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October 30, 2013

Dental health is important for everyone. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can raise the risk for other health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and poorly controlled diabetes, negatively impacting your general health and quality of life. According to a new study reported in an article in Medical News Today, poor dental health can even affect athlete performance! The study examined the impact of 2012 Olympic athletes’ oral health and found that poor oral health had impaired their performance.

Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practice can prevent dental diseases to a great extent. However, if your oral health issues are causing pain or other worrying symptoms, you may need dental surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform various types of simple, complex and advanced procedures – from tooth extractions to gum tissue removal and jaw realignments – for cosmetic reasons as well as to help patients maintain a healthy mouth. Here is a brief overview of some common dental surgery procedures:

• Tooth extractions: Dental surgeons may have to remove decaying teeth that are beyond repair. They also extract wisdom teeth which are crooked or impacted below the gum line. Patients who want dentures may also request teeth extraction so that they can be replaced by a whole new set.

• Root canal treatment: Any trauma or infection of the tooth nerve is corrected by root canal therapy. The tooth’s root and pulp are removed and the tooth is filled and capped.

• Dental implants: Dental implants, which look, feel, and function like natural teeth, are a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. Implants can replace one tooth or several.

• Corrective jaw surgery: Improperly aligned jaws can be corrected with orthognathic jaw surgery. The surgery is also performed for cosmetic reasons to improve the facial appearance.

If you need dental surgery, look for an experienced surgeon close to where you live or work. You can do an online search at, a useful resource provided by the British Dental Association.

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