Oral surgery is a broad field that addresses the different problems that can occur within the mouth. Most are related to the teeth, though some problems may involve the jaw or the gums.
Here is a list of common problems that are treated by oral surgery:
Tooth loss: When a patient loses a tooth from disease or injury, a dental implant can be placed into the mouth. This is an alternative to removable dentures and can be more natural-looking. A dental implant must be anchored into the jawbone for stability, so ideal patients must be healthy, hygienic, and have good bone density.
Impacted teeth: Most cases of impacted teeth are related to the wisdom teeth. These are the last molars to emerge in a fully developed mouth. Impacted teeth are the result of an insufficient room in the jaw for these large molars. As they grow, the wisdom teeth can become trapped in the gum tissue. This condition often results in swelling, pain, and some bleeding. Impacted teeth can also change the alignment of your other teeth by adding pressure. Most dentists wouldn’t recommend that you keep impacted teeth because of the health problems they raise, so surgical removal is the common treatment.
Jaw alignment: as you grow, the upper and lower jaw can fail to align properly. This creates a slew of problems with speaking, chewing, swallowing, and breathing. While some of these alignments can be fixed with braces, the more serious cases require surgery to change the position of the jaws.
Temporomandibular joint: Otherwise known as the TMJ, this joint in front of the ear where the lower jaw pivots is a common problem area. Problems with this joint can cause headache and pain that never goes away. Lesser cases can be corrected with medication, therapy, and splints. However, a more serious case would require reconstruction of the joint.
Dentures: People with missing teeth often opt for dentures instead of implants. However, some pre-emptive surgery may be required to make room for the dentures to fit properly.