Inflammation: The Link Between Gum Disease & Heart Disease

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Current research is focusing on chronic inflammation as one of the key contributing factors for heart disease.  Patients with high levels of inflammation are more likely to develop the disease, have recurrent coronary events, and less chance of survival when they happen.  They are also more susceptible to other conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, which are also linked to inflammation.

Why are you reading about this in a dental blog?  Periodontal gum disease is one of the most common sources of chronic inflammation.  It is a bacterial infection that is present in almost 80% of the population.  Gum disease and other oral infections get into your blood stream easily through the thin tissues of your mouth and swallowing.  It is now clear why taking good care of your teeth and gums is an important step in caring for your overall health as well.

How can you minimize the effects of inflammation?

  • Brush and floss regularly.
  • Consider an anti-inflammation diet.
  • See your dentist and hygienist several times a year.
  • Let your medical doctor know if you have periodontal disease and keep your dentist informed about your health issues.  Taking care of your health is a team effort.

If you are concerned about periodontal gum disease and are in the Knoxville area, we would be happy to help. (865) 922-1613

Why You Should See the Dentist Before Having Surgery

doctor see dentist before surgery

It’s important to be as healthy as possible before any surgery to ensure optimal results and healing. For some operations, like heart surgery or joint replacement , you will usually be required to have clearance from your dentist.

Surgeons know that the bacteria in your mouth get into the blood stream easily.  While these bacteria can impact your health in many ways, your heart and artificial joints are especially vulnerable to them.  In order to increase the odds of a successful surgery and recovery your surgeon will want your mouth to be as healthy as possible.

It’s important to be proactive and not wait to the last minute to see your dentist.  One of the most common bacterial oral infections is periodontal, or gum disease.  Your dentist may need time to treat this condition if you have it and return your teeth and gums to a healthy state so that you can proceed with surgery.

Now that you know how your oral health can impact your overall health and medical outcomes, you may want to start seeing the dentist on a regular basis to prevent other issues related to the bacteria in your mouth. And then, you will always be able to feel confident in the health of your mouth if urgent surgery is ever needed.

If you are in the Knoxville area and looking for a new dentist, we would love to meet you. Call (865) 922-1613 to schedule an appointment.

We promise to take great care of you and your smile. 

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

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Every person’s oral health is unique and it is very important that you follow the recommendations of your dentist and hygienist. If your mouth is healthy and you brush and floss daily, having your teeth cleaned every 6 months should work well for you.

Your dentist may recommend you come in more often if you have an unusual situation or any of the following conditions:

  1. You smoke – Smoking puts you at risk for tooth loss, oral cancer, and periodontal gum disease.
  2. You have diabetes or heart disease – an unhealthy mouth can contribute to the advancement of these conditions and on the flip side they make you more prone to periodontal disease and it’s complications.
  3. You already have a history of periodontal disease – this chronic infection can impact your overall health putting you at a higher risk for life threatening diseases as well as tooth loss.
  4. You have an impaired ability to take care of your own teeth – Some people lack the dexterity or have disabilities that prevent them from brushing and flossing effectively.
  5. You are not brushing and flossing regularly – If you don’t take care of your oral health it is important to let your dentist and hygienist do it for you.

If you are due or over due for a visit to the dentist, please give us a call. We would love to help you enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile. 

Call (865) 922-1613  Knoxville, TN

Choosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

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Have you tried to buy a toothbrush lately?  The choices are endless. There are electric brushes, hand brushes, hard, medium, and soft bristles, and a multitude of head and handle shapes. How can you tell which one is right for you? Following these tips from Dr. Smith can help.

Choosing a Toothbrush

  • We recommend soft bristles as they clean effectively while being gentle to your gums and tooth enamel.
  • Consider a professional level power toothbrush. They are easier and do a better job than hand brushing. We have them available at our office.
  • The right head or handle shape is the one that fits in your mouth and works best for you.  There is not a lot of difference in how they function.
  • Select different colors for each member of the family to avoid confusion.

Caring for Your Toothbrush

  • Rinse your brush clean after each use.
  • Do not store it with a cap or seal as this creates a moist environment that bacteria love.
  • Keep it away from toilet flush spray (about 6 to 8 feet).
  • Replace or sterilize it after a cold or flu.
  • Replace your toothbrush when the bristles start to wear or every three months.

We will provide you with a free toothbrush when you come in for a professional teeth cleaning. If you would like to learn more or upgrade to a power brush or oral irrigator, our hygienist will help you choose what is best for your specific needs.

Ron Smith DDS – Knoxville – (865) 922-1613

New Year Resolutions that Will Make You Smile

new year resolutions

Seeing the dentist may not be your favorite thing to do, but choosing to take care of your oral health makes a wonderful  New Year’s Resolution.

Eating healthy and exercising are important health goals, but your teeth and gums impact your overall health and longevity in a big way.  Inflammation caused by dental problems contributes to major medical conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer, all of which can shorten your life.  Dentistry is no longer just about teeth.

So, if you want to:

  • Keep your teeth and keep them healthy
  • Have a bright and shiny smile that you are confident sharing
  • Avoid  chronic infections like periodontal gum disease
  • Prevent chronic inflammation in your body
  • Take steps that will improve your potential of living a longer life
  • Maintain your youthful look by refreshing your smile and protecting your health
  • Keep your breath fresh and your smile kissable
  • Help prevent major conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s
  • And, keep on smiling

Make seeing the dentist a part of your New Year Resolutions and call to schedule your first appointment of the year.

(865) 922-1613 –  Dr. Ron Smith in Knoxville.  We promise to take good care of you. 

Give the Gift of a Smile

It’s December and most of us are focused on what to give our family and friends for holiday gifts.  Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get it right that we lose sight of the meaning behind the season.

Instead of rushing around madly to all the stores you can, buying the same things everyone else does, we have some more unique and special ideas for gifts for your loved ones.

Teeth Whitening – this gift of an enhanced smile can also be a gift of self-confidence or help someone feel good before an event or job interview.

Dental Gift Certificate – ideal for someone who can’t afford treatment or needs a little incentive.

The Gift of You – instead of focusing all of your energy on shopping, cleaning, and cooking, remember to allow time to join in the celebration and really be with the people you love. This is likely what they want and will remember most.

Pay Off a Bill – many people carry a burden of debt for unexpected dental, medical, or even auto care.  Making a payment toward these bills is a gift they won’t forget.

The Gift of Time – you can create gift certificates good for time with you  or specific favors like house cleaning, babysitting, going to the movies together, or anything they would appreciate.

Cosmetic Dentistry – help someone you love feel more beautiful and confident with a new smile.  This is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Share Your Smile with the World – genuine smiles for others who are often feeling stress during this holiday season can lift their mood. Smiles are free and usually come back to you, so you can give as many as you want.