What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Approximately 5 million US citizens have had their wisdom teeth extracted, combining in an annual expense of $3 billion.

It’s likely that you are one of the patients who has gotten this popular procedure. If so, the dentist more than likely extracted them because they were disrupting the condition of the rest of your teeth. Our wisdom teeth are the last of our grown-up teeth to develop, and they are commonly removed during our teens and young adulthood. For some people, their wisdom teeth emerge without any complications or difficulties. For others, painful symptoms and dental problems go along with the appearance of these teeth.

A wisdom tooth may be partially or fully impacted. A partially impacted wisdom tooth means that only a small amount of the crown is exposed, and a fully impacted wisdom tooth means that it has failed to emerge through the patient’s gums. Wisdom teeth don’t always grow in straight, either. They have been known to grow in at angles, backward, and even upside down

Difficulties Caused by Wisdom Teeth

Third molars, also known as impacted wisdom teeth, emerge at the back of the mouth and fail to establish routinely because there is no room for them to develop. There are some cases where the third molars do not cause any pain or irritation; unfortunately, since these teeth are harder to clean, they tend to be more prone to gum disease and tooth decay compared to the rest of the teeth. Oral surgeons will always remove impacted wisdom teeth that are creating difficulties for the patient, and they will also advise removing the wisdom teeth that aren’t currently causing pain under the precaution that there will be problems in the future.

So what sorts of soreness is related with impacted wisdom teeth? Here’s a rundown of some signs and symptoms you might experience:

▪ Painful gums that bleed or swell
▪ Swelling and pain at the jaw
▪ Trouble opening up the mouth
▪ Bad breath

When wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause further harm to the neighboring teeth. Orthodontic procedures might be needed if the incoming wisdom teeth push the other molars ahead, creating overcrowding. There is a risk of developing a tumor in the mouth– though it is infrequent– and this happens because the wisdom tooth can develop in a fluid-filled sac inside the jawbone, making a cyst. If this takes place, the oral surgeon might just have to extract the neighboring bone and tissue. As we mentioned earlier, wisdom teeth are tough to maintain because they reside in the back of the mouth. Along with tooth decay, patients are potentially at risk of an inflammatory gum issue referred to as pericoronitis.

A Model Treatment

The majority of the time, the oral surgeon will get rid of all four wisdom teeth at the exact same time, but they might choose to do a few teeth at a time depending on their or the patient’s desires. The patient will undergo general anesthesia to minimize the amount of irritation they might feel during the treatment. Depending on the amount of teeth the are being pulled, this procedure can last anywhere from one to several hours. Some of the most common negative side effects of wisdom teeth removal are swelling and bleeding at the surgery site. These can be managed at home with gauze and ice packs, but if these side effects persist, it is wise to seek out the performing surgeon for advice.

Arguments Against Wisdom Tooth Extraction

A number of people testify that removing wisdom teeth is avoidable and is essentially a way for dentists to charge massive amounts of money to their patients. Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, has published an article commenting on this mind-set and the misconceptions that are associated with the eruption of wisdom teeth in developing young patients. Obviously, the decision to move ahead with wisdom teeth removal or to decide against it is essentially up to the patient. Nevertheless, we recommend that our patients make an educated examination of their pain and discomfort and to speak with Dr. Aerni for help and assistance when it concerns the severeness of impaction.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni, you can visit our website or give us a call at (440)238-6141.

The Benefits of Smiling

Regardless of what language we speak, smiles are a universal sign of happiness and reliability in regards to non-verbal interaction.

One might nearly say that receiving a real, heartfelt smile from a person is more beneficial than getting money, a research study carried out in 2005 claims. “The powerful emotions triggered when someone important in our lives smiles at us and we smile back changes our brain chemistry. It creates what is termed a ‘halo’ effect that helps us remember other happy events more vividly, feel more optimistic, more positive, and more motivated,” psychologist Dr. David Lewis, who examined these findings, reported.

Also, smiling has the power to reduce stress through releasing endorphins and a stress-managing hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. A real smile also attributes to friendliness, confidence and sincerity. Because of this, employers are most likely to hire those who show bright, honest smiles throughout the interview procedure than those whose smiles don’t feel sincere.

How do we know if a smile is truthful or not? Most of us will pick up on this distinction when interacting with others. When a person forces a smile, it typically fails to reach their eyes and there tends to be a lot of tension in the muscles around the mouth. A sincere smile is referred to as a Duchenne smile. This type of smile is when the mouth’s corners lift, pressing our cheeks upwards and forming crow’s feet at the corners of our eyes.

This is all interesting, wouldn’t you agree? Something as simple as a smile can create a positive impact on each of our lives. For some people, however, smiles aren’t as easy to come by. Those who struggle with dental complications, like tooth decay, missing teeth, or other issues, may be more hesitant when it comes to their natural smiles. As a result, these people are at risk of being perceived as mean, unapproachable, and incompetent regardless of how they really are.

We want you to feel confident in your smile. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni today!

Canker Sores – What Are They?

Sometimes mixed up with cold sores, canker sores (also known as aphthous ulcers) manifest only on the inside of the mouth and are not contagious.

Canker sores are believed to have affected nearly twenty percent (one in five) of people. 

One can recognize these sores by their oval shape with a red border, and usually a white, gray or yellow center. Canker sores can be painful, but most will disappear by themselves in a few days to a couple of weeks.

Possible causes:

The actual causes of canker sores is unclear, though heredity is a part of it. Canker sores typically afflict people ages 10 to 20 years old and affect women about 2X as much as men. They often show up at the location of mouth injuries, and connections have been discovered between stress and canker sores. Links have been discovered between canker sores and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a chemical found in some types of toothpaste, as well. Finally, canker sores might be an indication of problems of the immune system.

Canker sores come in three types. While the majority of occurrences are minor canker sores, the other types are major and herpetiform canker sores. The Mayo Clinic has more to read about these other types on their website.

Treatment options

No form of treatment is usually needed if you are suffering with a minor canker sore. However, there are a few options to reduce further pain.

  • Refrain from eating spicy foods as well as those that could be scratchy or hard, as these will irritate the wound.
  • Consider using a toothpaste without SLS and don’t brush the sore with a toothbrush.

Ways to avoid getting a canker sore

  • Watch out for types of foods which irritate your mouth.
  • Be sure to get proper nutrition and are avoiding vitamin deficiency
  • For those of you with braces, orthodontic wax can protect your mouth from injury.
  • Reduce stress.

Check with Dr. Aerni or your doctor if you have a canker sore that is unusually large or especially painful, or one that doesn’t seem to heal.

Study Examines Reasons Dental Fillings Might Fail

A paper published in Frontiers in Medicine looked into composite and amalgam fillings along with a few of the factors which could lead them to fail.

Among the factors examined were sex, age, smoking, drinking alcohol, diabetes, periodontal health, and genes. The records of 4,856 patients from 5 years were included for the research project.

Below are a few of their findings.

Both filling types performed similarly, with composite fillings showing slightly more durability

Amalgam fillings are the traditional silver tooth fillings that have been used for more than one hundred and fifty years, while composite fillings are the modern, tooth-colored fillings. In the duration of their look into dental fillings, the researchers found that the rate of failure for composite and amalgam filings were about the same, with composite fillings performing just a little better. 

Fillings have a greater chance of failing for people who drink alcohol and men who smoke 

Drinking and smoking showed the most prominent link with the failing of dental fillings of the lifestyle choices looked at. After having dental fillings for 2 years, the failure rate was greatest in patients who were regular drinkers and in men who were smokers.

A person’s genetics may play a role in failed fillings

The study examined a gene for an enzyme that is found in teeth named MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) can impair the bond between a filling and tooth, according to them. An individual’s genetic makeup may, in the future, play a larger role in dentistry, they suggested. One of the researchers, Alexandre Vieira, said: “…genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.”

The outcome of the study further enforces the idea that composite fillings should be seen as a good change from the older amalgam fillings. Dental patients might like to consider the correlation between lifestyle and dental filling failure, too.

If you haven’t had your dental fillings looked at recently, consider booking your next appointment with Dr. Aerni now.

Why We Use CBCT 3D Technology at Aerni Dental

Even one of the most accomplished general dentists could be taken aback by some of the irregular anatomies we see inside of our patients.

Today’s advances in technology such as CBCT 3D machines makes those unusual cases much easier to handle, which, in turn, makes life easier for our patients.

What is a CBCT 3D machine?

CBCT 3D machines are simply put, 3D x-ray imaging devices for teeth, allowing the dentist to get the best possible view of the tooth they possibly can.

As a general dentist, the use of CBCT 3D technology allows Dr. Aerni to easily find canals he couldn’t already see, catch hairline fractures he may not have recognized while inspecting a tooth, and even see pulp stones that weren’t noticeable originally. Making use of the 3D technology on this device makes planning and efficiency a lot easier and allows the dental treatment we provide to be that much better for it.

Making endodontic treatment easier

CBCT 3D machines take a bunch of 2D radiographs that are then transformed into a 3D set of data that allows us to view the entirety of the tooth. With these machines, we can examine the anatomy of a tooth on several planes like the sagittal, axial, and the coronal granting us full command of your endodontic planning for the best results anyone could wish for.

Making referrals easier

In some cases, a dentist may open up a patient’s tooth only to realize the problem is something they can’t fix by themselves, and a specialist is required. This is a problem that Dr. Aerni can avoid thanks to the 3D capabilities of CBCT. Rather than needing to go into the tooth to determine whether or not a referral an endodontist is necessary, the recommendation can be made based off of the 3D image, saving the patient time and extra dental work.

Having a CBCT 3D device allows Aerni Dental to provide our patients with the most reliable care as efficiently as possible.

Baby Teeth May Be Temporary, but They Can Have a Very Permanent Effect on Your Life.

When you think of baby teeth you probably picture them as teeth that fall out as a child which you then gift to the tooth fairy.

Did you know, however, that those very teeth set the precedent for the rest of your oral life? Below are 5 reasons why your baby teeth have a permanent effect on your life.

1. They affect the health of your permanent teeth
Your permanent teeth grow closely behind the roots of your baby teeth. These teeth are much smaller in size compared to your permanent teeth and have a thinner layer of enamel. This means cavities that develop on your baby teeth spread quickly and, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to your adult teeth.

2. They set the precedent for the alignment of your teeth
Baby teeth that are lost early cause the surrounding teeth to erupt into the missing space. Your adult teeth that will later grow into that space now have less room, causing bad tooth alignment. It is important to be cautious of how your teeth move prior to the eruption of your adult teeth so you don’t run into the problem of crooked teeth or poor tooth alignment.

3. Speech patterns
Your face muscles, tongue, and your lips are used in the pronunciation of sound. The sound is only produced correctly when they are able to move properly across your teeth. If the alignment of your baby teeth are not where they should be, it can create a mispronunciation of these sounds. This can then cause problematic speech patterns to develop as you age.

4. Self-Esteem
Childhood is the pinnacle of self-esteem development. Tooth decay, misaligned teeth, and other forms of dental pain that can develop easily during that time play a huge role in self-esteem. Feeling embarrassed, anxious, angry, and sad because of these problems can cause your child to be less social and to engage less with others at a time when it is most crucial.

5. Healthy Habits
As a child, you learn the proper way to chew your food, brush your teeth, and floss. These habits you develop while you have your baby teeth are carried into adulthood. If you do not take good care of your baby teeth, you won’t develop the proper healthy habits you need to take care of your permanent teeth. This can result in countless oral hygienic issues to develop.

The biggest takeaway: baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth.

They strongly impact early childhood development and create the oral habits you will take with you for the rest of your adult life. Schedule an appointment with us today so we can ensure your child’s teeth are on track for the future.

Osteoporosis Medication Is A Cause For Concern

Despite bone cancers like osteoporosis being treated with medication for years there is still a cause for concern. Dentist’s like myself understand this so we are very cautious about how we handle patients taking such medication. Below I explain the reasons why osteoporosis medication is a cause for concern in our field and why you should make sure your dentist knows what medication you’re on right away.

What are osteoporosis medications?

Osteoporosis is typically treated with drugs known as bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonate medications work by evening out the balance between your osteoclasts and osteoblasts.

Osteoclasts break down decaying bone while osteoblasts work in tandem to rebuild new bone. This destruction and rebuilding process is hindered in patients afflicted with osteoporosis. 

Typically this medication eases the pain and suffering caused by osteoporosis, but can only be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms. Using this type of medication to try and restore the osteoclast and osteoblast balance seen in healthy individuals is not possible. Bisphosphonates are also used to help maintain how dense your bones are and reduce the chance for bone fractures. If that’s not all, osteoporosis also leads to high calcium levels in the blood which bisphosphonates help circumvent. 

So why should my dentist be concerned?

Bisphosphonates sometimes have a side-effect, albeit rare, known as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis. This type of osteonecrosis is located in the jaw, also known as jaw osteonecrosis, which results from dental implants. Alcohol abuse, drugs, and smoking are usually contributing factors as well in the development of bisphosphonate osteonecrosis.

People diagnosed with this side effect usually experience an increase in pain and suffering. As such, dentists have opted to look towards other treatment options to help such patients. Root canal therapy is often used as an alternative that has been seen to help patients.

If you are concerned about your osteoporosis medication and dental treatments schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni to the best options available to you.

The Importance Of Regular Flossing

Flossing is part of oral dental hygiene that many people ignore. However, most people are scared of floss because it can lead to gums bleeding.

When it comes to flossing, bleeding gums are not necessarily bad. If your gums bleed often, this can weaken and hasten the plaque build-up. With the use of good toothbrush and proper brushing techniques, plaque can grow and accumulate in hiding areas on your gums and teeth. However, plaque is caused due to the chemical reaction between the carbohydrates and sugars in the foods and drinks we consume (apart from water). The end reaction can produce bacteria-laden film and germ that sticks to your gums or teeth surface. Also, this can be treated using invasive dental treatment measures such as flossing and brushing.

How Flossing Helps Prevent Plaque

Regular brushing of teeth is not enough to protect your gums and teeth from plaque build-up. There are some hiding areas in your mouth (such as the space between your teeth and gap along your gum line) that can’t be accessed using a toothbrush. If these areas are not cleaned every day, the plaque can lead to possible dental problems such as tartar or loss of teeth.

However, flossing will help you to clean the food particles in those hiding areas that have been damaged by plaque. Just like tooth brushing is important in cleaning your gums and teeth without causing damage, so is proper flossing help to get rid of plaque by preventing gums irritation and unintentional harm.

Dentists like Dr. Aerni usually advise their patients to floss at least one per day. Also, proper flossing involves the movement of floss back and front along the shape of each tooth below the gum line. To save energy and time in this process, it is good to force the floss in between your middle teeth rather than going along the perimeter of each tooth.

Have you scheduled your regular cleaning and exam? If not, contact us today!

Periodontal Disease: A Severe Risk for Obesity

Periodontal infections affect the teeth structures which include the alveolar bone, gums, the periodontal ligament, and the cementum covering the root. At the early stage of periodontal disease, the infection affects the gums called Gingivitis. Also, in the severe form of the disease involve all supporting tissues. The bacteria cause the major outbreak in the tooth. Due to this, periodontal diseases affect more than 40% of the population across the globe. In the past, the gum disease has been linked to other health problems. Recent studies show that the connection exists between gum infection and other dental issues, but some researchers are required to confirm these findings

However, periodontal disease has been linked to another disease such as obesity.

According to the study carried out at the New York Medical College, Medical researchers claimed that bacteria worsened the functionality of fat tissues, which has increased the rate of obesity. The researchers also found that an extract found in the kava plant (kavain) has the potential of treating the chronic inflammation in obese patients. Oral hygiene is not the only factor in obesity, but the combination of oral treatment and anti-inflammatory properties in kavain can reduce the health problems related to obesity.

Some of the basics of oral hygiene include:

Brushing

  • Brushing of teeth twice per day.
  • Make use of a suitable brush. Store in a proper place and keep it clean.
  • When brushing, practice appropriate technique.
  • Make sure you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or earlier if the bristles become frayed or irregular.

Flossing

  • When flossing, do not skim.
  • Be calm and gentle during flossing.
  • Take a tooth at a time.

If you find it difficult to make use of the floss, you can use an interdental cleaner like pre-threaded flosser, dental pick, a water flosser, or a silicon or wooden plaque remover and tiny brushes that reach between teeth.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that periodontal disease can be preventable and if proper measures are taken you can reduce the risk of severe health conditions linked to periodontal disease and obesity.

Need to schedule your next cleaning and exam? Make an appointment with Dr. Aerni today!

Orthodontics: Why Choose Tip-Edge Brackets?

Dr. Aerni Orthodontics

Orthodontics have evolved in the last several years. Due to this, many different treatment options are available in the marketplace, including straight wire braces and Tip-Edge brackets. Which system a dentist or orthodontist decides to use is dependent on what system they had training with, and what they feel can offer their patients the best results esthetically and orthopedically.

Tip-Edge orthodontics

Dr. Aerni in Strongsville, Ohio believes that Tip-Edge brackets best fit this criteria. To Dr. Aerni, Tip-Edge brackets offer his patients the best results, use high quality materials, and are affordable.  Additionally, Tip-Edge brackets require less appointments and time in the chair, meaning you spend less overall time in our office.

Below, Dr. Aerni lists some of the many advantages of Tip-Edge brackets:

  1. Bite corrections can begin sooner in treatment than with straight wire.
  2.  More vertical control.
  3. Changes (both dental and skeletal) occur with relatively light force, 1-3 ounces, in comparison to straight wire braces at 8 ounces.
  4. Easier to move your teeth by tipping them and uprighting the root.
  5. Less anchorage is needed, eliminating the need for external anchorage like head-gear, or other intraoral orthodic devices.
  6. Uses few wires and demands less bending of wires.
  7. Less bulky, making proper dental hygiene easier to achieve.
  8. Fewer appointments, saving you valuable time! Appointments are at 8 week intervals vs 4-6 week intervals, with straight wire.

If you have any questions regarding Tip-Edge brackets or orthodontics, or are interested in the procedure, please feel free to contact Dr. Aerni. You can contact Dr. Aerni at his office Strongsville at 440-238-6141, or use our online form to request and appointment.