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What to do about a Toothache

What to do about a Toothache

You wake up in the middle of the night to a throbbing sensation in your tooth. Tooth decay or an abscess usually causes this kind of pain. You will need to see a dentist as soon as possible to resolve the issue. But if you experience signs of a true dental emergency, contact your dentist right away.

Until you can get an appointment, you can try some of these home remedies to help ease some discomfort:

  • Apply an over-the-counter oral analgesic ointment to temporarily numb the area.
  • Look to see if food could be trapped between teeth and causing pressure. If so, dental floss can remove the irritant and you can rinse the area with warm water.
  • Mix bay berry bark with vinegar and apply the paste to the aching tooth.
  • Place a wet, black tea bag on your gums to relieve soreness; this may also help stop any bleeding.
  • Crush a piece of garlic clove and place it on the affected tooth.  Garlic is a natural antiseptic and pain reliever.
  • For pain in your gums, try applying an ice pack against the side of the face. Switch to heat if cold doesn’t help. Apply a hot compress and gargle with warm salt water.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but don’t choose aspirin. If you need to have a dental procedure done, aspirin can increase bleeding.
  • Use cotton swab to put oil of cloves on the aching tooth every 20 minutes.

Do you live in Baltimore or the surrounding area? Our team is ready to help you achieve your smile goals. Schedule your appointment today.

Is Nail Biting a Dental Problem?

Is Nail Biting a Dental Problem?

Also called onychophagia, nail biting is a common habit for lots of people, usually children, teens, and young adults. Often, nail biting is caused by stress and seems to wane as people get older. Though some would argue that it’s not as bad as smoking or other less desirable habits, there are several reasons to stop nail biting:

It’s unsanitary. Did you know that your mouth and your hands/nails are two of the germiest areas on your body? If you have any open sores on your fingertips and you bite your nails, the germs from your mouth spread to that area. Pretty gross if you think about it.

It’s unattractive. Nobody really wants to watch someone bite their nails. As well, it doesn’t make your nails look very nice either.

It hurts your teeth. When you bite your nails, it strains front teeth and can weaken them, which may contribute to misalignment or crookedness. Nail biting also keeps your teeth in constant chewing motion and may wear them down faster than if you didn’t bite your nails.

It can cost you money. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that nail biting may add $4000 to dental bills over a lifetime.

Stopping any habit can be difficult. To curtail your nail biting, try to:

  1. Think about it. Sometimes, just be conscious of this habit can help you stop.
  2. Make your nails look nice. You won’t want to mess them up if they are neatly manicured.
  3. Create a deterrent. Check at the drug store for colorless, odorless solutions you apply to the
    nails. These topicals taste awful, which should make it easier to quit.

Take the first step towards optimal oral hygiene. Reserve your dental appointment at our Baltimore dental office now and experience personalized care.

What is Oral Health?

What is Oral Health?

The basic definition of oral health is the wellbeing of your teeth, gums, mouth, and supporting tissues. As well, the idea of oral health also has to do with having no pain or problems that interfere with your mouth or its functions. Without a toothache or bleeding gums, you may give your oral health little thought. Often, people take their oral health for granted, but it can actually impact your whole body.

Common Oral Health Problems:

Tooth Decay
Generally thought of a kid’s concern, cavities can strike at any age. Once you have tooth decay, it puts you at greater risk of developing more cavities in the future. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing often, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis will help reduce your risk for tooth decay and keep your oral health in top shape.

Gum Disease
Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease affects three out of four American adults. Because the early symptoms, swollen or bleeding gums, are mild, gum disease can go undetected. Without treatment, it can lead to gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss. Studies have also linked periodontal disease to overall health issues such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Lost Teeth
Approximately 69 percent of adults in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. When you lose teeth, the remaining teeth are in jeopardy of coming out if you don’t close the gap in your smile. Not only do missing teeth make you self-conscious about your appearance, but they can also cause oral health problems such as alignment issues and bone loss.

Oral Cancer
With a higher mortality rate than cervical, liver, or ovarian cancer, oral cancer strikes more than 30,000 Americans each year. If caught in the early stages, the survival rate increases significantly. During your routine exams, your dentist will look for signs of suspicious tissue or other indications of trouble.

Take the first step towards a confident smile. Contact our Baltimore dental office to schedule your consultation!

Make the Most of Your Dental Visits

Make the Most of Your Dental Visits

Seeing your dentist twice a year is an important part of keeping your oral health in good condition. While this activity may not top the list of fun things to do, a dental visit doesn’t have to make you miserable either. With a little planning, you can ensure that your dental visit is a positive experience.

• Find the right dentist.

Selecting a dentist that you feel comfortable with will go a long way towards creating a good dental visit. At Brown, Reynolds & Snow, we understand that finding doctors with broad knowledge and expertise in all areas of dentistry will provide you with that extra incentive and confidence in seeking the smile you have always desired.

• Provide all the facts

Your dentist can do a better job meeting your needs if you are up front about any concerns you have or any problems you have been experiencing.

• Take care of your mouth

If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are setting yourself up to fail. Good home care can prevent problems like gum disease and tooth decay from developing, which will save you extra time in the dental chair.

• Schedule routine exams

When you don’t see a dentist for years, your mouth won’t be in the best condition. Visiting the dentist twice a year ensures that you get professional cleanings and it allows the doctor to watch for signs of trouble.

• Try to relax

Deep breathing exercises or mediation may calm your nerves. If you feel especially anxious about your dental visits, talk with the dentist about your fears, and see what options the practice has available to make you more comfortable.

Do not wait any longer. Book your appointment now and achieve the smile you have always wanted. Dr. Farrugia is accepting new patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area.

Dealing with Common Dental Ailments

If you have a true dental emergency, make sure to consult your dentist right away. Some situations may arise, however, that after hours, so it’s important to know how to proceed. These tips will help you take good care of yourself or someone you love:

• Bitten lips, cheeks or gums

First, gently rinse the area with cool water. Apply light pressure with gauze or a wash cloth. Control swelling with crushed ice in a Ziploc bag.

• Bleeding gums

Usually caused by gum disease or brushing too hard, treat bleeding gums by rinsing with warm water and creating a regular home care routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. See your dentist for a complete exam.

• Canker sores

Rinse the area with warm salt water. Avoid spicy, acidic, or very hot foods when you have an open sore. If the area doesn’t heal in two weeks, contact your dentist.

• Broken or cracked tooth

Carefully rinse the area with water, salt water if possible. Don’t remove any pieces and bring all fragments with you to the dentist’s office.

• Loose baby tooth

Don’t pressure your child to pull the tooth. Encourage your son or daughter to wiggle the tooth side to side as well as back and forth to help free the tooth.

• Teething pains

Place a wash cloth in the freezer and allow your baby to suck on it to relieve pain. Mild over-the-counter analgesics may also help.

• Toothaches

Avoid irritating the tooth. Don’t bite down on the area, and avoid hot or cold substances. Schedule an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible.

Take the first step towards a confident smile. Contact our Baltimore dental office to schedule your consultation!

Examining Amalgam Fillings

Examining Amalgam Fillings

The traditional silver fillings that patients have been getting for many years have come into the spotlight in recent years. Some people wonder if these silver, or amalgam, fillings are safe because they contain small amounts of mercury.

Background
Amalgam fillings contain a mixture of half liquid mercury and half a blend of silver, copper, and tin. This material is soft and malleable, which makes it easy to be sculpted to fit well into the tooth and not affect the patient’s bite. Amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities for over 150 years.

Risks
The concern about mercury as an ingredient in amalgam fillings is due to the health risks of toxicity or allergies associated with exposure. Significant mercury exposure can cause chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, birth defects, oral lesions, and mental disorders. The FDA has investigated the safety of amalgam fillings, however, and determined that the mercury levels are too low to present adverse health risks for adults or children over age six. It has also been deemed safe for nursing mothers to have amalgam fillings. Both the FDA and the American Dental Association maintain that these types of fillings are safe.

Alternatives
Patients who are uncomfortable with amalgam fillings may choose composite resin material instead. This newer type of filling is used in about 70 percent of fillings performed today, and many patients prefer the tooth-colored resin because it is less noticeable in the mouth than silver fillings. Patients who have concerns about amalgam fillings already in place may ask the dentist about switching to composite resin instead.

Take the first step towards optimal oral hygiene. Reserve your dental appointment at our Baltimore dental office now and experience personalized care.