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Lutherville & Havre de Grace Oral Surgeon

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | How to Prevent Dry Socket

Alveolar osteitis, more commonly known as dry socket, is a temporary complication that can occur following a tooth extraction. Fortunately, it is rare, preventable, and short-lived. Here are some tips to help avoid dry socket after oral surgery and ensure a quick and comfortable recovery.

What is Dry Socket?

When your tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the space left behind. This clot helps to block the underlying bone, gum tissue, and nerves from bacterial infection or food debris while the extraction site heals. In rare cases, the clot can be dislodged or not form correctly, which can leave the site exposed. This is dry socket.

The most common sign of dry socket is a throbbing, deep-set discomfort from within the extraction area. A foul smell may emanate, causing bad breath as well as an unappealing taste in your mouth. If this occurs, contact our office right away.

Risk Factors and Prevention

Developing dry socket is rare, but certain factors can put you at increased risk. Tobacco use, oral contraceptives, poor oral hygiene, or gum infection around the extraction site can increase your chances. To prevent dry socket, avoid using straws, brushing the extraction area, or rinsing your mouth vigorously during healing. Follow your post-treatment instructions and contact our office if you have questions.

Treatment and Recovery

If you do develop dry socket, we will provide quick, effective treatment. Our team will flush the area to remove any debris, and pack the extraction site with gauze or other dressing. Medication may be prescribed to help reduce discomfort. It is important to attend follow-up appointments to ensure your timely recovery.

Dry socket is rare, and is temporary and treatable when it does occur. Our experienced team will guide you throughout your recovery. For more information on post-extraction care, contact our office.

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Apicoectomy – What is it and Why is it Needed?

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Apicoectomy - What is it and Why is it Needed?

If you have ever needed root canal therapy, you may know that an Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treatment of the tooth root. However, there are some cases where traditional root canal therapy will not be possible or will not yield the best solution for your infection. In these cases, your dentist may refer you to our office for an apicoectomy. Here’s what you need to know:

What it is

An apicoectomy is a minor treatment that involves removing the infected tip of a tooth root, then sealing the interior of the tooth to prevent further infection. 

Why It Is Done

In most cases, when pulp in the root of a tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy is performed. This removes the infection and prevents it from spreading further. In traditional root canal therapy, the full pulp is removed from the tooth, along with any infected tissue. When this is not possible or previous root canal therapy has failed, an apicoectomy is recommended.

An apicoectomy is generally performed by a certified Endodontist, like our doctor. You will receive local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout your treatment. We will make a small incision in the gum tissue. The inflamed root tip is then removed and sealed to prevent the infection from spreading. You should expect this treatment to take 30 to 90 minutes. In most cases, an apicoectomy on a front tooth takes less time than one on a lower molar.

What to expect afterwards

Like any oral surgery, some discomfort can occur for the first few days following the procedure. When brushing your teeth, you will want to be gentle around the area. Any further discomfort can usually be mitigated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. We may prescribe medicine, if needed, to alleviate any discomfort that cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications. Please use medications only as directed by our doctor.

Unlike traditional root canal therapy, you may not need to have a dental crown placed following an apicoectomy.

Acting on root issues as soon as they are detected is your best defense against infection and tooth loss. For more tips on keeping teeth healthy or for questions about apicoectomies, contact our office.

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth

Are you embarrassed to show your smile because of missing teeth? For many people, missing teeth can create a feeling of diminished self-confidence. Modern dentistry can not only replace the gaps in your smile, our team can also create long-term replacements that look and feel just like your natural teeth. You have options. Here are a few of the most common tooth replacement solutions.

Dentures

Dentures are a solution for those who have lost many or all their teeth. They create a realistic, aesthetically pleasing smile. They are ideal for patients that are missing multiple teeth on either the top or bottom. Our team will start by taking an impression of your mouth. We will then send the impression to a lab for a customized set of dentures to be created. Once your dentures are ready, we will ensure a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments. Dentures should be cleaned regularly with a non-abrasive cleanser. Our team will provide you with all the information you need to take care of your dentures.

Bridges

You may have heard of dental bridges referred to as partial dentures. Dental bridges are a replacement solution for one or more missing teeth. They help prevent your existing teeth from shifting into the empty gaps of your missing teeth. Bridges utilize your surrounding teeth as an anchor for your replacements. Our team can match the bridge to look like your natural teeth; no one will even notice the difference.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement option. Unlike dentures, which may require replacement, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Our team will ensure your gum tissue is healthy enough with adequate bone support to anchor the implant. For some patients, additional preparations may be necessary such as a bone graft to guarantee your implant has a strong, stable foundation.

The gaps in your smile can be filled. Our team can help you decide on a tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. It is important to fill the gaps of missing teeth to prevent deterioration to your gums and the shifting of teeth into these empty spaces. Additionally, tooth replacement solutions such as dentures, bridges, or implants can help improve your speech and comfort.

If you are missing teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team.

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth.

The Basics

Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.

What This Means for You

An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease.

Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health

An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health!

The Importance of Examinations

You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.

What You Can Do

We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our doctor can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine.

For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office.

Havre de Grace MD Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health. 

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YESCleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums. 

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information. 

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis. 

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues. 

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Orthodontics and Oral Surgery

Are you planning on having orthodontic treatment? In some cases, patients may be referred to our office for oral surgery prior to starting their orthodontic treatment. Below are some of the reasons why this can occur. 

You need one or more teeth extracted.  

If your teeth are too crowded due to large teeth, small mouth, or other factors, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend having one or more teeth extracted. By strategically removing a few, the rest of your teeth will have the space they need to be guided into proper position by your orthodontic treatment. 

You need your wisdom teeth removed. 

The third molars, known as the wisdom teeth, are the last to emerge and are located in the far rear of your mouth. Before beginning orthodontic treatment, your dentist or orthodontist will review your x-rays to see whether your wisdom teeth are likely to have issues that could affect your treatment. Some of these issues include impaction, causing crowding or cracking of neighboring teeth, or shifting neighboring teeth from their proper position. If any of these are expected to occur, you may be referred to our office to have your wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure prior to beginning your treatment. 

You need corrective jaw surgery. 

Major misalignment of the jaw that can benefit from corrective jaw surgery can be indicated by any of a wide range of symptoms, including:  
 

  • Difficulty with biting, chewing, or swallowing 
  • Chronic pain in head, neck, or jaw 
  • Receding or protruding jaw 
  • Face appearing unbalanced 
  • Open bite, inability to close lips over teeth 
  • Excessive wear 
  • Sleep apnea and/or chronic mouth breathing 
  • Birth defects and/or facial injury 

If your dentist or orthodontist refers you to our office, our surgeon will work together with them to plan your treatment and follow-up care. Ensure beautiful, long-lasting orthodontic results by contacting our office for your orthodontic oral surgery needs. 

Oral Surgeon in Lutherville | One Tool for Better Gum Health

Oral Surgeon in Lutherville

Loose teeth, bad breath, and painful, bloody gums – these are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal, or gum, disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease can also begin without any obvious symptoms. If left undiagnosed or untreated, you could be at risk for irreparable damage to your teeth and gums. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable. In fact, one of the most effective tools for preventing the disease only takes a minute of your time each day. 

Floss to the Rescue 

Dental floss is an effective and easy to use tool that can be among your best defenses for preventing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Even if your daily oral hygiene routine already includes a thorough brushing that lasts for two minutes, at least twice each day, you should be flossing daily as well. Dental floss is highly effective at cleaning areas where your toothbrush cannot reach. Small gaps and tight spaces between teeth catch food debris and sugars and acids from drinks all day long. Flossing helps to clean out these tough to reach spaces. 

Facts Behind Flossing 

According to a survey referenced by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss each day. The same study showed a clear link between regular intra-oral care and better oral health. Unfortunately, many people also lie about how frequently they clean between their teeth. A study from the American Academy of Periodontology found that 27% of adults lie to their dentist about their flossing habits. 

Tips for Flossing Correctly 

It can be confusing to figure out the best way to use dental floss. Try cutting off about 18 inches of floss and wrapping most of it carefully around your middle finger. Use roughly one inch to clean between each pair of teeth. Using your thumb and index finger, carefully slide the floss between your teeth. Floss to your gumline, but be gentle. Avoid cutting your gums. Work your way through your 18 inches of floss by using a new, clean section between each pair of adjacent teeth. 

It only takes about a minute to floss your teeth each day, but these minutes contribute to a lifetime of optimal oral health. Floss is among the most effective tools at your disposal to keep your gums clean and healthy. Get into the habit of flossing your teeth regularly – your gums will thank you. 

For more information about gum health, or to schedule a visit to our office, please contact our team. 

Oral Surgeon 21093 | What to Know About E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health

The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what you need to know.  

The Vapor Ingredients 

Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking. 

What This Means for Your Oral Health 

A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans. 

These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases. 

Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.  

Steps You Can Take 

Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease. 

Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease. 

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact us. 

Oral Surgeon Harve de Grace MD |5 Teeth Sensitivity Myths

Do you suffer from regular sensitivity? Teeth sensitivity is often misunderstood, but our dental team can help you find relief. We’re here to separate the fact from fiction in sensitivity. 

MYTH: People’s teeth are supposed to hurt when they bite into cold or hot foods. 

Feelings of sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods should not be a typical experience. If you suffer from hypersensitivity, it can actually be a sign that something is wrong. There are many causes for hypersensitivity including cavities, older dental fillings, worn tooth enamel, gum disease, and exposed tooth roots. Dentin hypersensitivity is a common issue. A visit to our dental office can help you find relief.  

MYTH: Desensitizing toothpastes are not effective in reducing teeth sensitivity. 

Desensitizing toothpastes include compounds like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These ingredients work by preventing pain signals being transmitted between the surface of your tooth and the inside nerves. It may take several applications of the toothpaste until you will feel a noticeable difference. Prescription strength toothpastes are also an option for more severe and prolonged feelings of sensitivity. Ask our dentist to recommend a toothpaste for your needs. 

MYTH: You shouldn’t drink coffee or eat ice cream if you have sensitive teeth. 

You don’t have to be limited from eating or drinking your favorite foods. It is important to check with our dentist to determine the root cause of your discomfort. Based on your cause, we may recommend a prescribed toothpaste or another treatment. You should always maintain proper oral care to prevent sensitivity. 

MYTH: Sensitivity never results in tooth loss.  

Sensitivity may in fact be a precursor to tooth loss. Gum recession, which exposes the roots of your teeth, can cause general sensitivity among several teeth at the same time. Prolonged and untreated gum recession can lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay can also cause sensitivity. When left untreated, it may lead to an infection in the gums or jaw and risk spreading to other areas in the head or neck. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a difference in keeping your smile healthy.  

MYTH: Sensitivity does not have a cure.  

Depending on the cause, there are many ways to treat teeth sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent any sensitive tooth pain. If you experience sensitivity, schedule a comprehensive dental examination today. 

We look forward to seeing you. Contact our team to schedule your next visit.  

Lutherville and Havre de Grace Dental Implants
2360 W. Joppa Road, Suite 310, Lutherville, MD 21093
2027 Pulaski Highway, Suite 113, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
(410) 670-4500

Harve de Grace Oral Surgeon | Jaw Surgery: How Our Team Can Help You

Most people understand the importance of health, plenty of exercise, a proper diet, and regular check-ups. But let’s be honest, jaw alignment is not commonly thought about when referring to overall health and well-being. Most people don’t realize just how important having an aligned smile is to your health. If you are having trouble chewing food, chronic jaw or jaw joint pain (TMJ), excessive erosion or wear of your teeth, or a protruding jaw then you may want to consider jaw surgery, or at the very least, preventative measures. 

Corrective jaw surgery – also called orthognathic surgery – is used to correct a variety of skeletal and dental irregularities of the jaw bones while realigning both the jaw and teeth. Jaw surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS), to improve jaw function and facial appearance. Jaw surgery may be your only option if you have tried orthodontics and your jaw-related issues have not been corrected. If you’ve been told jaw surgery is something to consider, contact us to learn how we can help you. 

Our team is here to help correct any jaw issues and discomfort you may be experiencing. We provide jaw surgery to improve chewing, correct problems with swallowing or speech, correct facial imbalance (asymmetry), repair facial injury, and more. 

Braces can be used for up to 18 months before surgery to better align your teeth in preparation for the procedure. Our team will work to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our team will take X-rays, pictures and models of your teeth. Other exams such as, three-dimensional CT scanning, computer-guided treatment planning and orthodontic devices are often used as a part of treatment.  

Our team understands this is a long-term commitment for you and your family and will do our best to give you a positive experience through transparent communication, comfort measures and financial options. Contact us today. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing a comfortable experience for you. 

Leonard Spector, D.D.S.
Chesapeake Oral Surgery & Dental Implants

2360 W. Joppa Road, Suite 310, Lutherville MD 21093 2027 Pulaski Highway, Suite 113, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 Phone:(410) 670-4500
Email:patients@chesapeakeimplants.com