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 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.

Savvy Strategies to Cut the Cost of Dental Care

Everybody wants a beautiful smile or event just to be free from common dental issues. The problem is regular dental care often creates a huge dent on the finances, particularly for those who do not have dental insurance.

If you’re committed to good oral health but you find regular trips to the dentist too big a burden for your budget, don’t worry. You can still get dental treatments without spending too much money. Dental professionals say there are strategies you can try to reduce the cost of dental care or to make it easier to accommodate in your tight budget, and they are the following:

  • Stay informed about health drives in your community.  Oftentimes, health missions conducted by non-profit organizations include basic professional dental care, such as oral prophylaxis, filling, and even tooth extraction. All these special services will not cost you, but make sure you get to the venue early because a lot of people also look forward to these special events.
  • Check your community health centers. Many of these cover low-cost dental care; they usually just cover basic dental services but for oral health, these are usually all you need.
  • Get free dental care from university dental schools. While “greenhorns” will treat you, the dental treatments they provide are supervised by dental experts so you don’t have to worry about your safety. You can get as much as 40 percent discount for dental treatments.
  • Check top e-commerce sites for deals on dental treatments. Some sites are known to include discounted dental treatments in their line-up of offerings. A lot of dental clinics these days are partnering with e-commerce sites to market their services effectively and they are offering everything from teeth whitening deals to orthodontic braces for a much lower price.
  • Consider dental savings plans. You just need to pay an annual fee of $80 to $200 in order to access a large network of dental clinics that offer up to 50 percent discount for those who are members of these dental savings plans
  • Consider dental HMOs as well. These are available in huge urban locations and they only charge $200 to $300 a year for their services, which include oral prophylaxis (twice a year), fillings, root canals and crowns.
  • Have a consultation at your local dental office and inquire which insurance policies you have can cover dental treatments. You may be surprised to know that you already have the means to pay for professional dental services.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you especially if you have concerns about the cost of dental care. We are ready to help in any way we can so 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.

The Importance of Senior Dental Health Care

Some elderly people view dental problems as a consequence of aging. But the truth is that oral health is important, whatever your age is.

Senior Dental Health CareIf you are a senior or someone who cares for one, you need to be aware of a few alarming statistics. For one, more than 30% of older adults have cavities which are left untreated. About 25% of seniors have a periodontal disease which has been associated with a few chronic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Finally, around 30% of the elderly lose their teeth due to different factors.
 

Why is senior dental health care important?

The most important reason why the elderly should pay careful attention to their dental health is because they do not need to lose their teeth while they age.

On top of that, the human mouth changes over time. And if you do not pay close attention to this and your overall dental health, you could face serious consequences related to your health.

As you age, you can become vulnerable to different dental problems brought about by different factors. For example, some medications have been known to cause dry mouth as a side effect. Low levels of saliva can make you vulnerable to bacteria and other microorganisms which can cause issues like gum disease and cavities.

Also, a person’s diet can also negatively impact one’s health. For example, if you consume too many hard and sticky treats, starchy foods, and drinks and foods that dry your mouth, you risk facing problems like difficulty in chewing your food as well as having a dull sense of taste.

Other problems associated with poor oral health in seniors include pneumonia, heart disease, and oral health.

Fortunately, seniors can improve their oral health and keep these aforementioned problems at bay through good oral hygiene.

Ideally, elderly people should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

If you are wearing dentures, remember to clean these once a day and remove from your mouth for at least four hours.

Drink lots of water as this can help keep tooth decay at bay. And if you have not stopped smoking, consider kicking this habit from your life.

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.

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!

Tooth Restoration | What Options Do You Have?

Tooth RestorationYour Different Options for Tooth Restoration

Dentistry now offers a variety of reliable methods to restore missing or damaged teeth. If you wish to regain your original smile, your dentist has a ready solution for you.

So what are the different types of tooth restoration? A Laurel, MD dentist listed five of the most common options to choose from:

Bridges

Dental bridges are false teeth that are used to “bridge” the space created by one missing tooth or a few missing teeth. They are anchored to the surrounding teeth, which are “crowned” and cemented securely into place. For bridges to be placed properly, it’s imperative that there are enough gums and bone, and that the surrounding teeth are stable enough to serve as an anchor to the bridge.

Crowns

Dental Crowns are tooth-shaped “covers” or “caps” commonly used for teeth that have been root canaled and need to be protected from further damage. They are also used to hold bridges securely in place, and to cover dental implants.

Dentures

Dentures are false teeth worn to replace missing teeth. They are removable and are made from acrylic resin and at times combined with a metal attachment. These come in partial and complete designs; partial dentures are used if there are remaining natural teeth, while those who have lost all their teeth use complete dentures.

Fillings

Fillings are applied to teeth that have been damaged by cavities. The common materials for fillings are gold, silver amalgam, and tooth-colored plastic materials called composite resin fillings. Among these three, gold and silver amalgams are considered the most durable material, but composite resin is the most aesthetically pleasing. Fillings last for many years, but they do not prevent the spread of cavities if proper oral hygiene is not practiced regularly. When leaks appear, fillings need to be replaced.

Implants

Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements because they also include the replacement of tooth roots. Titanium posts are placed into the bone socket where teeth are missing, and they’re covered with a crown. Among the different kinds of tooth restorations, implants are the most expensive. They take a lot of work and not everybody is automatically qualified for the procedure. Dentists make sure that those who want or need implants are in completely good oral health in order to prevent complications during and after the procedure. Those who are not recommended for implants are patients with diabetes and cancer who have weakened immune systems; those who are highly prone to infection, and those who do not heal as quickly.

Contact your Laurel, MD dentist to discuss which method of tooth restoration is right for you. The friendly professionals at Nicholas Dental Care are dedicated to helping you maintain a confident smile.

 

Common Signs of an Abscessed Tooth

Abscessed ToothSigns of an Abscessed Tooth 

Need another reason to take better care of your oral health? Two words: abscessed tooth.

What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth occurs when the root of your tooth or the area between a tooth and the gum has become infected. It has a few causes, the most common of which is tooth decay. Other possible causes include gum disease and trauma.

Whatever the cause of your abscessed tooth may be, the common denominator is the creation of an opening in the affected tooth’s enamel. Those openings pave the way for bacteria to enter the tooth and infect and damage the pulp, which is located in the center of the tooth. Left unchecked and untreated, the infection can spread to other areas, including the bones which support the affected tooth.

Severe Toothache

The most common sign of an abscessed tooth is severe toothache which can vary from throbbing pain to shooting pain. Apart from toothaches, other common symptoms of an abscessed tooth include fever, painful chewing, sensitivity to hot and/or cold, bad breath and bitter taste, swelling of the neck glands, swelling and redness of the gums, swelling of the jaws, and a sore on the side of the affected gum.

Sometimes, the pulp of the affected tooth dies. In this instance, the toothache will usually stop. However, this does not necessarily mean that the infection is gone. On the contrary, the infection can quietly spread and wreak havoc on nearby tissue. This is why it is crucial to immediately seek the help of a Laurel, MD dentist if you experience the symptoms listed above.

Determining If You Have an Abscessed Tooth

In order to determine whether you truly have an abscessed tooth, your dentist will probe your teeth using a dental instrument. If you do have an abscessed tooth, you will feel pain when the suspected tooth is tapped. During this dental visit, your dental will also ask you to bite down and ask you if you feel any pain. Your dentist will also conduct a visual inspection and may take an X-ray of your mouth.

If your dentist confirms that you have an abscessed tooth, he or she will create a treatment plan which has three key goals: remove the infection, preserve the affected tooth, and prevent further complications.

In order to eliminate the infection, you will need to undergo root canal therapy. In some cases, dentists will recommend root surgery for the removal of the dead root tissue. In other cases, there is no recourse but to extract the infected tooth and allow the drainage of the abscess. Another option for the drainage of the abscess is the incision of the swollen gum.

Your local Burtonsville dentist will also prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection and pain relievers for the pain and discomfort.