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What To Do If You Have A Cracked Tooth

Cracked ToothWhat To Do If You Have A Cracked Tooth

Bad dental habits, such as chewing on ice and using the teeth as tools, can result in cracked teeth. The crack can cause great discomfort, especially when there’s a damaged nerve or blood vessel. Cracked teeth become quite sensitive to changes in temperature and they can hurt a lot as well.

Is a Cracked Tooth an Emergency?

If your tooth is always hurting or if it has broken due to a crack, the best thing to do is to head straight to the dentist’s office to have it treated. However, an appointment with the dentist is not always easy to make, so you need to carry out first aid prior to your visit to the clinic. A Laurel, MD dentist recommends the following:

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
  • If there’s any bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply it the bleeding area for 10 minutes. Make sure you put pressure on the gauze to stop the bleeding. If this doesn’t work, replace the gauze with a tea bag.
  • Use a cold compress on your broken tooth to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if the compress doesn’t diminish the pain.
  • If you can’t go to the dentist anytime soon, it will help to apply temporary dental cement to cover the part of the tooth that’s been chipped off. Dental cement can be purchased from a drugstore and it comes with instructions on how to prepare and use it.

When you do finally meet with the dentist, the following treatments may be used for your cracked tooth:


Cracks on teeth get treated like cavities in order to prevent further damage.

Root canal

This may be necessary if the pulp (meaning the nerve and other tissue) is damaged. The root canal procedure will get rid of the pulp to prevent infection and pain. A root canal is also a must if the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts.


Like a filling, a crown will prevent the crack from getting worse. A crown is applied to teeth that have split into two or have broken deep enough to expose the nerve.


A simple polish is all a dentist normally does if the crack is just on the surface of the tooth, or the enamel. Polishing will get rid of unevenness on the tooth’s surface.


Extraction is for broken or split teeth with roots that can no longer be saved.

A cracked tooth requires the immediate attention of a dental professional so don’t delay in setting up an appointment for treatment with your local Laurel, MD dentist


How Cosmetic Gum Surgery Can Upgrade Your Smile

Gum SurgeryHow Cosmetic Gum Surgery Can Upgrade Your Smile

When it comes to oral health, the teeth receive an inordinate amount of attention. It’s very possible because the teeth are highly visible.

However, your gums deserve as much attention as your teeth. Imagine your teeth as the lead players in a movie, while the gums are the supporting cast. That movie would be dull and boring if all the scenes were focused on the stars.

Like the teeth, your gums can succumb to a host of problems which, when left unchecked, can undermine the overall quality of your smile, no matter how good your teeth look.

From an aesthetic point of view, there are two main problems that drive patients to undergo cosmetic gum surgery: the gums are either too small or too big in relation to the size of your teeth. This can result in either a gummy smile or teeth that look awkwardly long.

Here’s how a Laurel, MD dentist can help you solve your gum woes through surgery.

Cosmetic Gum Problems

What is deemed to be a normal smile is subjective. However, beautiful smiles share a few qualities. These include a rounded gum arch, a balance between the length and width of the teeth, and roughly 100mm of visible tooth crown. Gum recession can drastically alter these qualities by making the teeth look out of proportion.

Gum recession is typically caused by gum disease, which is in turn caused by bacterial plaque. This is why it is essential to practice good oral hygiene. When a person suffers from gum disease, his gums can become inflamed and the affected tissues can become damaged.

Another cause of gum recession is brushing too often or too hard. Here, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Apart from affecting the overall look of your smile, gum recession can also lead to other side effects. These include the exposure of the dentin and detachment of the ligaments that hold the teeth in place.

At the other end of the spectrum is the condition that is informally known as a gummy smile. Here, a patient seems to have teeth that look too short in relation to his gums. In some cases, the problem can be attributed to genes and other development factors. In other cases, the problem is caused by too little of the tooth’s crown emerging from the gums. Others have a gummy smile because their teeth have been worn down. Finally, there are people who have what is called a hyper mobile upper lip. Here, the upper lips move too far upward that an excessive amount of gum tissue is shown.

How Gum Surgery Can Help

Addressing the underlying cause of gum problems can help restore the original quality of your smile and facilitate the growth of tissue. However, when your gums have been extensively damaged, you might want to consider undergoing cosmetic surgery for your gums.

One type of procedure your dentist may recommend is gingival or gum tissue grafting which facilitates faster gum tissue regeneration. In this procedure, live tissue is taken either from you or from another source. This tissue is then placed on the affected area in your mouth.
Crown lengthening, on the other hand, is a procedure wherein the excess tissue and underlying bone structure are reshaped in order to make the tooth’s crown more visible. 

If you would like to speak with someone about cosmetic dentistry, contact your Laurel, MD dentist at Nicholas Dental Care today!

When Dental Implants are Right for Tooth Replacement

Tooth ReplacementDentists Recommends Dental Implants for Tooth Replacement

Advances in dental technology have allowed dentists to save teeth that would have been otherwise extracted by practitioners a few years or decades ago.

But despite these advances, there are situations wherein teeth cannot be saved despite the best efforts of a dentist. For tooth replacement, a Laurel, MD dentist has a few recommendations, including bridges, dentures and dental implants.

Why Dental Implants?

Why should you consider getting dental implants for your missing teeth? Dental implants offer a few advantages that other tooth replacement options simply cannot offer. For one, dental implants are a long-term solution that provides good return on investment. Apart from looking natural, implants feel natural. The reason behind that is the implant becomes a part of your mouth. This is achieved by using implants fabricated from titanium which has the ability to integrate with the bone tissue in your mouth.

Compared to other tooth replacement options, dental implants have one of the highest success rates. If the procedure is done correctly and the implant fuses with the bone properly, it can last for a lifetime.

Special Attention and Care?

On top of that, implants do not require special attention and care. You can clean your implants the way you do your natural teeth. However, if you are suffering from bruxism, you may need to invest in a night guard to protect your implants from damage.

How Do Implants Work?

In order to better answer that question, it is a good idea to have an overview of the tooth’s anatomy. A tooth is comprised of two main parts: the crown, which is visible, and the root, which is encapsulated by bone. An implant mimics or replaces the root while an implant crown replaces the crown of a natural tooth.

Before the actual procedure begins, your dentist will need to numb the area to be worked on by applying local anesthesia. Afterwards, the implant site will be prepared prior to the placement of the dental implant. You will then be given time to recover from this initial procedure. This period can last between two to four months. After this period, it is expected that the implant has fused with the bone. Only after that can the implant crown be attached to the dental implant.

What does a Dental Implant Procedure Require?

Some procedures require the insertion of the implant into the bone, which is then covered using gum tissue. The implant is then allowed to integrate with the bone. After a short period, the implant will be uncovered to make way for the attachment of the abutment to the implant. After another period of recovery, the crown is then attached to the abutment.

Are dental implants the right choice for you? In order to arrive at the right answer, you will need to consult your dentist and undergo a thorough exam. Specifically, your dentist needs to know that your jaw bone has sufficient density and volume to support the implant. If you do not have sufficient bone volume and density, you may need to undergo a bone regeneration procedure before proceeding with implants.

If you would like more information about dental implants, contact your local Laurel, MD dentist at Nicholas Dental Care today!

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Bad Dental Habits

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Having great, healthy teeth is all about observing the right dental habits. Brushing your teeth after meals, flossing, following a smart diet, and paying regular visits to the dentist are all good dental habits that preserve oral health. However, you can easily sabotage the positive results of these habits if you have a few bad dental habits.

So which bad dental habits are the worst? A Laurel, MD dentist has rounded them up below:

Brushing Vigorously

You probably think that brushing really hard is effective in getting rid of food debris stuck between teeth and on teeth, it is — but not really more than brushing gently and properly. The problem with brushing too hard is it scratches teeth’s enamel, which can lead to cavities. Also, it can irritate gums and even cause bleeding. Instead of brushing vigorously to clean your teeth, the Laurel, MD dentist recommends using massage strokes because they’re not just effective in ridding teeth of food debris and bacteria; they’re also so much better for the teeth and gums.

Eating Ice Cubes

If you like to eat ice cubes because you’re anemic or you’re fighting morning sickness, you’re doing a lot of harm to your teeth. The extreme cold is already bad for the teeth, and if you combine that with the hardness of ice, you place your teeth at high risk of breaking or chipping. Instead of chewing ice cubes, drink slushy beverages instead.

Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding is often done when a person is stressed or agitated. If you have the tendency to clench and grind your teeth, you’re wearing down your teeth and they may become prone to chipping and cracking.

Frequent Snacking

Munching on sugary foods constantly puts you at a much higher risk for cavities. Tooth decay isn’t the only issue you’ll deal with if you frequently snack; bad breath is likely to be a problem as well. Instead of junk food or candy, opt for a sugarless chewing gum; not only will it aid oral health, but it may also help you manage your weight.

Nail Biting

This can wear teeth down and hurt your jaw. You can manage this nervous habit by applying nail polish and keeping your hands busy.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

It doesn’t matter how strong your teeth are; you should not be using them to pop off bottle caps or to tear packages open. This habit can damage your teeth, and hurt other parts of your mouth and your jaw.

One of the best dental care habits is regular dental visits to your Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Call the friendly professionals today to schedule your routine checkup.


4 Dental Emergencies and Their Solutions

Dental EmergencySolutions for Different Types of Dental Emergencies

During the unfortunate time of dental emergencies, prompt and correct action can make all the difference. Knowing the proper way to deal with these incidences can spell the difference between saving and losing a tooth. At Nicholas Dental Care we offer an in-depth look at the top 4 dental emergencies we see in our Burtonsville dental office. 

Many people avoid going to the dentist all together. In a true dental emergency you will know right away you need treatment from a qualified dentist. We do see dental emergency cases where patients have let tooth pain go too long and they just can’t take it anymore. Bt today we want to talk about more serious dental emergencies. Below are four of the most common issues we see due to dental trauma. 

Knocked out tooth

Ouch! If the tooth that has been knocked out and it is a permanent tooth, you have to keep that tooth and gums moist. Try replacing the tooth back into its socket. However, you have to be careful to avoid touching the tooth’s root. 

If that is not possible, you can either place the tooth inside your cheek or put it in a small container that has been filled with milk. Whatever method you choose, you need to go to an emergency dentist ASAP. This is crucial to saving the tooth.

But what if your child knocked out one of his baby teeth? In this situation, you will still need to keep the tooth moist. In most situations, the most ideal fix is to put the tooth in a small container filled with milk. Upon arrival at the dental office, your child’s dentist will determine whether it is still possible to implant the tooth or not.

Cracked tooth

If you think that you have cracked one of your teeth, the first thing that you need to do is to clean your mouth using warm water as a rinse. If there is swelling, you can apply a cold compress on the affected area.

Biting on the tongue or lip

If you have bitten your tongue or lips, rinse your mouth with water and apply a cold compress to control the swelling. If the affected area does not stop bleeding or bleeds excessively, go to the nearest emergency room.

Broken jaw

If you think that your jaw has been broken, you need to proceed to the nearest emergency room. En route, put a cold compress on the affected side to control the swelling.

Preventing dental emergencies

Preventing dental emergencies need not be complicated or costly. In fact, there are a few simple things that you (or your child) can do now that can significantly reduce the risk of dental emergencies. These include wearing the proper gear while playing sports, avoiding chewing hard objects like ice and candies, and not using the teeth to tear or cut things.
It is also prudent to have a dental first aid kit within easy reach at your home.

Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental SealantsDo Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental Sealants are a thin resin coating typically painted on teeth that may be susceptible to cavities. This procedure is often used with children or teens but can also be useful for adults. They are designed to coat the teeth that may be more difficult to clean like molars.

Good oral hygiene practices such as brushing 30 minutes after having your meals, flossing properly, and using fluoride toothpaste, are excellent preventative care choices. However sometimes, life makes it difficult for you to stay consistent with proper daily oral care. Dental sealants can help with this problem especially in young children. Children don’t always know how to brush really well can benefit the most from dental sealants.

The real question here is not “Do dental sealants prevent cavities?”

According to a Laurel, MD dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, dental sealants were developed precisely for the purpose of preventing cavities, and they are quite effective. When dental sealants are applied by an experienced dentist, the sealant will fill in all the pits and fissures of teeth where food normally gets stuck and leaves cavity-causing bacteria. Without that contact with food or sugar, your teeth will not be at risk for cavities.

How Long do Sealants Last?

Dental sealants last about six years, so your teeth are reasonably protected for that amount of time. You can request a reapplication if you’re happy that your teeth were properly preserved by the sealants. This only makes sense, because why would you compromise teeth that you properly preserved for six years? Your commitment should be to keep your teeth strong and healthy through the years, right?

And also, why wouldn’t you? It’s a pain-free process, and for the pretty affordable cost of covering a few vulnerable teeth (dental sealant per tooth costs just between $25 and $50), you can avoid costlier fillings and restorative procedures.

Now, if you’re concerned about the BPA in the plastic resin used for dental sealants, keep this in mind: It may be present, but not in an amount that is truly harmful to your health. This is usually the only thing that holds people back from getting dental sealants. The American Dental Association does not have any problem with this cavity preventative measure and nobody has been reported to have gotten seriously ill because of dental sealants, so do take these into account.

It’s completely up to you if you wish to use this method or not. One thing’s for certain about them: They truly are reliably effective in preventing cavities.To learn more, call the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!