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Causes of Bruxism in Adults

Bruxism Causes of Bruxism in Adults

A lot of adults grind their teeth when they sleep. This is an oral health issue because the damage is inflicted when a person is unaware of it. Teeth grinding results in weakened and slightly deformed teeth. Along with this, it can create soreness in the mouth and jaw which, at times, may be accompanied by mild bleeding from the gums.

Known as bruxism in the dental world, teeth grinding is clearly no laughing matter because of the damage and physical discomfort it creates. But what really are the causes of bruxism in adults? Dental and sleep experts have rounded them up below:


A person’s daily routines, lifestyle preferences and tendencies can increase sleep-related issues. The frequent use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and even sleep aids can lead to bruxism.

Psychological factors

Anxiety, stress and other mental disorders can trigger teeth grinding. In fact, a study reveals that 70% of bruxism happens because of stress or anxiety — as if it were a subconscious manifestation of being at odds with situations. Other studies also discovered that people who suffered stress due to dissatisfaction or unhappiness with their shifting work schedules were more prone to bruxism than those who were not. Likewise, the men in this study demonstrated higher levels of work-related stress, depressive symptoms and bruxism whereas none of these symptoms were significant for the women who participated in the study.

Of course, it’s important to mention that not all adults who deal with a lot of stress grind their teeth while asleep. However, for those with bruxism, stress does often play a role in the condition.

Sleep disorders

Research presents that bruxism is quite prevalent among individuals with sleep disorders such as breathing pauses and obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and parasomnias. It is said that nocturnal bruxism is the subconscious effort exerted by patients to protect their airway during sleep. Of the aforementioned sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea presents the highest risk factor because it’s lined with an arousal response.

There are a vast variety of treatments available for this condition. People with this condition can give them a try (as advised by their dentists or trusted sleep experts) in order to determine which is most effective for them. But perhaps, the easiest solution that many can try is a mouth guard; this will help make sure that even if people grind and clench their teeth, these are properly protected so they don’t wear away because these mouth guards prevent teeth-on-teeth action.

If you have additional questions for a dentist in the Burtonsville area, contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!


What Are Your Options When You Don’t Have Dental Insurance?

Dental InsuranceWhat Are Your Options When You Don’t Have Dental Insurance?

The notion that you cannot obtain dental services if you do not have dental insurance is a common misconception. This is one of the reasons why it is so common for patients to wait until they have a dental emergency before they visit a dentist. They simply assume they can’t afford regular dental care.

As a dentist in Burtonsville, MD who accepts a few insurance plans, we assure you that dental insurance is not always your only option. Here are four tips for getting affordable dental care without dental insurance:

Look for local dentists who accommodate a variety of payment methods

There are some clinics nowadays that offer patients an in-house dental plan. All you have to do is pay a monthly fee. This may even include no interest depending on the amount and payment terms. Dental plans even provide additional benefits such as free teeth cleanings and discounts on other dental services (such as X-rays). Check out local dental offices in your area; they may have attractive dental plans for you like Nicholas Dental Care offers. 

Look for e-commerce deals

Dental treatments are offered at lower prices by e-commerce sites like Groupon, so sign up for updates and keep your eyes peeled for those discounted dental treatments. These dental treatments include everything from teeth whitening to extraction, root canal, and even orthodontic braces. Just be sure to read the fine print.

Learn about free local dental clinics

These are charity events wherein dental services are provided for free similar to Dr. Nicholas’ dental mission. Typically, these are held in economically challenged locations, local colleges and dental schools. The services are not limited to students and residents; they are offered to anybody who wants to get treatment. Come early, however, because it’s always a first come, first serve arrangement.

Try a dental school

Dentistry students are always looking for people that they can treat and practice their knowledge on. You don’t have to worry about botched-up jobs because those aren’t likely to happen because licensed dentists supervise dental treatments. You can find a listing of accredited dental education programs on the website of the American Dental Association (ADA).

Even when you don’t have dental insurance, you can still get the quality dental treatment you require.  Of course, it would be better to have dental insurance, but you don’t have to compromise your oral health just because you don’t have one. If you are looking for dental services in Burtonsville, contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care. 


Does Dental Gum Disease Go Away over time?

Dental Gum DiseaseDoes Dental Gum Disease Go Away Without Seeing a Dentist?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common condition among Americans. As many as 75% have some form of it, and yet they may be unaware of this fact because gum disease is typically painless. Despite this absence of pain, gum disease can wreak serious havoc on your dental health.

What is dental gum disease?

By definition, gum disease is a type of infection that starts in the gums and then spreads underneath the gums as well as into the jaw bone that supports and surrounds the tooth.

Your teeth are connected or sealed to your teeth, and the area where the two meet is attacked daily by a mixture of bacteria and saliva called plaque. Left unchecked, the bacteria will begin destroying this seal, creating gaps or pockets where germs can proliferate. These germs then cause swelling or bleeding gums and even destroy the actual tooth root.

Dental gum disease can destroy the tissue and bone that surround your teeth, and this can cause the tooth to become painful, and it’s also common for the disease to cause bad breath and negatively affect your smile. Ultimately, allowing gum disease to spread in your mouth can cause your teeth to become loose and fall off.

Does dental gum disease go away?

If your dentist identifies gum disease as the culprit behind your poor dental health, you can be assured of an effective solution. Periodontal disease can be effectively treated and eliminated; the dentist’s aim is to rebuild the seal that connects the gums and the teeth as well as to restore and maintain a healthy mouth.

There are typically two treatment stages:

  1. The infection is cleaned out from underneath the gums. The dentist performs the following:
  • Root planing (smoothing the rough tooth root surface until it becomes glass-like)
  • Scaling (removing the tartar)
  • Curettage (removing the diseases inner lining of the pockets created by bacteria)
  1. If there are areas that failed to establish the seal between the teeth and gums, minor surgical techniques must then be applied.

It’s important to understand that while pockets remain, they will be re-infected with plaque daily, so the key task to implement is to learn how to clean them out daily through brushing, flossing and using a rubber tip. In addition, a specially trained hygienist can clean out these pockets every three months until the secondary treatment stage can be initiated.

Gum disease is a dental problem that can be eradicated, as long as you are diligent about keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy, and you have a skilled dental professional at your side.


What’s the Cost of Getting a Dental Crown?

Dental CrownWhat’s the Cost of Getting a Dental Crown?

Perhaps you are thinking of getting a dental crown or maybe your dentist has recommended this treatment for your condition. This would typically be first and foremost question on your mind: How much is the treatment going to set me back?

Price of Dental Work in Silver Spring

On average, the cost of getting a dental crown in Burtonsville is about $600 per tooth. That price can go up depending on a few factors, including the type of materials used for the crown as well as the purpose of the treatment. On top of that, you may also have to pay for other costs like lab fees, X-rays and dental exams.

Dental crowns are a versatile treatment that are used by dentists to treat a diverse number of conditions. It can be used for covering discolored or broken tooth. It is also used to anchor dental implants and protect baby teeth that have been damaged.

There are three main types of dental crowns for adults based on the materials used: porcelain, metal and porcelain fused to metal crowns. The crowns used for baby teeth are made of stainless steel and a pre-made and then resized to slip over the tooth that is being treated.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are made out of ceramic materials; because of this, they look like normal teeth and are usually used for covering or replacing the front teeth. These crowns have a tendency to break faster than metal crowns. You will need to visit your dentist at least twice for the installation of the crowns. These crowns also need to be custom-made in a dental lab. On average, these cost $1,430 per crown.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are generally used for the teeth found in the back of the mouth and are less likely to break or chip compared to porcelain crowns. But unlike porcelain crowns that have a more natural appearance, metal crowns are more noticeable. These crowns will set you back by about $1,353 per piece.

Porcelain Fused With Metal

Porcelain fused to metal crowns have a metal base which is then bonded to ceramic to create crowns. The metal base reinforces the ceramic component. However, the porcelain can still break. These crowns typically cost $1,093 per tooth.

Dental Insurance

It is possible to save a few dollars on your dental crown if you have dental insurance. If you have insurance, you will need to check your policy regarding the benefits and annual spending limits. If your child is going to get dental crowns, Medicaid can cover the expenses if there is a valid medical reason for undergoing the treatment.

If you have additional questions about dentistry in Silver Spring, contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today.

Do I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom TeethDo I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Despite being called, “wisdom teeth”, these teeth have long been the source of major tooth pain. There is a prevailing notion that these molars, located on the upper and lower jaws, should be immediately removed. The removal often happens when they are close to breaking through the skin as a preventive measure against pain and impact on your other teeth.

Leading dental health authorities today say that having your wisdom teeth removed may not be the solution in every case. That’s why many patients are now asking, “Do I really need my wisdom teeth removed?

Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth

In many instances, wisdom teeth won’t create any negative impact on your other teeth or your gums. Some wisdom teeth can grow properly without impacting your smile. If this is the case, then the removal of healthy wisdom teeth may be irrelevant. If the molar has fully erupted and has grown into a correct position, if it’s healthy and allows you to bite effectively, and if you’re able to clean its nooks and crannies, then your dentist will most likely recommend that you keep the tooth and just take care of it properly.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

On the other hand, there are also many instances where your wisdom teeth may fail to grow in properly. Wisdom teeth have a habit of growing in slanted, or sometimes completely horizontal direction facing other molars forward. When this happens, the wisdom tooth is considered impacted and may cause pain, infections or harm to surrounding teeth. When this happens wisdom teeth can put your overall dental health at risk.

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend having those teeth removed:

– Pain, swelling and/or tenderness in the area and nearby teeth and gums.

– Infections, pus and tumors arising from the deep pockets created by the incorrect molar position. These passageways are hard to clean and the perfect areas for bacteria to thrive.  

Gum diseases due to repeated infections.

– Widespread tooth decay and damage.

As you see, there is no easy answer to the question of whether a wisdom tooth should be removed. It depends on the specific condition. Growth of the molar as well as the overall state of the patient’s dental health is the deciding factor. You’ll need to schedule regular dental check-ups, with your Silver Spring dentist. Upon examination and dental X-rays your dentist can then determine the right solution for you. As always, good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent serious problems and complications that can be a result.


What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental EmergencyHow to Know If You Have A Dental Emergency?

When you (or a loved one) are involved in an accident, it is perfectly normal to feel a sense of panic. But when it comes to dental problems, not all cases can be considered an emergency situation. Today we are discussing pain in your teeth that merit the immediate attention of dental professionals.

What is considered a dental emergency?

In order to ascertain whether the problem is a dental emergency or not, there are a few questions that you can ask:

  • Is there bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in great pain?
  • Did you lose any teeth?
  • Is the problem caused by a trauma to the face or mouth?
  • Do you notice any swelling in your face or mouth?
  • Are there bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you have a dental emergency. This is when you need to seek immediate attention for the problem. Try to remember the details of your accident and injury and share these with your dentist. Also be prepared to speak to an answering service if you are calling after hours. Often times the dentist on-call will be able to call you back in a timely manner.

Dental Infections 

An abscess in the mouth or severe infections can turn into a life-threatening situation and should be brought to the attention of a qualified dentist as soon as possible. Upon reaching the dental office, your dentist will need to open and drain the affected tooth to facilitate the release of the abscess. If no dental clinic is open, you can go to the nearest hospital for emergency care.


If the pain you are experiencing is aggravated by hot food or drinks, drinking ice water can help relieve some of the pain. You can also hold some ice water in your mouth en route to the dentist.

On the other hand, if your mouth has become sensitive to cold food or water or if breathing causes pain, avoid eating cold food or drinking cold beverages. Also, try to breathe through your nose.

If you have an abscess, you will feel some pain on the affected tooth when you bite down on it. In this case, your best course of action is to go to the dentist as soon as possible.

The Importance of Routine Dental Visits 

Many dental emergencies can be easily avoided through regular visits to your dentist. If you play sports, it is advisable to invest in and wear a mouthguard. If you have the habit of chewing on hard objects like ice, try to eliminate the habit or get it under control.

Most emergencies happen when you least expect them. This is why it is necessary to make the right preparations ahead of time by putting together an emergency dental kit. A good dental emergency kit should include gauze, handkerchief, acetaminophen, and the number of your dentist. These items are typically found in your standard emergency medical kit.

Regardless it is better to be safe than sorry. Always consult with your Laurel Dentist if you think you might be experiencing a dental emergency.

Options for Adult Braces

Adult Braces4 Options for Adult Braces

There is currently a spotlight on adult braces, especially after entertainment news featured top Hollywood celebrities proudly showing off their brackets to the public.

Country music diva Faith Hill, for example, made a red carpet appearance wearing adult braces. While she had worn braces when she was younger, her teeth experienced some shifting as she got older, altering the nice appearance of her teeth. She wore braces to regain the original alignment of her teeth. Tom Cruise, one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, had no qualms flashing his smile, metal and all, at an event. Gwen Stefani also fixed her adult teeth with braces for a time due to bite issues.

If Hollywood stars are not ashamed of their metal mouth, why should anybody be?

Truly, there should not be any shame to wearing braces. Braces are not just for junior high and high school-age children. Aside from the cosmetic enhancement they can help you achieve, they can also address some serious oral health issues. Therefore, if your dentist says you need braces at 40, do not question it or feel embarrassed about it because it will certainly be for your own good.

Now, you do not necessarily have to wear traditional braces if you cannot get over how weird it would be to go “twinning” with your own teenager who is also wearing braces. There are actually four options for adult braces available and all of them are discussed below so you can determine which one will suit you best.

Traditional metal braces
Among all the options, these are the most affordable; the problem, however, is that they are the most noticeable as well. However, these are the most ideal for people who have severe bite issues and really crooked teeth since these metal braces get the straightening job done fast.

Ceramic braces
These are designed like traditional metal braces, except that the brackets are either clear or tooth-colored. They are great options for adults that really want their orthodontic treatment to be inconspicuous. Take note, however, that these are more expensive; plus, they tend to be less durable than metal braces, and they stain as well if not properly maintained.

Lingual braces (or braces behind the teeth)
With these braces, nobody will know that you’re straightening your teeth as the wires and brackets are applied behind the teeth. These do the job just fine but they are much more difficult to get used to, they are more time-consuming to maintain, and they create speech difficulty.

These are clear plastic aligners that look like mouth guards but they fit teeth perfectly that they are virtually invisible. They are removable, making them very convenient to use. Invisalign usually comes in a set of 18 to 30 customized aligners, and users have to put in a new aligner every couple of weeks to adjust teeth alignment. These are effective for the right candidates; they can even push in snaggle teeth. However, it can take longer to see improvements.

You can wear braces without feeling too self-conscious about them. If you have additional questions about braces, contact your Burtsonville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. 

Root Canal Process

Root Canal ProcessThe Root Canal Process | Steps to the Treatment

If you have a fractured tooth, or if you have tooth decay and the pulp of your tooth has become infected, your Laurel Dentist will most likely recommend a root canal procedure in order to salvage the tooth, protect it from further damage, and even restore its appearance. Here we break down the root canal process for you. 

A root canal is actually quite a simple process, and most of the time, there is minimal to no pain involved. To help you understand the root canal process further, a Laurel, MD dentist has detailed the steps to the treatment below.

  • To diminish physical discomfort, local anesthesia is administered via injection. This will numb the tooth as well as the tissue around it. If there’s pain due to an inflamed pulp, the dentist won’t commence the treatment until the pain is numbed by the anesthesia.
  • Once the area to be treated is properly numbed, a dental dam, which is a very thin sheet of rubber vinyl, will be applied to that area and the teeth around it. The tooth to be treated will poke through a hole in the covering material; this will ensure that the treatment will be carried out in a completely sterile way.
  • The dentist will then drill an access hole on the biting surface of the tooth. The hole will expose the pulp and nerves.
  • From the hole, the dentist will remove the diseased and dead pulp tissue and will proceed to clean out the root canals and pulp chamber. This seems like gnarly work, but there’s no pain to this part of the process. Once the pulp and damaged nerves are removed, that tooth will really not be able to feel pain anymore.
  • Disinfection using antiseptic and antibacterial solutions is carried out.
  • After disinfection, the canals will be shaped by a set of instruments. Shaping is necessary to ensure the proper application of fillings and sealers.
  • The dentist will clean the canals after shaping and make sure that all debris is gone before sealing.
  • Fillings (usually gutta-percha) will be applied to fill the hollowed space. The dentist will fill every crevice in the canals, compress the gutta-percha tightly, and get rid of air pockets before sealing.
  • The root canals are sealed to prevent reinfection.
  • A temporary or permanent filling will be applied to cover the access hole, and then the dental dam is removed.
  • If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to protect the filling, the dentist will place a post made of metal or plastic in one of the canals.

Root Canal Aftercare

After this root canal process, the dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection and to expedite healing. In addition to an antibiotic, dentists will also prescribe pain relievers because there may be slight soreness in the treated area afterwards. The Laurel, MD dentist says shares that at this time, you may ask about the kind of restoration that is suitable for your treated tooth.

This is the step-by-step root canal process. If you were afraid before that it would hurt, now you know that it’s a quick treatment and that there’s very minimal pain (if any at all) to it. If you would like additional information about a root canal, contact your Laurel MD dentistNicholas Dental Care.