What to Expect After Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Your wisdom teeth tend to erupt between the age of 17 and 21, but they can make an appearance earlier or later. Many times, your dentist in Reno will recommend having wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth extractions are incredibly common and can help maintain oral health. However, it is a type of oral surgery, and there is recovery time after the procedure. Here are some things you can expect after getting your wisdom teeth removed. 

What to Know Following Wisdom Teeth Surgery

While each patient’s case will be different and aftercare can vary from person to person, there are some key things all patients should be prepared for following wisdom teeth surgery. 

  • Rest

Many patients will recover from wisdom teeth surgery in about three days, but it’s important to rest during this time to help promote healing. Avoid any type of strenuous activity for at least 48-72 hours.

  • Ice

Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling. Swap out new ice packs often, and remember to use a thin washcloth or material to serve as a barrier between the ice and your skin. 

  • Clean

Keeping the surgical sites clean is incredibly important to prevent infection, and your dentist may recommend a specific rinse to use. However, your dentist in Reno recommends that you swish gently to help prevent dry sockets. 

  • Medicate

If you’re provided and instructed to take any type of medication such as pain relievers or antibiotics, make sure to follow any and all instructions. 

When to Call Your Dentist

Even though most wisdom teeth extractions don’t have complications, there are some things to keep an eye out for. If you notice any of the following, contact your dentist or oral surgeon. 

  • Excessive pain, bleeding, or swelling after three days
  • Pus coming out of the surgical site or nose
  • A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Facial numbness

What to Avoid Having Wisdom Teeth Removed

There are also some limitations on what you should and shouldn’t do during your recovery. 

  • Don’t
    • Drink from straws for at least two days
    • Smoke 
    • Eat hard or sticky foods
  • Do
    • Eat soft foods like soup, yogurt, and applesauce
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Gently open and close your mouth to help restore jaw movement

While any type of surgery can cause concern, rest assured knowing that wisdom teeth removal is an incredibly common procedure. If your wisdom teeth are causing you trouble, or even if they aren’t, it’s wise to consult your dentist in Reno about the best treatment for your overall oral health moving forward. 

What Causes Ulcers in The Mouth?

If you’re one of the estimated 20% of people who happen to develop mouth ulcers, you know just how uncomfortable and painful they can be. The good news is that ulcers in the mouth tend to go away on their own within about two weeks, are usually harmless, and don’t necessarily need treatment from your dentist in Reno. However, naturally, you may be wondering what caused an ulcer in the first place. 

What Can Cause a Mouth Ulcer?

An ulcer in the mouth is one of those things that may not have a known cause, but we do know that there are things that can contribute to an ulcer developing such as ill-fitting dentures or accidentally biting your cheek or tongue. On the other hand, if there is no obvious case of an injury, ulcers can develop as a result of: 

  • Increased stress
  • Anxiety
  • Hormones
  • Genes
  • Eating foods that are too spicy, acidic, or salty

Additionally, people with certain medical conditions may be at increased risk of getting an ulcer. Some of the medical conditions  that can contribute to ulcer development include: 

  • Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Iron or vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Viruses 
  • Lupus

If you have one of these conditions, make sure to tell your dentist in Reno

Mouth Ulcer Treatment

Many times, ulcers and their symptoms can be treated at home by rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water a few times a day, avoiding spicy foods, or using an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. For severe ulcers, you are prescribed corticosteroids or antiseptic treatments. 

When to See a Dentist for an Ulcer

Most ulcers should disappear within 10-14 days. But if an ulcer lasts longer than 20 days, you should schedule an appointment with your Reno dentist. Other signs to look out for are: 

  • Sores without pain
  • Big ulcers
  • Fever
  • Ulcers on the outside lips

Is a Mouth Ulcer Cancer? 

While an ulcer in the mouth can be a sign of oral cancer, this usually only applies to a few cases. Ulcers associated with oral cancer are most commonly under or on the tongue, but they can develop anywhere in the mouth. While any type of cancer is certainly concerning, oral cancer can often be treated successfully, especially when it’s caught early.

Having an ulcer in your mouth can certainly be concerning, be rest assured that oftentimes it will go away on its own and typically isn’t a sign of a larger problem. However, if you’re experiencing an ulcer that’s stuck around longer than three weeks or are simply worried about any ulcer, see your dentist in Reno. We’re always happy to help and believe that extra precaution is better than waiting too long.

How to Help Keep Teeth Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

We’re headed into the peak of cold and flu season, which typically comes with stuffy noses, sore throats, fevers, and loads of medicine to help ease symptoms. But did you know that any sickness from the common cold to the flu can also put oral health at risk, too? Your dentist in Reno has some steps you can take whenever you are feeling under the weather to help you feel better and protect your teeth. 

Continue to Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth regularly is important to do every day, especially if you’re sick. Regular brushing can help keep teeth clean and wash away bacteria in the mouth. Even if you’re so sick that you feel that you can’t get out of bed, try your best to continue brushing your teeth twice a day. 

Stay Hydrated

You’ll often hear your doctor and dentist in Reno tell you to make sure you drink plenty of fluids during any illness. Following this advice is beneficial for many reasons. Staying hydrated helps replenish fluids that are lost during the illness such as through vomiting, sweating, and simply not feeling well enough to eat or drink normally. Another reason to drink fluids, preferably water, is to combat dry mouth. Dry mouth is common when a nose is too stuffy to breathe out of and someone resorts to mouth breathing. Additionally, some medications can also cause dry mouth. Dry mouth isn’t only uncomfortable but it can also increase the risk of bacteria buildup and decay.

Gargle with Salt Water

A simple and effective way to help you in multiple ways when you’re sick is to gargle with warm salt water. Symptoms such as a sore throat or painful swallowing can be alleviated with a few quick swishes of salt water. Also, salt water can help remove germs in the mouth. 

Choose Sugar-Free When Possible

Many medications from cough syrup to throat lozenges contain sugar, and as everyone knows, your dentist in Reno really doesn’t like sugar. Sugar feeds mouth bacteria and allows them to flourish in the mouth, increasing the likelihood of cavities and other tooth troubles. Cough syrup and lozenges are particularly concerning because they can essentially coat teeth with sugar. Try to find medications that don’t have sugar. When in doubt, rinse your mouth out with water after taking medicine or sucking on a lozenge.  

Change Your Toothbrush

The general rule of thumb is to toss any toothbrush that was used during an illness. While some research speculates that it may not be necessary, we believe that it’s better safe than sorry. You should also make sure to replace toothbrushes that are more than 3 or 4 months old. 

As we enter what’s typically the height of cold and flu season, take proactive steps to protect you and your family from germs, viruses, and bacteria by washing your hands regularly, sneezing or coughing into your elbow, and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. If your family does get sick, make sure to protect your oral health while you’re working on feeling better.

What Does The Early Stage of Gum Disease Look Like? 

When your dentist in Reno talks about gum disease, we’re not just talking about its risks to oral health. The truth is, gum disease has also been linked to several whole-body concerns, such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, and certain types of cancer. However, there is good news. Gum disease can be treated and reversed if it’s caught in the early stages. Therefore, it’s important to know what the early stages of gum disease look like. 

Two Main Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease can be broken down into two main stages – gingivitis and periodontitis. 

  • Gingivitis

The very first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It’s during this stage when your dentist in Reno can often treat and reverse gum disease successfully. However, the trick is to catch it in this early stage. Some ways you may be able to tell that you have gingivitis are by looking out for the following signs:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Puffy, swollen gums
  • Bad breath

Keep in mind that sometimes gingivitis won’t show many or any symptoms. It’s important to always see your dentist every six months so they can monitor changes in oral health and catch potential problems early. 

  • Periodontitis 

If gingivitis isn’t treated and it progresses into periodontitis, the chances of the disease being reversed become less and less likely, if not impossible. Periodontitis essentially means that more than just the gum tissues are affected at this point, and it’s now worked its way into the bone. There are various stages of periodontitis. 

Stage 1: Gums will start to pull away from the teeth, known as gum recession. This creates pockets where food and bacteria can settle in. The connective tissues between teeth and bone are minorly affected. 

Stage 2: Gum recession and bone loss continue to become more noticeable and extreme in the second stage of periodontitis. Teeth may also become loose or wiggly. 

Stage 3: The advanced stage of periodontitis is a classification used when there is more than 50% bone loss. There’s also a good chance that some teeth have already fallen out, and more will follow. 

Avoiding Gum Disease

The most common cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene, so one of the best ways to avoid getting gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Avoid smoking or using any type of tobacco. Lastly, it’s crucial that you see your dentist in Reno twice a year for preventive checkups, cleanings, and x-rays so they can keep an eye out for the early signs of gum disease and treat it proactively. 

Can Sinus Pressure Feel Like a Toothache?

Allergies can be triggered at any time of the year. In turn, sinuses can be affected, causing discomfort in many different areas. Sinus pressure or a sinus infection can have various symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, pressure in the eyes, discomfort around the cheeks, and tooth pain. But as your dentist in Reno knows, any type of tooth pain can cause concern. So let’s examine the different ways you can differentiate between a toothache caused by sinuses versus a toothache caused by a dental problem.

Why Can Sinuses Cause a Toothache?

Sinusitis, which is more commonly known as sinus inflammation or a sinus infection, can be a result of many different things. Anything from an upper respiratory infection to a cold or the flu can cause sinus inflammation. Usually, whenever there is inflammation, there is pain. The same goes for sinuses. When there is inflammation in the sinuses, everything close by can feel the effects, including the teeth. You see, the sinus cavity isn’t only in the nose, as often thought, but it’s also located in the forehead, behind the eyes, and in the tooth roots of the upper back molars. Therefore, the swelling and inflammation of the sinuses can cause pain in any of those areas.

The Difference Between Sinus Pain & Toothaches

Knowing the difference between sinus pain in the teeth and an actual toothache can be hard, and if you’re in doubt, you should contact your dentist in Reno immediately. But, you can also use this guide to help you differentiate between the two. 

Sinus Infection Symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Earache or headache
  • Pain when moving your head up or down

Toothache Symptoms

  • Pain in more than one tooth or that moves from tooth to tooth
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the lower teeth
  • Pressure-induced pain when pushing on a specific tooth
  • Pain when chewing

When to See a Dentist

If you have tooth pain, it’s normal to be concerned. However, if you also have symptoms of a sinus infection, you may want to wait a bit before seeing your dentist in Reno. While every toothache is of concern, one that goes away in a few days may be associated with a sinus infection. If the pain lasts or gets worse day after day, it’s time to see your dentist. Tooth pain that doesn’t go away may be a sign of something serious such as gum disease, cavities, an abscess, or problems with your jaw. By seeing your dentist, you can determine the cause of the pain and get treatment quickly. Keep in mind, most dental problems are best solved quickly before they have a chance to cause additional issues.

If you’re experiencing any type of tooth pain, we encourage you to call a dentist near you to get a closer look at what’s going on so you can get the best treatment and relieve your pain quickly. 

Is Xylitol Good For Your Teeth? 

Sugary sweets can mean bad news for your teeth. But your dentist in Reno wants all of our patients to know that there is a way to enjoy those sweet cravings without all of the damage of sugar.  We’re talking about xylitol, and choosing it over sugar may benefit your oral health. 

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural sugar that’s found in numerous fruits and veggies, and in recent years, has been used as a sugar substitute. Thanks to its naturally sweet flavor, along with its benefits to oral health, it’s become a favorite for your dentist in Reno

Why is Xylitol Better for Teeth Than Sugar? 

First of all, xylitol is better for us in general because it’s lower in calories than traditional sugar. This means you can treat yourself to xylitol sweets without worrying much about weight gain. Additionally, xylitol has a lower glycemic index than sugar, meaning it doesn’t cause spikes in blood glucose the way that sugar does. But there’s more. Xylitol can also help satisfy your sweet tooth and protect your teeth at the same time. 

Xylitol can help eliminate bad bacteria from the mouth and reduce the chances of that bacteria causing decay and cavities. One of the most common types of bad bacteria in the mouth is something called Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria is known to cause plaque buildup and decay, and they love to feed on sugar. Sugar gives the bacteria energy to multiply, making more bacteria with the more sugar we eat. However, while xylitol will still feed Streptococcus mutans, it doesn’t give them fuel to multiply. In fact, when the bacteria eat xylitol, they will starve. This reduces both bacteria levels and the risk of decay. 

Where to Find Xylitol 

One of the most common places where you can find xylitol is in chewing gum. Make sure to check the label. Chewing gum may be one of the best choices for xylitol, too. The act of chewing gum helps stimulate saliva production. This is an important part of oral health. Saliva helps rinse away bad bacteria and neutralize acids in the mouth, helping to protect teeth from enamel erosion and decay. Additionally, saliva helps remineralize teeth with calcium and phosphate, making them stronger over time. That, along with the addition of bacteria-killing xylitol, can help keep teeth healthy. 

Xylitol can also be found in most grocery stores, usually in the baking aisle. You can choose to use this as a replacement for sugar in many recipes and in your morning coffee or tea.  

When you have a choice, choosing xylitol over sugar can help keep your mouth healthy. Keep in mind that it’s always important to continue to brush and floss your teeth every day. That, along with maintaining regular visits to your dentist in Reno, is a recipe for a happy, healthy smile. 

Don’t Try These 4 Social Media Tooth Trends At Home

There’s an appropriate time and place for do-it-yourself, at-home projects, and improvements. But your dentist in Reno wants you to know that any social media trend involving your oral health isn’t one of them. While you should take great care of your teeth at home by regularly brushing and flossing, you shouldn’t try these four social media dental trends under any circumstances. 

  • Office Supplies Orthodontics

If straightening your teeth or tightening up small gaps is your goal, there’s a right way to go about achieving a super straight smile, and that’s by talking with your dentist in Reno. Moving teeth is a science and an art, and if done incorrectly, can cause some serious problems. One trend popular on social media is using typical office supplies to shift teeth around. This is incredibly dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your teeth. It can also lead to jaw problems or even make teeth fall out. 

  • “Veneers Check” Trend

A highly disturbing trend circulating on social media platforms is something called the “veneers check” where users file down their own teeth into small stubs or just in an attempt to even out some ridges. The result is the appearance of “shark teeth.” Many users are showing these filed-down teeth as a before picture prior to getting veneers. The problem is dental veneers don’t require that type of preparation. But there’s more. Filing down your teeth can be painful, lead to permanent damage, and may require additional treatment from a dentist in Reno such as dentures. 

  • Whitening Experiments

While there are ways to whiten teeth at home, this should be done only if given approval by your dentist and only by using appropriate whitening solutions. Never dig for smile-whitening ingredients in your pantry or cleaning products and mix up a social media concoction that claims to whiten teeth quickly. Many of the ingredients used are highly acidic and when applied directly to the teeth can quickly weaken the enamel. Not to mention, cleaning products can be very harmful to overall health. 

  • Artfully Crafted Teeth

Even other trends involve using art supplies to craft individual teeth. This could be in the form of a crown, partial dentures, or even just filling in a tiny crack. Either way, the materials are often not approved as safe to use in the mouth and there’s a good chance you may be covering up a bigger problem that should be properly addressed by your dentist. The longer dental concerns go undiagnosed and untreated, the bigger issue they can become. 

When it comes to improving the appearance of your smile, never take the DIY approach. Always start by talking with your dentist about your cosmetic dentistry options so you can get the smile you desire safely. 

What Are Examples of Cosmetic Dentistry? 

Cosmetic dentistry can transform any smile and make it brighter, whiter, straighter, or more even. There are tons of cosmetic dentistry treatments to choose from, and finding the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Use this guide of examples of cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Reno to get started. 

Teeth Whitening

Perhaps the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. This treatment can whiten teeth by several shades, although it does depend on the product used. From whitening strips to trays and even a professional in-office whitening treatment with your dentist, the options are endless. While you can venture out on your own and buy an over-the-counter whitening treatment, we always recommend starting by talking with your dentist in Reno about the best way to whiten teeth. The truth is, that some types of tooth staining won’t be touched by some whitening products, so before you spend your money on a product that may not work for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Dental Veneers

Another type of cosmetic dentistry that’s very popular is veneers. Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front of your teeth. They’re custom-designed and custom-colored to create a natural, yet very appealing, appearance. Veneers are so popular because they can help fix a variety of concerns including covering up stains and changing the size, shape, or length of individual teeth. 


One of the fastest cosmetic dentistry procedures is dental bonding. The whole process can usually be completed in 30-60 minutes, and it’s usually pretty affordable, depending on the case. Your dentist in Reno will apply a tooth-colored resin and mold it into the desired shape. The resin is then hardened, or bonded to the tooth, with ultraviolet light. Dental bonding may be the best way to repair decay or chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth. 

Dental Crown

While this cosmetic dentistry procedure can also be considered a form of restorative dentistry, it can be used to enhance the appearance of specific teeth, making it fall into the cosmetic category. A dental crown is often referred to as a cap as that’s essentially what it does – it caps a tooth. Crowns are custom-created so they blend seamlessly into a smile. You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you need to restore the size, shape, or strength of a tooth. Dental crowns are also typically used following a root canal to strengthen the treated tooth. 

No matter what your wants or needs may be, know that your dentist in Reno has plenty of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to help. The best place to start is by scheduling a cosmetic dentistry consultation today. 

What Does It Mean When You Have Too Many Teeth? 

Most people are more concerned about losing their teeth and having fewer teeth than they are about having too many teeth. But the truth is, it can happen. When someone has more than the usual 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth, it’s known as hyperdontia. Luckily, this condition doesn’t typically need treatment, but you should still see your dentist in Reno

What Exactly Is Hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia is a condition when too many teeth grow in the mouth. These extra teeth are called supernumerary and can grow in various places in the mouth and also be of different shapes. Usually, the additional teeth appear in the arches or the areas where teeth attach to the jaw. Hyperdontia can happen with both baby teeth and adult teeth, but it’s more common to see the condition in kids. 

Recognizing Hyperdontia

You think it’d be pretty obvious if you developed extra teeth, and it usually is. Supernumerary teeth typically pop up directly behind the already erupted teeth, so it’s pretty easy to spot. However, your dentist in Reno can also tell if there are more teeth under the gum line that have yet to show themselves by looking at images obtained from dental x-rays. This condition usually doesn’t cause pain, but a slight discomfort can happen. 

Teeth Shapes & Positioning

Supernumerary teeth, just like regular teeth, show up in different places in the mouth. The most common place where these extra teeth tend to erupt is behind the four front teeth, but they can pop up in other areas. 

  • Paramolar – extra teeth in the back by the molars
  • Distomolar – additional teeth that grow in line with the molars rather than behind 
  • Mesiodens – show up behind the front teeth

 Additional teeth can also vary in shape. 

  • Supplemental – looks like the tooth right next door
  • Tuberculate – looks like a tube
  • Compound odontoma – looks like it’s made from several growths close together
  • Complex odontoma – looks like a random grouping of tooth-like tissues
  • Conical – looks like a peg that’s wide at the bottom and pointy on top

Hyperdontia Causes

Unfortunately, hyperdontia is one of those conditions that we don’t quite know the cause of. But it has been tied to other heredity conditions, including: 

  • Cleft palate or lip
  • Gardner’s syndrome
  • Ehler-Danlos syndrome 
  • Fabry disease
  • Cleidocranial dysplasia

Treatment & Potential Complications

As we’ve mentioned before, many times cases of hyperdontia won’t need treatment. But there are times when intervention from your dentist in Reno is recommended. Occasionally, extra teeth can cause discomfort in the jaw or gums. Other times a patient is unhappy with the appearance of their smile due to their extra teeth. Most commonly, too many teeth cause problems with proper brushing and flossing and can lead to decay, gum disease, and other concerns. If any of these things are apparent, you may want to consider treatment

Treating hyperdontia can be as simple as removing the extra teeth. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend some other forms of cosmetic dentistry afterward to give you a smile you’re proud of. 

Damaged or Bad Teeth? You Have Options.

Time can take a toll on your teeth, and everything from trauma, diet, habits, and even medications can affect your smile. When this happens, patients may be hesitant to smile as much as they used to, and they may even find it difficult to eat all the foods they enjoy. But there’s good news. Your dentist in Reno has several options to help restore a smile, no matter how damaged teeth may be. 

Dental Fillings

Perhaps the most common type of dental treatment completed today is dental fillings. This routine dental procedure is one of the best ways to stop decay in its tracks and keep your natural tooth healthy. Keeping up with your dental appointments every six months can help identify cavities early when they can still be easily treated with a filling.


Another way to fix a bad tooth is with dental bonding. Typically used to fill in teeth that are chipped, cracked, or broken, dental bonding can custom-match the other teeth for a seamless restoration. This treatment is usually fast and more affordable than other options. 

Dental Crowns

Also known as a cap, dental crowns are used to cover up an entire tooth. They too are also custom-made to match the size, shape, and color of other teeth, so nobody will even know it’s there. Crowns are more appropriate for larger cavities and are often used following a root canal to further protect the treated tooth. 

Tooth Whitening 

Like fillings, smile whitening is an incredibly common dental procedure used to brighten the appearance of teeth. Even though many products are available without the recommendation of a dentist, we always recommend discussing smile whitening with your dentist in Reno before starting any product. Some products may not work well for your specific concerns and sometimes whitening products can do more harm than good. 

Dental Veneers

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front surface of teeth and can help with many dental concerns. For example, if you have tooth staining that can’t be fixed through smile whitening, you can cover up the stains with veneers. Veneers can also help: 

  • Repair minor chips or cracks
  • Change the size and shape of teeth
  • Close gaps in between teeth
  • Make teeth appear straighter 

Dental Implants

If you’re missing a tooth or even several teeth, there are still solutions available to restore your smile and regain your confidence. The best way to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth is with dental implants. This restorative dentistry treatment is a permanent solution to missing teeth and can help you smile, eat, and speak without worrying about dentures slipping. To find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno

No matter what your dental needs are and no matter how bad you feel your teeth are, there are ways to help. Don’t give up hope on getting a smile you’re proud of. Schedule an appointment with your dentist and start the conversation today.