Crowns are the most common dental restoration and are often recommended in dentistry. Crowns are the ideal solution to many dental problems and they can extend the life of your teeth. Considering how much they cost, it’s only fair that you’d want to know the scoop on crowns.
If your tooth is cracked or fractured, it is a serious condition that may require a crown. Tooth fractures will not heal and need to be treated and preserved so you don’t lose the tooth entirely. If you have concerns, ask your dentist to show you and tell you why you need a crown. Your dentist should be able to explain everything so that you feel comfortable that it’s the best course of action.
Although a crown is one option, there are other options in some cases. You could opt for a filling instead. A filling will not give you protection like a crown will and will not prevent you from needing a crown later on. If the area to be filled is extremely large it can cause the tooth to break so that it won’t be able to be repaired, doing more harm than good. Feel free to ask your dentist if a filling would do. If a filling is not possible, they’ll explain why that won’t work for your particular situation.
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, over time your teeth will become shorter due to excessive wear. Teeth can also wear away due to acid erosion. When enamel is worn away, it leaves behind small soft teeth which can result in your bite collapsing over time. The only way to restore those teeth properly is by covering the teeth with crowns and increasing the bite. You’ll want to address these issues promptly so as not to lose your teeth permanently.
If you are seeking to enhance your teeth or correct flaws in color, shape, or space, crowns are a solution to give you a natural-looking smile. It’s common for patients to want to enhance their smile, and crowns give them the opportunity to do that. If you are missing any teeth, dental implants with crowns will allow us to restore your mouth back to full function. We can fill the space, enhance the mouth’s appearance, and provide stability to any loose teeth.
You should never be embarrassed to ask questions. Here at Maryland Family Dentistry we want you to feel confident with your course of treatment and will take the time to explain everything so that you have a clear picture of what’s going on with your mouth. If you have already gotten a recommendation for a crown but are having reservations, we’d be glad to provide a second opinion.
If you have any questions about crowns or restorations or would like to schedule an appointment don’t hesitate to call us at (410) 772-5453 & (410) 766-4650.Read more
With the recent advances in dentistry, it is uncommon for symptoms of wisdom teeth to appear before the teeth are removed. Dentists, more often than not, will recommend they be removed before they cause a problem. However, that’s not always the case, and you can experience symptoms as a result of your wisdom teeth.
Pain is often an indicator of oral health concerns. Mouth or tooth pain should never be ignored because it can lead to worse or permanent damage if left untreated. Pain related to your wisdom teeth usually occurs in the back of the mouth or behind the molars. Most often wisdom tooth pain is a result of the teeth being aligned incorrectly or sideways, which causes them to crowd surrounding teeth and press on sensitive nerves and bone.
Red or swollen gums in the area could be an indicator of infection. As wisdom teeth start to come through the surface, bacteria can enter the open tissue. Oral infections have been shown to affect overall health and should be treated promptly. Other signs of infection include bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
If our jawbone or teeth block your wisdom teeth from breaking through the surface, your wisdom teeth are said to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth. In addition to causing bleeding, redness, and swelling in the area, they can lead to cysts and, in rare cases, tumors.
The most common treatment for wisdom teeth symptoms is to extract the teeth. This can be done at a dentist’s office or by an oral surgeon. The condition of the teeth, whether they have broken through the surface, and their angle will determine the appropriate method for extraction. Your dentist will explain the options available to you and can offer medication and anesthesia for pain relief. It’s important to follow all care instructions after any oral surgery.
If you are experiencing mouth pain, please don’t delay getting treatment. It’s likely to worsen over time and can cause permanent damage. If you have any questions regarding wisdom teeth or mouth pain please contact us right away at (410) 772-5453 & (410) 766-4650.Read more
It’s not uncommon for parents to want to know how they can help to prevent cavities and tooth decay in their kids’ teeth. They don’t always know how much dental care their children need and often have questions about the oral health routine of their little ones. Here at Maryland Family Dentistry, we want to support you and your family by providing information that you can use right away at home to give your children the best care possible.
Cavities and decay happen when bacteria from food is left on the teeth. Acid from this bacteria collects on the tooth surface, softening the enamel until a cavity is formed. Prevention is extremely important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Good dental hygiene can help avoid the problems that come with tooth decay and cavities.
You might be surprised to learn that even babies can develop tooth decay. Babies that suck on a bottle throughout the day are at risk for developing a condition known as “bottle mouth”. When the sugars in milk and juice remain on the baby’s teeth for long periods of time, they can eat away at the enamel resulting in pitted and discolored teeth. Kids with severe cases may develop cavities and often will need their front teeth pulled. We recommend that, even before your baby starts teething, you run a damp washcloth gently over the gums to remove harmful bacteria.
You’ll want to start brushing once your baby’s teeth start to come in. We suggest using an infant toothbrush with water and a tiny bit (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride. Always select products and toothpaste that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. No matter which type of toothpaste you use, make sure to use only a tiny amount to minimize the how much your child might swallow.
At around the age of two, your child should learn how to spit when brushing. Avoid giving your child water to swish before spitting because this makes swallowing more likely. Once your baby’s teeth start to touch each other, begin flossing gently between them. Kids three and up should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing. Continue supervising children while brushing until they are able to brush independently without swallowing toothpaste, usually around the age of six.
The ADA recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. Your dentist will perform a modified exam for young children, who can sit on your lap usually. Your dentist will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques while evaluating if your child is at risk for cavities or other potential problems. A topical fluoride may be suggested to ward off common childhood oral diseases and decay.
As your child’s permanent teeth come in, your dentist may want to place sealants on the back teeth to keep bacteria from getting into hard-to-reach places.
Practicing good oral hygiene habits at home combined with having regular checkups can help prevent cavities, decay, and the need for future dental work. If you have any questions about your child’s oral health or to schedule an appointment please give us a call at (410) 772-5453 & (410) 766-4650Read more
Teeth are exceptionally strong but can still fracture, chip, or break. Tooth injuries can happen by being hit in the face or mouth, falling, or biting down on something hard. Having cavities that weaken the tooth or old fillings that don’t support the enamel can also cause teeth to break.
Not everyone will feel pain when a tooth chips or breaks; your tongue may feel sharp areas or changes in the shape of the tooth. When large pieces of the tooth break off, it hurts! Pain from a broken or cracked tooth won’t always be constant; it can come and go. Usually there will be some pain when you chew or put pressure on the tooth or when the nerve endings are exposed to air. Hot and cold food or drinks that cause tooth pain or sensitivity can be another sign of a fractured tooth.
Pain is a serious warning sign of tooth injury. You may have pain when you bite or when you release a bite. If you have constant pain, it’s highly possible you have a damaged nerve or blood vessel.
You cannot treat a broken tooth at home; you MUST visit your dentist. However, if you are experiencing a dental emergency and have severe pain, there are things you can do to lower your risk of more damage and help relieve your pain until you are able to get to the office.
• Keep the area clean by rinsing out your mouth with warm water.
• Stop the bleeding. Use a piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure. You’ll want to apply pressure for about ten minutes or until the bleeding stops.
• Apply an ice pack to the cheek or lips, covering the area of the broken tooth. The cold will help reduce swelling.
• Take an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
• If you are unable to get to the dentist right away, you can use temporary dental cement found at the local drugstore to cover the part of the tooth left in the mouth. This is to be used as a temporary solution for pain relief only.
Your dentist can diagnose and treat any problems that you are having, helping to relieve your pain and prevent future complications.
The type of treatment your dentist will recommend will depend on how the tooth was affected and the type of break you have. Your dentist will evaluate your situation and discuss your treatment options and prognosis. When at all possible, your tooth will be saved.
No amount of home care can treat broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. Serious infections and complications can occur if such injuries are left untreated. Whether you currently have broken teeth or are experiencing a dental emergency, Maryland Family Dentistry is here to help and can provide pain relief. Call us today to schedule an appointment and let’s get you back to a functional, healthy smile.Read more
Eroding enamel is no big deal, right? While the damaged tooth (or teeth) in question may not seem significant, that lack of structure is going to have an impact on your life. When your teeth look short or damaged, that speaks volumes about who you are as a person (even if that’s unfair). We judge one another at a moment’s notice, and the judgement may not fit who you truly are if your teeth are sending the wrong message.
Learn why your teeth are worn, what to do about it, and what you stand to gain from restoring your grin.
Why Do Teeth Become Worn?
Our teeth have several layers. The outermost is the enamel. This hard shell protects the inner portions, gives your smile its white color, and determines the aesthetics of your teeth. Every day, you perform actions that impact your enamel. While it is the hardest substance in the body, enamel isn’t totally invincible – if you put undue pressure on it, it will crack.
The habit that is most harmful to enamel is bruxism, or chronic grinding. When you rub your upper and lower arches against one another, the enamel gradually erodes. Combined with the natural aging effect of enamel (it tends to thin as the yellow dentin within thickens), this can leave noticeable marks on your grin.
What Do Worn Teeth Say About Me?
As we mentioned earlier, smiles play a big role in first impressions. And we can be pretty brutal when evaluating new people. Because of their connotations with aging, worn teeth make you look older than you really are. Since they show a smile that hasn’t been maintained, worn teeth can also cause you to seem less capable, like you’re not in control. This will affect both your professional and personal relationships – and it shouldn’t, since it’s really quite easy to fix.
Depending on your teeth, you may see improvement with
…just schedule a consultation to learn which is right for you.
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Tooth decay and gum disease are the oral issues that get the most attention – but it’s crucial that we acknowledge other problems that take hold in our mouths. Oral cancer is not one of the most-discussed cancers, but that doesn’t make it any less important. About 125 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in the US every day. While the modern capabilities of medical technology and nutrition have helped put oral cancer on the decline, the rise of the HPV virus has led to an increase in cases. This means that the fastest-growing group of oral cancer patients is one of young, otherwise healthy nonsmokers, who have no reason to expect oral cancer to arise.
How can you be sure that your oral tissues are cancer-free? Scheduling regular dental exams is a great start. By visiting the dentist every six months, you give us a chance to examine your mouth for signs of disease. We’ll note anything that looks out of the ordinary, and recommend steps to get it checked out and make sure everything’s benign. Set up your next exam today – and get acquainted with oral cancer facts to be sure that you’re aware of your personal risk.
Where Does Oral Cancer Develop?
There is a high mortality rate for oral cancer because it is commonly detected at an advanced stage. This is one reason why regular screenings are key – those with early detection have an 80-90% chance of surviving the next 5 years, whereas late detection sees those rates go down to 25-30%.
Oral cancer develops in different areas of the mouth and throat, including the
- Front 2/3 of the tongue
- Inside of the cheeks
- Roof of the mouth
- Bottom of the mouth, below the tongue
- Area behind your wisdom teeth
Am I At Risk for Oral Cancer?
Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing oral cancer. These include:
- Sustained tobacco use
- Sustained alcohol use
- Being over 55
- Gender (men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer, but this may be linked to tobacco/alcohol use)
If you ever think that something in your mouth may be changing, get in touch to find answers to your questions.
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The next time you brush your teeth, take a closer look at your toothpaste. Is there something there that doesn’t really belong? In the last few decades, microbeads have taken hold of countless personal hygiene products. They look nice and help break up the monotony of a toothpaste, and provide extra exfoliation for face and body washes – so what’s the big problem?
Unfortunately, microbeads’ effects aren’t all pleasant ones. They can have a negative impact on your teeth, and an even worse one on our environment. Learn why they’re to be avoided, and how you can make sure your products don’t contain this problematic plastic.
How Microbeads Harm Teeth
These beads are quite small, and therefore quite hard to remove from places they don’t belong. Why do they need to be removed? Because they don’t biodegrade (and they’re actually filling up our oceans and lakes). If a bead gets stuck between your teeth and gums, it’s staying there until a professional steps in. Dental hygienists have blogged about finding beads stuck at patients’ gum lines, where they can irritate soft tissues and lead to inflammation. Microbeads also cause unnecessary erosion for your enamel, leading to the outer layer of teeth wearing away.
Are There Microbeads in My Toothpaste?
The biggest dental offender is Crest, who has included microbeads in many of their whitening toothpastes. However, Crest has listened to consumers’ and environmentalists’ concerns and pledged to phase out microbeads, which will be completed by March of 2016. In the meantime, look for “polyethylene” in your toothpaste’s ingredients to be sure it’s clear of these troublemakers. After all, the last thing you want is a dental emergency caused by something too small to even be noticed.
Have questions about your dental products? Get in touch to learn which products would be best for your unique teeth.
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For some of us, a morning coffee is absolutely necessary – but Invisalign patients need to be extra careful!
Invisalign is awesome. It helps adults and teens straighten their teeth without feeling self-conscious or limiting their daily activities. And it straightens on your own terms. But no matter how convenient Invisalign seems, it’s still an orthodontic treatment, and that means you’ll have to make a few adjustments to the way you treat your teeth.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Check out a few of our tips to the lesser-known aspects of life with Invisalign below, and get in touch if you have any questions about your own treatment.
Invisalign Secrets for Savvy Patients
- You’ll need to be more careful with your beverages – It’s always best to take out your Invisalign aligners to drink, unless your beverage is water. But anything else could stain your aligners, trap bacteria and acids between your teeth and aligners, and lead to cavities. Try to have your morning coffee with breakfast, so that you can brush and replace your aligners afterwards.
- Travel dental products are a must – You’ll want to clean your teeth every time you eat or drink, so that your final smile is both straight and cavity-free. This means investing in a travel hygiene kit, with toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Carry it with you in your purse, briefcase, or backpack, and cleaning will be a breeze.
- There’s an adjustment period for your aligners – When you first start Invisalign, you’ll probably notice a slight lisp when you speak. This is because there’s additional material in your mouth, and your tongue needs to adjust. Within the first 1-2 weeks, you’ll see the lisp fade; try out some tongue-twisters if you need some extra practice!
- Treatment is more comfortable than metal braces – Switching to new Invisalign aligners produces far less discomfort than the monthly adjustments involved with metal braces. Great news for patients (and dentists too)!
- You might lose weight – Snacking becomes more difficult when you’re wearing your aligners, since you need to make a real commitment in order to eat anything. Between removing your aligners, cleaning your teeth, and then replacing your aligners, this takes up a lot of time. Many patients find themselves losing weight because they’re less prone to snacking throughotu the day.
- Post-treatment retainers are key – After treatment, you’re not completely done with orthodontic appliances – you’ll need to wear retainers to maintain your results. Fortunately, you’ll likely only need to wear these at night.
Curious about Invisalign? Set up a free consultation to learn more about whether it’s right for your smileRead more
With just a little caution, your family can enjoy all your favorite summer activities without facing a dental emergency
The summer is a fun time for you and your family – but it also poses plenty of risks to your teeth. Between outdoor sports, sweets and crunchy snacks, and the busy schedule, your oral health can fall by the wayside. Hoping to avoid a sudden dental emergency? Just check out our tips below. Plus, stay on top of your dental exams by scheduling your family’s next appointments today.
Keep Teeth Intact Throughout the Summertime
- Wear tooth protection – We know that mouth guards aren’t exactly cool, but they’re incredibly important. If you or your kids are participating in contact sports, a mouth guard should be worn to protect teeth from blows to the face or jaw. When you’re on the field, a lot can go wrong. A custom mouth guard will cushion the teeth and prevent disasters from occurring.
- Eat right – We know that the summer is filled with trips, activities, and plans, but it’s key that you keep up with your healthy diet. Try to get fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and don’t overdo it on soda.
- Limit snacking – When you snack, your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva as when you’re eating a full meal. This allows acids and bacteria to remain in your mouth and cause decay. Try to keep sweets limited to immediately after meals, and rinse your mouth with water after snacking.
- Drink plenty of water – Water not only rinses away decay-causing acids, but also brightens your smile and hydrates your entire body (especially necessary during the hotter months).
- Pay attention to your teeth – If something seems like it might be wrong, take action. This will stop the problem before it becomes more serious. Just get in touch to gain peace of mind.
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Raw vegetables are one of the best things you can eat – they cleanse your teeth and act as natural toothbrushes!
Did you know that you can actually eat your way toward a more beautiful smile? What’s good for your oral health is also good for the aesthetics of your teeth. Your smile gets its white shade and full look from enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. While this is the strongest material in the body, enamel isn’t totally impenetrable. As you grind your teeth, eat and drink acidic substances, and indulge in sugary snacks, your enamel erodes. This allows the yellow dentin layer beneath to show through, and darks your entire smile.
Take a stand to improve your smile’s appearance and health! The tooth-friendly foods we recommend below are also great for your entire body. If you have any questions about how to make smart changes to your diet, just get in touch!
Stock Your Kitchen with Tooth-Healthy Foods
- Unsweetened dairy – Dairy contains calcium, which is great for your teeth – but be sure to choose unsweetened yogurt and milk, as the flavored options are incredibly high in sugar.
- Cheese – Cheese may actually have antibacterial properties within the mouth, and is delicious to boot.
- Nuts – A great alternative to starchy or sugary snacks, nuts offer your teeth vital nutrients.
- Lean protein – Chicken and fish deliver key vitamins that keep your smile (and entire body) strong.
- Raw fruits and vegetables – Raw vegetables and raw fruit (non-citrus to avoid acidity) scrub away bacteria, cleansing your mouth.
- Lots of lots of water! – Rinsing with water helps remove food particles and decay-causing acids, and also hydrates you.
- Snack the right way – When eating an isolated snack, choose something on this healthy list. If you’re having a sweet or starchy treat, eat it alongside a full meal so that enough saliva is produced to rinse away acids.