Senior Dental Care: Keeping Teeth and Health for a Lifetime

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Losing teeth is not a natural part of the aging process. We lose teeth due to wear, injury, or poor oral health. We all have the potential to keep our teeth for our lifetimes with proper dental care.

Today, seniors are living longer and healthier lives, but commonly delay going to the dentist. Many of them stop caring or take it for granted that they will lose their teeth. Others may start to have difficulty handling a toothbrush and floss, especially if they have tremors or arthritis in their hands. It is important for their families to encourage them and find support when they need it.

Our older population is at high risk for dental disease as they tend to take more medications that diminish saliva. This creates a dry mouth condition that can impact how well they digest food and cause multiple serious cavities in a short period of time. Seniors that feel like their mouth is dry most of  the time should talk to their doctor and dentist.

Another serious concern is periodontal disease. This condition, also known as gum disease, is an infection that can drain the immune system and cause other dental and medical problems. There is a growing body of research  that says it can contribute to or worsen major medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.

Dental care is even more important as we age. In addition to health consequences and tooth loss, the financial expense of having dental emergencies can be very challenging in our later years.

To protect their teeth and health, seniors should:

  • Brush their teeth twice a day
  • Floss once per day
  • See the dentist and hygienist at least twice a year, more often if recommended
  • Limit sugary snacks
  • Talk to their doctor and dentist if their mouth feels chronically dry
  • Ask about fluoride treatments if they are prone to cavities
  • Keep both their doctor and dentist informed of all dental and medical conditions and medications

If you or someone you love are having trouble caring for your teeth, having dental problems, or would like a dentist who understands the challenges of getting older, give us a call. We would love to help.  (865) 922-1613 Knoxville TN

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5 Tips that Will Keep Your Smile Safe this Summer

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During summer your focus is on having fun, family time, and going on vacations.  You probably won’t spend a lot of time thinking about your teeth.

But, some summer activities can put your teeth at risk:

Swimming in chlorinated pools – the acidity of swimming pool water can eat away at your tooth enamel.  Protect your teeth by rinsing with water throughout the day and after swimming.  Do not brush your teeth within an hour of pool time as the enamel may still be vulnerable.

Drinking sodas, lemonade, and any sweet or acidic drinks – if you must have them, try drinking through a straw to limit the impact on your teeth.  Rinsing with water after your drink can also help.

Not drinking enough water – having a dry mouth can contribute to cavities.  It is important for both your health and your teeth to be sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Eating candy and sweet treats – Sticky candies get stuck on your teeth and hard candies soak them in sugar for a long time.  The solution is to brush and floss after eating them. If that is not possible, rinse with water or chew sugarless gum.

Forgetting sun protection for your lips – using lip balm with SPF 15 or more can protect your lips from sun damage and skin cancer. They are very vulnerable because the skin on your lips is thinner and exposed to the sun year round.

We encourage you to take special care to protect your smile during the summer.  Brushing and flossing daily are just as important while you are on vacation.

And, for many of you, summer will be the perfect time to catch up on any delayed dental appointments.

We look forward to seeing you soon and hearing all about your summer fun!

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry (865) 922-1613

 

 

The Link Between Gum Disease & Dangerous Medical Conditions

You can have periodontal gum disease and not even know it.  Not everyone has symptoms like bleeding gums, tooth loss, or bad breath.

While you may be aware that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and dentists treat it to protect your teeth, there is a lot more you need to know.

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection and one of the primary sources of chronic inflammation in your body. Not only can this inflammation deplete your immune system, but it has been linked to many major medical diseases, as well. Conditions like:

Allergies, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Cancer, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive disorders, Fibromyalgia, Heart disease, Heart valve problems, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Obesity, Osteoporosis, Pancreatitis, Parkinson’s, Psoriasis, Stroke, and more….

Taking care of your dental health is not just about teeth anymore. Preventing and treating bacteria related conditions in your mouth can protect your health too.

You can do this by brushing and flossing every day and seeing your dentist and hygienist at recommended intervals (minimum of twice a year). Some people, especially those with a history of gum disease, need to see their dentist more often.

If you are due or past due for a dental visit, we encourage you to come in. We will do our best to support you in staying healthy and keeping your smile healthy and happy.

Knoxville Family Dentistry (865) 922-1613

The Top 8 Reasons We Recommend Dental Implants

 

dental implants in KnoxvilleDental implants can be used to replace missing teeth or as a foundation to help keep dentures in place. The treatment process is quite simple and often takes only two visits. At the first appointment the implant root is put in and after it has integrated there is a second visit to place the tooth on top.

There are many benefits to using dental implants.  Here are some of our favorites.

  • They preserve bone and protect your other teeth
  • They are strong, stable, and in most cases last a lifetime
  • Implants can be life changing for someone struggling with loose dentures
  • They look and feel like natural teeth
  • They are easy to care for and don’t get cavities
  • You will be able to talk, laugh, eat, and sing with confidence again
  • No treatment to neighboring teeth is needed
  • They can help you look younger by supporting your facial structure

We have years of training and experience helping people feel like they have their teeth back with dental implants. And, all of the treatment can be completed in our office, without your having to see a specialist.

If you would like to learn more and find out if implants are right for you, call and schedule a consultation. We promise to take great care of you.

You can reach us at: (865) 922-1613  Knoxville, TN

 

Don’t Let Fear and Embarrassment Keep You from Taking Care of Your Teeth

Because we have offered sedation dentistry we see a lot of people who really, really do not like going to the dentist. Many of them have not walked through the door of a dental office in years.

Fear and anxiety often play a big role in their avoiding dental care, but after a while embarrassment is likely to set in. When they are finally ready or have a dental emergency and come in, many actually try to apologize for the condition of their teeth.

There is no need to apologize or feel ashamed. We know that the condition of your teeth does not reflect on who you are. It simply means something got in the way of your taking care of yourself.

Once our patients get to know us, they realize that we are not going to judge them. We appreciate their courage in coming in and focus on helping them with their dental needs.

We know that by taking care of their oral health they will be improving their medical health, as well. Dental conditions and oral bacteria have been linked to diseases like diabetes, cancer, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and more. Our goal is to help all of our patients stay healthy, happy, and smile more often.

If you are one of those people who have been avoiding dental care, we want you to know that you deserve to be respected and cared for in a compassionate way.

Our team is known to be gentle, caring, and dedicated to excellence. Dr. Smith is experienced at almost all dental procedures so referrals to specialists are seldom needed. You can trust that his dental work will look good, feel good, and last a long time. 

Now is a great time to take that first step towards a healthy mouth. Just imagine how proud you will be of yourself and your new smile.

If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to welcome you to our family of happy dental patients. You can schedule a consultation by calling: (865) 922-1613

We promise to take great care of you!

The Link Between Stress, Gum Disease & Damaged Teeth

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Recent studies are showing a link between stress and gum disease. It is not yet known how this happens, but many believe stress limits the ability of the immune system to function fully and control the gum disease bacteria. There is also evidence that patients who are stressed develop more plaque than the average person.

Another concern is that people who have a lot of stress in their lives tend to clench or grind their teeth, especially at night. This can lead to extensive tooth damage as well as sensitivity.  In severe cases teeth can even be lost.

From what we see, most people have a lot of stress in their lives.  Here are a few tips that we hope will help you get yours under control.

Make a Choice – in stressful situations you generally have three options – avoid it, accept it, or change it. Understanding your choices and moving forward with one of them will help put you back in control.

Learn to Say No – a lot of stress is caused by having too many things to do. You will feel less stressed when you say yes to the priorities and filter out the things that are not that important.

Adopt a Stress Reducing Habit – exercise, yoga, meditation, relaxation exercises, and even listening to calming music at the end of the day are all great ways to release stressful tension and relax.

It is also important to talk to your dentist. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, especially at night, you may be a candidate for a nightguard appliance that will protect them from extra wear and tear. Your dentist can also support you in preventing or treating gum disease, the primary cause of adult tooth loss.

Stress is dangerous for your health and your teeth and we hope that you take it seriously. If you have any concerns about the impact it is having on your oral health or are looking for a new dentist, give us a call.  

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry  (865) 922-1613

We promise to take great care of you!

Diabetes and Gum Disease – A Two Way Street

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If you have diabetes it is important to take care of your oral health and see your dentist regularly. Studies show that there is a link between diabetes and oral health that is like a two way street.

1-Infections in your mouth like gum disease can contribute to the onset or worsening of diabetes. They can also impact your ability to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels.

2-High blood sugar caused by diabetes feeds the bacteria in your mouth putting you at a higher risk for periodontal gum disease, infections, cavities, and other dental problems. 

To keep this dangerous cycle under control, it is important to take care of both your teeth and overall health:

  • Do your best to keep your blood sugar levels under control
  • Be sure to let your dentist know about your diabetes
  • Brush and floss daily
  •  Visit your dentist and dental hygienist as often as they recommend. They may want to see you more often due to your diabetes.
  • Keep in mind that healing may take a little longer
  • Check with your medical doctor before major dental treatment, especially for gum disease. If your diabetes is not controlled, non-urgent treatment may need to be postponed or the doctor may want to alter your medication for that day.

Dental care is an important part of your diabetic self-care.  You can be proud of going to the dentist and minimizing any negative impact poor oral health would have on your diabetes.

If you are in the Knoxville area and would like to find a dentist who is familiar with helping diabetics receive the best dental care possible, give us a call at (865) 922-1613.

We promise to take great care of you!