The Link Between Stress, Gum Disease & Damaged Teeth

stress teeth grinding nightguard in knoxville

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!

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5 Reasons Dentists Want to Take X-rays

why dental x-rays dentist in Knoxville

Even though dental x-rays are extremely safe, we understand that some of you may question why you should have them taken.  We respect your feelings and also feel strongly about the benefits of x-rays as prevention and diagnostic tools.

Here is why:

We can catch problems early before they become serious or expensive.  When patients come in who haven’t had preventive x-rays and exams we feel bad for them because they often have a lot of serious and expensive needs that need to be taken care of all at once. When we see something on an x-ray at an early stage, the treatment is usually simple and inexpensive.

We can check for decay between teeth – cavities in these areas can be missed without the help of x-rays and they can be especially dangerous for your teeth.

We look for bone loss – when the bone supporting teeth is disappearing, we know there is something serious going on.  In many cases it is periodontal disease, but it could also be osteoporosis or other conditions.  Since the bone holds teeth in place, catching this early will help prevent tooth loss.

We can look for decay under fillings and crowns – the edges of old dental work can wear away over time allowing new cavity bacteria in.  It can do a lot of damage under the dental work before it can be seen, so x-rays are critical in saving these teeth.

We can diagnose with more accuracy – x-rays help us get the complete picture so that we can accurately understand what we need to do.  They are a critical part of diagnosing and planning treatment.

We find surprising things – every once in awhile, we will notice something unusual on a dental x-ray, like a tumor, signs of osteoporosis, or other medical problems.  In these cases, dental x-rays may actually save lives.

If you are due or overdue for a dental exam or professional teeth cleaning, we would love to help you with your dental care. Give us a call!

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

 

Implant Supported Dentures – You Can Eat, Laugh, and Smile with Confidence Again

implant dentures snap on dentures in Knoxville

Loose, sloppy, and uncomfortable dentures are a thing of the past.  New implant supported dentures that snap securely in place have revolutionized the denture experience for our patients needing to replace teeth.

If you or someone you love have ill-fitting dentures you would like to replace or are getting dentures for the first time, you will find the process both simple and comfortable.

Small dental implants are placed in the jaw where teeth roots used to live.  This can be done with local anesthesia, but we also offer oral sedation for those of you who might feel nervous or prefer it.

Dentures are made with snaps that will fit to the implants. You simply slide your dentures into place and then snap them in.  They unsnap easily when you want to take them out.

No more worries about your dentures moving around, falling out, or embarrassing you.  You can eat, smile, laugh, and sing with confidence again.

If you are in the Knoxville area and would like to see if you are a candidate for these secure dentures we would love to meet with you and answer all of your questions.  You can schedule an appointment by calling (865) 922-1613. Knoxville TN

8 Ways Smiling Can Improve Your Life

 

“Peace begins with a smile.”  Mother Teresa

“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” Tom Wilson

“Smile.  It’s free therapy.” Douglas Horton

There are many great quotes about the magic of smiles and we happen to think they are really on to something. We see it often with our patients and even in our own lives.

When you smile:

  • You will look more attractive to others
  • Your blood pressure and stress levels are likely to go down
  • Pain relieving chemicals will be turned on in your body
  • You increase your chances of living longer
  • People will forgive you more easily
  • You will seem more approachable and trustworthy
  • You improve your chances of success in life
  • Chemicals will be released into your brain that improve your mood

We encourage you to take advantage of the incredible benefits of smiling. If the way your smile looks prevents you from wanting to share it with others, we can help. Just call (865) 922-1613 to schedule a consultation.  Knoxville TN

Dental Holiday Gift Ideas

Dental Christmas gift ideasFrom Christmas stocking stuffers to dental care, we have some great holiday gift ideas for you.

Dental Treatment Gift Certificate – Many people are struggling to afford the dental care they need. Giving a gift of dentistry would be more meaningful than buying the latest thingamajig.

Toothbrush, Floss, and Toothpaste – try fun flavors or designs to make it more interesting.

Professional Level Electric Toothbrush – helping someone care for their teeth is also giving the gift of health.

Replacement Brush Head for an electric toothbrush they already own.

Dental or Smile Books or Coloring Books – here are some ideas.

Teeth Whitening – this can also be a gift that enhances confidence and self-esteem

Peace of Mind – make a payment toward their dental bill or pay the account off – this is also a great Secret Santa or Random Act of Kindness activity.

Gross Fake Teeth – kids really love these.

Gag Gifts – like these walking teeth make great stocking stuffers.

The most important thing of all is that we want to wish you Happy Holidays!

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

Understanding and Using Your Dental Insurance

dental insurance dental benefits family dentistry in KnoxvilleMillions of dollars of dental benefits go unused each year. The insurance company is paid their premiums, but a surprisingly high percentage of people do not take advantage of the insurance paid for, leaving money (in the form of benefits) on the table, even if they have dental needs.

You are paying for your dental benefits in some way, even if they are part of your employment benefit package that was offered as part of your wages. The insurance companies make more money when you let your benefits go to waste.

We encourage you to use your dental benefits every year, whether you only need preventive care or have a lot of problems with your teeth.  Taking care of your teeth will:

  • Prevent pain and emergencies
  • Save you money in the long run
  • Help you keep your natural teeth
  • Or, replace them if they are lost
  • Positively impact your overall health
  • Keep you smiling
  • Avoid having to go over your insurance yearly maximum

There are thousands of dental insurance plans available and it is important to understand what yours covers.  You may have been sent a packet of information or can call the insurance company directly to learn more.  Keep in mind that there may be exclusions and limitations that are not described in the general materials.   Here are a few things to look for:

Yearly Maximum The dollar amount of benefits available to you each year. If not used, they often go away on December 31st of each year.

Deductible: The amount you need to pay each year before the insurance company starts paying.

Preventive Payment Percentage: This percentage usually applies to x-rays, cleanings, and exams.

Restorative Percentage:  These benefits are for more minor treatments like fillings or periodontal care.

Major Percentage:  This is the percentage paid on approved crowns, bridges, dentures, and other major treatment.

  1. Keep in mind that these percentages are not usually based on your dentist’s fee, but an amount  predetermined by your insurance
  2. Most plans have a limit on how often you can have preventive care
  3. Some plans exclude implants, tooth colored fillings, and other treatments
  4. Most plans have a frequency limit on major and restorative treatment
  5. Your dental office can get a written pre-authorization estimate from the insurance company on major treatment
  6. Insurance companies will often pay for the least expensive way to resolve a dental issue
  7. Some plans only pay in specific dental offices

In our office we are happy to check insurance benefits for our patients and help them understand what they mean.  We give clear, easy to understand estimates before treatment is started.  We have been at this for years and love helping people understand and use their insurance to take care of themselves.

If you have insurance, there is no reason to delay calling and setting up a dental appointment.  If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to serve you.

Ron Smith, DDS – Family and Sedation Dentistry – Knoxville TN – (865) 922-1613

4 Dental Tips for a Fun and Healthy Halloween

Halloween dental tips Knoxville dentist

Kids love Halloween and Trick or Treating and that means that there will be a lot of sugary treats coming their way. We have put together a few tips for you that will help them celebrate the holiday without hurting their smiles.

Sort Their Candy with Them

Keep your kids safe by having them not eat anything before they come home. Dump out the candy and go through it together, taking out anything that may not be safe.

Let your kids select their favorite treats and set them aside. The rest may not look as appealing once that is done.

Offer to Swap Out Candy for Other Types of Treats

You can give your kids incentives to give up the remaining, non-favorite candy by offering to swap it for other things they may want more, like a toy, coloring book, or movie. This works easily as long as what you offer is something they value more than the candy.

Inspire Them to Keep Their Teeth Clean

Give them a new fun tooth brush every Halloween to help them keep their smile healthy. Make it a tradition.  Another option is to include sugarless gum with their treats as it will help keep their teeth clean.

Designate Treat Times

When kids eat candy all day, their teeth are constantly marinating in sugar. Give your kids special times to eat their treats. This will give them something to look forward to and and can be timed shortly before they brush their teeth as well.

Celebrating can be both healthy and fun when you try these tips. But, if your teeth are feeling a little spooky you might want to give us a call. (865) 922-1613

Knoxville, TN