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What is a Tooth Abscess? (Updated)

August 19, 2019 in Dental Emergencies by mccarl_dental
Tooth Abscess Before Dental Treatment

Tooth Abscess Before Dental Treatment

Tooth abscess is actually a leading reason that people seek emergency dental treatment, and without immediate treatment, this condition can have serious repercussions for both oral and whole body health. Understanding the warning signs of infection and tooth abscess can help you avoid severe, long-term oral health issues. Keep reading to learn a little more about what causes tooth abscess, the common symptoms to look out for, and how your dentist can treat tooth abscess and restore your smile.

The Emergency Dentist Greenbelt Turns to for Cracked or Broken Teeth

July 30, 2015 in Dental Emergencies,Dentistry by mccarl_dental

Severley Broken Teeth Requiring RC & Crown from McCarl Dental group the emergency dentist greenbelt trustsCracked or broken teeth are more than uncomfortable, they can be painful, unsightly and detrimental to oral health. Yet, many patients choose to live with cracked or broken teeth rather than seeking immediate treatment. If you have a cracked or broken tooth, don’t postpone your dental care. The skilled dentist Greenbelt turns to, McCarl Dental Group, can see you quickly (on the same day in most cases) and will work to retain your natural tooth whenever possible. Call our Greenbelt or Millersville, MD offices to find out more today.

Causes of Cracked or Broken Teeth

Many patients use the terms cracked and broken tooth interchangeably, but there is a difference. Cracked teeth are still whole, but there is a crack in the enamel and/or dentin tooth layers. Whereas broken teeth actually have a piece or pieces that have broken off. However, the same types of dental trauma can lead to both cracked and broken teeth. Common causes of cracked and broken teeth include:

  • Biting into a hard object
  • Trauma (fall, car accident, being hit)
  • Tooth decay weakening the enamel
  • Sports related injuries
  • Deteriorated seal between tooth and fillings, inlays, onlays or crowns

Cracked or Broken Tooth Repair

Cracked teeth can often be repaired with a filling, onlay or crown, but most patients don’t become aware that their tooth is cracked until it breaks, decays or causes irritation and sensitivity in the pulp. A cracked tooth can easily be broken during chewing or talking as teeth grind together. Additionally, bacteria entering the crack are unlikely to be removed by routine brushing and flossing making the affected tooth susceptible to decay, and finally, as the crack breaks through the enamel and inner dentine layer of tooth it begins to cause irritation to the soft, pulp layer that contains the nerves. Eventually, this becomes extremely painful and can lead to root canal infection.

There are three main types of cracks: fractured cusps, split teeth, and vertical root fractures. Each is treated differently. In all cases, the fractured part of the tooth will likely need to be removed. A small tooth fracture can be repaired with a bonded filling. A larger fracture needs a crown or onlay.

In the case of split teeth, at least one root is usually able to be retained, and the remainder of the tooth is replaced with a crown. Root canal therapy is necessary before restoration in a split tooth in order to remove infection or inflammation when the crack reaches the pulp. Unfortunately, vertical root fractures usually result in the tooth being extracted. These cracks run through the center of the root and compromise the strength of the rest of the tooth making it very difficult to preserve the structure. We have numerous tooth replacement options at McCarl Dental Group that will restore your smile after tooth loss including dental crown and bridge, dental implants, full and partial dentures.

Broken teeth are repaired similarly to cracked teeth. Once the fractured portion of a cracked tooth is removed, it essentially becomes a broken tooth. Bonded fillings can repair small breaks in teeth. Crowns are needed for larger breaks. Root canal therapy is required for even more extensive broken teeth and extraction for teeth that are broken through the foundation of the root.

Call the Dentist Millersville Loves – McCarl Dental Group

Our dental care practitioners are here to help patients when dental disaster strikes. Whatever the cause of your cracked or broken tooth, we can stop the pain and help get your beautiful smile back. Call to schedule an emergency restorative dentistry appointment today. Our Millersville and Greenbelt dental practices welcome patients from local communities including Annapolis, Crofton, Glen Burnie, Bowie, Laurel, Glen Dale, University Park, and Hyattsville.

Why Does My Tooth Hurt After Drinking Hot or Cold Beverages?

June 30, 2015 in Dental Emergencies,General dentistry by mccarl_dental

Hot or cold beverages can make your teeth sensitive.This is a question we are asked all the time, and we believe there is never a good time to avoid the drinks you love.  In the summer, there is nothing better than an ice cold beverage during an Orioles or Nationals game or after a sail on the Chesapeake Bay.  In the winter, a hot drink can warm the soul.

Accordingly, let us shed some light on what might be causing this tooth sensitivity.  To start, know you are not alone.  Unfortunately, there are more than a million people across Maryland every year who avoid hot and cold drinks because of tooth sensitivity.  While most of these cases are resolved with education and proven homecare protocols, an estimated 280,000 each year require a root canal to solve the problem.

If you are one of the millions with tooth sensitivity, your next step depends on the severity and frequency of the pain.

Less than 15 Seconds of Sensitivity

If pain or discomfort lasts only for a few seconds after drinking a hot or cold beverage, the problem is unlikely to be serious.  In these cases, the sensitivity is likely the result of minor decay, a loose or lost filling or minor gum recession.  It makes sense to schedule a visit to your dentist as soon as possible, but it does not require emergency dental care.  You may need a cavity repaired, and it is likely you will be asked to improve your at-home care.  Brushing in a vertical pattern with a soft bristle toothbrush is a start.  Electronic toothbrushes can also be very beneficial.  Fluoride toothpastes that help reduce sensitivity are another option, and flossing regularly will make a positive difference.

Sensitivity that Lasts 30 Seconds or More

In these cases, you have likely suffered permanent damage to the internal structure (pulp) of your tooth.  This could have been caused by deep decay, a tooth fracture, an accident or trauma, or it could be the result of a serious infection.  In either case, it is best to get a dental appointment scheduled immediately for thorough evaluation – before the pain becomes constant and unbearable.  Even if the pain eventually subsides, a deep filling or root canal may be needed to remove the tooth decay or infection and to help avoid further damage.

What is a Root Canal?

In popular culture, root canals have gotten a bum rap.  In reality, they are relatively quick, economical and painless procedures.  Plain and simple, a root canal is a procedure through which a dentist removes the damaged nerve in your tooth, disinfects the surrounding tooth structure and reseals the area with an artificial filler material.  Surveys by the American Association of Endodontists show more than 90% of people reporting positive results from root canals, and the reasons are obvious.  You arrive at the dental office in pain.  Less than an hour later (in most cases), you are walking out the door with a smile on your face.

Grab the Hot & Cold Drinks

At the end of the day, we hope this helps you find a practical answer to your question.  If minor sensitivity is keeping you away from enjoying hot and cold beverages, your body is telling you something.  Listen.  It is giving you an early warning signal that your teeth need some attention.  It is telling you to give your dentist a call and to take care of the problem before it becomes severe.