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Lutherville & Havre de Grace Oral Surgeon

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Correcting Your Overbite

More than just a matter of physical appearance, an overbite can quickly become a major hindrance to your overall health if left untreated. While a slight overbite of a few millimeters is common, more serious issues should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible. As time goes on, issues with you bite can worsen dramatically.

What is An Overbite?

Malocclusion, or deep overbite, often occurs when a patient has a recessive chin. This feature can affect the shape of the face, making it appear shorter, rounder and older. Beyond physical features, patients with malocclusion usually suffer from headaches and TMJ pain. They are also more likely to clench their jaw and grind their teeth.

Why it’s So Important

As patients continue to clench and grind, the overbite can become more pronounced, leading to problems with speech and difficulty maintaining proper oral health. Eventually, as oral hygiene decreases, patients may begin to experience pain. As a result, your nutrition and health may suffer. Nobody enjoys a painful eating experience.

If you think you may have an overbite, or are already experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, you should immediately consult with your doctor to see which solutions may be best for you. If advanced intervention is required, your general doctor may refer you to an oral surgeon. Contact us to discuss overbite surgery and schedule an exam.

Lutherville MD Oral Surgeon | What is Hemisection Dental Surgery?

Hemisection is a type of dental or endodontic surgery in which half of an injured or infected molar is removed. This type of treatment is only used for molars, due to their larger size and dual-root structure that provides added strength and stability. A hemisection may be recommended in certain cases to allow the healthy portion of the affected tooth to be preserved, rather than extracting the full molar.

When might a hemisection be recommended?

Our dentist may recommend a hemisection for you if you experience any of these:

  • Vertical fracture, due to trauma or decay
  • Vertical bone loss near the molar
  • Damage to pulp chamber
  • Infection of tooth that has had root canal treatment
  • Gum disease affecting the area between the molar’s two roots

How is a hemisection performed?

Our doctor will gently expose the structure beneath your molar to confirm that one root is healthy enough to be preserved. The infected or injured root is removed and the gap is cleansed and filled. A crown will be fabricated and placed to strengthen the tooth after treatment.

Hemisection provides an effective option to save a molar that may otherwise require full extraction. If you have a molar that may be injured or infected, contact our team as soon as possible for an evaluation.

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.