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 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.

Causes

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!

Are Old Silver Fillings Safe?

There’s no controversy that has plagued the dental world more than the issue about the safety of dental amalgam. When studies from long ago established a relationship between thyroid problems, neurological disorders, respiratory diseases, and mercury in amalgam, people just went on panic mode. Since silver fillings were popular for preventing the spread of cavities due to their impressive durability, many grew greatly concerned that the restorative dentistry procedure they had was “killing” them.

Do people really need to be worried?

After all, fillings are so small.  “Are old silver fillings safe or are they making patients highly prone to everything from neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, to mental disorders?”

Here are the facts that everybody concerned about this issue should understand:

 

  • It’s true that amalgams are 50 percent mercury but they were always considered inert (chemically inactive) so the likelihood or mercury release was none to very minimal.
  • When it comes to mercury leaking from amalgams and producing a toxic effect on the body, different variables come into play (like the age of the fillings, one’s diet, the tendency to grind teeth, and number of fillings one has). It’s never just a matter of “having” silver fillings.
  • More studies are being carried out in order to fully establish the impact of mercury in silver fillings on people’s wellness. So far, findings have been inconclusive.
  • The current ADA and FDA position (because of all the inconclusive results) is that amalgam is a safe restorative material. Therefore, any dentist who recommends removing amalgams due to health concerns from mercury vapor is deemed unethical and could have their license revoked.
  • If you’re concerned about mercury release from your old dental fillings, a lot of dental professionals have advanced detection techniques that can measure mercury release. Hence, they can establish if your health is truly at risk.
  • The highest amount of mercury exposure from silver fillings occurs when they are placed and when they are removed from our mouths. So, if you’re worried about exposure, the smartest thing to do is to have a highly experienced dental team inspect your fillings to see if they’re still structurally intact, instead of just rushing to have them taken out.

It’s only natural to look after your health. Whether you want to have your old silver fillings removed just to be safe or not is completely up to you. Now, if you need to have some cavities filled, there are other filling options to choose from and you won’t have to worry about mercury exposure.

If you want to have your silver filling examined by a highly experienced dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, our head dentist can take care of that. Contact us today to set your appointment!

5 Health Problems Your Dentist Can Predict

You probably think your dentist focuses solely on your oral health, but whenever he inspects your mouth, he’s actually looking after your overall health. The reality is that the condition of your mouth is one of the most reliable indicators of your actual well-being.

Numerous studies have proven that many dental problems are directly linked to serious health woes. They are often manifestations of abnormalities in your system, or they serve as tell-tale signs that you are at high risk of developing serious medical problems. For example, cavities or signs of tooth decay do not only indicate poor oral hygiene practice; they also indicate your unhealthy consumption of sugary or starchy foods that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, yellowish, brittle teeth can indicate malnutrition (common among people who are always dieting) and being prone to kidney disease.

When you have a dental appointment, a good dentist doesn’t just see the condition of your mouth. Listed below are the five health problems your dentist can predict just from your check-up.

Cardiovascular disease

Whenever your dentist spots new cavities on your teeth, he knows right away that you’ve been eating too many snacks with trans fatty acids. Through trans fatty acids do not really cause cavities, they are, however, always present with ingredients such as fermentable carbs that do lead to cavities. High amounts of trans fatty acids and fermentable carbs are known to lead to heart disease.

Diabetes

Cavities are also indicators of unhealthy eating habits that cause diabetes to flare up. Frequent consumption of sugary drinks and foods tends to create calcular deposits that can lead to tooth decay, and at the same time, raise blood glucose, which is dangerous for people who are genetically prone to developing diabetes.

Cancer

Your dentist knows if you’re a smoker or drinker – the color of your teeth and gums are dead giveaways, along with other factors. If you have these unhealthy habits, your dentist can actually tell how seriously they’ve affected your health and how susceptible you are to developing cancer by the condition of your mouth.

Obesity

The dental situation that indicates susceptibility to heart disease and diabetes applies to obesity as well.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies have already established the link between dementia problems such as Alzheimer’s and loss of teeth. Dentists these days don’t rule out the possibility of people with periodontal disease developing Alzheimer’s.

If you want a dentist who will not only look after your oral health but your overall well-being as well, our dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, is the man for the job. Contact us today and set up your first appointment!

One Burtonsville Dentist Rounds Up Medications That Cause Dry Mouth

Medications That Cause Dry MouthMedications That Cause Dry Mouth

Having dry mouth means bacteria and other harmful elements proliferate quickly in your mouth, making you prone to halitosis and tooth decay. People with dry mouth are strongly advised to consume lots of water, not only to restore the proper pH level in the mouth, but also to eliminate bacteria.

There are many reasons why you can get dry mouth, says a Burtonsville dentist. First one, of course, is not drinking enough water. If you don’t drink as much water as your body needs, your mouth naturally will feel parched. Another is if you have the tendency to breathe more through your mouth instead of your nose, or you snore when you sleep – not only will you get dry mouth, but you’ll get dry throat as well. And the last is when you’re sick and you take different kinds of medication.

Some medications are often associated with dry mouth. Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a trusted dentist in Maryland, lists a few medications that cause dry mouth.

Antihistamines

During allergy season (spring usually), antihistamines are the solution that many turn to, to relieve their itching and difficulty breathing. Sad to say, many of the over-the-counter allergy meds can dry up the mouth.

Decongestants

The meds you take when you have a cold and you can’t breathe properly can create a dry mouth, which is why doctors advise patients to use a humidifier and drink more water in order to flush away bacteria and also neutralize the effects of decongestants.

Antidepressants

These tend to make you sleepy and they have stronger ingredients that subdue the chemical imbalance of the body when one’s depressed. They also tend to create deep sleep, which may be accompanied with heavy snoring. Many of these antidepressants cause dry mouth as well.

Muscle relaxants

These are commonly prescribed for injured people and those suffering from neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barre, MS, and other kinds of ascending paralysis.

Diabetes drugs

A lot of diabetics actually already have dry mouth, but certain diabetes drugs further worsen the condition.

Pain relievers

Mefenamic acid, for one, lists dry mouth as one of its side effects; ditto with paracetamol and acetaminophen.

These are some of the most common meds that can cause dry mouth. If you need to take any of these, be sure to drink lots of water and perhaps chew gum to stimulate the production of more saliva.

If you need your dry mouth treated by a trusted Burtonsville dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas is ready to help you. Our staff will easily set you up for an appointment. Contact us today!

TMJ Pain Treatment Options

TMJ Pain Treatment OptionsTMJ Pain Treatment Options

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, refers to the joint located in front of the ears on both sides of the head. These joints and the surrounding ligaments and muscles connect the mandible, or lower jawbone, to the temporal bone of the skull. There are discs located between each joint that cushion the bones of the joints to enable smooth, painless movement. The TMJs are responsible for jaw movements that facilitate eating, speaking, and producing facial expressions.

TMJ Dysfunction – What Is It?

There will be instances when a person’s TMJs will become disconnected or improperly seated. When this happens, the nearby muscles work overtime to hold the jaw in proper position. Unfortunately, these muscles eventually become fatigued and swollen and put stress on local nerves. This condition is known as TMJ dysfunction or disorder (TMJD or TMD).

According to a trusted Laurel MD dentist, TMJ disorder causes intense pain and discomfort of various parts of the body, including the jaw, mouth, face, ears, neck, shoulders, and back. Some patients even experience tingling toes and fingers. Other symptoms of this disorder include toothaches, sinus problems, headaches and migraines, pain when chewing or yawning or when opening or closing the jaw, facial tension, clicking, and locked jaw.

TMJ disorder can be caused by one or more factors. The most common causes are:

  • Trauma to the jaw joint
  • Ear infections
  • Improper placement or adjustment of dental fillings
  • Grinding and/or clenching of the teeth
  • Bad occlusion
  • Osteo or rheumatoid arthritis and other types of autoimmune disorders

TMJ Pain Treatment Options

Dentists and other health practitioners offer various types of TMJ pain treatment.

Certain medications are needed to supplement nonsurgical treatments. These medicines can help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorder. Pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants can help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders.

Recommended non-surgical, drug-free, and alternative therapies for TMJD include:

The use of oral splints or mouth guards or occlusal appliances

Many patients suffering from jaw pain can benefit from wearing a soft or firm device inserted over their teeth.

Physical therapy

Your dentist or healthcare provider will use ultrasound, moist heat and ice to provide pain relief. You will also have to do exercises to stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles.

Acupuncture

An acupuncture specialist will treat the chronic pain by inserting hair-thin needles in your jaw and other areas on your body.

Relaxation techniques

Practicing the right breathing techniques can help you relax tense muscles which, in turn, can reduce pain.

If these methods won’t provide pain relief, you will be recommended to undergo surgery or other medical procedures. These include arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure which involves the medical practitioner inserting small needles into the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts. Other options that may also be recommended are TMJ arthroscopy, modified condylotomy, and    open-joint surgery.

To find out which TMJ pain treatment options are best for you, make sure you have a thorough discussion with your Burtonsville dentist. Don’t suffer with pain from TMJ, contact Nicholas Dental Care today and allow them to help you get rid of your dental pain.

 

 

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. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

Apart from the possibly awkward social scenarios, bad breath is sometimes indicative of a larger dental or health problem. Quite simply, if you or someone you love has chronic bad breath, you cannot just ignore the problem.

Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is often detected when two people come in close contact with one another. Kissing, close talking or in extreme cases, simply talking to someone at a normal distance can raise the red flags for Halitosis.

But what causes bad breath?

According to Burtonsville, MD dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, there are several possible causes of halitosis. Listed here are the most common culprits for this embarrassing problem.

Some types of food

The remnants of your last meal can trigger bacterial growth which in turn can lead to bad odor in your mouth. However, there are some types of foods that are specifically notorious for causing bad breath. These include some types of spices, garlic, and onions. As you digest these and as these travel through your body, they can affect the scent of your breath.

Consumption of tobacco products

Cigarettes and other tobacco products create a distinct, often bad smelling scent in the mouth. But apart from this, tobacco products can increase your risk for dental problems, including oral cancer.

Poor oral hygiene

If you do not practice good oral hygiene, the food particles left in your mouth will serve as the food of the bacteria found in your mouth. And as these bacteria breakdown and consume these food particles, these produce byproducts that can lead to stinky breath.

But apart from bad breath, failure to properly and regularly clean your teeth can contribute to poor oral health.

Dry mouth

Your saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing food particles. Now, if you have dry mouth due to inadequate saliva production, the remnants of the foods you ate will linger in your mouth and can cause bad breath. Dryness of the mouth is sometimes caused by some types of medications. Dr. Ben Kacos, a Dentist in Shreveport, LA warns patients to be aware of the mouth and body connection, which leads to our last item. 

Medical conditions

Medical conditions related to the respiratory system, especially those that affect the lungs, sinuses and throat, may cause bad breath. Other conditions like diabetes, kidney and liver diseases can also lead to the bad odor in the mouth.

Fortunately, you (and the people who come into close contact with you) do not have to be a hapless victim of bad breath. One of the most important things that you can do to keep bad breath at bay is to clean your teeth, gums and tongue properly to eliminate food particles.

Your local dentist may also recommend products which you can use to prevent bad breath. If you are planning on using over-the-counter mouthwashes, be aware that most of these simply mask bad odor and do not treat the root cause of the problem.

Finally, make sure that you visit your dentist regularly in order to prevent dental problems from worsening. In cases wherein the underlying cause of the problem is medical in nature, you may have to consult a physician.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth WhiteningIs Teeth Whitening Safe?

Is teeth whitening safe? Whether you are planning to use an over-the-counter product or considering an in-office treatment administered by your local dentist, it is crucial to learn about the safety of teeth whitening treatments.

It is also a good idea to gather a fair amount of knowledge on what causes dental stains over time and how different whitening products work.

Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel gives your smile the white color you are familiar with. As you grow older, the enamel wears away and reveals the darker tissue of your teeth.

But apart from this, your teeth can become stained due to a variety of reasons. These include the use of tobacco products or consumption of dark liquids like soda and coffee. Other reasons you may see tooth stains can stem from tooth trauma, some types of medications, and bruxism or teeth grinding.

Whitening Options 

There are different teeth whitening options you can choose from. Professional in-office teeth whitening treatment, professionally supplied whitening kits, on-the-go whitening and over-the-counter treatments. The method of these treatments can be further classified into two types. The first type of product works by bleaching which removes both deep and surface stains. The other type of treatment, known as non-bleaching, uses chemical action to eliminate surface stains.

Now on to the initial question: Is teeth whitening safe?

A decade of research indicates that teeth whitening is safe. Many of the products available to the general public as well as the treatments administered by dental professionals have been deemed safe and have undergone rigorous trial and testing.

However, it is crucial to choose products that have been clinically proven and it is essential to first consult your local dentist and follow the instructions closely.

Teeth Whitening Sensitivity 

A few years ago, many patients reported increased sensitivity following an in-office treatment. This can be attributed to higher bleach concentrations. Today, the products used for this treatment have a lower amount of bleach concentration. Sensitivity may still occur but often lasts only up to 48 hours.

Overall, almost anyone can have his or her teeth whitened. However, there are some people who may be discouraged from undergoing teeth whitening. These include pregnant and breastfeeding women, and patients with dental issues like gum disease, sensitive teeth, cavities, tooth-colored crowns and dental works which can’t be bleached.
Additionally, before undergoing a treatment or using a product, it is crucial that you first consult your dentist. Your Burtonsville dentist is the best person to recommend which treatment or product best suits the condition of your teeth.