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Healthy Gums to Prevent Gum Disease & Tooth Loss

Healthy gums and good oral hygiene can help reduce your chances of needing a Chattanooga oral surgeon!

Maintaining healthy gums means you are less at risk for needing oral surgery in the future.

When you practice good oral hygiene, you are putting in good work that will reduce your chances for dental problems in the future. Preventative care is everything! We all know how important it is to practice proper teeth brushing with regularity, but all too often people neglect to take adequate care of their gums. Each individual element of your oral health relies on that of the others, working hand in hand– meaning healthy teeth require healthy gums.

When you don’t take good care of your gums, you run the risk of getting gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. When your neglected gums become sore, swollen, or even infected, this is referred to as gingivitis. When gum issues are left unaddressed, they can progress and become periodontitis– a common infection that damages the soft tissues and even the bone surrounding nearby teeth. Untreated, periodontitis will end in tooth loss, and expensive/invasive treatments from your Chattanooga oral surgeon.

When you know and understand all the risks associated with poor oral hygiene, you’ll be inspired to take brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings and exams more seriously. Prioritizing these things can result in greater oral healthy and oral health overall.

Healthy gums and good oral hygiene can help reduce your chances of needing a Chattanooga oral surgeon!

How to Maintain Healthy Gums:

  • Brush your teeth properly and at least twice per day! Find ADA tips on how to give this your best effort here.
  • Work with your dentist or oral surgeon to find the best toothpaste for you.
  • Floss your teeth daily.
  • Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly when you brush and floss, and even after meals when doable.
  • Use mouthwash to help kill harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid smoking and using other tobacco products.
  • Schedule and attend regular dental cleanings and exams.
  • Work with your dentist and oral surgeon to quickly address issues that arise so they don’t result in further problems or complications.

Oral Health and Overall Health are Linked

Did you know that your mouth and oral health can offer up clues about how healthy you are overall? Furthermore, oral health problems can actually affect the rest of your body as well. Of course the mouth is brimming with bacteria of many types, most of which are not harmful, but some of which can be. As your mouth is the point of entry for both the respiratory and digestive tracts, some of these more harmful bacteria can cause illness or disease.

Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation that comes with gum disease might play a role in some diseases including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy and childbirth.

If you do have oral health issues that have arisen from poor gum health, our team at Ocoee Oral can help. If you need treatment for bone or tooth loss, dental implants, or other oral surgeries, call on our expert Chattanooga oral surgeons. Contact us today. We would love to help get you back on track for great oral health and overall health as well.

10 Ways to Prepare for Oral Surgery or Wisdom Teeth Removal

In preparation for your Chattanooga oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal, you'll want to stock your fridge and pantry with soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt.

Going into any type of surgery can be stressful, especially when there are many unknowns. But our staff at Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN wants to ensure each of our patients knows what to expect, how to prepare, and feels as at ease as possible during the time leading up to your wisdom teeth removal or other procedure. That’s why we compiled a list of 10 ways to help you prepare for your Chattanooga oral surgery appointment! We hope you’ll find them helpful.

1) Talk to your oral surgeon about pre-op instructions.

Your surgeon here at Ocoee Oral Surgery will do everything possible to ensure the surgery process goes smoothly for you, and that will involve some instructions for you to follow prior to your procedure. Be sure to tell your oral surgeon about any medications you are taking, and about any past surgery experiences you may have had to help inform their work.

2) Don’t eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery.

You’ll receive specific instructions prior to your surgery date, and each case can be different. That said, in general, it’s a good idea to fast for at least 6 hours before your oral surgery procedure. More specific instructions will depend on the factors surrounding your surgery, and whether you’ll be using IV anesthetics or nitrous oxide (laughing gas); however, our staff will make sure you know what to do!

Wearing comfortable clothes is a good idea when preparing for oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal in Chattanooga, TN.

3) Wear comfortable clothes!

It’s surgery, right? So we want to make sure you’re comfortable. You can wear sweats or even pajamas to ensure you’re comfortable. You also might want to bring a sweatshirt or light jacket to make sure you don’t get cold.

4) Brush and floss before your oral surgery.

You’ll definitely want to brush and floss prior to your wisdom teeth removal or other oral surgery procedure. Keeping your mouth clean will help to reduce the risk of infection and other potential issues during your treatment. Also, if you are a smoker or use other tobacco products, we recommend you refrain from doing so for at least 12 hours before your surgery. This will help to ensure a quicker, more complete recovery.

5) Bring a friend or family member.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your oral surgery, you may require heavy sedation before the procedure. This will mean you shouldn’t drive for a while afterward, so you’ll need a little help from a friend or family member with getting from point A to point B. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for several hours after the surgery is completed. Just to be safe and make sure you don’t have complications or need anything.

6) Plan to rest post oral surgery.

Your sedation will likely wear off 30 to 45 minutes after your surgery, and you’ll be able to go home to rest. The residual effects of sedation dentistry and general anesthesia can last for up to 24 hours, so you’ll need to plan ahead to be able to relax and take it easy. The post-op R&R might be the best part of surgery. Cue up your favorite Netflix shows, and snuggle in.

7) Stock your pantry and refrigerator.

You’ll receive in depth instructions about what to do after your oral surgery, as well as what to eat or drink. You’ll want to get plenty of fluids, but make sure not to drink with straws, as this can cause complications and damage to surgical sites. You’ll need to subsist on soft foods for a while as you heal. Think soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, and the like. Avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods for a few days or even a week after treatment. If you notice bleeding, swelling, or experience major discomfort, please contact our office for assistance.

In preparation for your Chattanooga oral surgery or wisdom tooth removal, you'll want to stock your fridge and pantry with soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt.

8) If you’re sick, reschedule!

We never want to put off anyone’s oral surgery, but that said, if you’re not feeling your best, it might be a good idea to reschedule. If you are sick or immuno-compromised, that could potentially increase your risk of infection. Going into the oral surgery in ship shape will mean a faster recovery!

9) Arrive at the office early.

We recommend arriving a little earlier than your appointment time. This will ensure you have time to ask any last minute questions, and will eliminate the stress that accompanies rushing around to get somewhere. You can take a few minutes to relax and breathe before your procedure.

10) Find your zen.

Our staff is here for you! We want you to feel prepared and at ease before your oral surgery, and we know that knowledge is power. The more you know, the less you have to worry. So just relax, and rest assured we know what we’re doing. You’re in great hands at Ocoee Oral Surgery!

Surgically Assisted Tooth Eruption– What to Know Before Your Oral Surgery

Impacted teeth sometimes need coaxing for them to erupt, and our Cleveland oral surgeons can help with a procedure called surgically assisted tooth eruption.

Let’s be real. For many of us, a lot goes into having perfectly straight teeth. Even before the braces can go on, lots of mouths require special attention in preparation for the journey that is orthodontics. Sometimes crowding must be mitigated with tooth extractions, and sometimes impacted teeth even require some coaxing before they will grow in. This is most common with the canines or eyeteeth, and sometimes requires a procedure called surgically assisted tooth eruption. This sounds pretty intense, but it’s really not as scary when you choose the right oral surgeon.

Impacted teeth sometimes need coaxing for them to erupt, and our Cleveland oral surgeons can help with a procedure called surgically assisted tooth eruption.

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is one that has not erupted, or fails to fully pass through the gum tissue. This can be a result of many things like dense soft tissue, bone, cysts, or tooth malposition. If the tooth fails to emerge in the mouth, it is considered to be impacted.

What is Surgically Assisted Tooth Eruption?

With or without necessary spacing, some teeth, particularly the canines or eyeteeth, may be impacted so much so that they will not erupt without assistance from an oral surgeon. With combined efforts, Dr. McCord and the Cleveland TN Ocoee Oral Surgery staff can surgically assist in tooth eruption, exposure, and bonding for your individual treatment and oral care. And it’s not as scary as it may sound.

What is tooth exposure?

Tooth exposure is a simple surgical procedure where the gum is lifted from the impacted tooth to expose the covered tooth, assisting the tooth’s eruption. If a baby tooth is still present, it can easily be removed during the procedure. Exposing the tooth makes it eligible for an orthodontic bracket to be attached, which can then be used to slowly encourage the tooth as it comes down and moves into place.

How long does impacted canine surgery take?

This oral surgery procedure is fairly non-invasive and generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. After anesthesia is administered and/or the area is numbed, your Cleveland oral surgeon will remove a small piece of gum tissue to uncover the impacted tooth.

Impacted canines or eyeteeth can be gently pulled down with an orthodontic attachment after oral surgery.

What to expect after surgery:

After your impacted tooth is uncovered, it is normal to have some minor bleeding in the first 12 to 24 hours. You should also expect moderate pain and discomfort for 2 to 3 days after the procedure, which can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Infection, though uncommon, can develop in the days following surgery, and if you suspect that you’re experiencing symptoms of an infection, get in touch with us at Ocoee Oral so we can treat it. But all in all, just rest and let your body do the healing!

Schedule an Appointment

If you or your child has been advised by an orthodontist to have a tooth uncovered by surgically assisted tooth eruption, we’d love to take care of you. Our skilled staff can answer any questions about the procedure, and will do whatever it takes to ease your mind about it. Our incredible oral surgeons are up to the task, and are among the best in the Cleveland and Chattanooga areas. Get in touch today to set up an appointment. We look forward to serving you.

Promote Dental Health with Holiday Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN says stay on top of dental health with fun and festive gifts and stocking stuffers to promote a healthy mouth.

Ho Ho Hold on– Are you taking great care of your teeth this Christmas?

Promote dental health this Christmas with gifts and stocking stuffers like electric toothbrushes. Your friends at Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN want to help with ideas that parallel with preventative care.

This holiday season, give the gift of a healthy mouth to your children and loved ones. Here at Ocoee Oral, we are huge advocates for oral hygiene (I mean, of course we are), and we want to share some ideas about how you can incorporate items that help promote dental health into your gift giving this year! Check out some of our suggestions below for ideal small Christmas presents or stocking stuffers with a purpose.

Electric Toothbrush

Help your kids or family members revive a zeal for brushing with a fun, new electric toothbrush. Not only are these tools super effective helpers in your twice-daily plaque attack, but also, they’re fun! You can even find some with characters and designs that will appeal to your youngsters.

Dental Floss

Cheap, effective, and super important— dental floss is a great item to toss into a stocking! Counteract all the candy in that holiday sock with some dental health items that promote strong and beautiful teeth. Flossing is your friend! And it only takes a few seconds to work it into your routine.

Mouth Guard

Maybe you have a teeth grinder in your life? Well if so, consider a night guard as a stocking stuffer. You can really inflict a lot of long-term damage onto your teeth while you sleep, if you clench and grind. Try a simple, inexpensive boil and bite mouth guard, which can sometimes work wonders.

Toothbrush Timer

If you have little ones, you’ve probably had to say, “that wasn’t long enough!” after they brush their teeth for 0.5 seconds and try to call it a day. Kids are sometimes not keen on brushing in the first place, let alone for the recommended 2 minutes. Make it like a fun game with a cool timer! Just add it to the stocking stuffer list.

Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN says stay on top of dental health with fun and festive gifts and stocking stuffers to promote a healthy mouth.

Tongue Scraper

Take oral hygiene to the next level with a tongue scraper! Brush and floss, use mouthwash— sure, but give a tongue scraper alongside a new toothbrush in that stocking for even fresher breath. The human tongue can play host to a slew of bacteria that can cause bad breath and oral health problems. Avoid that with a nicely brushed and scraped tongue.

No matter what the holiday season looks like for you and yours, your friends at Cleveland TN Ocoee Oral Surgery hope it’s a lovely time with friends and family. We hope you find opportunities to improve your own approach to dental care, and that maybe you stuff a stocking or two with some items that promote overall dental health.

Wisdom Teeth Removal– Schedule Surgery During Winter Break

Scheduling wisdom teeth removals and other oral surgeries during the winter break from school allows kids to recoup before heading back to class.

Winter break over the holidays is the perfect time to schedule your Cleveland TN wisdom teeth removal or other oral surgery, so school isn't missed!

With the holiday season approaching, school-aged kids have just a few things on their minds: sleeping in, tons of holiday gifts from essentially every obscure relative passing through town, and– you guessed it– a super long break from school. Though the last thing they’ll want to do is have oral surgery for Christmas, it really is an ideal time to schedule dental procedures. Though most wisdom teeth removal procedures are low-key enough not to majorly disrupt regular activities, some cases, such as scenarios involving impacted wisdom teeth, can require more recovery time, taking it easy at home, icing those swollen cheeks, and eating soft foods.

Three weeks out of school for the holiday break makes the perfect window for scheduling a wisdom tooth extraction procedure for your child, or really any other kind of dental surgery that may be necessary for you or yours. Maybe your child is being prepped for braces and has to say goodbye to some lingering baby teeth, or maybe even permanent teeth that are causing unhealthy crowding. Our team at Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN can help you get these procedures scheduled conveniently, so your child won’t have to unnecessarily miss school.

To schedule an appointment with one of our oral surgeons, get in touch today. Whether you or your child needs a tooth extraction, wisdom teeth removal, TMJ treatment, dental implants, or other services, our Cleveland TN oral surgery center staff would love to take care of you.

Scheduling wisdom teeth removals and other oral surgeries during the winter break from school allows kids to recoup before heading back to class.

FAQs about Wisdom Teeth Extraction:

Q: Will I undergo anesthesia to have my wisdom teeth extracted?

A: Likely so. Depending on how the wisdom teeth are situated, you may have to just have a local anesthetic for your oral surgeon to pull your teeth. If they are impacted, partially impacted, or difficult to access, you’ll likely go under general anesthesia for the procedure.

Q: Is there pain after wisdom tooth surgery?

A: Most patients experience minimal pain after having wisdom teeth extracted. You’ll likely have swelling and mild discomfort for about 3 days or so. Your mouth may require a few weeks to fully heal.

Q: How do you prepare for wisdom teeth removal and oral surgeries?

A: Plan to take some time off work or school to recuperate. You’ll want to stock up on soft foods like applesauce, soup, and yogurt, have ice packs at hand, and pencil in some Netflix and Chill time while you heal.

Q: What is dry socket?

A: Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a painful condition that occurs sometimes after permanent teeth are extracted when a blood clot at the extraction site fails to develop properly, or becomes dislodged before the wound has healed.

Q: How do you avoid dry socket?

A: Avoid painful dry socket by properly caring for your mouth after wisdom teeth surgery. Stay away from straws, smoking, and be sure to keep your mouth extremely clean, flushing out the sockets with salt water, as directed by your oral surgeon.

Q: Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

A: Wisdom teeth need to be removed because they are superfluous, and can cause a host of problems in the mouth. They are often impacted, cause crowding, are incorrectly positioned in the mouth, and are too inaccessible to properly care for them.

Q: What problems can arise when you neglect to have your wisdom teeth removed?

A: If wisdom teeth are not removed, a patient can suffer from damage to surrounding teeth, inflammation and gum tissue problems, cavities, alignment issues, jaw damage, and even sinus problems.

Q: Where should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

A: Definitely by one of the expert oral surgeons at Ocoee Oral Surgery in Cleveland TN.