In cases of advanced gum disease and tooth decay, teeth may need to be extracted. Some patients may also develop impacted wisdom teeth, which can cause intense pain. This is alleviated by having them removed surgically. One area in which it is possible for dentists to specialise is oral surgery, an umbrella term for all dental procedures involving surgery, such as the extraction of teeth or wisdom teeth. It is always important to get the advice of a dental professional if you are worried about any of your teeth. Never attempt to pull out your own tooth at home as this could cause a more serious problem for you.
The way your teeth meet when your top and bottom jaws close down on top of each other is known as your 'bite'. If your teeth don't fit together properly, you could have malocclusion or 'bad bite', which can cause problems with your teeth, gums, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles in your face.
This misalignment, often referred to as TMJ disorder, can also cause some people to clench the jaw and grind their teeth at night. This can lead to facial pain, headaches, discomfort and clicking when biting or chewing, migraines as well as neck and shoulder pain, and even back pain.
If you recognise any of these symptoms or suffer with these on a daily basis, you will need to see a dentist to treat your problems or to refer you to a specialist if necessary. Treatment can include the following:
Depending on the origin and severity of your problem, you may need orthodontic treatment or maxillofacial surgery. Other solutions may include replacing missing teeth or adjusting any ill-fitting bridgework that you may have. The most important thing to do is to see your dentist as soon as possible so that your problem does not become worse over time and require more drastic measures to correct.
Do you or your partner suffer from breathing difficulties during sleep such as snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea? You might be pleased to know that dentistry may have a solution for you. A variety of oral devices or mouthpieces are now available that will address your snoring problems. By preventing the lower jaw from dropping back during sleep, these devices can prevent the closure of your airways, which will stop you from snoring. Your dentist can fit one of these for you. Here is how the treatment works: