Why Do Wisdom Teeth Grow?


Wisdom teeth, also officially (and appropriately) named “third molars”, are the third and final set of teeth that develop on both sides of the upper and bottom teeth.  They typically come in during mid- to late-puberty, between the ages of 17 to 25.  Patients can have anywhere from just one to all four wisdom teeth come in and there are even a handful of people who never get their wisdom teeth. But why do wisdom teeth grow?

Wisdom teeth are commonly known to cause many potential problems in the mouth.  The most common problem is when the path of the wisdom tooth is blocked, causing it to become “stuck” or what is medically known in the dentistry world as “impaction”.  Impactions can cause damage to the jaw bone and the adjacent teeth, as well as potential inflammation and infections in the gums surrounding the wisdom tooth.  For some lucky patients, they may have enough room and the teeth may come in straight and everything can work just fine.  However, even if they do come in fine, they can be difficult to clean and keep free from bacteria and plaque since they are located so far back in the mouth.

For all of the reasons above, this is why, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth are extracted.

If wisdom teeth cause so many problems, why do wisdom teeth grow in the first place?

It is believed that wisdom teeth are the result of our ancestors and the evolution of the human body over the years.  Early humans had a very different diet than that of today.  Their diet consisted of uncooked and hard items (such as nuts and roots).  It is believed that they had larger mouths to accommodate these extra teeth so provide for better eating efficiency and for a larger surface for grinding up of food.  Over time, our diets have changed.  Thus, we as humans have evolved and our mouths are much smaller, with a shorter lower jaw.  However, despite this physical evolution in humans over the years, the wisdom teeth remained.

Thus, you can see why a smaller mouth left with the task of accommodating 32 instead of 28 teeth can cause a lot of problems.

The Importance of regular dental exams

It is important that you visit your dentist regularly.  It is recommended to see your dentist once per year for a check-up and get your teeth cleaned at least two times per year.  During your dental exam, your dentist can take a full oral X-ray to determine whether or not your wisdom teeth are present and if they may present a problem.  Not all wisdom teeth need to come out and not all require surgery.  It simply depends on your mouth and teeth, whether the wisdom teeth are impacted, and how they are coming in.  Your dentist can go over your particular circumstances with you and the best options for preventing any problems that may arise from your wisdom teeth.

If you have questions about why wisdom teeth grow and are located in Chula Vista or the surrounding San Diego County, contact Eastlake Dentistry.  At Eastlake Dentistry, we can help you with all of your dental care needs, including evaluation about your wisdom teeth and possible tooth extraction.

Get Dental Implants in Time for the Holidays

Many people who have missing teeth in their feel insecure about how they look. If you’re part of that category, you don’t have to be anymore thanks to dental implants. If you dread seeing your beloved friends and family members during the holiday season each year due to your missing teeth, dental implants can instill a newfound confidence in you. With dental implants, you can regain the gorgeous smile you’ve missed.

Not only can dental implants replace missing teeth and closely match the rest of the teeth in the mouth, but they also provide some other convenient benefits. They encourage jaw bone preservation, for one. These implants also minimize the chances of bone loss later in life. If you’re searching for a long-term solution for missing teeth, dental implants might just be the perfect choice for you. If you’ve just had teeth removed, dental implants are a possibility for you.

Make the most of the upcoming holidays with a beautiful smile courtesy of dental implants.

Talk to a reputable dentist before you decide whether or not dental implants are suitable for you. With dental implants, you can take control of your self-esteem and attitude about how you look. Contact our implant dentist to schedule a consultation. Call us at (619) 656-3100.

Why Consider Teeth Whitening?

Many people are opting for over the counter teeth whitening products such as mouthwash, toothpaste, and whitening strips to improve their appearance. Although a whiter smile can quickly bolster self-confidence, most of these readily available whitening products provide only temporary results. Like any other medical treatment, San Diego teeth whitening procedures are most effective when administered by an experienced healthcare provider. Dental offices provide teeth whitening services along with several other cosmetic dentistry options that are designed to improve your appearance as well as oral health.

Choosing to have teeth whitening performed by a qualified professional affords patients the assurance of expert results. Not only are the professional grade treatments more effective than store bought alternatives, but the application is also more precise.

The industrial strength options are more resistant to the damaging effects of certain foods and beverages that can decay tooth enamel and cause discoloration over time. In addition, only a dental professional is able to ascertain the best course of action for teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry options. They are able to review patient history and make an accurate assessment based on specific characteristics and relevant habits of the dental patient.

If you are interested in having a brighter and sophisticated smile then now is the time to meet with the teeth whitening Chula Vista specialist patients choose most. Reach out to our dental office online or over the phone to learn about your options and schedule an appointment. Call us at (619) 656-3100.

Why Dental Implants Are the Best Tooth Replacement Solution

Dental Implants San DiegoAs far as the aggravation of staring at a gap in your smile goes, the actual pain that your body goes through is something you will never forgive yourself for. Missing teeth is not only an issue that elderly people encounter in today’s society. Studies show that more than 30 million people in the United States have a missing or broken tooth. Fortunately, dental implants can masterfully replace a tooth, restore a smile and preserve long-lasting oral health results.

Dental patients find it peculiar when they realize that dental implants are one of the most prestigious tooth replacement options that have played a huge role in cosmetic dentistry for decades. Dental implants come in different shapes and sizes to match with a patient’s smile. However, the ultimate goal is to provide a permanent tooth replacement with a titanium anchor that acts as a natural tooth root to stimulate natural bone growth.

Dental Implants Growing in Popularity

When dental implants are in place they look, feel and function exactly like a normal tooth. It is considered a superior solution over dentures or bridges as these patients eventually will find a need for a full-time solution to prevent further tooth loss. The reason why dental implants are growing in popularity is known by dentists as the best solution to avoid additional health issues such as tooth loss and deterioration of the jawbone. Empty spaces in the mouth ultimately make the gums, neighboring teeth and underlying structure diminish.

Since it is estimated that about 63 percent of all American adults are missing more than one tooth, dental implants provide peace of mind for those who are in danger of losing bone tissue. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 3 million people have one or more dental implants; and the number is expected to grow by half a million annually.

Caring for Dental Implants

Candidates for dental implants will be evaluated to determine if they can benefit from the procedure by a trustworthy dentist San Diego patients select the most. If you are one of the patients who benefit from dental implants, then proper care will ensure their permanent function in a healthy smile. The most successful way to preserve the strength of dental implants is to maintain excellent oral hygiene which includes:

  • Brushing and flossing daily

  • Scheduling regular dental appointments for professional cleaning

  • Following dentist’s postoperative care instructions

Contact a Dental Implants San Diego Specialist

Dental implants offer multiple advantages over traditional tooth replacement options and more importantly, they preserve a patient’s natural tooth structure. Consider scheduling a consultation with a top dental implants San Diego dentist that patients prefer and contact our specialist’s office at (619) 656-3100.


Does Anything Happen if I do not Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

wisdom tooth pain

Your dental health means a great deal to us and when you take our advice the chances are that your smile will live longer and brighter. All too often, San Diego residents question the need for wisdom tooth extraction in young adults and while it is arguable that wisdom teeth may not give you problems in the present. However, wisdom teeth are an issue when they are misaligned or partially erupt to the surface of the gums. Not every patient may need their wisdom teeth removed, but they can develop moderate to severe health issues if extraction is not performed.

For patients who may not know what they are, wisdom teeth are the third molars located in the upper and lower teeth at the back of our mouths. These teeth are typically the last to develop and usually grow in an awkward position and do not serve a purpose for a fully functional set of teeth. A cosmetic dentist San Diego will analyze and review a patient’s jaw structure in order to prevent impacted teeth from emerging or causing issues from a firmly rooted jaw bone. We believe that it is better for our patients to undergo wisdom tooth extraction before the age of 25 in order to prevent the following issues:


Many patients if not all patients have smaller mouths and jaws compared to previous generations, which do not allow enough room for a third molar to grow and rest properly. If the teeth do erupt on their own, overcrowding will occur and the patient’s teeth will begin to shift or overlap each other. Thus, wisdom teeth eruption will force continued orthodontic care to adjust the shift in teeth.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth are impacted they are pretty much trapped below the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful in patients and make them more prone to abscess and infection. Thus, the longer that impacted teeth remain in the gums is the higher potential of decay in healthy teeth.

Tooth Decay

It is possible for wisdom teeth to grow properly in place with the rest of a patient’s teeth, but the location they are in makes proper dental hygiene more difficult. The extra teeth can lead to significant growth of bacteria in the back of the teeth which will require extraction later in life. Full-grown wisdom teeth will require close monitoring since wisdom teeth are subject to decay.

What is A Wisdom Tooth Abscess?

As mentioned before, if a patient does not act and remove wisdom teeth, they are likely to develop what is known as an abscess. An abscess develops when bacteria in the mouth are able to access the tooth’s pulp and create an infection that spreads to the bone and throughout the body. Wisdom teeth themselves are particularly more susceptible to abscesses because it is far more difficult to keep the rearmost location of the jaw free of any bacteria. This makes all the more reason to consult with a cosmetic dentist in San Diego.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 90 percent of dental patients experience at least one impacted wisdom tooth, which should be extracted at an early age of adulthood. Wisdom tooth extraction by an oral surgeon, especially during teenage years is recommended because the roots in wisdom teeth are shorter and not solidified, which minimizes pain and discomfort. Additionally, younger dental patients will recover more quickly following the extraction procedure.

For the most trusted wisdom tooth extraction San Diego residents choose most often, schedule a consultation at East Lake Dentistry.

How to Feel Comfortable Eating with Your Partial Dentures

A woman is smiling while being at the dentist

A partial denture is a great way to keep your smile wholesome and protect your remaining teeth. On the other hand, patients feel skeptical when they think about trying to eat with partial dentures. For some it is almost as difficult as learning how to ride a bike in the initial stages. The looks of partial dentures are natural, but when trying to eat like you normally would you realize it is not the same. Yes, it does take some time to get used to them but we will help you learn how to eat comfortably again.

Dentures are generally known as a full set of teeth for patients who need replacement of the upper or lower dentures. The partial denture is used to replace multiple teeth in a patient who has some healthy teeth remaining in the upper or lower denture. The purpose of having partial dentures is to support continued health of the other permanent teeth by replacing the lost tooth or multiple teeth. A partial denture can be removed or permanently fixed in place. If a denture is fixed in place then there is likely to be a struggle period in learning how to eat with a partial denture in place.

A removable partial denture is easy to remove and replace at the patient’s leisure. However, many people are required to wear them in order to properly break and chew food.

Like many other things in life, eating with your partial dentures is like having an acquired taste. Like all acquired tastes, it requires time, patience and practice. At first many patients describe the feeling of dentures as having their lips pushed forward or teeth feeling too big for their mouth. Leaving your partial denture in while chewing can be accomplished as long as you remember to follow rules:

  • Avoid biting with front teeth. Push food back to the side and chew slowly.

  • Cut up food in smaller pieces than normally used to and try chewing on both sides.

  • Interchange between liquid diet and soft foods until gums grow stronger.

  • Avoid eating sticky foods or candy, as they are likely to stick to your dentures.

  • Removable partials should be soaked overnight to maintain the soft plastic pliable and maximize the lifespan of your denture.

Dentures and partial dentures are built to last. As per the study from the International Journal of Prosthodontics, the official journal of the International Society for Maxillofacial Rehabilitation, the survival rate of removable partial dentures following a retrospective study showed approximately 90 percent of oral service following 10 years of use. As long as you take proper care of your teeth and your dentures you will live comfortably with them for years to come.

Growing accustomed to your partial dentures is not as difficult as others make it out to be. Partial dentures provide you with years of a pleasant smile, easy-speaking and eating with little to no-adjustments. If you have any questions regarding your need for partial dentures then schedule a consultation to learn how to eat with them properly.

Three Things You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth Extraction


Wisdom teeth extraction is a process that most people need to go through at some point in their lifetime. Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars located at the very back of our mouths, which are the last to develop. Unfortunately, there are some patients who experience pain or discomfort due to misalignment or symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. When a third molar is known as impacted, it ultimately means that the tooth will not grow out straight with the other teeth or it may half emerge.

Plenty of patients have heard their fair share of urban legends about the subject of wisdom teeth extraction and pass along this information without any professional background to prove their claim. If you or your child is going through the experience of wisdom teeth, there are at least three things you should know that will help you prepare for teeth removal.

Why is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Done?

It may seem like there is plenty of room for extra teeth to grow, but your oral surgeon or dentist may still recommend wisdom tooth extraction to keep from infection or shifting other teeth. Other reasons for removal include, gum pain, impaction, gum disease and decay of wisdom teeth. Improper eruption of wisdom teeth can also result in damage of the jawbone and development of a cyst which may later become infected.

When Can I Eat Again?

For the first 24 to 48 hours after wisdom teeth removal, only soft foods are recommended for consumption. It should not be a surprise to patients that use of a straw is not allowed for week minimum following oral surgery, as the suction of a straw can dislodge the blood clot around the wound and lead to prolonged bleeding and extend a patient’s healing time.

How Long is the Recovery Period?

After having wisdom teeth pulled, pain and swelling is likely to occur, which is why some oral surgeons recommend taking one to two days off from any activity until the gum lining heals after the initial phase. Your dentist or oral surgeon will recommend a prescription for pain relievers that relieve the pain. With respect to time, wisdom tooth extraction recovery may vary from one day to about a week of rest, but most patients can resume to normal activity after the first day of extraction. To keep the process simple and free of discomfort, we encourage applying ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, use only prescription medications, and clean the mouth with simple salt water.

Unfortunately, there is not a preventive procedure that can keep teens and adults from this oral surgery. Researchers recently discovered that there may be a possible form of prevention of wisdom tooth development in the lower jawbone. Results from an epidemiological study, published in the Journal of American Dental Association, suggests that injecting anesthesia in the gums of young children can stop tooth buds from growing in the lower wisdom teeth. Although it is hypothesized that this process can be a valid approach to prevent oral surgery, there must be further review before oral surgeons can declare this method safe for our youth.

If you want to learn more about wisdom tooth extraction in San Diego, schedule a consultation with our experienced cosmetic dentist at Eastlake Dentistry.

Revive Your Smile with Dental Implants

shutterstock_121130050Dental implants are the best solution for patients in need of replacing damaged or missing teeth. Dental implants permanently attach themselves to the jawbone, without disrupting or impairing the individual’s ability to bite or chew. Not only that, but dental implants maintain the appearance of a youthful smile as well as restore lost functions from decayed or broken teeth.

When to Consider Dental Implants

Most people opt for dental implants because they do not want to go with flimsy dental bridges or removable dentures for the fear of losing them. Dental implants are a long-term solution to replace missing teeth that are secure and function perfectly alongside the rest of your natural teeth.

There are a number of reasons why patients consider dental implants over dental bridges or removable dentures. Assuming that your dentist agrees you are a good candidate, you may need to replace a single tooth without jeopardizing the strength or health of surrounding teeth. People missing multiple teeth consider permanent implants because they do not wish to wear more than one dental apparatus that may affect their speech and bite.

Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants work through a process of osseointegration, a process of fusing the dental implant with the jawbone. Titanium metal is used which makes the replacement tooth stronger and permanent as long as the patient maintains good dental health. Once the implant is securely bonded to the jaw, a crown that matches the shape and color of your teeth is capped on top to look and function just like normal teeth.

Usually the procedure takes an hour for a single implant, for multiple implants time will vary, but no more than a couple hours are needed. Typically the implant must heal over the next four weeks, and after the oral surgeon agrees that the implant has healed the crown can be put in place.

Reduce Future Bone Loss

Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing a tooth to deterioration or injury can lead to additional health issues such as bone loss in the jaw bone where the tooth used to be. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the jawbone deteriorates slowly when a natural tooth is removed, losing firmness and strength in the empty space. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates the natural bone, and prevents bone loss.

If you need more information about dental implants for missing teeth, contact an experienced San Diego cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation. Dr. Tin can help show you the way to a healthy and complete smile that will last you a lifetime.

Another Reason to Get Fillings: Cavities Are Contagious!

Photo Courtesy iStock/NPR

Photo Courtesy iStock/NPR

If you grew up always visiting the dentist and getting treated for one dental cavity after another, then you will probably want to avoid sharing your spoon and straw at the dinner table. Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease and many parents might be surprised to realize that they could pass on their bacterium that leads to tooth decay to their infant or child. If you are a new parent or expecting then you will definitely see why it is important to have dental fillings.

What is a Dental Cavity?

A dental cavity is a hole that develops in the tooth that is infected by oral bacteria. The infection, known as dental caries (tooth decay) eats away at the tooth’s structure and flourishes into an even deeper issue when left untreated. The bacteria that cause caries are commonly found in dental plaque, and deconstruct the tooth’s structure when other germs produce acids to erode tooth enamel. The aches and pains from a dental cavity make living difficult for your child by disrupting eating habits as well as academic performance.

Passing on Cavities

Multiple studies have shown that bacterium is passed on from sharing hygiene products, pacifiers and food. According to research from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, parents can transmit dental caries from cavities through their saliva. For example, parents who clean their baby’s pacifier with their own saliva, or tasting children’s food and using the same utensil to feed the child can permit the cavity-causing germs from adults to be passed on to the child’s mouth.

This knowledge does not mean that sharing food or utensils is always going to be an issue, but if the adult has active tooth decay in their mouth and does not practice good oral hygiene, their child is at risk of developing their own dental cavities.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reminds parents the importance of brushing and visiting the dentist regularly. The AAPD encourages parents to find a dental practice for their child once their first tooth emerges. Even if the parent does indeed spread bacteria to their children’s mouth, the child will not necessarily develop cavities instantly if they brush their teeth regularly.

Preparing your child early with practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent the development of cavities. Teaching your young to brush their teeth twice a day and floss can help control the harmful bacteria that accumulates on their teeth and gums. This also means that parents themselves should also model these hygiene skills early on to help their children understand the importance of oral health. As a result, this will help keep your children healthier and less susceptible to tooth decay.

What Can I Do If I Chipped A Tooth?

Many people encounter chipped teeth more often than you think. Most patients do not even realize they have chipped a tooth until someone points out the irregular shape. Suppose you are out with your loved one on your Valentine’s Day date and you are sipping your drink along with some ice, you bite down on the ice cube and all of a sudden, crack! You feel that crunch was a little harder than you thought, and out of your mouth comes a fragment of one of your teeth. The first thing to do is to remain calm and call your dentist if possible. Fortunately, there are a few solutions to help resolve this issue. Today we will share with you some of the treatments available for your chipped tooth.

Crown and Bridge

The type of treatment your dentist uses for repair depends on the severity of damage caused from the accident. A crown and bridge is one of the treatments recommend for larger chips or broken teeth with extensive decay. The dentist will prepare your teeth by removing any remaining fragments and shaping the remainder of the tooth to receive the crown.

Dental Veneers

In the event that the chipped tooth occurred in the front teeth, most dentists prefer to use dental veneers. These devices are made of porcelain and they are bonded to the damaged tooth. It usually will cover the entire front portion of the tooth and will blend in well with your natural teeth.

Root Canal

For a cracked tooth patients may need to undergo a root canal, because this damaged the whole surface of the tooth all the way down to the nerve. In some instances, the cracked pieces remain in place but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can be repaired with simple composite fillings, but if the damage disrupts the nerve tissue the patient may also need a root canal.

If you are not able to see a dentist right away, be sure to schedule an appointment for treatment at your earliest convenience to avoid chronic pain or more cracking. In the meantime here is what you can do to treat the site of the chipped tooth:

  • Rinse your mouth with salt water or mouthwash occasionally to keep area clean

  • Cover the crack with paraffin wax to avoid cutting your mouth

  • Chew only soft foods in other areas of the mouth

Always be aware of what you are eating or chewing on. If you chipped a tooth, at Eastlake Dentistry, Dr. Tin and her staff have a variety of solutions to correct your smile. Call now to schedule an appointment to have the professionals repair the damage, no matter how big or how small.