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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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 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!

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