THE DENTAL DOS AND DON’TS OF ORAL SURGERY

THE DENTAL DOS AND DON’TS OF ORAL SURGERY

After completing oral surgery, you will always be given a set of instructions to follow to help in a speedy and successful recovery. Here are some things to always keep in mind.

  • There are many benefits associated with exercise. They can range from losing weight,
    maintaining weight and lowering the risk of developing certain diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.). However, after oral surgery, it is always recommended to take a break from physical activity for 2-3 days after surgery.
  • While oral hygiene should always be a priority, it is important not to rinse vigorously after
    surgery and instead lightly spitting. You should avoid mouthwashes and use a saline or salt water solution to rinse.
  • Stop smoking for at least 24 hours after surgery. Smoking delays the healing process and may cause a dry socket, which is extremely painful.
  • Swelling is normally expected and can be common around the mouth, cheek and sides of the face. Do use ice for the first 12 hours after surgery.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, as best you can, avoiding the area of the
    mouth involved in surgery.
  • Do follow instructions on dosage and taking of any prescriptions/medications given to you by your dentist.

Always remember to call your dental office with any questions or concerns you may have.

Posted in: children's dentist severna park, cosmetic dentistry annapolis, dental cleaning severna park area

Thursday Thought: Oral Piercings

How can oral piercings affect your dental health?


Oral Piercings have increased in popularity among all age groups, especially teens and women. As with anything new we are interested in proceeding with, it is important to consider all risks associated with lip, tongue or any type of piercing involving the mouth. Piercings in the mouth can affect your speech. It can also cause the following:

  • Infection and pain. Because the environment of your mouth is almost always moist, it is a breeding ground for large amounts of bacteria. Infections can quickly occur and without treatment, can become life threatening.
  • Damage to your Teeth. Specifically, with tongue piercing, it is very common to play or bite the jewelry/metal in your mouth. This can lead to inuring your gums, cracking
    teeth and recession. Crowns on teeth can also be damaged by the metal hitting them consistently.
  • Damage to your Nerve. After a piercing, you could experience numbing of your tongue. This is caused by the piercing and is usually temporary. However, this damage can also be permanent and could affect your sense of taste and the movement of your mouth and tongue.
  • Drooling. Tongue piercings increase saliva production.
  • Diseases. Oral piercings can lead to transmission of Hepatitis B, C, D and G.

Recession is one of the most common damages caused to gums because of tonguepiercings. Recession is when the gums recede from the teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth. Catching recession as early as possible is key to the treatment. If you do need treatment, we will refer you to a periodontist who is a gum specialist and they can decide the best treatment.

If you have a piercing and develop any sign of infection, damage to teeth or gums, or have any other concerns, please contact your dentist immediately. The best way to prevent damaging your oral health is to be gentle with anything that is associated with your mouth and teeth.

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Thursday Thought: Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Believe it or not, many people are often nervous about going to the dentist. They worry about if it will hurt, the cost, will there be down time. However, there are many people with a true fear of the dentist who find it extremely difficult to even make an appointment, let alone keep it. Between 9%-20% of people avoid going to see their dentist because of anxiety and people with dental phobia will do anything possible to avoid going to the dentist.

 

While it’s easy to think that dental anxiety and dental phobia are the same, there are some differences. The patient with dental anxiety is uneasy and nervous, but they will still go see the dentist while worry before and during their visit. The patient with phobia will be absolutely terrified about a dental visit and most likely will not go see their dentist. There are many different reactions experienced by patients with both anxiety and phobias when thinking about their dentist. These might be:

 

  • Trouble breathing
  • Crying
  • Tense
  • Insomnia/Restlessness
  • Nauseousness
  • Headaches

 

People tend to fear pain during their visit. This is the most common fear in adults. A lot of this fear stems from experiences when they were children, before there was pain-free dentistry. People also fear embarrassment as to the condition of their teeth. Some patients prefer not to have anyone looking at their teeth. We also have a fear of needles. Now it’s important to note that fear of needles not only is a dental fear, but many people avoid other medical procedures because of their fear of the needle. These are just a few fears that people have.

 

If you are experiencing anxiety and fear over a dental visit, talk to your dentist and dental staff about it. There are some things we can do to assist you in alleviating your fears. Don’t avoid going to the dentist. We can help make things easier for you and look forward to helping you attain dental health, function and a beautiful smile.

 

Posted in: dental anxiety, Dr. Morgan, family dentist severna park, general dentist severna park area, preventive dental care, restorative dentist severna park

Know Your Teeth

Our teeth are an essential part of our bodies but how well do you know your teeth? Your teeth help you chew. They play an important part in forming the shape of your mouth and consequently your entire face. They form your smile which is what your use to make first impressions on others.

Yet many people don’t know which tooth is an incisor and which is a molar. When you have a toothache and your dentist asks you which tooth hurts, you might point and say, “That one!” Dr. V. Lynn Morgan in Severna Park, MD is here to help you understand your teeth.

We humans have two distinct sets of teeth in our lifetime: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth are also called the “baby teeth” because they begin coming in when we are only about six months old and are usually all in place by the time we reach three years of age. The secondary teeth, more commonly known as the “adult teeth”, begin growing in as you lose the corresponding primary teeth. This process usually begins at around six years of age and is usually done by the time we’re twelve or thirteen years old.

The average adult person usually has 32 secondary teeth but they are not all the same. Your teeth have different jobs based on their shapes and locations. You could look at them like the players on your favorite football team: each plays their own position but they work as a team to score points.  

The Types of Teeth

  1. Incisors: These eight teeth are in the very front of your mouth and are primarily used for biting off pieces of food. We have four incisors on the bottom and four on top.
  2. Canines: These sharp, pointed teeth are named after the fangs of a canine (dog) due to their appearance. We have four canines, two on top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our incisors. Canines are used to rip and tear food.
  3. Bicuspids: Also known as premolars, your bicuspids are used for chewing and grinding foods. Adults four bicuspids, two on the top and two on the bottom, one on either side of the canine teeth.
  4. Molars: These flat-topped teeth are also used for chewing and grinding and grow at rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Your molars are located in an area that commonly experiences tooth decay due the fact that they it can be difficult to clean teeth as thoroughly in the back of your mouth. Many people also grow third molars.  These are more commonly called “wisdom teeth” due to their relatively late arrival (late teens to early twenties). Four third molars will erupt, one each side, top and bottom. Wisdom teeth that do not emerge are diagnosed impacted and require a surgical procedure to remove. Wisdom teeth are also prone to tooth decay due to their location at the very rear of the mouth.

Now that you know your pearly whites a little better, you will be better able to communicate with Dr. Morgan when you may be having a problem with them. For example, if you have pain in the upper rear left of your mouth when you chew, you may have an issue with one of your top left molars.

At the very least, maybe you can now appreciate the different roles your teeth play in chewing on your food and why it’s vital to keep them all healthy. After all, it’s a well known belief that a good team is only as strong as its’ weakest player. Be sure to schedule regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Morgan in Severna Park MD to keep your team strong. To schedule call 410.415.9015 or request an appointment online.

Posted in: Oral Health, Severna Park dentist

Thursday Thought: Fall In Maryland

Fall 2018 in Maryland

 Have you ever wondered what fun things there are to do in the State of Maryland this fall? Well, a quick google search turned up some pretty exciting places to visit this fall in Maryland.

  • You can go to the Homestead gardens Fall Fest in Davidsonville, MD from September 22nd through October 28th (Saturdays and Sundays). This is sure to be a treat for that person looking for design ideas. Rumor has it, they even have entertainment for the kids.
  • In Lothian, Maryland, you can visit the Greenstreet Gardens Fall Festival and Corn Maze from September 22nd through October 28th (on the weekends). They have hayrides, jumping pillows, a tire tower, corn mazes and so much more.
  • You can go biking or hiking along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. They have various visitor centers spread over 185 miles of beautiful trees. You can also ride a mule drawn canal boat, where a guide talks about life in the 1870s.
  • There is a popular annual one-day event (October 6th), featuring apples, pumpkins, flowers, crafts and entertainment – the Darlington Apple Festival.
  • On November 17th, you can enjoy the Amish Quilt Auction in Mechanicsville, MD. You can bid on large or small handmade quilts and don’t forget baked goods and foods.

So if you are looking for fun activities to do this fall, you can stay right here in Maryland – just google fall activities to do in Maryland. Please do not forget to share any experiences you may have at these events with us, on our Facebook page.

Posted in: back to school, children's dental health month, dental cleaning severna park area, Dr. Morgan

Thursday Thought: Salt Water, An Essential for Life

DID YOU KNOW THAT SALT WATER IS CRUCIAL FOR LIFE, HEAT AND POWER?

Salt water is made when solid salt (i.e., table salt) is added to water. It then breaks apart in particles and acts just like a balloon does when rubbed against your hair – it carries an electric charge.

  • Salt water is used by the body to send electrical signals to your heart and brain to work.
  • Sea salt is packed with minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. These absorb toxins in the body and on the skin; it works to treat infections and encourages our healing process.
  • Unrefined salt is good for you. It helps balance blood sugar, regulates metabolism and boosts the immune system, just to name a few. When you add unrefined salt to filtered water, it can help kidneys in maintaining fluid balances.
  • Warm salt water helps in digestion.
  • The basic requirement of the human body is 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which can affect inflammation in the body.
  • Salt water also acts as the transportation system that carries heat around our planet. Climate changes melt ice caps and thus disrupt this cycle and ultimately upsets the flow of heat around the world.
  • Salt water can be used to suck carbon dioxide out of the air, thus preventing the worse effects of climate changes.
  • Researchers are trying to build batteries using salt water. The expected benefits to the consumer would be in cost, safety and longevity.

However, we are a long way in finding all the answers on how and what the use of salt water can do for us. Some of science’s greatest minds have worked and continue to work on this issue. They believe understanding water is vital in understanding how our bodies and the planet work. So next time you have a little down time, look up what salt water can do for you. You’ll be surprised.

Posted in: Family Dentistry, general dentist severna park area, general dentistry, oral hygiene

Thursday Thought: How You Benefit from Sealants

What Are Sealants? Why Should I Get Sealants?

Why are things sealed?   We seal food to help preserve it and ultimately it will last longer.   We also seal leaks in our homes. This stops unwanted air from entering your home. Another great example of sealants is when we seal between a bath and the wall. This is important because it prevents water from seeping between the two, ultimately causing damage. So then why do we seal our teeth?

The Benefits of Sealants

Some of our back teeth have deep grooves in them, which is where tooth decay often starts. Bacteria love to live in these deep grooves and create acid, which is the leading reason for decay. Placing sealants in these grooves is a highly effective way of preventing cavities. And what’s awesome about this, is x-rays have shown that when teeth were sealed, decay did not progress over a 10-year period and studies have revealed that sealants are responsible for reducing cavities by 52% during a 15-year period. That means fewer visits to your dentist and less treatment.

Sealants are a tooth-colored covering and are applied without the use of anesthesia. Typically, and depending on the number of teeth being sealed, a visit can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Once it is complete, the tooth surface is sealed and is smooth and easy to keep clean.  Sealants are like the raincoats to our teeth and if they are recommended, you can rest assured that they will help you in maintaining that healthy, beautiful smile.

Before & After Sealants

Posted in: children's dental health month, children's dentist severna park, Comprehensive Dental Care

Thursday Thought: The Benefits of Fluoride

Do you know the benefits of fluoride dental treatments? 

fluoride treatment for all ages Has your dental hygienist recommended fluoride treatment and you have denied due to concerns over fluoride or expense? Well, here’s the truth about fluoride in conjunction with your dental treatment.

The CRA had conducted studies that show up to 75% reduction in new decay due to fluoride treatment. Who is the CRA? The CRA is an organization which started in 1976, by clinicians who believed practitioners could confirm the usefulness of new products and avoid both the experimentation on patients and failures. The application of fluoride helps prevent cervical decay, reduces sensitivity and prolongs the life of crowns and restorations (fillings).

Fluoride Treatments for All Ages

We still hold the idea that fluoride is for children only. In reality, fluoride treatment should be completed on all patients, of every age, every 3-6 months. Adult patients with high risks should complete fluoride treatment, at every regular checkup visit (usually every 3-6 months). High risk patients are those that have 3 or more cavities or problems with their teeth in the last 3 years, no fluoride exposure, dry mouth and/or taking certain medications. Your hygienist will assist you in determining your risk factor and will recommend the best treatment available for you.

Affordable & Effective Treat Your Teeth With Fluoride

There are insurance companies that cover fluoride treatment and there are some that don’t, but coverage is on the rise. This shouldn’t prevent us from accepting the best care to preserve our teeth, as long as possible, and protect them from decay and damage. The good news is that if there is no coverage, fluoride usually costs $40-50, which is a small fee compared to the benefits it supplies us with. Next time your dentist or hygienist recommends fluoride, feel confident in saying yes and knowing that you are applying protection to those pearly whites.

Posted in: children's dentist severna park, cosmetic dentist severna park, Family Dentistry

Thursday Thought: Swimming & Your Oral Health

Did you know that exposure to pool chlorine can lead to teeth staining, dental pain, and other dental problems?
swimming and oral health

Risks Posed by Swimming

Swimming is the favorite sport during the summer months. We all love swimming in our home and neighborhood pools. Also, swimming is an excellent form of exercise that is low impact and has cardiovascular benefits. What the dental community is noticing is that swimmers may need more frequent checkups than the normal range – twice a year. The reason for this is to minimize the effects of exposure to chlorinated water. Let’s address a few dental problems that can be caused by exposure to pool water.

Teeth staining is a problem for swimmers because of all the chemicals added to the water. The chemicals can give the water a higher pH than saliva, which can form deposits on teeth. People who swim more than 6 hours a week (typically athletes) expose their teeth to large amounts of chemicals, which results in hard, brown calculus deposits on teeth.

Swimmers who have dental infections, caries, and failing restorations (just to name a few) are at risk of developing Barodontalgia, which commonly explained is tooth pain caused by pressure. The key to avoiding this is excellent oral health and upkeep on dental treatment. If you swim more than 6 hours a week or intend to, please advise your dentist so a customized dental plan can be put in effect. For a more complete article discussing the oral effects of a swimmer’s mouth, please refer to “Risks to Oral Health Posed by Swimming,” in the Dimensions of Dental Hygiene magazine.

Posted in: back to school, Damaged Teeth

Straight Talk About Crooked Wisdom Teeth

TMJ Therapy, Severna Park, MDWisdom teeth are the source of much dental anxiety. The removal  of wisdom teeth is one of the most frequently performed yet much dreaded procedures among consumers of dental care. Maybe Dr. Morgan can help lessen some of that anxiety. A cure for fear is sometimes knowledge so let us give you some straight talk about your crooked wisdom teeth.

1. Wisdom Teeth Is a “Nickname”

Wisdom teeth are thus named because they erupt later in your life, usually between the ages of 17-25. Clinically wisdom teeth are known as “third molars”. They’re called this because they are similar to the first two sets of molars towards the back of the mouth, except for their late arrival.

Third molars often cause issues because they erupt after the rest of the teeth are almost  all completely settled in their permanent positions in your mouth. This limits the amount of space the wisdom teeth have to grow in which can cause impaction- when teeth grow into each other.  Impaction can lead to pain or infection, although some patients never have problems!

2. Not Everyone Receives Wisdom… Teeth

It’s true. Some lucky few are born without wisdom teeth! Dr. Morgan can see your wisdom teeth present before they erupt on a dental x-ray, and if there are no signs of the third molars below the gum line, they may not come in at all. Dr. Morgan can also predict if your wisdom teeth will grow in properly, without problems, by using the x-ray to examine their positioning.

However, the wisdom teeth can still erupt many years beyond young adulthood in some cases. Next time you see Dr. Morgan, you can ask if your wisdom teeth are still waiting to come out or if you might have been born without them. The answer may surprise you!

3. They All Arrive at Different Times

Wisdom teeth are “supposed to” come in between the ages of 17 to 25, but that doesn’t mean they will all come at once. While all four may erupt together, it’s also possible for the two on top to come in before, or after, the two on the bottom — or even for one set to come in while the other never comes in!

Also, not all four may cause problems. One set may cause problems while the other is able to grow in properly depending on the room available in that part of your mouth. If there isn’t enough room, they may become impacted, growing in under your existing rear molars. Sometimes, because of their position, wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean, which can lead to cavities.  This is why it’s important to schedule regular cleanings and examinations at Dr. Morgan’s office.

If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Morgan today by calling 410.415.9015 or scheduling an appointment online.

Posted in: dental anxiety, general dentist severna park area, general dentistry, Oral Health, wisdom teeth