Nicholas Dental Care Nicholas Dental Care Nicholas Dental Care

Cavity Prevention | How To Stay A Step Ahead

cavity preventionCavity Prevention |  Leading Causes of Cavities

From your earliest years, and up to this day, dentists have been tirelessly educating and reminding their patients and the general public about the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Neglect them, and you will soon discover cavities in your mouth that will have to be treated to restore the full function and appearance of your teeth as well as prevent further damage.

What are these cavities? Cavity is another term for tooth decay. It is the result of the bacteria in your mouth creating an acid that eats away at your teeth. You may not notice it at first, but the damage begins with the acid wearing down the enamel on your teeth and working its way down to the succeeding layers until it ends up in the pulp, where nerves and blood vessels can be found.

Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and even the loss of the affected tooth. Here are a few tips for cavity prevention: 


Staying one step ahead of cavities

Of course, the best cavity prevention is to learn the leading causes of cavities and to take preventative measures so you can maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. To help you in this regard, a trusted dentist in Silver Spring, Maryland shares five of these causes so you can become more aware and actively invested in fighting cavities.


  1. Failing to observe proper oral care habits.

It may be tiresome to hear, but dentists insist on emphasizing the importance of brushing teeth after every meal, flossing, and regularly using mouthwash because these habits indeed keep the cavities away when properly observed. At the very least, brush twice a day for about two minutes every time.


  1. Consuming food and beverages that are damaging to teeth.

Getting the proper nutrition is crucial in maintaining dental health. However, knowing what to avoid consuming is just as important as eating the right foods. Sugar and acid are two of teeth’s worst enemies and these can be found in candies, processed foods, fruit juices, and sodas, to name a few.


  1. Having existing dental problems.

If you are already experiencing some dental issues, leaving them unresolved can contribute to the development of cavities. For example, cracks and crevices in the enamel provide entry for harmful bacteria which can lead to decay. Similarly, if you have a dry mouth (often caused by genetics, prescription medication or certain medical conditions), bacteria can proliferate because you have limited amounts of saliva that can inhibit their growth. Addressing these dental issues first can do much to keep cavities from forming.


  1. Unconsciously grinding your teeth.

You may not realize that you unconsciously grind your teeth while sleeping, so it could help to have a parent, other relative or partner stay with you for a night as you sleep to determine if you are experiencing bruxism (often caused by stress). The friction from the grinding action can damage your teeth, and using a bite guard can prevent this from happening.


  1. Your age and genetics.

Finally, your specific bodily makeup could be a factor in the formation of cavities. You could inherit dental issues like crevices and enamel problems, or the number of years of failing to observe proper dental habits could finally be catching up with you. It’s best to consult your trusted dentist about the best treatment program so you can be free from cavities once and for all.

If you have additional questions about cavity prevention, contact your local Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Let the dental professionals give you more information and answer any questions you may have.



The Risk of Tooth Loss After 50

tooth loss
Tooth Loss After 50

Turning into a “golden” individual sounds glamorous, but very few people actually rejoice about turning half a century old. The only golden lot who seem happy are Hollywood stars that have managed to defy aging and give younger celebrities a run for their money. 

The thing is, no matter how young you look at the age of 50, all that can quickly change if you’re not especially careful. One of the risks that you have to watch out for is the risk of tooth loss. After 50, bone deterioration can accelerate and this affects the stability of your teeth. It’s not only the bone to which teeth are anchored that morphs structurally; gums are also known to recede as people get older, especially if they’ve already lost a few teeth and didn’t have restorative work done. Smaller gums or the disappearance of ridges can make teeth less stable or less securely positioned where they are.

The Importance of Vitamins and Supplements 

It’s important to point out as well that as people age, the body becomes less efficient in absorbing essential nutrients from food, which is why supplements are highly recommended by health professionals. With smaller amounts of nutrients being absorbed by the body, it becomes highly susceptible to the attack of germs and other harmful elements. Oral health can suffer and tooth loss is a big possibility.

Due to the physical changes that cannot be prevented from occurring after you hit 50, it’s imperative to turn to your dentist to see what can be done to prevent Edentulism, or complete loss of both upper and lower teeth. Your dentist can present a number of solutions which can range from a change in diet, to a customized oral hygiene system, to special dental treatments such as dental implants.

The Benefits of Dental Implants 

Dental implants are particularly helpful in diminishing the risk of complete teeth loss because the bone of the jaw can only be stimulated by tooth or by an implant. If you have already lost a few teeth but you had restoration work done through dental implants, dentists say that you can preserve the size and shape of the bone. With a better-preserved jawbone, additional tooth loss can be prevented.

Another advantage of dental implants is that they function like real teeth. According to scientific studies, natural or normal chewing forces that are transmitted from the teeth to the bone of the jaw preserve the bone and keep it strong. Therefore, compared to dentures, which are the more commonly preferred option of older people in restoring lost teeth, dental implants are obviously more beneficial and the smart alternative.

Needless to say, the risk of tooth loss after 50 is high and when you lose teeth, you also lose bone and ridge. But with timely and appropriate dental treatment, all of that can be prevented. Contact your local dentists in Burtonsville today. 

What Causes Throbbing Tooth Pain? | Nicholas Dental Care

Throbbing Tooth PainCauses of Throbbing Tooth Pain

Throbbing tooth pain is a sign that the affected tooth is inflamed and that there is excess blood flow. There are several factors that can cause this type of toothache.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of this type of toothache. Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth, is destroyed by cavities.

If you leave your tooth cavities unchecked, you may experience pain and sensitivity on the affected tooth. And as the cavity grows, it can cause nerve damage which makes chewing, biting, or drinking hot or cold drinks painful, and even cause swelling in the face and gums.

Tooth fracture

When a tooth breaks or cracks as a result of an accident or trauma, it can leave you in pain if you do not seek immediate dental attention. Your dentist will recommend a few treatment options, depending on the severity of your tooth fracture.

Abscessed tooth

An infection of the tooth’s root or between a tooth and the gum can result in an abscessed tooth. Abscessed teeth can result in severe tooth decay, gingivitis or broken teeth. Apart from the throbbing pain, an abscessed tooth can also lead to symptoms like fever, teeth sensitivity, swelling and/or redness of the gums, swelling of the jaws and bad breath.

Gum infection

Throbbing tooth pain may also come as a result of gingivitis, especially in the advanced stages. During the early stages of gingivitis, good oral hygiene can help reverse the disease. However, if the disease has progressed to an advanced stage, it is imperative to treat the infected gums first.

Damaged fillings

If the fillings on your teeth have become worn out, chipped, cracked or even lost, you may experience throbbing pain. In most cases, none of these are considered dental emergencies. However, if you fail to seek immediate help from your dentist, it is highly likely that you will experience pain.


Some people unconsciously grind or clench their teeth while exercising. Now, if you have a bite problem, clenching creates excess pressure on some of your teeth, which can lead to throbbing pain.

If you have irreversible pulpitis, you may experience throbbing pain while exercising or while changing your posture.

Sinus problems

People with sinus problems often experience throbbing pain in the upper teeth. This happens due to the proximity between the sinuses and the roots of the upper teeth. If your dentist cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the throbbing pain you are experiencing, you may want to consult a doctor.


Dental Implants – The Best Denture Alternatives

denture alternativesDental Implants – The Best Denture Alternatives

It’s not just bad oral practices that lead to loss of teeth; there’s also this condition called Edentulism, which is the complete loss of top and bottom teeth among older adults.

For younger people, their main concern when it comes to loss of teeth is how it affects their appearance. For older people, they care because loss of teeth has a direct effect on their health – indigestion is a problem when they’re just “gumming” their food instead of chewing it to pieces.


To address tooth or teeth loss, many have dentures made; this is the traditional and most familiar solution. However, dentures need to be replaced after several years of usage since they can alter the size and shape of gums and become loose. When dentures are loose, wearers naturally experience some discomfort and worry about them falling off, especially when they’re eating and speaking.


If you do not want to be bothered by the shortcomings of dentures, there are some denture alternatives that dental professionals provide. Your best option would have to be dental implants because these look, feel and function like natural teeth — and they’re permanent, too.

Dental implants really become a part of you because they are fused with the bone in your jaw. They also offer the benefit of preserving your bone volume density. According to dentists, implants are the most reliable tooth replacement system available because they’re the most durable and they provide the best value for money. It’s important to mention as well that dental implants are the most convenient since you can treat them like your natural teeth — just floss and brush them like you would your real teeth (they won’t decay like real teeth, however).

Things to Consider Before Choosing Dental Implants

There are a few issues with dental implants that you need to consider, though. Firstly, they are more expensive than dentures. Also, it’s a more complex procedure to complete — many fear the idea a lengthy dental procedure. Thirdly, not everybody is automatically eligible for denture alternatives. There are those who are required to get additional treatments first before they are deemed fit for implants. Meanwhile, people with diabetes and other health conditions may be advised against this because of the inherent risks of the condition. Also, if you don’t have enough jawbone, that’s going to be a problem, too, because your dentist won’t have anything to attach the implant to.

However, if you’re free from such concerns and you want the best teeth restoration solution, then dental implants remain your best option. If you still have questions about your options call the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care 


What Causes Loose Teeth Among Adults?

loose teethLoose Teeth Among Adults

The feeling of loose teeth among adults, especially those of really advanced age, is a common occurrence. For many, this is only felt during the early part of the day, and as the hours pass, everything feels normal again.


What causes loose teeth among adults?

Dentists say that the issue of loose teeth among adults is often due to oral trauma. This happens when teeth suffer a strong impact or other types of oral trauma. The tiny periodontal ligaments responsible for holding the teeth’s roots stretch and create space for movement. There are thousands of these ligaments holding the teeth’s roots in place, but they’re a lot like stretchy cords or springs that contract and expand — that’s why, when they stretch or expand, teeth can feel loose and shaky.


Does Loose Teeth Indicate a Serious Dental Problem?

Most of the time, the oral trauma that causes loose teeth is due to most adults’ tendency to grind their teeth as they sleep (bruxism). The grinding movement makes the ligaments holding the tooth’s roots in place stretch, which is why the feeling of a loose tooth or teeth is most common in the mornings. Bruxism is not really that big of a problem because it can be prevented effectively by using mouth guards at night.

Now, the more serious reason behind loose teeth is gum disease. Poor oral hygiene is the main culprit behind gum disease and it can lead to severe infection developing beneath the gum line, which can destroy gum tissue and damage those ligaments that hold teeth in place. When these ligaments are damaged, teeth will feel loose. But the problem doesn’t stop here; if not treated immediately, teeth may actually fall off.


Gum Disease and Loose Teeth

Gum disease is definitely much harder to address, and while it can be cured, full healing normally can take some time. Treatment involves several steps such as giving the tooth extra support; this step in the process is called splinting. Once the splint is placed, it needs to be worn for two weeks to promote the healing of the periodontal ligaments.

As for the infection, the Burtonsville dentist who will take care of it will prescribe medication and the patient will have to take antibiotics. The dentist may likewise have to fill the dental pockets with special medication to shrink the damaged ligaments back to normal size. Included in the process as well are deep cleaning sessions to make sure that bacteria in the mouth are prevented from spreading and damaging periodontal ligaments, and of course, consistent personal hygiene efforts.


Full Mouth Reconstruction Facts That You Should Know | Nicholas Dental Care

full mouth reconstructionFull Mouth Reconstruction Costs (and Other Important Facts)

Some people use the terms full mouth reconstruction and smile makeover interchangeably. However, these two are quite different from one another. The former is often deemed necessary while the latter is something that is elective. The confusion that surrounds both procedures may stem from the fact that the distinction between what is considered to be cosmetic and what is restorative has been blurred.

Who Requires a Full Mouth Restoration?

Full mouth restoration is a general term that refers to the different treatments and processes that are used to rebuild and restore the teeth of patients. These procedures are recommended for patients who have lost their teeth, succumbed to injuries, patients with bruxism, people with worn-out teeth, and those who have bite problems.

The Full Mouth Restoration Process

The process may differ from one patient to another. In order to determine which treatments will be required, the dentist should first carefully examine the patient’s mouth.

Apart from a visual inspection of the patient’s mouth, a dentist may use X-rays, photographs, teeth impressions and models. Your dentist may also enlist the aid of other dental professionals.

Your dentist will check the overall condition of your teeth as well as determine which restorative procedures may be appropriate for your unique needs. Next, he or she will check your gum health — some patients may require intensive gum health treatments before proceeding with other procedures. After that, your dentist will check your mouth joints and jaw muscles in order to ascertain whether your bite is causing your dental problems or not. Finally, your dentist will need to determine which treatments are appropriate to match the appearance of your teeth with your gums, lips and mouth.


Again, full mouth restoration from one patient to another will vary, depending on the necessary treatments. On average, the minimum cost that you can expect to pay would be between $800 and $1,500 per tooth. That amount can increase depending on your circumstances. As such, it is not surprising for some patients to pay somewhere between $30,000 and $45,000 for full mouth reconstruction.

It is also crucial to understand that full mouth restoration may take 12 or more months before being completed. Some of the procedures that you might need include teeth cleaning, crown lengthening, gum tissue contouring, temporary restorations, permanent restorations, orthodontics, implants, and bone/tissue grafting. Each of these procedures may add to the final cost for your full mouth restoration.

If you have dental insurance, some of the treatments you will need for a full mouth restoration may be covered by your Burtonsville dentist. Which ones will be covered by your insurance will depend on your dentist’s diagnosis and the treatment plan he or she has developed for you.


Root Canal Expectations | Everything You Need to Know

root canal expectationsWhat Root Canal Expectations | Everything You Need to Know About Root Canal

Without prior knowledge of the nature of root canal, most people tend to subscribe to the popular belief that this procedure is a lengthy, painful one that ought to be feared and avoided. However, by arming yourself with the correct information from qualified dental professionals, you can understand the purpose of the procedure and the steps involved — not to mention discover the benefits that root canal can provide to your overall oral health. 

Here’s a few root canal expectations:

What is it?

Inside a tooth, underneath the visible white enamel and a harder layer called the dentin, a soft tissue called the pulp can be found. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. When this pulp becomes infected or inflamed, you may be advised to undergo root canal treatment; this involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the tooth, and then filling and sealing it.

What are the signs/causes that will let your dentist know you need root canal?

Root canal is typically recommended by a dentist (or a specialist who primarily performs root canal surgery, called an endodontist) when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected because of a crack in the tooth, a deep cavity, trauma, or dental treatments repeatedly performed on the tooth.

Other symptoms that could lead your dentist to prescribe root canal include lingering, spontaneous or positional tooth pain, an abscess (or referred pain due to an abscess), or the presence of a fistula on your gums.

Diagnosing whether root canal is needed or not requires careful and extensive consideration of your condition and all other possible treatments, so you need to engage in a thorough discussion with your dentist or the referred endodontist.

What are the steps of the procedure?

  1. If your dentist suspects that you require root canal, he will take or examine X-rays that can identify the location of the infected pulp. This can take place during the dental visits that come before the actual treatment.
  2. On the day of the treatment, the dentist will administer a local anesthesia to the affected tooth.
  3. Your dentist may place a rubber dam (a sheet of latex) over your mouth to isolate and protect the affected tooth from contamination.
  4. An opening is then made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.
  5. The dentist uses special files to remove the infected pulp and to clean out the canal. The canals will then be shaped as needed for the filling material. Afterwards, dentists use irrigation to remove debris and further clean out the canals.
  6. Next, the canals are filled with a permanent material, typically something called the gutta-percha, to prevent the canals from becoming contaminated or infected once again.
  7. A temporary filling material is now placed on top of the gutta-percha; this is meant to keep the opening sealed until the tooth receives a permanent filling or crown (also called a cap, which looks like a natural tooth) on top of the original tooth. Sometimes dentists place a post next to the gutta-percha in the root, for more support.
  8. Finally, the crown is cemented into place.

How long does the procedure take/how many visits will be required?

Root canal treatments can last for several hours so most patients are advised to bring a book or music player to help pass the time. The entire treatment can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on your specific dental condition and circumstances.

Some dentists will consider completing the treatment in one visit for the patient’s convenience, while others prefer to wait for the tooth to dry and empty out, and then disinfect it a second time, before filling it.

Is it painful?

You can expect some pain or soreness which typically peaks 17 to 24 hours after the procedure. You can take pain medication prescribed by the dentist or sleep with your head elevated for the first one or two nights to alleviate pain. In some cases, there may be no pain at all.

How should you take care of your teeth after root canal?

Practice good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing normally. Don’t bite or chew on the treated tooth until it has been restored with a crown, to prevent fracture.

What are the benefits of getting root canal?

After undergoing root canal, your tooth will appear natural, you can perform efficient chewing, and you can experience the normal biting force and sensations as you did before the treatment. Likewise, getting the treatment helps protect your other teeth from excess strain or wear.

If you have more questions about root canal expectations, call the dental professionals at Nicholas Dental Care. The knowledgeable dentists will help ease any anxiety you may have about an upcoming procedure.