Nicholas Dental Care Nicholas Dental Care Nicholas Dental Care

A Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Common Dental Solutions

Dental SolutionsA Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Common Dental Solutions

Proper oral hygiene, combined with regular visits to your Laurel, MD dentist, is critical for good oral health.

But no matter how good you think you are in taking care of your teeth, you might still encounter a few oral health issues. Here are a few common dental solutions for these woes.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the leading dental problems among kids and adults alike. In fact, a lot of patients visit their dentists regularly to avoid this problem. And rightfully so.

But how does tooth decay occur? Tooth decay is caused primarily by cavities which, in turn, are caused by certain types of sugars. These sugars react with the bacteria in your mouth, and this results in the formation of acids. These acids can wear away the enamel of your teeth.

Your best defense against tooth decay is stopping cavities in their tracks. That means properly brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and minimizing your consumption of sugary treats.

If you think you have succumbed to tooth decay, pay a visit to your dentist as soon as possible.

Gum disease

When people think about having good oral health, they often forget to include their gums.

As such, it is not surprising that gum disease ranks as one of the leading dental problems adults face. Quite simply, you need to pay attention to your gums, too.

Gum disease is a type of bacterial infection that is caused by plaque. It starts as gingivitis, which can be easily remedied. Left unchecked, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, which can then eventually lead to tooth loss.

In preventing gum disease, you need to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. If you notice signs like tenderness or bleeding in the gums, you need to inform your dentist.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by salivary glands that are not functioning well. Why should you worry?

Saliva helps clean your mouth. And if your mouth is constantly dry, you become more vulnerable to a host of dental health issues.

Sensitive teeth

If you feel pain or discomfort when consuming hot or cold food or beverages, you might have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a diverse array of factors or may be a sign of a larger problem like gum disease and tooth decay. This is why it is essential to mention this to your Laurel, MD dentist on your next visit.

 

5 Important Oral Cancer Facts

Oral Cancer Facts5 Important Oral Cancer Facts

Medical reports claim that approximately 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year alone. This is an alarming number, which is why dental professionals strongly recommend oral cancer screening to be done regularly for everybody — particularly those who are 30 years of age and older.

Oral Cancer Facts – Screening

Apart from oral cancer screening, dentists advise their patients to make smart lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer. Smoking is definitely a big no-no; likewise, dentists also emphasize to their patients the importance of managing stress effectively. Stress can weaken the immune system due to the toxic amounts of adrenaline and cortisol making their way to vital organs.

Heed Your Dentists’ Advice 

It’ imperative to heed dentists’ advice regarding oral cancer, a Laurel, MD dentist states, because oral cancer is now one of the most prevalent cancers there are. Provided below are oral cancer facts that will convince you to take the risk of this disease very seriously.

Reports Say….

Reports reveal that out of the projected 48,250 individuals who’ll be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, only half of this number will be alive in the next five years.

WHO Records

The WHO records over 450,000 new cases of oral cancer all over the world each year. Therefore, if you think this is something that can’t happen to you, better think again and start implementing preventive methods.

The Mortality Rate

The mortality rate for oral cancer is quite high, even higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the larynx, cancer of the testes, and thyroid cancer.

Proper Diagnoses

Oral cancer is a disease that’s actually difficult to properly diagnose in its early stages, which is why dentists insist on regular oral cancer screenings. One main obstacle to the early discovery of this cancer is the advent of the virus HPV16, which does not manifest common tell-tale signs of cancer such as visible lesions or discolorations.

Early Phase

Oral cancer is especially dangerous because in its early phase, patients really don’t feel anything unusually concerning in their mouth, adds the Laurel, MD dentist. This basically means that people who have the disease may not be able to make proactive decisions for prevention, allowing the disease to progress and become an even more serious and challenging condition to treat. Most of the time, oral cancer is only fully established when it has already spread to another location, most often the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage is more discouraging than when it is caught in a localized intra oral area. Besides the metastasis, during the later stages, the primary tumor has already had time to root deeply into local structures.

It’s very important to schedule regular dental visits with your local dentist in Laurel, MD. Call Nicholas Dental Care today to schedule your next visit.

Important Gum Care Facts

Gum CareImportant Gum Care Facts

Gum care is an essential part of good oral health. If you don’t properly take care of your gums, then you are putting yourself at risk of periodontal disease, which can cause you to lose your teeth along with the bone around them.

In addition to those, gum disease can also create worse physical discomforts and health risks; a mouth with diseased gums can actually set off influential levels of bacterial pro-inflammatory components into the blood stream. The great danger here, claims a Laurel, MD dentist, is that those can travel to vital organs and cause serious inflammation there as well. In fact, unhealthy gums have been directly linked to heart and brain diseases.

Suffice it to say, you should never neglect your gums if you want to be healthy and have a long life.

What is the best way to care for gums?

If you wish to take really good care of your gums, here are important gum care facts you should know:

Brush Your Gums 

Brushing should not be limited to the teeth. You should also brush your gums (there are actually gum brushes you can buy) after meals because bacteria and germs attach to the gums, too. And when you brush your teeth, make sure you really target the base of your teeth – that area where teeth meet the gums is prone to plaque, which can then become the breeding place for inflammation-causing bacteria.

Proper Brushing 

The up-and-down motion of tooth brushing is not good for gums because that can push food particles down onto the gums. Proper brushing, dentists say, should be done in a circular motion.

Brush Your Tongue 

Tongue and inner cheek brushing can also contribute to healthier gums.

Avoid Improper Flossing

Improper flossing can injure gums, so learn how to go about it right in order to prevent cutting your fleshy gums.

Mouthwash

Mouthwashes are also essential to gum health. They effectively get rid of food particles, bacteria and germs that brushing and flossing leave behind. It’s best to use mouthwashes formulated to prevent tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

Good Dietary Habits 

Good dietary habits contribute to healthy gums. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals (green leafy vegetables and aromatics like ginger, turmeric, and garlic) can strengthen gums and make them less prone to inflammation and gum disease.

Regular Dental Visits

Regular visits to the dentist are a complete must. Dentists can assess the true condition of gums and recommend both treatments and lifestyle changes to ensure gum health.

The key to effective gum care is consistency, so implement the best practices consistently to prevent gum disease that can compromise overall health. For more gum care tips, contact your local dentist in Burtonsville at Nicholas Dental Care. 

Holiday Dental Care Tips

Holiday Dental CareHoliday Dental Care Tips

The holidays are right around the corner. That translates to gifts, parties and get-togethers, scrumptious meals, and holiday merriment.

But all the fun and excitement of the holidays does not mean that you are immune from dental problems. Specifically, you want to avoid dental emergencies at a time when dentists are also on holiday and may not be available to respond to your needs.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to minimize, if not totally eliminate, these risks. Just follow these simple holiday dental care tips outlined by a Laurel, MD dentist.

Use the right tool for the job

The main purpose of your teeth is to break down food in aid of digestion. But apart from helping you smile, you should not use your teeth for other purposes.

Under no circumstance should you use your teeth for cracking nuts. There’s a tool for that: a nutcracker. Do not test the strength of your teeth. That’s a gamble you cannot afford to lose.

Do not use your teeth as a substitute for scissors. If you need to open something, like a bag of chips, use scissors. You may end up taking more time to open something, but it is well worth making the effort knowing that you won’t be damaging your teeth unnecessarily.

Avoid chewy treats, if possible

You do not have to be a Scrooge and totally avoid sugary treats during the holidays. But as much as possible, avoid chewy and sticky candies like taffy and caramel which can stick to the teeth even after brushing and flossing.

Remember, too much sugar can contribute to cavities and tooth decay.

If you love eating candy canes or if you have a hard time resisting eating one, lick it instead of biting on it.

Watch out for nail biting

Although the holidays are all about fun, for some people, they can cause stress and anxiety.

If your primary coping mechanism for stress and anxiety is nail biting, you have to find a better option. Otherwise, you risk damaging both your nails and your teeth.

Set aside some quiet time for yourself. Go for a walk when the weather permits. Go to your local spa.

You do not need to miss out on all the fun and excitement if you wish to take better care of your oral health during the holidays. But you do need to be more mindful of your habits and actions. Contact your local Laurel, MD dentist to schedule a dental cleaning after the holidays. 

8 Important Dental Care Tips

Dental Care Tips8 Dental Care Tips You Should Be Following

Most people think that they observe good oral hygiene practices — until a trip to the dentist reveals some dental woes. However, most people’s knowledge of proper dental care can be limited, and there are also dental care tips that they may be neglecting to do.

In addition, they usually fail to recognize the importance of making the appropriate adjustments to their oral health routine when they undergo or implement changes in their lives (due to an illness, for example).

To avoid the risks that improper dental care can create, a Laurel, MD dentist has listed eight dental care tips below that can have a huge impact on your oral health:

Load Up On Calcium 

Load up on calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, milk and soybeans. These can boost the strength of your teeth and make them less prone to breakage, which can happen during accidents.

Soak Up Some Sun 

Make sure you fully activate the calcium you consume with vitamin D. You can get that straight from the sun while exercising (during the safest hours, of course, which are from 8 to 10 in the morning), or from various supplements available in the market.

Don’t Forget The Vitamin C 

Load up on vitamin C as well. Being deficient of this essential vitamin can lead to severe dental problems such as loose teeth and bleeding gums (periodontal disease). You can easily get vitamin C supplements, but if you wish for a more natural method of loading up on this vitamin, eating green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits as part of your meals will do the trick.

Have Some Crunchy Foods 

Consuming crunchy foods such as carrots and apples will not only polish your teeth naturally, but it will also help dislodge food particles between your teeth. Eat more of them.

Avoid High Sugar Content

If you can, avoid eating candies because of their high sugar content. Sugar converts to acids that can cause bad breath and promote tooth decay. Opt for sugarless gum instead – it even won’t make you fat.

Avoid Dry Mouth 

Make sure that your mouth is always moist. Chew gum or eat foods that can stimulate the salivary glands into producing even more saliva (especially when you’re under medication, as most meds tend to cause dry mouth). Healthy amounts of saliva, paired with frequent consumption of water, can neutralize acids and bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay.

Keep Flossing

Get better at flossing because this will effectively get rid of food stuck in your teeth. At the same time, it can also help you lose weight, especially if done before bed since it can discourage night-time snacking.

Mouthwash is Important 

Mouthwashes should be included in your daily oral health routine, adds the Laurel, MD dentist. They’re not just for keeping your breath fresh; they have fluoride and other elements that can inhibit bacterial activity in your mouth.

For more dental care tips, contact your local Laurel, MD dentist at Nicholas Dental Care.

Dry Mouth | Facts, Causes & Treatment Options

Dry MouthImportant Facts About Dry Mouth

While it may seem like dry mouth is not that big of an issue, it actually is one of the common reasons for a variety of dental problems. As such, there are various products on the market specifically formulated to treat it.

But what really is the issue and why must people be concerned if they have it? Here are some important facts about dry mouth that will help explain why it requires immediate treatment:

  • Decreased saliva production allows bacteria in the mouth to proliferate so much faster. Due to this, the risk of tooth decay, fungal and viral infections can increase automatically. Saliva is over 99% water, and other components such as proteins and electrolytes provide antimicrobial properties that keep the mouth healthy.
  • About 40% of the adult population over the age of 55 suffers from dry mouth and the majority of them are women. According to a Laurel, MD dentist, women are prone to dry mouth because of frequent hormonal changes.

The following are the most common conditions that result in dry mouth:

  • Aging
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy

Serious health conditions that also result in reduced saliva production are the following:

  • Chronic Active Hepatitis
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • HIV
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome

Regularly taking medication is another common reason. Studies reveal that 64% of all episodes are associated with medication use. Currently, there are over 400 medications that are known to adversely impact saliva production.

You know you have dry mouth if you experience any or a combination of the following:

  • Altered or diminished sense of taste
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing (especially in the morning, after a long night of slumber)
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Gingivitis or bad breath
  • Inability to eat certain types of food
  • Increased need to sip or drink fluids when swallowing
  • Oral yeast infections
  • Sleep interruptions because of great thirst
  • Tooth decay

There are foods and beverages that promote this condition. Anything with caffeine or that is a natural diuretic can aggravate dry mouth.

  • Non-acidic candies and sugar-free gum are some of the easiest solutions because they can stimulate saliva production.
  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of reduced saliva production; people with dry mouth are advised to put an end to the habit as part of the treatment.

This condition is no light matter since it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Therefore, if you believe you have dry mouth, consult your Burtonsville dentist and learn what you must do in order to restore the good health of your mouth.

Extreme Tooth Sensitivity | Causes and Treatment

Extreme Tooth SensitivityReasons for Extreme Tooth Sensitivity

At certain points in your life, you are highly likely to have brought a spoonful of hot soup to your lips, or taken a bite out of an ice cream cone or sandwich, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in your tooth (or in more than one). You pause for a minute to recover from the pain and surprise, but then you simply shrug the experience off as something that always happens when you eat hot or cold foods, and continue eating.

Tooth Sensitivity Due to Temperature 

Experiencing some sensitivity to hot, cold or acidic foods is quite common, but as any reputable Laurel, MD dentist will tell you, it’s possible that you may need to be a bit more concerned about what the pain could be telling you. If you feel this pain in your teeth and you have a few other symptoms at the same time (examples are swollen gums, loose teeth or significant pain while chewing), then you may be more than just plain sensitive — you could be experiencing extreme tooth sensitivity.

To understand why you experience extreme tooth sensitivity, it helps to learn about the different parts of your tooth:

  • The crown is the part of the teeth found above the gumline. A layer of protective enamel covers the crown.
  • The root is the part of the teeth found below the gumline. It also has a protective coating like enamel, but it is called cementum.
  • Underneath both the enamel and cementum, there is a less dense coating called the dentin. The dentin becomes exposed whenever the first two layers become damaged or begins to wear away.
  • When the dentin is exposed (because of receding gums), the microscopic canals called tubules that are found in the dentin allow fluids to flow in them. These tubules are affected by heat and cold, and their reactions to temperature cause the tooth’s nerves to experience pain and sensitivity.

The Main Cause

The problem begins when the protective coatings of enamel and cementum start wearing away from the teeth. Often, this is the result of brushing the teeth too aggressively or consuming too many foods and beverages that are highly acidic. In other cases, people who overuse teeth whitening products also aggravate the loss of the protective layers.

For individuals with extreme teeth sensitivity, however, the major culprits are tooth decay, tooth fractures, or worn fillings which all cause more dentin to become exposed.

What are the Best Solutions?

The simplest and most effective way to address teeth sensitivity is to see dentist who can treat the underlying dental problem (gum disease, tooth decay or damage that requires a new crown, etc.) that is causing the exposure of the dentin. Some patients who have lost gum tissue around the roots might undergo a surgical gum graft. For more severe hypersensitivity cases, a dentist might recommend root canal to remove the nerves that are causing the pain.

Your Laurel dentist may prescribe the use of desensitizing toothpaste to help protect the tooth surface and provide pain relief.

Don’t Let Your Dental Implants Fear Hold You Back

Dental Implants FearDon’t Let Your Dental Implants Fear Hold You Back From Getting the Treatment You Deserve

Despite advances in dental technology which allow dentists to save their patients’ teeth, a sizeable number of people still lose their teeth due to a variety of reasons. These reasons include gum infections, cavities, accidents and injuries.

Fortunately, patients now have a greater number of teeth replacement options to choose from, ranging from dentures to dental implants.

Dental implants have earned a solid reputation as one of the best teeth replacement options due to the benefits they offer, including unmatched durability to a high success rate. However, due to the nature of the procedure, many people opt out of the treatment because of dental implants fear.

Dental Implants Fear

Is this fear valid? Do patients have a reason to fear getting dental implants?

Indeed, the mere idea of going under the knife is enough to scare just about anybody. However, there are a few things that might calm that fear. For one, the procedure has been around for years and plenty of dentists have mastered it to a point that it has become a routine procedure.

Dental Implant Success Rate 

Second, dental implants have a high success rate of 98 percent. The implants used for the procedure are well accepted by human tissues.

In terms of pain and discomfort, many patients who have undergone the procedure say that getting implants is similar to getting a tooth extracted.

The truth of the matter, according to a Laurel, MD dentist, is that people have more to fear from having missing teeth compared to getting dental implants. Just consider the consequences of having missing teeth and avoiding getting dental implants.

Missing Teeth 

Having missing teeth can lead to problems related to eating. Quite simply, having missing teeth might mean that you miss out on eating the foods that you love. Worse, you might also be depriving yourself of vital nutrients from food.

Lost teeth can also dampen your confidence. Filling in that gap left by your lost teeth through the use of implants can mean a world of difference to your confidence.

Your oral and overall health may also be compromised due to your tooth loss. The gap left by missing teeth can lead to the buildup of food particles along the gumline. In turn, the bacteria in your mouth can thrive on these food particles and leave you vulnerable to a host of dental problems, including gum disease and further tooth loss.

Speech Problems

Tooth loss can also lead to speech problems. A single lost tooth won’t make much of a difference in your speech. However, if you have a few missing teeth, your speech patterns may change, making it harder for you to say some words.

Finally, missing teeth can lead to the loss of bone tissue. If you fail to replace the teeth that you lost, there is a possibility that the bone tissue in your jaw will deteriorate. 

If you have more questions about dental implants, contact your Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care today.