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!

Denture Care – A Few Important Tips

If you have chosen dentures for teeth replacement, it is crucial that you learn proper denture care in order to get more out of your investment.

How do you take proper care of your dentures?

Handle them with care

Dentures can be easily damaged when you accidentally drop them. Before you remove them, make sure that you put something beneath you, like a towel, that will serve as a cushion if your dentures fall accidentally.

Brush and rinse your dentures properly

Like regular teeth, dentures need to be cleaned in order to remove food debris and the plaque that may have built up. Regular cleaning can also prevent permanent stains from developing.

Dentures should be cleaned every day using a brush with soft bristles. However, do not use regular toothpaste. Regular toothpaste and other household cleaners can damage your dentures so avoid using these. Instead, use recommended denture cleaners. Make sure that you gently brush all the surfaces of your dentures.

If you cannot brush your dentures, you can rinse them after eating.

Keep your dentures moist

If you are not going to wear your dentures, you will need to soak them in either water or a denture cleanser solution. Avoid soaking your dentures in hot water as this can damage them.

Repairs and adjustments

If you break your dentures or if your gums and mouth become irritated due to improper fit, schedule a visit to your dentist. Under no circumstance should you attempt to adjust or repair your own dentures as you can damage them.

Taking care of your remaining teeth and gums

Even if you have lost some teeth, it is important that you take care of your remaining teeth as well as your gums.

If you are wearing full dentures, make sure that you brush your gums and tongues, especially in the morning before you wear your dentures. This will help keep plaque at bay and help improve the circulation in your mouth.

If you are wearing partial dentures, you will need to remove these before brushing your teeth and gums. Pay special attention to the areas where the dentures’ clasps fit as plaque can build up in these areas.

Visit your dentist regularly

After getting your dentures, your dentist will tell you how often you will need to visit the dental clinic. Typically, those visits are scheduled six months apart.

Apart from checking the fit and condition of your dentures, your dentist will also examine your overall oral health and clean your teeth professionally.

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!

Are Old Silver Fillings Safe?

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

Do people really need to be worried?

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

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


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

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

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

Oil Pulling – Is It Good For Your Oral Health?

To ensure good oral health, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, you must clean between teeth once a day with interdental cleaner or floss. Doing this practice on a daily basis will keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities. You can also use ADA-Accepted mouth rinses as this reduces gingivitis and plaque formation.

It helps to be discriminating when choosing a mouth rinse to reduce gingivitis and plaque. Look for essential ingredients such as methyl salicylate, thymol, menthol and eucalyptol as these can prevent gingivitis and the formation of plaque. The ADA Seal you see on over-the-counter oral care products gives assurance that such products have been evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, which is an independent group of experts. Most importantly, this seal guarantees that it does what it claims to do.

Recently, the practice of oil pulling or swishing oil in the mouth is making a buzz. Websites supporting natural therapies are hopeful about this practice since it claims that it can whiten teeth, enhance oral health, and boost overall health and well-being. But due to the lack of solid proof, oil pulling is not yet recommended.

A Closer Look at Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia. This is a traditional folk remedy and a holistic Ayurvedic technique. This practice will involve placing a spoonful of edible oil like sunflower, coconut, olive and sesame oil inside the mouth, and swishing the oil through the teeth and oral cavity for around one to five minutes or longer.

A study about the use of a chlorhexidine rinse versus oil pulling showed that chlorhexidine is more effective when it comes to reducing S. mutans levels in saliva and plaque. But the same study has not looked at whether the reduction in S. mutans prevented cavities.

There are limitations on the potential health benefits of oil pulling.

Current studies are unreliable for several reasons such as the misrepresentation of results because of lack of demographic information, the absence of negative controls and small sample size. Today, there is still no clinical evidence confirming that oil pulling whitens teeth, decreases the incidence of dental caries, and enhances overall health.

There are plenty of over-the-counter products promising therapeutic effects when used. But it is only through in-depth scientific analysis that the dental profession can be assured of the effectiveness and safety of a certain product or therapy. After all, the ADA policy statement on unconventional dentistry emphasized that the provision of dental care must only be based on rigorous scientific principles.

To know more about science-based care for your teeth, look for a reputable dentist in Burtonsville, MD. Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our team will be happy to help you. Contact us today!

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.

The Top 4 Myths and Facts About Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure recommended by dentists when there is trauma or infection in the nerve or pulp found in a tooth’s canal. The trauma or infection can be caused by various reasons or factors, which include the following:

  • The presence of abscess or decay, also known as an infection, on a tooth.
  • Trauma or injury on the tooth, such as a chipped or broken tooth, which results in the exposure of the nerve.
  • The slow death of a tooth due to aging or previous trauma which was not treated immediately.

Root Canal Therapy Myths and Facts

A leading Laurel, MD dentist says that root canal therapy is widely regarded as the most feared dental procedure. However, this is mainly due to the inaccurate information many people have about this treatment.

Below are some of the most common root canal therapy myths and the truth behind them:

  • Myth: Root canal therapy is painful.

Fact: According to a study published by the American Association of Endodontists, the perception that people have about root canal therapy being painful comes from the early treatment methods used to perform this procedure. Dental experts also say that if you are already suffering from pain on the day of your treatment, your apprehension and fear may heighten the sensations you feel during the procedure.

In actuality, root canal therapy is done to provide pain relief to patients. The majority of people who undergo this dental procedure admit they did not experience any pain during the treatment and that they felt better afterwards.

  • Myth: Your tooth has to hurt really bad before you can undergo root canal therapy. 

Fact: You don’t have to be suffering from a really bad toothache for a dentist to recommend root canal therapy. In many cases, teeth that are already dead but are not at all painful may require root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from becoming further infected.

  • Myth: There is no immediate need to undergo root canal therapy since the tooth will be taken out eventually. 

Fact: There is no correct reason to assume that the treated tooth will still be extracted in the future. In general, most root canal treatments are successful and will result in the tooth being saved.

  • Myth: You will have to visit your dentist several times to complete the therapy. 

Fact: Your dentist can complete the therapy in one to two appointments. However, there are various factors that have to be considered to determine the number of appointments needed to complete a root canal procedure. These include the extent of the infection and the difficulty of the procedure. Also, tooth restoration is essential after the procedure to make it functional again. Leading dentists say that the appointments needed to completely restore the tooth should not be considered part of the root canal procedure.

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.

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.

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.

Oral Health Facts | All About Oral Health

Oral Health Facts Oral Health Facts | All About Oral Health the Moment You Go “Ah!”

People always say that if the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the mouth is the window to your body. A Columbia, MD dentist completely agrees with this and claims that he automatically knows what’s up with your oral health the instant you say “Ah!” No blood test, no biopsy – he just automatically knows.

So what is revealed to his discerning eye the moment you open your mouth? He’s listed oral health facts that you should know:

You flossed – But Only Before Your Appointment With Him, and Never Anytime Before That.

First of all, if there’s plaque and/or tartar, you clearly have not been flossing. Secondly, gums will look damaged if you floss right before the appointment – they become damaged because you wanted to make up for the months that you didn’t bother flossing, in a single go.

You Loved Your Binky or You Thumb-Sucked as a Kid.

According to the Columbia, MD dentist, the alignment of your teeth and your bite are tell-tale signs. Also, when he asks you to say certain words and you have an obvious lisp, this reinforces the conclusion right away.

You’re a Nervous Person Who Has the Tendency to Bite Your Nails.

Dentists don’t have to look at your chewed-up nails to detect this habit. Nail-biting causes wears and tears on teeth; patients who bite their nails often usually have front teeth that are completely leveled off because of the contact between the top and bottom teeth when you’re nibbling at your nails.

You’re Expecting a Little One 

Increased progesterone production during a woman’s pregnancy raises the risk of gingivitis. Some pregnant women develop dark red lumps on their gums, known as pregnancy tumors. There’s no need to worry about these tumors if you have them because they’re always benign and they go away after pregnancy. So, even if you’re not yet showing, your dentist will see these tumors and instantly know that you have a little one in the oven.

You’re Sick.

Another fact is that a different smell in your breath always indicates something and dentists know which smell is for diabetes, nasal drip, bronchitis, tonsil stone, and others.

You’re Suffering from Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa.

People who have eating disorders, according to dentists, are very easy to identify due to the poor condition of their teeth. People with bulimia tend to exhibit a very distinct pattern of tooth wear – the erosion is concentrated on the tongue-side of the front teeth. Plus, it’s easy enough to see other signs that point to an eating disorder.

You Have Sinusitis.

The last of our oral health facts is if you’re complaining of severe jaw pains, swollen gums and toothaches, but there’s nothing wrong with your teeth when your dentist inspects your mouth, the problem is usually a sinus infection.

So don’t even think that you can fool your dentist by providing the best answers when asked because the state of your mouth will tell the truth. Dentists are not out to judge — they’re completely focused on restoring the good health of your mouth. As such, when they ask you how you go about oral care and other things, don’t hesitate to present the truth because you’ll be helping them help you the best they can.