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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

Two Reasons to Have a Wisdom Tooth Removed

by Jimmy Carter

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. However, if you experience any of the following issues after one of your wisdom teeth start to emerge, you may want to arrange for your dentist to perform an extraction.

Frequent oral infections

One of the main issues with wisdom teeth is that they often never fully emerge; in many cases, only one section of the tooth rises over the gum, and the other part stays underneath. This is referred to as 'impaction'.

If a tooth is impacted, it often creates a small opening in the gums. If food gets stuck in this opening, it can fester and cause a type of infection called pericoronitis.

This, in turn, can cause the gum tissue surrounding the impacted tooth to become swollen, inflamed and tender, often to the point where the sufferer cannot chew their food or speak without experiencing pain. It may also give them bad breath and cause their gums to bleed. In most cases, it is necessary for the affected person to take a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Whilst a single instance of this kind may not be too bothersome, having to cope with multiple infections and take several rounds of antibiotics could be very frustrating.

If you are experiencing this problem and do not want to endure the expense and inconvenience of dealing with an infection once every few months, then it's worth having your dentist remove the impacted wisdom tooth.

Tooth decay

An impacted wisdom tooth can also affect the health of the teeth that surround it. If the wisdom tooth crowds nearby teeth to such an extent that there is only a tiny amount of space in between it and them, it can lead to these teeth decaying.

This is because tiny food particles can get stuck in this space and, due to its size, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to remove with a toothbrush or floss.

If food is left on the surface of a tooth for too long, the bacterial plaque inside the mouth will eat it and then secrete an acidic substance which will erode the tooth's enamel and eventually cause a cavity.

As such, this is not an issue which should be ignored; if you notice that your wisdom tooth has started to crowd the surrounding teeth, you should ask your dentist to remove it as soon as possible, before it causes permanent damage to your other teeth.