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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.


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!