Understanding the Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in Adults

Having healthy teeth is an important part of overall good health. A great smile does not only improve physical appearance. It also helps you speak properly and of course, help you chew your food properly. For this, toothache should not be taken for granted. Pain in a tooth is a sure sign that there’s something wrong, most especially when your gums are swelling or bleeding. Teeth problem may also come with age like the periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis or pyorrhea, causes inflammation of the gums and deterioration of the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. It is often the main cause of bad breath in adults. It is also responsible for most of the teeth lost as people age.

As a matter of fact, a research study from the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that almost 64 percent of adults 65 years and above have moderate to severe forms of periodontitis. Findings from the same study have shown that more than 47 percent of the adult population in the U.S. who are 30 years and above suffer from mild to moderate or severe periodontitis. And between men and women, periodontitis tends to be more prevalent among men.

Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes a person has such minor symptoms that he or she may not realize that periodontal disease is present. As the disease progresses, symptoms include pain, bleeding of gums, swollen gums, and a foul taste in the mouth.

The Primary Cause Of Periodontal Disease

The main culprit behind developing periodontitis is the buildup of dental plaque, which is a thin film of bacteria that sticks to the gum line of the teeth. If this plaque is not removed, it can cause the tissues and bone to break down, leading to tooth loss.

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease

As recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), periodontal disease in adults can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental care such as brushing, flossing, and dental checkups.

When visiting the dentist for regular checkups, the clinical examination must also include a periodontal assessment, particularly among middle-aged and elderly. To accurately assess the burden of periodontitis, using a full-mouth periodontal exams (FMPE), which was also cited in the CDC study, proves to gain better results.

It is also important to discuss with your dentist the risk factors that may possibly lead to periodontitis. Reputable dentists would definitely evaluate patients for oral diseases and would provide helpful solutions to prevent them or refer appropriate therapy when there is a need.

For severe cases, the disease can be treated by specialized plaque removal techniques and also by surgery on the gums and bones in the mouth.

If you are currently looking for Dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today!

What to Do If Your Gums Are Bleeding

Bleeding gums can be caused by a variety of reasons. It can be as simple as changing up your oral hygiene habits or as serious as gum disease.

Whatever the reason may be for bleeding gums, you have to take note of your problem and be extra attentive to other warning signs which may indicate a larger problem.

Here’s what to do if your gums are bleeding.

Pay extra attention to your oral hygiene

One of the leading cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque, especially along the gum line. When you fail to remove plaque, it can harden and turn into tartar which can attach to your teeth and irritate your gums. Eventually, the buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to bleeding gums and progress to gum disease.

In order to promptly remove plaque, you need to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Paying extra attention to oral hygiene can often stop bleeding of the gums.

Check your toothbrush

Some people mistakenly believe that toothbrushes with medium to hard bristles are better at cleaning the teeth. However, hard bristles can irritate the gums and cause gum bleeding.

But apart from checking your toothbrush, you may also have to evaluate the way you brush and floss your teeth. If you have been brushing and flossing your teeth vigorously, you can cause your gums to bleed.

Eat healthy

Another thing that you should check is your diet. If you have been consuming foods high in sugar and carbohydrates lately, you are leaving yourself more vulnerable to dental problems. The reason behind this is that sugar found in these foods help create the right environment for the bacteria which cause plaque.

Consider changing up your diet and minimizing or totally eliminating foods loaded with sugars and carbohydrates. If it is not possible to eliminate these from your diet, eat these foods sparingly and make sure that you brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Talk to your doctor about your medication

Some medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) can increase your risk for gum bleeding.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can thin the blood and can cause gum bleeding. On the other hand, if you suspect that the medicine prescribed by your doctor is the main culprit, schedule a visit. He may either change the dosage or prescribe a different medicine.

Visit a professional

If none of these actions improved your condition, you will need to see a dentist.

Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums and determine if the underlying cause is a serious condition like gum disease.

Treatment for gum disease can be as simple as deep cleaning or as complex as gum surgery. Either way, visiting your dentist as soon as you can will help prevent your bleeding gums from progressing into something worse.

What Does Gum Bleeding Around One Tooth Mean?

Bleeding gums are one of the most common conditions that affect people. But what if the bleeding is confined to just one tooth? What does gum bleeding around one tooth mean?

If the bleeding or swelling is confined around one tooth, there are a few reasons behind that. The most common causes of this dental problem are improper brushing and/or flossing, gum disease, and an abscessed tooth.

Improper brushing and flossing

Simply brushing and flossing your teeth won’t be enough. You also need to do these vital tasks regularly and properly.

If the bleeding is confined around one tooth, it is possible that you have not been brushing or flossing in the correct manner. This will lead to your teeth and gums not being cleaned the way they should be and food debris being left on your teeth.

In turn, this can cause both decay and inflammation in the areas that have not been properly cleaned. Gum disease can also become a problem as a result of this.

Check your gums. If these are swollen or red, if there is pus coming out from the affected tooth, if your gums bleed after brushing, or if you have been experiencing bad breath and taste lately, you will need to visit your dentist.

Gum disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of bleeding and swollen gums. In fact, according to some studies, about half of the adult American population 30 years old and above are affected by gum disease in varying degrees.

One of the initial signs of gum disease is the swelling and reddening of the gums. If you notice these symptoms, you have to consult your dentist to prevent your conditioning from worsening.

Abscessed tooth

Another leading cause of swelling and bleeding around one tooth is an abscessed tooth.

An abscessed tooth is an indication of an infection of a tooth. This often occurs when a cavity is left untreated and the bacteria that caused the decay spread in the different parts of the tooth and infect it.

Apart from redness and swelling of the gums, other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swelling of the jaw, tenderness or soreness on the affected tooth, throbbing pain, fever, and a salty taste in the mouth.

In order to treat an abscessed tooth, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to contain the infection. Your dentist may also recommend a root canal treatment or tooth extraction, depending on the severity of the condition.

Preventing bleeding and swollen gums

The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be over stressed. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and properly can help prevent a diverse array of teeth and gum problems.

It is also of utmost importance that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning and to identify and treat potential problems before these worsen.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today.

Daily Oral Care: A Toothbrush Buying Guide

With all kinds of toothbrushes available in the market today, most people either just get the first one they could find or something from a familiar brand. While choosing one should not take too much of your time, it’s also important to scrutinize the features and design of the toothbrush before making a purchase.

As important as choosing the right toothbrush is, knowing how to use it properly is just as important. No matter how great your brush is, you are still going to have dental problems if you do not know the right brushing techniques that will allow you to clean your teeth well. Having a good toothbrush and using it properly will keep your teeth relatively safe from cavities.

Follow our toothbrush buying guide the next time you buy a toothbrush for yourself or family:

1. Yes, size matters.

The bigger the head of the toothbrush, the more difficult it is to maneuver inside the mouth, plus you will not be able to clean areas that are hard to reach like the molars. It is recommended that you buy a toothbrush with a head that is half an inch wide and one inch tall. Also, go with a brush with a handle that you are comfortable holding.

2. Go for the right type of bristles.

We all brush our teeth differently. For instance, some people may need more careful brushing due to teeth or gum sensitivities. Generally, it is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush because you can actually do some damage to your gums and root surface over time especially if you brush too hard. Also, brushes with round tips are the best ones.

3. The choice between manual or electric toothbrush depends on personal preference.

The truth is, it all boils down to what you are comfortable with and the money you are willing to spend on a toothbrush. If you are comfortable with having a toothbrush that vibrates in your mouth, then you should go for it. There was a study that was conducted if there was any significant difference between a manual and electric toothbrush. The results were almost the same save for an electric toothbrush called the rotation oscillation. It has been found that this type of electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual toothbrush.

4. Look for industry approval.

When it comes to safety, you should always look for the seal that indicates it has been tested and approved by authority dental associations.

If you are in Maryland and have dental concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at Nicholas Dental Care. Call us today and set an appointment.

 

Quick Tips on How to Diagnose a Toothache

It is important to know how to diagnose a toothache in order to avoid it or treat it.

Maintaining the good health of your teeth is not the easiest task in the world. It may seem simple, but there are various dental care tasks that must be done every day to keep your teeth protected and pearly-white.

However, some people are not aware of proper dental hygiene habits; some do not even realize their significance, thus failing to prevent toothaches and other dental disorders. Here are some signs to look out for.

Determine if your teeth are sensitive to cold or hot food

First, identify whether the pain is intermittent or not. If the pain comes and goes, it does not really indicate a major problem as it is a normal reaction to hot or cold foods or beverages. Extreme temperatures affect the nerves that go under the teeth, allowing you to feel a bit of a sting when biting into or chewing food or drinking beverages that are too cold or hot.

If you have recently gone to the dentist to have dental reconstruction done, on the other hand, there is a very good chance that you might have loose porcelain veneers or fillings in between your teeth.

Conduct x-ray and percussion tests

Visiting your dentist is one of the quickest and most accurate ways to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your toothache. When dentists check your teeth, they will be inspecting your mouth for abscesses, cavities, and other hidden oral problems. Dentists typically take x-rays of their patient’s teeth to detect fractures as well. Cracks on the teeth usually cause extreme pain because they let bacteria and other foreign organisms into the sensitive part of the teeth.

The percussion testing, on the other hand, involves lightly tapping the surface of your teeth. This allows dentists to know which teeth are fragile and which teeth have hollow insides. Thus, extra care is applied to those that require more care.

Chronic pain in the head, neck, and ears

More often than not, teeth with damaged pulp affect not just the teeth themselves but everything that surrounds the infected area as well. Damaged, inflamed, or irritated pulp can affect the gums, bones, and tissue that surround them. The condition often reaches even other parts of the body, such as the head, neck, and ears. Usually, this kind of toothache is caused by a dental abscess, but there are also cases wherein other dental problems are involved.

The dental procedures mentioned above may prove to be very delicate, which is why it is highly advisable to consult professionals such as the Nicholas Dental Care team. To know more about the services we offer, contact us today.

CAN GUM DISEASE GO AWAY?

You’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis

The main question on your mind is this: “Can gum disease go away?”

When gingivitis is diagnosed and treated early on, and if the patient closely follows a dentist’s instructions, it can still be reversed. However, when gum disease is left unchecked, it can worsen and progress into periodontal disease.

Usually, gum disease does not require professional intervention. Instead, a patient is asked to practice good oral hygiene habits. In fact, poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of gingivitis.

However, there are some dentists who argue that gum disease is not really reversible. Instead, these dentists say that like periodontal disease, gingivitis can only be controlled.

In order to better understand that argument, here are a few important facts that you should know.

First, periodontitis is a non-curable bacterial infection

Periodontitis damages gum tissues as a result of the body’s immune system fighting off bacteria. Now, if a patient with periodontal disease responds well to the treatment for the disease, he is said to be cured, but not healed.

Why?

When the periodontal disease has been stabilized, bone loss stops. However, the damage on the bones can no longer be repaired. Patients who are healed of their periodontitis will notice a marked improvement in the swelling, bleeding, redness, and pocket depth of their gums. Now, if the patient fails to follow through with the treatment, periodontal disease can return.

How is that related to gingivitis?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that elicits an immune response from the body. Patients with gingivitis experience bleeding, swelling and redness of the gums as a result of the immune system responding to the attack of the bacteria. However, gingivitis does not involve the development of pockets in the gums or bone loss.

Gingivitis and periodontitis share a few similarities. For one, both are bacterial infections that cause damage to tissues. Second, both respond well to the reduction of biofilm control (good oral hygiene). Finally, both diseases can return if the patient fails to practice good oral hygiene and to go for follow-up visits with the dentist.

However, the two also have a few key differences. Although both diseases are caused by a bacterial infection, the bacteria involved in gingivitis are considered to be less harmful. Second, gingivitis can be managed by good oral hygiene and regular dental cleaning. Periodontitis, on the other hand, needs to be managed for a whole lifetime. Patients also need to visit their dentists every three months.

But if there is one key difference that patients should be aware of, that is the fact that periodontitis has been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke.

If you want to learn more about how you can take better care of your teeth and gums and stave off diseases like gingivitis, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, and his team can provide you with invaluable tips. Contact us today.

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!

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.

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!

The Five Most Common Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Restorative DentistryThe Five Most Common Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Cavities, chipped, cracked, and lost teeth — all these issues already have quick and (relatively) affordable solutions in the form of restorative dentistry. With the different procedures available for this branch of dentistry, your teeth can look and feel like they used to. Also, if you wish to take things to the next level, restorative dentistry is often a good prelude to cosmetic dentistry procedures, which can really enhance your smile and improve your oral structure.

If you have any of the aforementioned dental woes, the following are the most common restorative dentistry procedures to consider.

Dental fillings

These are applied to teeth that have been treated for cavities. Dental fillings are made of a hard plastic material that bonds to the tooth. They are designed to cover the holes or seal cracks in your teeth. Dental fillings restore stability to your teeth and prevent further damage and pain. There are four kinds of fillings typically used by dentists: gold, amalgam, ceramic and tooth-colored composites. Among these four types of fillings, the last two options are the most aesthetically appealing; they can even be used for chipped or worn front teeth.

Air abrasion and Micro Dentistry

This procedure uses air abrasion technology to get rid of small cavities without removing healthy tooth enamel. After abrasion, white fillings are applied to teeth to restore appearance of your teeth.

Dental Bridge

This is a device anchored to neighboring teeth (usually molars) as a replacement for a lost tooth. A dental bridge is typically needed when a tooth is beyond the filling stage and requires extraction. A bridge is usually made of high quality materials such as porcelain.  A bridge will prevent teeth from shifting out of place over time due to the space created by a lost tooth. It can also help preserve gum and bone — this is an advantage should you one day decide to get dental implants.

Dental Crowns

These cover damaged, chipped, cracked or broken teeth. They are cemented in place to cover teeth at and above the gum line. Crowns are created to match the natural color of teeth.

Dentures

These are perhaps what many are very familiar with because they are the most conventional replacements for lost teeth. They can be made to replace a complete set of teeth; they are removable, making cleaning easy. However, dentures need to be changed, usually in three to five years, because wearing them constantly tends to alter the size of the gums and bone; they become loose and will therefore need to be replaced with better-fitting new ones.

If you are looking for more information about restorative dentistry, contact your local Laurel area dentist at Nicholas Dental Care today!