvale Office Phone Number 408-736-4332 to find out about this life-changing procedure.

Why do we have wisdom teeth anyway?

why-do-we-have-wisdom-teethWisdom teeth were once an extremely valuable asset to our ancestors. When a typical diet consisted of chewy plants and uncooked meat, third molars (wisdom teeth), which fit easily into our ancestors’ larger jaws, were absolutely necessary. Wisdom teeth were the evolutionary answer to the need for chewing power to combat excessive wear.

Today, our diets are not as rough as those of our ancestors. With modern marvels like forks, spoons, and knives, as well as softer food, the need for wisdom teeth is virtually nonexistent. And yet, on average, about 65% of the human population is born with wisdom teeth which usually erupt between the ages 17 and 25.

Although wisdom teeth were incredibly advantageous for our ancestors, they pose a bit of a problem for the modern mouth. Humans have evolved to have smaller jaws, and so wisdom teeth are often either too big for the jaw or the jaws themselves are just too small. Either way, third molars crowd the mouth. Because of this lack of space, molars often grow sideways, only partially emerging from the gums, or actually get trapped inside the gums and jawbone.

These impacted wisdom teeth can be chronically contaminated with bacteria associated with infection, tooth decay, inflammation, and gum disease. And because they’re so far back in the mouth or trapped underneath gums, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to keep them clean. Even when wisdom teeth come in fully, they are so far back in the mouth that it’s just too easy for food to get trapped, leading to plaque, cavities, and gum disease.

Although wisdom teeth were very important to our ancestors, nowadays, they pose a serious problem to oral health. Call Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to find out if your wisdom teeth are ready to come out!

Oral & Oropharyngeal Cancers

Worldwide, over 550,000 new cases of Oral, Head and Neck cancer are diagnosed each year.

Oropharyngeal cancer is slightly different from oral cancer. Oropharyngeal cancers are related to HPV (Human papilloma virus) and usually occur in the tonsils or at the base of the tongue, while oral cancers are in the mouth and usually associated with tobacco use.

The Oral Cavity
The oral cavity incudes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, and the bony roof of the mouth – also known as the hard palate.

oropharyngealcancer

The Orpharynx
Behind the wisdom teeth is considered the oropharynx, which is part of the throat just behind the mouth. It also includes the base of the tongue, the soft palate (back of the mouth), the tonsils, and the side and back wall of the throat.

Categories
Oral and Oropharyngeal cancers are sorted into 3 categories: Benign (non-cancerous), harmless growths that may develop into cancer, and cancerous tumors. This is why regular check-ups with your dental professional are key to your overall well-being.

The Team Involved
The treatment of head and neck cancers does not involve just your dental team, the assistance of many different professionals contributes is required. There may be surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and speech therapists all involved in your treatment.

Oral cancers are found as late stage three and four diseases about 66% of the time.
It is very important for you to check yourself at home as well as visiting your dentist.

Call Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule your routine dental check up and oral cancer screening today 408-736-4332

Dental Implant Success

What do you use your teeth for? Eating, drinking, speaking, laughing, the list goes on! How are these affected when you have tooth loss?

If you have missing teeth, you could be missing a lot! A very reliable and safe method for replacing teeth is dental implants.

Dental implants permanently attach prosthetic teeth to small posts or “roots” that are embedded in the jaw. These posts are made of titanium, and securely fuse to the jaw bone, this helps restore the full functionality of previously missing teeth.

implantsuccess

Dental implants not only effectively and reliably replace missing teeth, but also help prevent the loss of jawbone density, restore the support of facial structures, and provide you with the support you need to effectively use your teeth.

The procedure for dental implants can be a quick and easy, and in some cases, can be done in a single day. Your implants become part of you, so they eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures. They also prevent the embarrassment of removing dentures at every snack or meal, as well as the need for denture adhesives.

Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain. Nearby teeth are not altered in order to support a dental implant, thus more of your own teeth are left intact, improving oral health in the long-term as well as your oral hygiene.

Dental implants are very durable, lasting several years, and if they are in good care, can last a lifetime.

Don’t miss out with missing teeth, get your smile back and feel better about yourself!

Here at Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery we specialize in dental implants, so give us a call today to discuss your future implant success!

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Don’t be worried about your wisdom tooth extraction, let us outline the whole process for you:

Treatment Development
During late adolescence, wisdom teeth start to appear and occasionally are accompanied by oral pain, as well as an increased risk of dental issues such as pericoronitis, gum disease, and tooth decay. Through evaluation, your oral surgeon will determine the number of wisdom teeth present, as well as how they are developing in relation to the rest of your teeth. Using advanced imaging technology, an oral surgeon will discover if the teeth are partially or fully impacted, and then will create a strategic treatment plan in order to remove the teeth and ensure successful recovery.

howarewisdomteeth

Preparation
Although sedation is not always necessary, many patients have found anesthesia to be helpful in relaxation and reducing pain during the procedure. If sedation is chosen, there are certain preparations that must be made: patients must enlist the help of family or friends to bring them back home after their surgery.

The Procedure
Local anesthesia is applied to the area. Then, a surgical tool is used to reveal the bone and tooth. After the tooth is clearly visible, it is removed. Once the tooth is extracted, the gums and bone are left to heal.

Healing
Following the procedure, there may be some swelling in the tissue and cheeks near the treatment site. To promote a successful recovery, patients should avoid strenuous activity, smoking, and eating hard foods. Patients should not touch the treatment area with their tongue, or use straws, as this could potentially dislodge the developing blood clots and expose the area to food and bacteria.

Wisdom tooth extraction can be an uncomplicated procedure that ultimately will protect your long-term oral health. For more information about wisdom tooth extraction, schedule your consultation at Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today!

Wisdom Tooth Removal – Aftercare

Wisdom Tooth Removal - AftercareHaving your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.

Immediately Following Surgery

Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Be careful!

Do not:

  • Rinse vigorously
  • Probe the area
  • Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
  • Participate in strenuous activities

You can:

  • Brush gently (but not the area)
  • Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water). Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.

Enjoy some down-time!

Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker.

Bleeding

As you’ve just had surgery, some bleeding will occur and it’s not uncommon to ooze blood for 24-48 hours after your procedure. REMEMBER-the blood you see is actually a little blood mixed with saliva, so don’t panic! If excessive bleeding persists:

1.Try repositioning the packs. They may not be putting enough pressure on the site.

2.Sit upright and avoid physical activity.

3.Use an ice pack and bite on gauze for one hour.

4.You can also try biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes (the tannic acid in tea promotes blood clotting).

5.If bleeding persists, please call our office at 408-736-4332.

Pain

Unfortunately, some pain is to be expected after surgery. Try not to let the anesthetic wear off before taking your prescribed pain medication. Dr. Jeworski or Dr. Wang will have discussed a plan to manage your pain, make sure you follow these instructions.

Diet

Eat nourishing food that takes little effort.

Avoid:

  • Extremely hot foods
  • Straws (for the first few days)
  • Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
  • Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
  • Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!

Day 2 and 3 Following Surgery

Swelling

Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours. Also make sure to take the medication prescribed by Drs. Jeworski or Wang. This helps with pain and swelling.

Keeping your mouth clean

Keeping your mouth clean is very important! Continue saltwater rinses as often as you’d like, but at least 2-3 times a day. Begin your normal oral hygiene (remember to brush softly and don’t do anything that hurts)!

Healing

Everyone heals differently, but your timeline should look similar to this:

1.Day 1-2 will be the most uncomfortable and you will experience some swelling.

2.Day 3 you should be more comfortable and while still swollen, you should be able to begin a more substantial diet.

3.Day 4 and on you should see a gradual and steady improvement.

Other Normal Things

  • Discoloration. Bruising is a normal post-operative occurrence you may notice 2-3 days after surgery.
  • Stiff jaw muscles. You may find it difficult to open your mouth wide in the days following your surgery. This is normal and usually resolves itself within a week after surgery. Stretching these muscles may help to speed up recovery.

Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from Drs. Jeworski or Wang and the Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team are tailored to fit your needs.

Please call us at 408-736-4332 if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!

Pre-Implant Bone Augmentation

Pre-ImplantSurgeryWe are all unique, and so is your mouth! Sometimes, your jaw needs to be beefed up a little, and we’re not talking a hefty workout at the gym. You may have lost teeth due to gum disease which has resulted in bone loss, or you could just have been ͞born that way͟ and need a little help expanding! Don’t let life get you down!

We’ve got these options for you;

Sinus Lift or Sinus augmentation:

A sinus lift is often performed on people who have lost teeth in their upper jaw or are lacking adequate bone density. This procedure adds bone between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses (which are on either side of your nose), the area of your molars and premolars. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.” The new bone means implants can be placed. This procedure does not affect speech, intonation or cause sinus problems. Sometimes this procedure is required in the alveolar ridge. The alveolar ridge is the part of the gums immediately behind the upper front teeth. Alveolar ridges contain the sockets, or alveoli, of the teeth. You can feel it on the upper palate if you say words like ͞tight͟, ͞dawn͟ because the consonants are made with the tongue tip or blade reaching for this alveolar ridge.

Ridge Expansion or modification:

If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space that is created along the the jaw. Malformation in the lower jaw can result in not enough bone to place dental implants and it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain. During ridge expansion, the bony ridge of the jaw is increased and bone graft material is inserted and allowed to heal before placing the implant. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. It can enhance your restorative success both aesthetically and functionally. Whether you require a lift or expansion, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. However, in some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.

What are you waiting for? Ask Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today what your implant options can be!

5 Botox Myths

5 Botox MythsSince its FDA approval in 2000, Botox™ has become one of the the safest, effective, and well-known procedures in the world. Despite its popularity however, Botox™ has many misconceptions. Here are 5 myths about Botox™—busted.

Myth #1: The best time to get Botox™ is when wrinkles and lines appear.

Fact: Actually, Botox™ is being used more and more frequently as a preventative treatment. It’s much more difficult to smooth lines that have been etched into the skin.

Myth #2: If you stop getting Botox™, your wrinkles will get worse.

Fact: Actually, they’ll just go back to the way they were before. Botox can prevent your lines from worsening, and when you decide to stop Botox, you will just resume the normal development and deepening of wrinkles.

Myth #3: You are never too young for Botox™.

Fact: There is some truth to this. Botox™ should definitely be used as a preventative method for people of most ages, starting in their 20s–but if you’re a teenager, you’re probably not quite ready for cosmetic procedures.

Myth #4: Botox™ is only for wrinkles.

Fact: Actually, Botox™ has many other uses! Botox™ injections can treat migraines by reducing muscle tension, can treat excessive sweating by temporarily blocking sweat glands, and even shrink swollen prostate glands! Botox™ is not just cosmetic.

Myth #5: Botox is only for women.

Fact: Now that’s just plain wrong– Botox™ is for everyone! At any age, with any gender, you should be able to look the way you want to. Although Botox™ is traditionally seen as a product for women, more and more men are turning to Botox™ as a non-invasive, simple, and effective way to rejuvenate a youthful appearance.

Call Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Sunnyvale Office Phone Number 408-736-4332 for a consultation!

Pediatric Facial Trauma

PediatricFaceTraumaWe’ve all had our share of trips, bumps, and even broken bones in our childhood years! (If you haven’t, then you’re very lucky!) As the saying goes, children are very resilient, and this is actually due to their biology.

Children have ͞bendy bones͟ which are more likely to bend and crack under pressure rather than break. The term is referred to as greenstick fractures; similar to when a green branch of a tree bends and cracks, but doesn’t break off.

Considering how much energy children have, pediatric facial trauma is actually very rare! Of all facial trauma, only 15% is pediatric (0-18 years).

The maxillofacial region is related to a number of vital functions, such as vision, smell, eating, breathing and talking. It also plays a significant role in appearance.

When treating children’s maxillofacial injuries, we take into consideration the difference anatomically between adults and children. Facial trauma can range between minor injury to disfigurement that lasts a lifetime if not treated correctly.

Children have much more flexibility in their facial bones, as well as smaller sinuses, multiple fat pads and unerupted teeth. In adolescents an increase in risk-taking behavior and the reduction of parental supervision results in an increase in facial fractures.

Contact sports, physical play, riding bicycles, and even road traffic accidents all contribute to pediatric facial trauma. A full treatment plan is always taken into consideration when we deal with facial trauma.

The age of the patient, anatomic site of the trauma, complexity of the injury and how long since the injury occurred is taken into account. Ideally, don’t put off your incident for more than 4 days! This is prime healing time, and if any longer, could extend the healing and complicate the treatment process.

This is why it is very important to always wear protective gear! Remember to always have your children wear seatbelts, and invest in booster or car seats so your children can receive the full protection of seatbelt coverage. During play, remember shin guards, mouth guards and helmets! Especially when riding a bike!

Play it safe, and if life throws a curve ball (at your face!) give Silicon Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery a call!

Eating After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Eating After Wisdom Tooth ExtractionWhen it comes to getting your wisdom teeth pulled, you may be stressing about the long list of foods you can’t eat. Don’t worry – you won’t starve! We want your recovery to be as quick and painless as possible, so keep reading for an easy-to-follow guide to eating after your wisdom tooth removal!

DONT’S

  • Remember not to drink from a straw during your recovery. Using a straw could rip out your stitches or blood clots, causing dry socket.
  • The bubbles in carbonated drinks can also cause dry socket by loosening blood clots, so it’s best to avoid sodas.
  • Don’t eat crunchy foods like nuts, chips, and popcorn because they are hard to chew and can easily get stuck in your extraction sites.
  • Avoiding acidic foods and beverages can keep you from experiencing pain and stinging.

DO’S

  • Any liquids are fair game, like soups and broths. Lukewarm beverages are best, because you may experience temperature sensitivity.
  • Yogurt, pudding, applesauce and Jell-O are some go-to recovery foods: no chewing involved! Stick to these post-extraction staples for the first 24 hours after your surgery before moving on to soft foods that require chewing.
  • Mashed potatoes are great for the first few days because you can flavor them with gravy, butter, garlic, sour cream, cheese, the list goes on. Soft, starchy and filling, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on solid foods with these!
  • When you’re ready to move on to chewable foods, eggs are soft and can be eaten with just about anything.
  • You can even eat pancakes! They’re light, fluffy, and easy on your extraction sites (Tip: you can make breads even easier to chew by letting them sit in your mouth for a few seconds and softening them with your saliva).
  • Pasta is totally doable if you prepare it right. Macaroni and cheese is perfect because you can swallow the tiny noodles whole or chew them with your front teeth. You can also overcook your pasta noodles to make sure they are soft and easy to chew.

Your wisdom tooth extraction will be over with before you know it, and as long as you avoid difficult-to-chew foods you’ll be on your way to a speedy recovery.