Dental Care of Baltimore

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity  

The midday sun beats down on you. It’s hot, but not just “I-need-to-go-in-the-shade” hot. It’s the type of hot that you can’t escape because it’s already seeped well into your body. Never mind frying an egg on the sidewalk. You could fry an egg on your forehead. Which is why you find yourself Googling the nearest ice cream shop. Nothing beats the heat like a cold creamy treat!

The next thing you know, you’re gripping an ice cream cone, mouth salivating, ready for the first taste of overwhelming bliss. As you bite into your favorite flavor, a nagging feeling tugs at your gut. “When was the last time I went to the dentist?” You shove the concern out of your mind, as the ice cream coats your tongue, your teeth, your gums, and the thought of a creamy delicious sensation is now a distant memory.  

Without warning, icy coldness shoots through your gums forcing your teeth to quiver in pain. The cone slips through your clammy palms as you reach up to touch the sides of your mouth like that could somehow cure your toothy distress. Ice cream splatter layers across the sidewalk, the broken sugar cone depicting tombstones for this milky graveyard.  

How is it that this seemingly benign treat could cause so much pain? Suddenly you realize that that nagging feeling had turned into your very reality. When was the last time you went to the dentist? In the past six months? In the past year?  Tooth sensitivities can be a result of many different dental issues, and sometimes they go unbeknownst until the pain hits hard and heavy. They can be agitated by temperature, whether that be a lick of cold ice cream or a sip of hot soup.  

But why are your teeth sensitive to begin with? Perhaps it is as simple as too many whitening strips or a lack of brushing and flossing. You are not alone. At least 40 million adults in the U.S. experience sensitive teeth at some point. It is important to catch this and notify your dentist, as they might need to schedule necessary dental procedures.  

Teeth Whitening

At home whitening strips are almost too easy, giving you that bright and shiny smile without the fuss. Seemingly too good to be true, and so, there must be a downside. Too much teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity. There is uncertainty surrounding why this is, but we do know that one of the main ingredients in whitening strips, peroxide, can cause irritation to the gums. Take it easy on the strips and save your mouth from unnecessary soreness. 

Poor Dental Hygiene

Having poor dental hygiene is a surefire way to sensitize your teeth and most likely send you to your dentist appointment early. When you don’t brush and floss, bacteria grows around your teeth. Toxins are released from the bacteria and your body responds with an immune response. Blood flow is increased to the gums hence the red and puffy appearance, and thus, sensitive mouth and teeth. Maintaining consistent flossing and brushing habits will minimize dentist appointments and dental procedures.  

Both teeth whitening and poor dental hygiene can cause tooth sensitivities, but poor dental hygiene can cause more severe problems such as cavities, tooth decay, and gum infection. You can prevent tooth sensitivities by scheduling regular dentist appointments and brushing and flossing daily, but sometimes that’s not quite enough. Taking these necessary precautions and/or necessary dental procedures, will help to ensure you have a pain free summer and are able to indulge in the occasional ice cream cone. 

Guarantee your teeth are ice cream-ready by scheduling an appointment with Dental Care of Baltimore today: Northwest Hospital Professional Center Phone Number 410-922-1601. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month!  

Links for more info on sensitive teeth: 

http://knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=5513 

http://knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=1319 

Oral Health: Get Your Oral Cancer Screening

 

Did you know that mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide? The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer.

Remember—early detection saves lives! It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

What are the risks?

Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products are a known long-term historic cause of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
  • The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:

  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

Don’t wait any longer. Be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

Oral Health: All About Gums

 

Why should teeth get all the fame?  Since the beginning of time, teeth have taken center stage in the oral health arena, while their close cousins, the gums, have occupied more of a back-seat role.  So, we have decided to dedicate this article to gums!  What makes them healthy, what makes them sick, and why they are so important for whole-body health?

Gingiva, or “gums”, are the mucosal tissue that cover the jaw and hold the teeth in place.  When they are healthy and properly intact, they offer a protective barrier for the jaw and tooth roots against food and bacteria.

Healthy Gums:

Healthy gums typically are coral pink in color, and not recessed far above the tooth.  They show a scalloped appearance over each tooth, are firm and resist movement.  They take brushing and flossing well, usually with no reaction whatsoever.

Unhealthy Gums:

By contrast, unhealthy gums may exhibit red, white and even blue hues, have a puffy or orange peel texture and may bleed when brushed or flossed.  Untreated periodontal disease can affect the whole body, as it is related to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, it can result in lost teeth and poor nutrition down the road.

Prevention is Key:

The good news is that most cases of periodontal disease are preventable.  While we don’t know exactly what role genetics play in terms of periodontal health, we do know that practicing good oral health is the first step to preventing periodontal disease.  Habits such as brushing twice and flossing once per day and regular exams and cleanings can help many people prevent or slow the progression of gum disease.

We hope you have learned something new about your gums!

If you have any questions about your gums, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Myths About Whitening

 

Everyone wants to have a whiter smile but making the decision to pursue whitening treatment can be tough. Myths and stereotypes can lead to negative connotations, inhibiting you from moving forward with treatment. Below are three misconceptions about teeth whitening:

  1. Teeth whitening treatments at my doctor’s office are no more effective than those purchased at drugstores.

On the contrary, the maximum strength bleach that our dentists provide delivers the best and fastest teeth whitening results. Another factor that makes dentist-provided whitening kits most effective is the fact that the trays are customized to fit each individual patient perfectly which keeps the gel in closer, more precise contact with your teeth. Don’t waste your time at the drugstore when you can get a brighter, whiter smile from us in record time!

  1. Tooth whitening harms enamel.

Despite this negative misconception, teeth whitening does not actually harm the enamel of a tooth. Bleaching works by opening the pores of a tooth. This allows for the peroxide to enter the inner structure of the tooth and remove stains. The pores will close again over time, leaving the enamel unharmed.

  1. You can never drink coffee or wine again after whitening.

While patients are told to stay away from heavy staining and acidic foods, such as red wine and coffee, it’s not forever! Dentists recommend this just for the first few days after treatment because the pores in your teeth remain open and the chemical reaction takes place over the course of a few days.

Whitening treatments can be intimidating, especially if you are not properly informed. It’s important to know the facts when making decisions about your teeth! We want you to have a smile that will make you feel confident. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, contact our office today. We are always here to help!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss.

No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today.

Teeth Discoloration

What color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

Can You Whiten Teeth Naturally?

From powders to pastes, there are many ways people try to whiten their teeth. However, not every recipe we see online truly whitens correctly. It may be tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile, but just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening may do more harm than good to your teeth.

With Fruits, like acid packed lemons and apple cider vinegar, you put your pearly whites at risk with prolonged contact. Using baking soda and lemons, for example, to scrub your teeth can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. This enamel cannot be grown back, so it is very important to keep it in tip top shape.

With Scrubs like activated charcoal and baking soda mixes you may be using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth! This can end up actually making them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue that’s called Dentin.

With Spices and Oils, like coconut oil and turmeric, there is really no evidence that these are helpful. Over using coconut oil has potential to be poor for your body, so using these strictly when cooking could be more beneficial than using them to whiten your teeth.

To best ways to whiten your teeth naturally is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
• Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
• Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
• Cleaning between your teeth once a day
• Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
• Not smoking or using tobacco
• Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

With these steps you should be well on your way to achieving that sparkling smile you are looking for, naturally! Call us today for more info, and to schedule an annual teeth cleaning Northwest Hospital Professional Center Phone Number 410-922-1601

Why You Should Whiten Your Teeth

 

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different teeth color. Some teeth are naturally more yellow than others, while some yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors like:

Using tobacco (smoked or chewed)
Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
Eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
The natural aging process

Because of this people often choose to whiten their teeth. Whitening your teeth can help boost your confidence and self-esteem but can also help if you want to cosmetically achieve a more youthful appearance, brighten your smile for s special event, or just simply reverse years of staining and yellowing.

Teeth whitening works very simply! The teeth whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

A patient interested in whitening has a few different options including stain removal toothpastes, in-office bleaching, at-home custom bleaching, or over-the counter bleaching products. Talk to your dentist before starting and see what the best way is to put the shine back in your smile!

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile:
Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and wine
Use a straw when drinking beverages to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth
Eliminating tobacco because tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment! These are just a few of the options you should consider when getting a whitening treatment. For more information on how we can brighten your smile with a teeth whitening procedure, contact our practice today at Northwest Hospital Professional Center Phone Number 410-922-1601 !

All There is to Know About Veneers

If you are looking for a way to freshen up your smile, veneers might the perfect choice for you.! Veneers are usually made from composite resin or porcelain and bonded to your natural. Below are some frequently asked questions veneers and how they can change the look of your smile.

Why do people get veneers?

There are many reasons as to why someone chooses to have veneers. Often people choose to have veneers due to being unhappy with their current smile. Worn, chipped, stained, or cracked teeth are all candidates for veneers.

How long do veneers last?

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last well over a decade. However, depending on the type of wear that you have on your veneers, they may need to be replaced sooner.

It’s important to practice excellent oral care in order to ensure veneers last longer. Also protect your teeth when you can by brushing, flossing, and avoiding excessive teeth grinding. All of these steps will allow your veneers to last longer.

If the veneers become worn or chipped, the veneer will need repaired or replaced.

Will you be able to tell that I have veneers?

Your dentist will take special care to ensure that your veneers match your existing teeth. They will be color matched to your surrounding teeth, making them look as natural as possible.

How much do veneers cost?

Depending on the type of veneer and how many veneers you would like, the price will differ. Contact our office to learn more about veneers pricing and payment plans.

If you are ready to take your smile to the next step or have any additional questions, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Northwest Hospital Professional Center Phone Number 410-922-1601

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!