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!

A Dentist in Burtonsville Shares Dental Care Tips for Parents

Dental Care Tips for ParentsDental Care Tips for Parents

Why do you need to take care of your children’s teeth? Aren’t these going to fall out later on, to be replaced by permanent teeth?

According to Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a trusted dentist in Burtonsville, it is essential to take care of your child’s teeth (and teach him good oral hygiene habits) for two key reasons.

First, your child’s baby teeth are the natural placeholders for his permanent teeth. True, his baby teeth will be soon replaced by permanent teeth. However, if he encounters dental issues while he still has baby teeth or loses these prematurely, these can create dental problems later on.

Second, caring for your child’s teeth and teaching him good oral hygiene underscores the importance of dental care. The habits that your child forms during his younger years will benefit him later in life, well into adulthood.

Here are a few essential dental care tips for parents in order to better care for their young one’s teeth.

You may not readily see your child’s first set of teeth, but they are there. In fact, when a child is born, he already has a set of 20 teeth that can be found below the gums. The first ones usually erupt between the ages of six months and one year old. By the age of three, your child will already have a complete set of teeth.

One thing that parents should be vigilant about is tooth decay. Tooth decay can occur as soon as your little one’s teeth have erupted. If you notice that your baby’s teeth are starting to peek out, you can start brushing his teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.

Brush 

Ideally, you should brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day using an appropriate-sized toothbrush. You do not have to use much toothpaste. For children three years old and younger, the amount of toothpaste you use should be roughly the size of a grain of rice. Once he gets older, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Floss

Children should also have their teeth flossed, either before or after they have their teeth brushed. For children, it is highly recommended that they use a child-friendly plastic flossing tool until they can perform the task on their own.

Regular Dental Visits 

Schedule a child’s first visit to the dentist after his first tooth erupts, but no later than his first birthday. This visit may seem too early but is recommended for a variety of reasons. For one, his dentist can keep his teeth and gums healthy. Parents, on the other hand, can learn invaluable lessons from the dentist. Finally, visiting the dentist as soon as possible will allow your child to gain confidence during his succeeding visits to the dentist.

Lastly, parents should make sure that their young ones drink plenty of water. Water can help reduce cavities.

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

Mercury Free Dentistry | Replacing Old Amalgam Fillings

Mercury Free DentistryEducating Patients on Mercury Free Dentistry

A person’s exposure to environmental toxins increases each year. There is, however, one area where you can control your exposure to these toxins and the dangers they pose to your health – by getting rid of your current mercury amalgam fillings.

Traditional dentists use regular silver fillings. These silver fillings usually contain at least 50% mercury and other metals such as copper, zinc, and tin, and the final product created is called an amalgam. Unfortunately, even the smallest traces of mercury in your dental restorations can be exceptionally harmful to your health. This is because mercury is one of the most toxic naturally occurring substances on earth.

Dangers of Mercury

According to the World Health Organization, silver fillings contribute more mercury to a person’s body than all other sources of mercury combined.  Because of its poisonous characteristic, this dangerous substance can adversely affect a person’s immune, cardiac, respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems. Different studies conducted under laboratory conditions also show that mercury can produce brain cell deterioration identical to the conditions seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Safe Removal of Amalgam

To avoid prolonged mercury exposure and the dangers this substance poses, it is crucial to have your silver fillings removed by experts. Practitioners of mercury free dentistry can safely remove old amalgam and properly perform the replacement procedure.

According to a trusted Burtonsville, MD Dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, the right and safest silver filling removal method should include extracting old fillings in large chunks to reduce the risk of trace mercury contamination, using high-volume suction systems and sterilized water, and the isolation of teeth with a non-latex rubber dam.

Mercury-Free Dental Filling Options

Once the old amalgam has been removed, the dentist will thoroughly clean and carefully inspect your teeth to ensure that any lingering residue or debris is eradicated.

To replace your old fillings, you can choose between composite resin and porcelain inlays. These options not only look natural and more attractive, but they also add strength to a natural tooth. Traditional silver fillings tend to weaken over time and often break easily. Both porcelain inlays and composite resin are also non-toxic; they do not contain mercury and are thus not hazardous to your health, even if they stay in your teeth for a long time.

It is possible to possess a beautiful smile while not contributing to or being exposed to environmental toxins. You can do this by consulting mercury-free dentistry practitioners, who are also called holistic dental specialists. They provide dental treatments and services that will enable you to have a beautiful smile which are also safe for one’s health and do not have any negative impact on the environment.

Contact your local dentist in Burtonsville at Nicholas Dental Care to discuss additional mercury free dentistry options.

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.

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.

When Dental Implants are Right for Tooth Replacement

Tooth ReplacementDentists Recommends Dental Implants for Tooth Replacement

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

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

Why Dental Implants?

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

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

Special Attention and Care?

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

How Do Implants Work?

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

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

What does a Dental Implant Procedure Require?

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

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

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

Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental SealantsDo Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

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

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

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

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

How Long do Sealants Last?

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

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

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

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