What Causes Periodontal Disease in Adults?

Dental professionals can never stress enough the importance of keeping teeth and gums in good condition in order to ensure overall physical health. Every year, countless campaigns are launched for the purpose of encouraging everyone, young and old, to take oral health seriously.

For older folks, however, dental professionals are no longer just encouraging good oral care practices; they are compelling adults to consistently implement proper dental hygiene. This is mainly due to the fact that numerous studies have proven the direct relationship between periodontal disease and life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and liver ailment. Researchers discovered that even mild periodontal disease such as gingivitis aggravates these serious health woes.

What causes periodontal disease in adults anyway?

First of all, it’s important to establish that bacteria are always present in people’s mouth that’s why consistent proper oral care is a must. You’ll definitely have more if you smoke and have other unhealthy habits.

These bacteria, along with mucus, food debris and other particles, if not brushed and flossed away form plaque (a sticky, colorless film) on teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will harden and turn into tartar – that hard, yellowish buildup at the base of teeth and down beneath the gums that tooth brushing and flossing cannot remove.

The longer plaque stays on the teeth and beneath the gums, the more harmful it actually becomes. Not only will it lead to cavities, but also the bacteria present in it can cause infection and inflammation. When gums become inflamed, they become prone to bleeding and swelling – this is gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal diseases.

Now, if gingivitis is not treated right away, it can worsen and turn into periodontitis. With this condition, tooth loss is highly likely because the gums will start to pull away from the teeth. This isn’t the only risk. There’s also a higher likelihood of developing other complications because the pockets created by the pulling away of the gums will allow bacteria to further breed.

How do you know if you have periodontal disease?

  • You’ll have halitosis (bad breath)

  • Red, swollen gums

  • Sensitive gums prone to bleeding

  • Chewing food is painful

  • Your teeth are loose

  • Your gums recede

How is gum disease treated?

Treatment always starts with a visit to the dentist. The dentist will properly assess the situation and determine the most appropriate treatment program. Treatment always includes deep dental cleaning to get rid of plaque and determine the gravity of the disease. Medication is also prescribed to treat the infection. There may be other procedures necessary (such as surgery) but all these depend on how serious the disease is.

Periodontal disease is no light matter so if you’re concerned about it, want to prevent it, or if you wish to be treated for it, our Dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today for an appointment and consultation.

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.

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.

 

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!

Gingivitis Facts – What You Should Know

Gingivitis FactsA Few Gingivitis Facts You Need To Know

Gingivitis is one of the most dreaded dental diseases because it’s a “gateway” condition – it can easily lead to more serious complications. Moreover, it’s also one of the easiest to acquire. Therefore it is important to be informed about gingivitis. It’s important to know how it happens and what happens to you if you get it. When you have that knowledge you can take the right steps to avoid it.

Gingivitis Facts # 1 – You are an easy target

Gingivitis is easy to acquire because it stems from plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms in the mouth. It can also form on teeth surfaces, on the gums and on the tongue. Plaque is naturally occurring and constantly forming. In other words, everybody has it, all the time.

Thus, it’s absolutely important to maintain a strict brushing, flossing and professional dental cleaning schedule to get rid of plaque effectively. When you are inconsistent with keeping your teeth and gums clean, plaque can build up, harden, and become a magnet for bacteria that can cause damage to gum tissue.

Gingivitis Facts # 2 – It’s treatable – if you act fast

The good news is that gingivitis is the earliest stage and sign of gum disease, so it doesn’t affect the bones and tissues connected to the teeth and gums yet. The condition can be reversed if addressed quickly. Watch out for tell-tale signs that include swollen and bleeding gums, receding gums, shifting teeth due to weak gums, and bad breath. However, sometimes the symptoms may not be obvious to the naked eye. Regular visits to your Burtonsville dentist will ensure the disease will be caught during the early stages.

Gingivitis Facts # 3 – A solid dental care regimen is a must

The only way to stop gingivitis in its tracks is to practice good oral hygiene.

Brush and floss at least two times a day

Make sure to use proper brushing and flossing techniques that will enable you to remove all food particles and thoroughly clean your mouth.

Commit to regular, professional cleaning

No matter how disciplined you are about cleaning your mouth, you will still need professional cleaning to control tartar buildup and to get rid of debris and bacteria, especially in areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Follow a healthy lifestyle

When you eat right, you are providing good nutrition to keep your teeth, gums and jawbones strong and healthy. When you avoid unhealthy habits such as eating sugary treats and smoking cigarettes, you are reducing your risks of acquiring gum disease.

For more advice on attaining optimal health for your teeth and gums, contact your Laurel, MD dentist today.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Prevent Gum DiseaseHow You Can Prevent Gum Disease

There’s no doubt about it – when you invest in your dental health, you also invest in your total health and well-being, personal relationships, career growth, and the ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

When you take care of your family’s teeth and gums, you are also saving them from the pain and repercussions of acquiring one of the most dreaded consequences of dental health neglect: gum disease.

Plaque Buildup

Also called periodontal disease, gum disease stems from plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria found on the teeth. It forms constantly, thus it needs to be removed regularly through brushing, flossing and professional dental cleaning.

Without proper and consistent oral care, plaque becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, causing infections and inflammation in the gums. This leads to bleeding, weakening of the tooth structure, tooth decay, bad breath, tooth gaps, and eventually, permanent tooth loss.

Preventing gum disease effectively requires a personal commitment to good dental hygiene, and at the same time, investment in quality professional dental care. The following are important steps to keeping yourself and your loved ones away from gum disease.

Be on the lookout for early symptoms

There is a chance for gingivitis, or early stage gum disease, to still be reversed if addressed promptly. So keep an eye out for early signs such as puffy gums and bleeding while brushing. However, in some cases there are no obvious symptoms – you may not be able to see or feel anything at all. That’s why regular dental checkups are important, so the dentist can detect the symptoms that may be seemingly invisible to you.

Brush and floss religiously

The recommendation is to brush at least two times a day and to use floss or interdental cleaners. Dentists often advise patients to go beyond the recommended minimum, especially on the days when you are eating sugary food and beverages.

Make sure you are brushing properly

Incorrect brushing techniques may not be able to do a thorough clean and might leave food particles still stuck in between the teeth. Your dental team can show you the proper brushing angles, movements and timing to make sure you are cleaning your teeth and gums well.

Avoid smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco

Studies have shown that nicotine consumption or exposure can increase the risk of periodontal disease.

Have your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis

Do this to deep clean hard-to-reach areas and to eliminate hardened plaque that can’t be removed with regular brushing.

To learn more about how to prevent gum disease, contact your trusted Laurel, MD dentist at Nicholas Dental Care.

A Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Common Dental Solutions

Dental SolutionsA Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Common Dental Solutions

Proper oral hygiene, combined with regular visits to your Laurel, MD dentist, is critical for good oral health.

But no matter how good you think you are in taking care of your teeth, you might still encounter a few oral health issues. Here are a few common dental solutions for these woes.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the leading dental problems among kids and adults alike. In fact, a lot of patients visit their dentists regularly to avoid this problem. And rightfully so.

But how does tooth decay occur? Tooth decay is caused primarily by cavities which, in turn, are caused by certain types of sugars. These sugars react with the bacteria in your mouth, and this results in the formation of acids. These acids can wear away the enamel of your teeth.

Your best defense against tooth decay is stopping cavities in their tracks. That means properly brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and minimizing your consumption of sugary treats.

If you think you have succumbed to tooth decay, pay a visit to your dentist as soon as possible.

Gum disease

When people think about having good oral health, they often forget to include their gums.

As such, it is not surprising that gum disease ranks as one of the leading dental problems adults face. Quite simply, you need to pay attention to your gums, too.

Gum disease is a type of bacterial infection that is caused by plaque. It starts as gingivitis, which can be easily remedied. Left unchecked, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, which can then eventually lead to tooth loss.

In preventing gum disease, you need to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. If you notice signs like tenderness or bleeding in the gums, you need to inform your dentist.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by salivary glands that are not functioning well. Why should you worry?

Saliva helps clean your mouth. And if your mouth is constantly dry, you become more vulnerable to a host of dental health issues.

Sensitive teeth

If you feel pain or discomfort when consuming hot or cold food or beverages, you might have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a diverse array of factors or may be a sign of a larger problem like gum disease and tooth decay. This is why it is essential to mention this to your Laurel, MD dentist on your next visit.