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6 Extracted Tooth Care Tips To Follow

A tooth extraction is often the last resort of dentists. Before a dentist considers this option, he or she will look into other procedures and try to repair and restore your tooth. Unfortunately, there will be instances wherein extraction is the only solution.

Tooth removal is always the recommended dental treatment when a person has severe tooth damage or trauma, or an incorrectly positioned, non-functioning and extra tooth. It is also the only solution for an impacted wisdom tooth.

Post Care Tips

Tooth removal is a routine dental procedure. However, keep in mind that it is still a form of oral surgery.  As such, it is important to take extracted tooth care seriously to avoid any further complications or issues.

Below are six of the essential tooth extraction aftercare tips you have to follow:

  1. After the procedure, your dentist will put a piece of gauze over the extraction site. Bite down on it to stop the bleeding. This also helps in the formation of a blood clot. Keep the gauze in place for at least an hour. Make sure to change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
  2. Apply ice packs or a cold compress to the affected area once you get home to reduce swelling. Swelling rarely occurs after the removal of just one tooth but it has been known to happen. If the dentist removes more than one tooth, swelling usually develops one to two days after the surgery. When you apply ice or a really cold compress to the area on the day of the surgery, this will help lessen swelling.
  3. Avoid eating and drinking for two hours after the surgery or until the anesthetic wears off. Once you can eat again, eat only soft foods such as gelatin, pudding, mashed potato, squash, fruits, ice cream, or a thin soup. Stick to this diet for at least 24 hours after the extraction. As healing progresses, gradually add solid foods to your diet. Also, always chew your food with teeth that are far from the extraction site.
  4. After 24 hours following the extraction, gently rinse the socket with warm salt water — a mixture made of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Rinse with this after meals and before bed for at least five days after the procedure. Avoid rinsing too hard since this can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  5. Brush and floss the other teeth as usual. However, keep away from the teeth and gum next to the extraction socket.
  6. Lastly, avoid any kind of physical or strenuous activity after the surgery since they may increase bleeding. When lying down, do not lie flat because this can prolong bleeding. Use some pillows to prop up your head.

In general, healing from a tooth extraction takes about five to seven days. The gum area will fully heal in three to four weeks’ time.

To get more information about a routine tooth extraction process or to schedule a consultation, get in touch with Dr. Aaron Nicholas and his staff at the Nicholas Dental Care center in Burtonsville, MD.

When To Have An Impacted Tooth Removed

Throughout your lifetime, your teeth will cause you different kinds of problems. Most of the time, these dental issues come with varying levels of pain. For many people, nothing can cause more discomfort and agony than having an impacted tooth.

An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not come out fully because it is blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth. In most cases, only the wisdom teeth can become impacted. This is because one’s wisdom teeth generally come out during the late teen years or early 20s when the jawbone has fully grown to its adult size.

Because of this, the jaw is often too small to accommodate the new wisdom tooth comfortably and its eruption will cause you pain and discomfort, and this can lead to more serious issues that may eventually require an extraction.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The best way to know whether you need to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed or not is to consult your dentist for a professional evaluation and assessment. However, the symptoms below usually indicate a need for immediate extraction:

  • Bad breath that never seems to go away
  • A consistently bad taste in the mouth
  • You feel pain whenever you chew, bite, or even open your mouth
  • Having difficulties opening your jaw
  • The gums in the back of your mouth are swollen

Your dentist will go over your dental history and have you undergo x-rays. He or she will then examine the general health of your mouth and the condition of the impacted tooth. If the dentist detects an issue with your tooth, extraction is usually recommended to eliminate or avoid any uncomfortable symptoms.

Failing to have your impacted wisdom tooth removed when recommended by your dentist can lead to various dental and health issues. These include:

  • Tooth decay – Bacteria, saliva, and food will easily accumulate around an impacted wisdom tooth or the ones beside it, which can eventually lead to a painful infection. This can cause severe pressure and pain, and can even lead to erosion of other healthy teeth.
  • Gum infection – If your wisdom tooth has partially erupted through the gum, food particles and bacteria can accumulate beneath the gum, which will result in a local infection. This can lead to pain, swelling, and bad breath and this infection can even spread to the cheek and neck.
  • Cyst formation – When an impacted tooth is not removed immediately, a fluid filled sac or cyst can form from the tissue surrounding the tooth. This can cause bone destruction, jaw enlargement, and movement or decay of nearby teeth. Tumors can also start to develop inside these cysts, which can result in a fractured jaw if left to grow.

Early removal of an impacted tooth is generally the best option to avoid more serious issues in the future. You can always consult the professional team of Nicholas Dental Care to know if and when you need your impacted wisdom tooth extracted.

How Does Gingivitis Develop?

Gums that are pink in color and do not bleed when brushing or flossing are considered by dentists as healthy. If your gums feel swollen, are colored red, and bleed whenever you brush and floss, it is best to consult your dentist immediately since you may already have gingivitis. 

Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat.

Causes, Signs and Symptoms

How does gingivitis develop? The development of this gum disease is typically attributed to poor dental hygiene.

The primary cause of gingivitis is plaque, a colorless biofilm of bacteria that is commonly found on one’s teeth and gums. Proper and regular brushing and flossing can remove plaque, but failure to practice good dental care habits means the bacteria remains on your teeth. This biofilm soon produces toxins which irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. During this stage, damage can still be reversed because the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected. Untreated gingivitis, however, can become periodontitis and cause permanent damage to a person’s teeth and jaw.

Aside from poor dental hygiene, the following can also cause gingivitis:

  • Persons with crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth are more prone to developing gingivitis since they are harder to keep clean; consequently, there will be more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate.
  • Poor immune system. Gingivitis is also a body’s inflammatory system’s response to bacteria in an area of the mouth where it should not be. Alcohol, smoking and chewing tobacco, and stress affect a person’s oral defense mechanisms and prevent the gum tissue from being able to heal. Persons suffering from cancer and undergoing cancer treatment are also more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Poor nutrition. Persons who consume high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates with low water intake are prone to developing plaque and possible gum disease. This will increase the formation of plaque. Deficiency in certain important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair gum repair.
  • Diabetes mellitus. This disease will also impair circulation and the gums’ ability to heal.
  • Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause also typically correlate with a rise in gingivitis. This hormonal imbalance can cause the blood vessels in the gums to become more susceptible to a bacterial and chemical attack.

The usual signs and symptoms that a person has gingivitis include:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing

  • Red or purple colored gums

  • Tender and swollen gums

  • Receding gums or the appearance that they have been pulled away from the teeth, giving the teeth an elongated look.

Advanced gum disease can cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums which can collect plaque and food debris. Because of this, some people may experience recurring bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth.

Gingivitis Prevention

Brushing properly at least twice a day and flossing once will help you get rid of plaque. Gargling with mouthwash can help as well. Your dental (and overall) health will also improve if you start eating a balanced diet and avoid smoking or tobacco.

Regular dental checkups can also help you detect and avoid the onset of any gum disease. If you’re in Maryland, you can consult the dental professionals of Nicholas Dental Care.

Dealing with wisdom tooth pain

wisdom tooth pain

Understanding Wisdom Tooth Pain

Wisdom teeth don’t really have much use because they’re located at the very back of the mouth. Most of the time, they need to be extracted because they rot easily, particularly if you’re not meticulous with brushing and flossing.

Another reason why most people just choose to have them extracted is because they’re painful to have around, especially when they’re still trying to break through the gums. Since most wisdom teeth grow in crooked, sideways or misaligned, they push other permanent teeth and cause them to shift, which can be rather uncomfortable. On top of that, since wisdom teeth come out late, they tend to mess with the alignment of the teeth that have already grown in.

The pain of having wisdom teeth doesn’t occur for some – there are lucky people with wisdom teeth that come out like regular molars – but for those who experience it, the discomfort can be great. Some experience throbbing pain, especially when chewing food. There are even those who complain that the pain radiates to different parts of the head (leading them to think that the pain’s due to a sinus infection, which does present similar sensations), especially when the teeth are impacted.

Impacted wisdom teeth are truly painful because they can’t emerge properly.

On top of this, they are prone to bacterial infection. Therefore, it’s imperative to have them surgically removed as early as possible. Timely extraction can prevent damage to bones and other teeth.

It’s important to point out as well that impacted wisdom teeth can also put you at risk for cysts and tumors that lead to permanent damage to your jawbone and other teeth. Although tumors rarely form around the tooth, it’s definitely more reassuring to have a mouth that’s not an ideal environment for the development of tumors.

If you have pain in the area where wisdom teeth grow, see your dentist right away. It’s better to establish right away if the sensation is due to these teeth or some other reason. This way, you can get the appropriate treatment and be free from the discomfort and potential complications much faster.

Wisdom tooth pain is no light matter because you simply cannot ignore it; seek dental attention when you start experiencing it.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD to help you deal with wisdom tooth pain, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to meet you. We’re experienced in dealing with all kinds of dental concerns, so contact us today!

What causes throbbing tooth pain?

Throbbing Tooth Pain: Causes and Relief


One of the most important things our body can do is tell us when something’s wrong with it, and it tells us through pain. Toothaches are no exception, albeit they’re usually much more irksome compared to the other warnings our bodies give us.

The worst toothache can render you immobile from pain, holding on to your head like it’s going to explode. Then there are toothaches that feel dull and subdued. Another kind of toothache is called throbbing tooth pain — an intermittent pain that comes and goes seemingly like it’s timed to the beat of a song. Indeed, it’s rhythmic enough that Aristotle thought it was linked to our heartbeats.

Regardless, it’s not only painful — it’s a mischievous kind of painful, giving you a moment’s respite before pounding on your head again.

So What Causes the Throbbing?
The main culprit behind throbbing tooth pain is usually inflammation. It’s often associated with inflammation within the tooth itself (the pulp) or in its surrounding areas, which is usually caused by:

  • Gum infections
  • Pulp infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Broken fillings or crowns
  • Chipped or cracked teeth

Your dentist will have to figure it out for you before treatment can be administered.

So How Do You Relieve Throbbing Tooth Pain?

Interestingly enough, since throbbing tooth pain comes and goes, you can distract yourself sufficiently well from the pain. This is why it’s less painful during the day when you have a lot of other activities taking your attention away from the pain. Usually though, during the night, it’s a different, more painful story.

Of course, “do more stuff” isn’t the ideal prescription.

You can try some home remedies to deal with the pain, such as rinsing your mouth out with salt water or using ice compresses or even placing ice cubes directly on the affected area in your mouth. There’s always over-the-counter pain medication as well.

When it’s nighttime and your mind focuses more and more on the throbbing pain, you’ll also notice that the pain intensifies when you lie down. Some things you can try include:

  • Elevating your head with pillows. Two to three pillows can help reduce the blood flow to the area where the throbbing pain is coming from.
  • Floss. Food particles may be putting pressure on the area, causing the pain to come and go. After flossing, rinse with warm salt water.
  • Press a warm tea bag against the area where the pain is coming from. It reduces the pain and replaces it with a comfortable sensation.

You can definitely try all that, but it’s still best to get your dentist on the case. Dr. Aaron Nicholas and his staff would be glad to help get rid of your throbbing tooth pain if you’re looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD. Get in touch today!

What do swollen gums around my teeth mean?

Swollen Gums Around Teeth: Causes and Tips for Quick Relief

No one is immune to dental problems. Even with good at-home oral care routines, there are instances wherein dental issues can happen unnoticed. All of a sudden, you may experience swollen gums around tooth areas. Here are some causes and tips for relieving this dental problem.

Causes

Improper Dental Hygiene – Incorrect brushing or flossing is the common culprit of swollen gums because this can leave food debris behind, causing tooth decay and inflammation in the neglected area. Eventually, inadequate oral hygiene can result in gum disease. As such, you must always be on the lookout for red, pale or swollen gums each time you brush and floss.

Abscessed Tooth – This indicates an infection in or around the tooth. Often, this is the result of an untreated cavity causing bacteria to spread through the entire tooth and infect it. When left untreated, this will cost you the tooth. Signs to look out for will include swollen and red gums, a salty taste in the mouth, throbbing pain, and fever.

Canker Sores – These are small, round or oval and shallow lesions with a red border and yellow/white center found inside of the mouth, under or on the tongue, on the soft palate, inside the lips or cheeks, or at the gums’ base. A minor injury from improper dental work, sports mishaps, obsessive brushing, or an accidental cheek bite can trigger canker sores.

An Erupting Tooth – Swollen gums around a tooth can happen to children whose permanent teeth are erupting or to adults whose wisdom tooth is about to erupt. If there is insufficient room for an erupting tooth, this can result in inflamed gums around the teeth.

Allergies – Allergies to coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, cheese, nuts, eggs, or strawberries can cause swollen gums. As much as possible, avoid eating foods that will irritate the gums. Moreover, avoid gum irritants such as tobacco and betel nut.

How to Relieve Swollen Gums

1. Proper Oral Care

Brush your teeth using circular movements with a soft bristle toothbrush for 2 minutes after every meal. To prevent early tooth decay, use fluoride toothpaste. Rinsing your mouth with an anti-microbial mouthwash can also help.

2. Proper Sanitation

Always wash your hands before eating or touching your gums and teeth. Also, guard your tooth against germs and dirt by using a brush cover and changing your toothbrush every 3 months or earlier if the bristles are already worn out.

3. Cold/Hot Compress

A cold compress will constrict the blood vessels, thereby reducing the swelling. A hot compress, on the other hand, will relieve pain efficiently.

If the inflamed gum around your tooth does not get better after doing these tips, visit your dentist right away. He will definitely provide you with further advice. With excellent oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings, you have nothing to worry about.

Looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD? Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today!

Denture Care – A Few Important Tips

If you have chosen dentures for teeth replacement, it is crucial that you learn proper denture care in order to get more out of your investment.

How do you take proper care of your dentures?

Handle them with care

Dentures can be easily damaged when you accidentally drop them. Before you remove them, make sure that you put something beneath you, like a towel, that will serve as a cushion if your dentures fall accidentally.

Brush and rinse your dentures properly

Like regular teeth, dentures need to be cleaned in order to remove food debris and the plaque that may have built up. Regular cleaning can also prevent permanent stains from developing.

Dentures should be cleaned every day using a brush with soft bristles. However, do not use regular toothpaste. Regular toothpaste and other household cleaners can damage your dentures so avoid using these. Instead, use recommended denture cleaners. Make sure that you gently brush all the surfaces of your dentures.

If you cannot brush your dentures, you can rinse them after eating.

Keep your dentures moist

If you are not going to wear your dentures, you will need to soak them in either water or a denture cleanser solution. Avoid soaking your dentures in hot water as this can damage them.

Repairs and adjustments

If you break your dentures or if your gums and mouth become irritated due to improper fit, schedule a visit to your dentist. Under no circumstance should you attempt to adjust or repair your own dentures as you can damage them.

Taking care of your remaining teeth and gums

Even if you have lost some teeth, it is important that you take care of your remaining teeth as well as your gums.

If you are wearing full dentures, make sure that you brush your gums and tongues, especially in the morning before you wear your dentures. This will help keep plaque at bay and help improve the circulation in your mouth.

If you are wearing partial dentures, you will need to remove these before brushing your teeth and gums. Pay special attention to the areas where the dentures’ clasps fit as plaque can build up in these areas.

Visit your dentist regularly

After getting your dentures, your dentist will tell you how often you will need to visit the dental clinic. Typically, those visits are scheduled six months apart.

Apart from checking the fit and condition of your dentures, your dentist will also examine your overall oral health and clean your teeth professionally.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today!

Are Old Silver Fillings Safe?

There’s no controversy that has plagued the dental world more than the issue about the safety of dental amalgam. When studies from long ago established a relationship between thyroid problems, neurological disorders, respiratory diseases, and mercury in amalgam, people just went on panic mode. Since silver fillings were popular for preventing the spread of cavities due to their impressive durability, many grew greatly concerned that the restorative dentistry procedure they had was “killing” them.

Do people really need to be worried?

After all, fillings are so small.  “Are old silver fillings safe or are they making patients highly prone to everything from neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, to mental disorders?”

Here are the facts that everybody concerned about this issue should understand:

 

  • It’s true that amalgams are 50 percent mercury but they were always considered inert (chemically inactive) so the likelihood or mercury release was none to very minimal.
  • When it comes to mercury leaking from amalgams and producing a toxic effect on the body, different variables come into play (like the age of the fillings, one’s diet, the tendency to grind teeth, and number of fillings one has). It’s never just a matter of “having” silver fillings.
  • More studies are being carried out in order to fully establish the impact of mercury in silver fillings on people’s wellness. So far, findings have been inconclusive.
  • The current ADA and FDA position (because of all the inconclusive results) is that amalgam is a safe restorative material. Therefore, any dentist who recommends removing amalgams due to health concerns from mercury vapor is deemed unethical and could have their license revoked.
  • If you’re concerned about mercury release from your old dental fillings, a lot of dental professionals have advanced detection techniques that can measure mercury release. Hence, they can establish if your health is truly at risk.
  • The highest amount of mercury exposure from silver fillings occurs when they are placed and when they are removed from our mouths. So, if you’re worried about exposure, the smartest thing to do is to have a highly experienced dental team inspect your fillings to see if they’re still structurally intact, instead of just rushing to have them taken out.

It’s only natural to look after your health. Whether you want to have your old silver fillings removed just to be safe or not is completely up to you. Now, if you need to have some cavities filled, there are other filling options to choose from and you won’t have to worry about mercury exposure.

If you want to have your silver filling examined by a highly experienced dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, our head dentist can take care of that. Contact us today to set your appointment!

Oil Pulling – Is It Good For Your Oral Health?

To ensure good oral health, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, you must clean between teeth once a day with interdental cleaner or floss. Doing this practice on a daily basis will keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities. You can also use ADA-Accepted mouth rinses as this reduces gingivitis and plaque formation.

It helps to be discriminating when choosing a mouth rinse to reduce gingivitis and plaque. Look for essential ingredients such as methyl salicylate, thymol, menthol and eucalyptol as these can prevent gingivitis and the formation of plaque. The ADA Seal you see on over-the-counter oral care products gives assurance that such products have been evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, which is an independent group of experts. Most importantly, this seal guarantees that it does what it claims to do.

Recently, the practice of oil pulling or swishing oil in the mouth is making a buzz. Websites supporting natural therapies are hopeful about this practice since it claims that it can whiten teeth, enhance oral health, and boost overall health and well-being. But due to the lack of solid proof, oil pulling is not yet recommended.

A Closer Look at Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia. This is a traditional folk remedy and a holistic Ayurvedic technique. This practice will involve placing a spoonful of edible oil like sunflower, coconut, olive and sesame oil inside the mouth, and swishing the oil through the teeth and oral cavity for around one to five minutes or longer.

A study about the use of a chlorhexidine rinse versus oil pulling showed that chlorhexidine is more effective when it comes to reducing S. mutans levels in saliva and plaque. But the same study has not looked at whether the reduction in S. mutans prevented cavities.

There are limitations on the potential health benefits of oil pulling.

Current studies are unreliable for several reasons such as the misrepresentation of results because of lack of demographic information, the absence of negative controls and small sample size. Today, there is still no clinical evidence confirming that oil pulling whitens teeth, decreases the incidence of dental caries, and enhances overall health.

There are plenty of over-the-counter products promising therapeutic effects when used. But it is only through in-depth scientific analysis that the dental profession can be assured of the effectiveness and safety of a certain product or therapy. After all, the ADA policy statement on unconventional dentistry emphasized that the provision of dental care must only be based on rigorous scientific principles.

To know more about science-based care for your teeth, look for a reputable dentist in Burtonsville, MD. Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our team will be happy to help you. Contact us today!

Understanding the Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in Adults

Having healthy teeth is an important part of overall good health. A great smile does not only improve physical appearance. It also helps you speak properly and of course, help you chew your food properly. For this, toothache should not be taken for granted. Pain in a tooth is a sure sign that there’s something wrong, most especially when your gums are swelling or bleeding. Teeth problem may also come with age like the periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis or pyorrhea, causes inflammation of the gums and deterioration of the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. It is often the main cause of bad breath in adults. It is also responsible for most of the teeth lost as people age.

As a matter of fact, a research study from the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that almost 64 percent of adults 65 years and above have moderate to severe forms of periodontitis. Findings from the same study have shown that more than 47 percent of the adult population in the U.S. who are 30 years and above suffer from mild to moderate or severe periodontitis. And between men and women, periodontitis tends to be more prevalent among men.

Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes a person has such minor symptoms that he or she may not realize that periodontal disease is present. As the disease progresses, symptoms include pain, bleeding of gums, swollen gums, and a foul taste in the mouth.

The Primary Cause Of Periodontal Disease

The main culprit behind developing periodontitis is the buildup of dental plaque, which is a thin film of bacteria that sticks to the gum line of the teeth. If this plaque is not removed, it can cause the tissues and bone to break down, leading to tooth loss.

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease

As recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), periodontal disease in adults can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental care such as brushing, flossing, and dental checkups.

When visiting the dentist for regular checkups, the clinical examination must also include a periodontal assessment, particularly among middle-aged and elderly. To accurately assess the burden of periodontitis, using a full-mouth periodontal exams (FMPE), which was also cited in the CDC study, proves to gain better results.

It is also important to discuss with your dentist the risk factors that may possibly lead to periodontitis. Reputable dentists would definitely evaluate patients for oral diseases and would provide helpful solutions to prevent them or refer appropriate therapy when there is a need.

For severe cases, the disease can be treated by specialized plaque removal techniques and also by surgery on the gums and bones in the mouth.

If you are currently looking for Dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today!