General Dentistry

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Signs You Need a Root Canal

A root canal happens when a dentist cleans out a tooth’s decay from the root and pulp. Our teeth have a layer of enamel, which is followed by a layer of dentin underneath. At the core of the tooth lies a soft root that extends into our jawbone.

When decay enters the soft core of our tooth, the core can become infected, and that is when you’re going to need a root canal. That said, understanding when you may need one can be difficult since the more apparent symptoms can’t be felt until the problem has become advanced. A 2016 research found that these symptoms can differ depending on the type of bacteria affecting your tooth.

Let Dr. Adesanya of My Bowie Dentist help you with a few surefire ways of knowing when you need a root canal.

1.     Consistent Pain

Consistent pain is one of the most prominent signs you need a root canal. The pain in your tooth will bother you throughout the day. Even though it may go away for a few instances, it will always return. You’re going to feel the pain deep inside the bone of your tooth, but this may also mean some other things:

  • a cavity,
  • pain because of a sinus infection,
  • an infected tooth,
  • gum disease, or
  • a damaged filling

No matter the issue, it’s always a good idea to visit a dentist in Bowie, Maryland, like Dr. Adesanya of My Bowie Dentist.

2.     Dark Discoloration

A discolored tooth is often the result of poor hygiene because different foods and drinks stain our tooth’s enamel. In other cases, this can also happen because of nerve damage below the tooth’s surface. When blood vessel damage or nerve damage occurs, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Bowie, Maryland, for a root canal.

But it’s also important to remember that discoloration can happen due to other causes.

3.     A Swollen Gum Area

Swollen gums around the painful tooth can be a sign that you need a root canal. The swelling may not be consistent. It may be harder when you touch it or hurt when you run your tongue over it. This is often caused by the waste of dead pulp tissues, which cause swelling.  However, you can also have a pimple on your gum called a parulis or a gum boil. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and cause bad breath.

4.     A Cracked/Chipped Tooth

If you’ve cracked or chipped your tooth because of an accident or contact sport, you may also need a root canal. This is because the crack can be prone to bacteria, which may damage the nerves of your tooth.

Bowie Family Dentist

If you still have more questions about how to identify a root canal or if you think you have one, you should contact Dr. Adesanya of My Bowie Dentist to have all of your concerns resolved. His goal is to restore smiles and ensure you leave his practice happier. To get in touch, call him on (301) 464 1800, or click here to fill out a form.

springtime allergies and oral health

How Your Springtime Allergies May Be Impacting Your Oral Health

Springtime is here and there are a multitude of allergies that come with it especially with our oral health.

Many people experience dryness, nasal congestion and sinus issues as the weather changes. While these problems may not seem like the source of any dental issues, this is far from the truth. Sinus problems and other allergic symptoms that come during springtime can cause dental issues.

Your allergies can be the source of any number of oral health problems like sore throats, toothaches and dryness of the mouth.

Let’s discuss how springtime allergies are indirectly affecting your oral health and some tips on how you can overcome or avoid them.


During spring and fall, allergies can peak and create problems that cause toothaches. If you have ever experienced pain or discomfort in your cheek area during these peak times, it is likely caused by your molars.

The mucus that builds up in your sinuses during springtime can bring added pressure around your molars and cause pain or discomfort around your cheeks. The way our sinuses are working is by draining upwards rather than downwards, making it difficult for your body to cope when they are affected.

Dry Mouth

Moving from winter to spring, many people forget to increase their water intake, and this can create problems. The lack of hydration and a stuffy nose that blocks your nasal cavity and airways can lead to some serious oral dryness.

Your stuffy nose will typically force you to breathe out of your mouth, making matters worse. Dry mouths with low levels of saliva are bad for your teeth. Saliva acts as a flush for cavity and decay-causing bacteria in your mouth. If you have a dry mouth, your saliva is not flushing these bacteria properly.

Pro Tip: Increase your water intake to account for the weather change and eat sugar-free gum or candy to promote saliva production in your mouth to help keep the bacteria out.

Throat Irritation

Congestion in your nasal cavity that causes you to breathe from your mouth is not only affecting your mouth but also your throat. The cool air in your available airways can experience drainage from nasal passages and cause irritation in your throat.

Bowie Family Dentist

Springtime allergens can create irritating problems that cause issues for your sinuses, mouth, throat and indirectly, your teeth and oral health. Luckily, these allergens are not long-lived and will pass in time for you to enjoy the beauty and feeling of springtime.

If you are going through springtime with the discomfort of the mentioned dental issues, do not hesitate to consult your dentist immediately. They can better diagnose your problem than anyone else and guide you through the proper steps.

If you are looking for an expert dentist in or around Maryland, we highly recommend Dr. Abiodun Adesanya at My Bowie Dentist. He is an experienced and well-loved professional, providing all dental care solutions for you and your family.

signs of gum disease

Signs of Gum Disease

Oral healthcare problems like gum disease, also known as gingivitis, are ignored by many because they are mostly unnoticeable. Most people are more concerned with tooth problems because they come with noticeable pain whereas, gum disease often has no pain.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums caused by built-up plaque bacteria on the gum line and teeth. It is easily treatable and can be reversed through minimal treatment and regular oral care. Prolonged gingivitis, however, can lead to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis.

Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, causes the loss of supporting bone around your teeth, leading to tooth loss. A dentist can accurately identify plaque buildup, gingivitis, and periodontitis in your mouth and recommend the correct treatments.

Periodontitis is treatable but requires more evasive treatments and may also require a periodontist, a dental specialist. Which is why identifying and treating gum disease in its initial gingivitis stage is crucial for the health and longevity of your teeth and gums.

Signs of Gum Disease

There are a number of signs that you may have gum disease, which should get checked and treated by a dentist. They include:

  • Swollen, tender and red gums
  • Consistently bad breath even with regular brushing
  • Recessed gums
  • Changes in biting
  • Pus between the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums, especially while brushing

What Causes Gums to Bleed?

The main cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. When plaque mixes with food debris, it forms acids that affect your teeth. The plaque buildup mineralizes to become tartar; this plaque and tartar formation cause swollen gums, which lead to bleeding.

There are many other factors that cause bleeding gums, including but not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Hard brushing
  • Hormonal changes, like during pregnancy
  • Infection

What Can You Do?

The first and most important thing to remember is regular oral care in the form of flossing after meals, brushing twice daily, and using mouthwash regularly. This will not only prevent gum disease but can also reverse gingivitis and plaque buildup.

If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any of the mentioned signs of gum disease, you should immediately consult your dental professional and get a diagnosis for your symptoms. It could be gum disease, or it could just be that you brushed too hard; only a professional can confirm.

Additionally, you should regularly visit your dentist twice a year for checkups, even if you have healthy teeth with no signs of oral problems. This is because only a dental professional can identify oral issues, like gum disease, accurately to diagnose and treat the problems before they become more serious.

If you currently do not have a dental professional for your oral health, we highly recommend Dr. Abiodun Adesanya, D.D.S., at My Bowie Dentist for all your dental and oral healthcare needs. He is an experienced dental professional focused on enhancing your total oral health and well-being.

types of mouth guards

What Type of Mouth Guard Should I Be Using?

There are many reasons why wearing a mouth guard could benefit you.  There are also a few different types of mouth guards out there.  Which one is right for you? And when should you wear it?

Mouthguards are used to protect you from certain injuries, but also to help protect your teeth from grinding and clenching at night while you’re sleeping.  There are three main types of mouth guards out there and they each come with their own benefits, making some more beneficial for certain situations than others.

Types of Mouth Guards

There are a few different types of mouth guards out there, but the three primary types of mouth guards out there are:

·         Stock Mouth Guards

·         Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards

·         Custom Made Mouth Guards


Let’s dig in a bit deeper to see what each entails.

Stock Mouth Guards

Stock mouth guards are typically the most affordable options out there and can be found at most sporting good stores.  However, there isn’t much to be done regarding how they fit.  They are rather bulky and may make breathing and talking difficult because to keep the mouth guard in place and to prevent movement, the jaw must be clenched shut.  These mouth guards fit over the top of your teeth and come in small, medium and large sizes.

Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards

Also called “mouth-formed” mouth guards, this particular version of mouth guard is similar to the stock mouth guard as it is relatively inexpensive and can be found at most sporting good stores.  They come in one size that you can customize to fit your teeth.  The process to fitting this mouth guard to your teeth includes boiling the mouth guard until it softens and then placing it over your teeth and biting down.  Don’t worry, if you choose to use one of these, they all come with instructions to help you customize the fit.  One of the advantages to this mouth guard is that if the fit is not comfortable on your first attempt to boil and bite, you can restart the process by boiling it again.

Custom Made Mouth Guards

A custom-made mouth guard is designed to fit comfortably and offer the most protection as it is custom made by your dentist, specifically for your mouth.  Dr. Adesanya would take an impression of your teeth, which would then be used by his lab technician to create the custom-fitted mouth guard.  This mouth guard is the costliest of the three options, but also, the safest and most comfortable option out there.

Determining Which Mouth Guard to Use

Now that we’ve talked about the three main options out there, which one is right for you?  Four of the main reasons people seek out mouth guards are for:

·         Sports

·         Sleep Apnea

·         Snoring

·         Teeth Grinding


Each of those comes with their own form of trouble and not all mouth guards are a good fit for the lot of those.  So, which one is right for you?


Many sports are considered high risk in terms of receiving an injury that could cause damage to your face.  Some of those sports include football, soccer, boxing, basketball, field hockey, baseball, softball, wrestling, and more.

For those involved in recreational sports such as those mentioned above, a stock mouth guard or boil-and-bite mouth guard may be a good option as you’re likely only wearing the mouth guard occasionally.  They are the most affordable options out there for a mouth guard you’ll only be wearing every once in a while.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is serious in nature as it causes a person to stop breathing while they are asleep.  A CPAP machine is often used for those with sleep apnea to help those suffering with it to keep their airways open.  For those with mild cases of sleep apnea, a custom-made mouth guard from your dentist may actually offer a similar effect.  However, it is best to consult with your doctor and your dentist to determine what may be the right treatment plan for you.

The stock and boil-and-bite mouth guards would not be a good option for those suffering from sleep apnea.


Did you know that mouth guards can help reduce snoring? Your spouse will thank you for this one! Talk to your dentist to see if they have a brand that they recommend of if a custom mouth guard would be the right option for you.

Teeth Grinding

A form of bruxism, teeth griding and clenching often occurs while an individual is sleeping.  This disorder can cause a whole host of issue ranging from tooth and jaw pain to sore gums or even fractured teeth. A mouth guard worn while sleeping can help keep separated so the pressure from grinding and clenching doesn’t result in further damage to your teeth.  While a custom fitted mouth guard from your dentist is your best option, a boil-and-bite mouth guard can also do the job.  However, the boil-and-bite mouth guards do tend to become brittle with frequent use.

Family Dentist in Bowie, Maryland

For help with choosing the right mouth guard or to talk to Dr. Adesanya about getting your custom fitted mouth guard made, give his office a call at 301-464-1800.

maintain oral health this winter with these six tips

Winter Tips to Maintain Oral Hygiene

The temperatures are dropping and the climate is becoming drier every day, the holiday season is here and biting winds are destroying your skin. However, your skin is not the only thing that is at risk from the harshness of the changing weather.

The winter season can cause multiple dental problems in your mouth which we will discuss in detail in this article. We will talk about what the issues are and what you can do to maintain oral hygiene throughout the season.

Six Tips to Maintain Oral Hygiene in Winter

Dry Mouth

The dry weather can lead to lower levels of saliva production in your mouth and make your mouth feel dry. Hydrating regularly will help reduce the dryness and placing a humidifier can help increase the moisture levels in your home.

Chapped Lips

Dryness of the mouth and the cold weather can cause your lips to dry and crack very quickly. The sensitive skin on your lips cannot take the harshness of cold, dry winds. Applying petroleum jelly will help lock moisture in to soothe the symptoms. Using a lip balm that contains SPF will notably help when you are outdoors. It will help protect your lips from the harmful UV rays of the sun and promote healthy lips through the season.

Cold Sores

Small blisters that swell and burn can be caused by stress, fatigue and cold weather. You can minimize cold sores by keeping your lips moisturized and your hands clean to avoid spreading bacteria. Try to limit touching the mouth to avoid further irritation and spread.

Canker Sores

Most of us will eat more than usual around the holidays and canker sores can prove to be extremely irritating during this time. They peak on dry days and are aggravated further by acidic and spicy foods. Avoiding acidic and spicy foods will prevent canker sores altogether, but if you are already suffering then you should try to rinse your mouth with a mixture of a teaspoon of salt and half a glass of warm water. This will help clean the sores and promote faster healing.

Tooth Sensitivity

Breathing cold winter air can leave your teeth feeling sore and consuming hot or cold food and drinks will lead to tooth pain for those with sensitive teeth. Using toothpaste that is specially designed for sensitive teeth will greatly help relieve pain and promote oral hygiene.

Gum Infection

Cold weather weakens immune systems which can lead to inflammation and infection in your gums. Avoid touching your mouth and maintain good oral hygiene to prevent gum infection in your mouth.

Here are a few key things to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the winter season.
– Eat healthy and keep your mouth and body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Brush your teeth twice daily.
– Use specialized sensitivity toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
– Floss every night before bed.
– Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleaning at least twice a year.

A healthy and clean mouth can help avoid dental issues and maintain oral hygiene. You and your family can avoid winter dental problems by practicing the simple tips and steps mentioned here. If you have any kind of aches or pains in your mouth and teeth, always contact your dentist to seek professional advice.

The Effects of Quarantine on Oral Health

The Effects of Quarantine on Oral Health

Dentist offices across the nation – and globe – had been advised to close one COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) was declared a global pandemic this past March.  All routine appointments had to be rescheduled for a later date, which at the time was the X factor in all of this.  Here in Maryland, Dr. Adesanya’s office, along with all other dental practices, resumed routine care in May.  Reopening of dental offices during COVID-19 meant having to implement some new policies and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of both staff and patients.  The effects of the quarantine on oral health hasn’t necessarily been a good one.

Reopening in May

Upon being allowed to resume routine care, Dr. Adesanya released a statement with the following, “Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.”  This information was put out to inform patients that not only is Dr. Adesanya’s office taking all of the proper precautions, but they’re actually going above and beyond what is mandated.

The Quarantine and Oral Health

From the time dental offices closed their doors in mid-March through their reopening in mid-May, patients went two months without routine dental care.  Fewer people visiting their dentists for routine care or otherwise may be a good thing for dental insurers, but for everyone else, it means delaying checkups and cleanings that could reveal issues such as cavities that need to be tended to sooner than later.

Dental offices weren’t the only thing to close amidst COVID-19.  In fact, it was every business that was deemed non-essential.  This meant remote work for many and furloughs for others.  It meant prolonged quarantining in our homes and for some, a decrease in their level of personal and oral hygiene.  If your first Zoom meeting isn’t until 11am, it may be easy to pass over brushing your teeth in the morning.

Quarantining is also responsible for brining on new habits for individuals.  Some became addicted to online shopping, some picked up some new hobbies and some began unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, consuming sugar-filled comfort foods like sweets and sodas.  If you fall into the latter category, you’re not alone.

The Burden of 2020

Along with these sudden and dramatic changes brought on by the pandemic, came a fair share of stress.  From worrying about contracting the virus to financial hardships, 2020 has had more than a fair share of stress.

Stress can contribute to things such as teeth grinding, clenching, gum disease, dry mouth and more.  It can also cause your body to have high levels of cortisol which can increase those food cravings for sugary and fatty foods and is also associated with increased hunger hormones.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone in your body that regulates a wide range of processes from your metabolism to your immune response.  Perhaps one of the things cortisol is most commonly known for though, is the role it plays in your body’s response to stress – hence the cravings and increased hunger.

Dentist in Bowie, Maryland

All of this and more is why if you haven’t already rescheduled (or scheduled) your appointment with Dr. Adesanya, you should give his office a call today.  2020 has not been kind to many things, oral health included, so make sure your routine care is up to date to avoid any more unpleasant surprises 2020 may have in store (at least for your oral health).  Get in touch today by sending a secure message via our website or by calling: 301-464-1800.

Professional teeth whitening

Professional Teeth Whitening – Is It a Viable Option?

Is professional teeth whitening a viable option?

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American adults spend over $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products available over-the-counter or online. This figure represents the total amount spent in one year.

To further add to the prevalence of teeth whitening in the U.S., more than 38.29 million people in the United States used some form of DIY teeth whitener or had their teeth professionally whitened in 2019.

With so much emphasis on first impressions and smile being the first noticeable feature, people are concerned about the appearance of their teeth.

While professional teeth whitening is seemingly a very commonplace cosmetic dental procedure, you might not be a candidate (the eligibility criteria is not as strict as for a more intensive procedure – though it is still recommended that you consult with your dentist before starting any whitening treatments).

Professional Teeth Whitening

As the phrase implies, professional teeth whitening is a dental procedure that is carried out by a dental professional. Since this is a voluntary cosmetic procedure, people get it done regularly to address intrinsic and/or extrinsic stains.

  • Extrinsic teeth stains are usually caused by the food and drinks that come in contact with your teeth. Wine, tobacco (in cigarettes), tea, coffee etc. are common items that leave a stain behind.
  • Intrinsic teeth stains are those where the discoloration seeps beneath the enamel, creating more permanent stains. Intrinsic stains can also be caused by age-induced enamel thinning.

Typically, people with permanent teeth in generally good dental health are eligible for professional whitening. The gist is that if you haven’t had extensive dental work previously and have healthy gums, you are good to go.

The procedure is not recommended to those who have:

  • Receding gums
  • Mixed dentition – children that still have some of their deciduous or primary teeth
  • Dental work such as crowns, implants, caps and other restorative work
  • Gum bleeding issues
  • Sensitivity to any of the agents used in professional teeth whitening procedures

Do keep in mind that even professional whitening doesn’t work for all kinds of stains. Brown and grayish stains are harder to remove with simple bleach. However, there are other solutions for that such as veneers.

For minor extrinsic discoloration, your dentist may suggest whitening toothpaste and a professional cleaning session. For more stubborn stains, professional teeth whitening along with regular brushing, flossing and maintaining good dental hygiene is the suggestion.

While it might seem easy to determine whether you’re a candidate or not for teeth whitening, having a dentist’s professional opinion is crucial. Dr. Abiodun Adesanya, DDS, PC is based in Maryland and provides professional teeth whitening along with various other professional dental procedures and treatments. He will conduct a thorough physical assessment of your oral cavity, making sure there is nothing of concern. He will give his recommendation based on your current health status and whether the procedure will be effective in addressing your concerns regarding your teeth and smile.

Schedule an appointment with him today to have his expert opinion on how you can maintain dental and oral health and aesthetics.

teeth grinding and bruxism

Teeth Grinding and Bruxism

If you’re constantly waking up with a pounding headache and tense jaw muscles, there’s a possibility you may be suffering from teeth grinding aka bruxism.

Bruxism is a medical term for jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Aside from the headache and pain in your jaw muscles, the effects of bruxism aren’t apparent right away. In fact, you might not even realize you’re doing it.

However, over time, you might start noticing worn down or chipped teeth. That’s why it’s crucial that you book regular dental appointments so that your dentist can diagnose and start your treatment for bruxism right away.

Causes of Bruxism

Although the exact causes of bruxism remain unknown, several factors may be involved in causing bruxism.  For instance, jaw clenching and/or teeth grinding can occur when a person feels anxious or stressed. The mental strain can lead a person to grind their teeth and clench their jaw during the day. Stress increases adrenaline which mobilizes energy in the body and can ultimately manifest into teeth grinding or jaw clenching if you’re not moving your body.  This can also lead to sleep related disorders like bruxism or grinding of your teeth while asleep.  In such a case, the person himself may not realize it, but a partner or roommate might hear slight grinding noises from the person instead.

Certain medicines such as antidepressants can also cause teeth grinding as a side effect. A family history of teeth grinding, and bruxism can increase the risk as well.

In addition to stress and anxiety, bruxism can also be brought on by abnormal jaw posture and tooth positions. Sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea (conditions in which you suffer from irregular breathing) may also prove the culprit in causing you to grind your teeth while you sleep.

Some other common causes of teeth grinding may also be indicative of an unhealthy lifestyle. An increased intake of alcohol, drugs, caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee can also cause teeth grinding. Smoking cigarettes regularly can cause or worsen bruxism as well.

Bruxism in Children

Teeth grinding is also quite common amongst toddlers and babies. The ADA states that pain or discomfort from colds, ear infections, allergies and other ailments may cause your children to grind their teeth.  Teeth grinding can also occur while their teeth are emerging, but will soon pass once the teeth have set in.

Effects of Bruxism

As mentioned earlier, the effects of bruxism don’t always appear right away. Some symptoms may only become evident after your dentist has conducted an examination and he detects the condition during your checkup. Over time, if left untreated, bruxism can severely damage your teeth and affect your jaw as well.

The constant pressure on the teeth can cause the enamel to wear down, exposing the underlying layer of dentin.  This can then cause the tooth to become sensitive to certain foods, temperature changes, pressure and even brushing.

Teeth grinding can also change the shape of your teeth. They could become chipped, shorter, or start appearing flatter. You might start noticing gum recession as well as tenderness in your jaws.  In extreme cases, the pressure from clenching and grinding of teeth may cause the tooth (or teeth) to crack or fracture.

Moreover, teeth grinding can also lead to other dental problems such as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome. If you have any dental restorations, such as crowns or fillings, teeth grinding can damage that too.

Some other symptoms of bruxism include facial pain, headaches, earache, pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (TMJ), disrupted sleep and more.

Treatment of Bruxism

If you’re experiencing bruxism or suspect that you may be, you should schedule an appointment to speak with your dentist.  After a thorough examination, your dentist will be able to make an assessment of whether there’s been any damage to your teeth or gums as well as work with you determine a possible underlying cause and plan of action.

Some treatments of bruxism may include a referral to your doctor to be seen for stress and anxiety, the use of a mouth guard while sleeping, a prescription of muscle relaxers and more.  Mouth guards fit onto your teeth and keep the upper and lower separate to prevent damage from teeth grinding.

If your teeth grinding is a result of any medication you’re taking, you should speak with your doctor in the event they suggest a change in your medications.

Experienced Dentist in Bowie, Maryland

Timely treatment of bruxism helps in relieving short-term pain and discomfort and helps prevent long-term damage to the teeth and overall health of the jaw. If you have noticed any of the effects mentioned above, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist in Bowie, Maryland right away.  Dr. Adesanya and his team are only a phone call away.  Give us a call today at 301-464-1800.  We look forward to welcoming you!

Keeping your teeth healthy during valentine's day - Dr. Adesanya My Bowie Dentist

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Valentine’s Day


It is possible to keep your teeth healthy and have a healthy smile while also giving in a bit to your sweet tooth, especially during Valentine’s Day. While avoiding sweets altogether is the best option for your teeth, Dr. Adesanya, a family dentist in Bowie, Maryland, knows Valentine’s Day is a sweet day to indulge (pun intended). Here are some recommendations from Dr. Adesanya to keep your smile healthy this Valentine’s Day.

Choose Chocolate

Choose dark chocolate in particular. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than regular milk chocolate. Chocolate, in general though, dissolves faster than gummy and hard candies meaning the sugar has less time to form cavities in your mouth. That does not mean that you can’t get cavities from chocolate, it simply means that it is less likely to cause cavities than gummy and hard candies.

Skip the Gummies and Hard Candies

Hard candies and gummies can be a staple for any holiday and Valentine’s Day is no different. Conversation hearts come readily to mind here. Miniature packs of gummy bears and skittles to send with Valentine’s for your kid’s school party are also quite common. If possible, resist! These gummy and hard candies can stick to your teeth for an extended period of time and get caught between your teeth. And the longer they sit there, the higher the risk of a cavity. You may think hard candies are more harmless than gummies, especially if you’re one to crunch through the hard candy and not let it sit in your mouth for long. Crunching those hard candies can chip or crack your teeth in addition to irritating the soft tissue of your teeth. If you do indulge in gummies and hard candies, make sure you brush and floss after consuming this treat. For some other tips on keeping your teeth healthy check out our blog on Oral Hygiene Demystified.

Sugar-Free Alternatives

Though not as glamorous sounding, there are sugar-free alternatives to everything – sugar-free chocolates, gummies and hard candies galore!! When possible, Dr. Adesanya recommends switching to sugar-free goodies.

Non-Food Alternatives For Valentine’s Day

Chocolate and candy may be a Valentine’s Day staple, but so are flowers, balloons and teddy bears. Looking for some ideas for your kids to hand out in school? Why not consider alternatives to sugary treats such as bubbles (you can get a bulk pack of mini ones at the dollar store), pencils, rings or other small toys. Many stores carry these non-food alternatives to make your Valentine’s Day just as sweet without the sweets.

Brush and Floss For Healthy Teeth

No matter the treat, having a good oral hygiene routine is important. The American Dental Association and Dr. Adesanya agree that you should brush your teeth once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well! In addition to brushing, you should floss your teeth at least once a day to keep those teeth shining bright like a diamond. To schedule an appointment with a hygienist, give our office a call at 301-464-1800.

Family Dentist in Bowie, Maryland

With patients that call Dr. Adesanya the best dentist in Bowie, Maryland, he takes pride in his work and in the level of care he provides to every single patient. With a focus on general and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Adesanya’s goal and mission is to provide you and your family with the highest quality dental care in a caring, safe and relaxed environment. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Adesanya, give us a call or click here.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity: The How, The Why and The Treatment

Tooth pain is no picnic. In fact, pain from pulpitis (inflammation of the tooth nerve) is classified as the second most severe pain that a human can feel, second only to passing kidney stones.

Pain from teeth sensitivity is nowhere as severe as pulpitis pain, but can still be quite annoying, taking the fun away from simple everyday activities such as having a cup of hot coffee, or a cold scoop of ice cream.

Dr. Adesanya, heralded as one of the best dentists in Bowie, Maryland, explains the cause of tooth sensitivity:

“ The human tooth is quite a fascinating structure. It is formed of multiple layers, the outermost of which (called the enamel) is almost entirely made of calcium, so is quite insensitive and responsible for the protection of the tooth. The layer under that is known as the dentin and forms the main mantle of the tooth. Unlike the enamel, dentin is very sensitive, therefore when the enamel gets broken or chipped away, exposing the underlying dentin, that’s when the pain and sensitivity start.”

What Causes Enamel Wear and Tear/Dentin Exposure?

  • Tooth decay:
    It is obvious that the first reason for tooth sensitivity is tooth decay, which eats away at the strong enamel. When the decay has been present for a while without intervention, the enamel dissolves from the surface of the tooth, leaving the dentin to deal with the oral environment, and the pain starts. A fact that is quite unknown to most people is that tooth decay doesn’t have to cause a cavity in the tooth, which means the tooth could be ravaged by decay and you may not even know it. This decay isn’t always visible to the human eye but is something that would be visible on an x-ray.  For tips on brushing and flossing, check out our blog on Demystifying Oral Hygiene or schedule an appointment with one of our hygienists.
  • Teeth grinding:
    Another very common reason for tooth sensitivity is teeth grinding. The continuous friction between the upper and lower teeth gradually wears away the protective enamel layer, and eventually all the enamel disappears leaving the exposed dentin. This means that any cold or hot food or drink would cause pain.
  • Cracked Tooth:
    This is the most difficult case, not because the pain is more severe, but because it is the most difficult to diagnose. A crack has no visible clinical symptoms (apart from some sensitivity of course), and it also doesn’t show up on an x-ray. So, the only way the dentist could accurately diagnose the condition is a process of exclusion of all other causes of pain and sensitivity. The treatment is also quite aggressive, as it can only be treated by covering the tooth with a crown or even an extraction might be necessary.
  • Pockets and gum recession:
    This cause is unrelated to enamel, but is also due to exposure of dentin, this time that of the root rather than the crown. The root of the tooth is also mainly formed of dentin but is covered by the gums rather than the enamel.  So, when the root gets exposed (as in cases of pockets or gum recession) it is only common sense to assume that sensitivity would ensue.
  • Charcoal Toothpaste:
    You read that right, charcoal toothpaste is a cause for enamel wear and tear leading to tooth sensitivity despite its claims otherwise. In fact, Dr. Adesanya, along with the American Dental Association, warns against the use of charcoal toothpaste. Charcoal is too abrasive and can cause enamel erosion leading to dentin exposure.


Treatment and Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity

As Dr. Adesanya always says, prevention is better than cure. It is so much easier to prevent sensitivity than deal with its ramifications and treatment options. Prevention mainly consists of removing the causes of sensitivity, that is achieved through:

  • Proper oral hygiene:
    Brushing and flossing, together with a fluoride containing toothpaste go a long way as to prevent decay, as well as gingivitis and pockets. The proper way of brushing is also important.  Vigorous or improper brushing could lead to gum recession and subsequently sensitivity.
  • Night guard:
    A plastic or rubber stent that is worn on top of teeth, especially at night, to prevent teeth grinding. This in turn prevents wear of enamel as well as tooth cracks which are two of the main reasons for sensitivity.

If the problem already occurred, here is how you could treat it:

  • Fluoride application:
    The first line of treatment of sensitivity is closing away the sensitive pores of the dentin with fluoride. Fluoride is applied either at home through toothpastes and mouthwashes, or professionally through varnishes and gels in the dentist’s office.  Dr. Adesanya recommends that if your tooth is a little sensitive, after brushing your teeth, place a small, pea sized amount of toothpaste on your finger and rub it into the gum area of your sensitive tooth.  This can help ease some of the discomfort.
  • Fillings:
    The remedy could be as simple as removing the decay and covering the exposed dentin layer with a small filling. This, of course, is for simple cases but doesn’t quite work with largely exposed dentin areas.
  • Crowns:
    A crown is a cap that is cemented on to your tooth to restore the tooth’s shape, size and strength.  There are a number of reasons you may need a crown; exposed dentin is one of them. Covering the entire tooth with a crown would surely shield the dentin from exposure to hot and cold foods and drinks, and therefore no sensitivity would be expected.


Family Dentist in Bowie, Maryland

With patients that call Dr. Adesanya the best dentist in Bowie, Maryland, he takes pride in his work and in the level of care he provides to every single patient.  With a focus on general and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Adesanya’s goal and mission is to provide you and your family with the highest quality dental care in a caring, safe and relaxed environment.