Tips for Dental Patients that Gag Easily

gag reflex woman with hands over mouth Knoxville dentist sedation dentistryMany people are challenged with sensitive gag reflexes when they visit the dentist. The urge to gag may be caused by physical and/or psychological issues. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with the dentist you have chosen and to communicate clearly with them.  If they are not being caring and gentle, you may be in the wrong place.

Our number one recommendation for patients who gag easily is oral sedation dentistry.  It is as easy as taking a pill before your treatment and can limit stress, fear, and the urge to gag. Oral sedation dentistry also allows us to accomplish more treatment (often all of it) in one visit, making it more convenient, too.

Other ways to to help keep your gag flex under control include :

  • Hypnosis
  • Breathing through your nose
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Numbing throat spray or ask for topical anesthetic
  • Snore relief spray
  • Putting a little table salt on the tip of the tongue
  • Choosing the time of day your gag reflex is least active
  • Listening to music
  • Lifting one foot in the air (takes your concentration away from the dentistry)
  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you are looking for an understanding and compassionate dentist and team, we would love to meet you. We promise we will be gentle and take very good care of you.

Call (865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

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Preparing for a Successful Visit to Your New Dentist

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Choosing a new dentist can be a little scary, especially if you are in pain or have a dental emergency. But, there are some things you can do to ensure your initial visit goes smoothly.

Before Your Appointment:

  • Allow plenty of time for travel and paperwork.
  • Let us know in advance if your medical Doctor has recommended pre-medication or going off medications before dental treatment.
  • Bring essential information including insurance cards, medical information, a list of medications you are on, and  your Doctor’s contact information if you have a serious medical condition.
  • Make a list of any questions you have so we can provide all of the information you need.
  • Review  your insurance benefits so you know what to expect.
  • Let us know if you have special considerations like a back condition, dental anxiety, allergies, or difficulty hearing.  This allows us to be prepared and take better care of you.

During Your Appointment

  • Make sure you understand any recommended treatment, insurance estimates, and payment options.
  • You may also want to take notes to help you remember.
  • There are no wrong questions in our office, so ask away and get the answers you need.
  • You can also call after your appointment if a question comes up later.
  • It is always best to schedule your next appointment while in the office if you can. You are less likely to forget or postpone your dental care when we are already on your schedule.

We love new patients! If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help you with your dental needs and promise to take good care of you. 

Knoxville Family and Sedation Dentistry (865) 922-1613

What Causes Dry Mouth Syndrome?

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A mouth that feels chronically dry can be very uncomfortable. It can also make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and other mouth conditions.

The first step in resolving dry mouth syndrome is identifying what is causing it. Likely reasons include:

  1. Snoring or mouth breathing
  2. Smoking
  3. Chemotherapy
  4. Medications – including prescription and over the counter drugs for depression, anxiety, antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure, diarrhea, muscle relaxers, urinary tract issues, and Parkinson’s
  5. Aging and menopause
  6. Medical conditions – diabetes, sinus problems, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, anxiety, and depression

Most cases of dry mouth syndrome are treatable.

  • There are over the counter products like Biotene that can provide relief and may resolve the issue for you.
  • If you believe there is a direct correlation with medications, you can talk to your doctor to see if there are other options.
  • You can also talk to your dentist to learn more about how to get relief.

If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help.

Knoxville Family and Sedation Dentistry (865) 922-1613

7 Consequences of Tooth Loss that Might Surprise You

There are times when teeth can’t be saved and it can feel easier and cheaper in the moment to not do additional dentistry to replace them. But, the investment in your smile is well worth it when you consider these consequences.

Looking Older – When your cheeks lose the support of the teeth behind them, they will sink in making you look more gaunt and deepening facial lines and wrinkles.

Damage to Your Remaining Teeth – The teeth that remain have to work harder to make up for the ones that were lost. When you bite down the opposing teeth may not line up properly, causing them to hit harder or off center and creating additional stress that puts them at risk.

Losing More Teeth – When a tooth is removed the other teeth in the area will drift into the open space looking for the tooth they used to lean against. To do this they often tip over or grow out of the jaw bone, putting them in danger of being lost as well.

TMJ, Joint and Jaw Problems – Losing a tooth throws off the delicate balance of how your teeth work together and can result in bite challenges that lead to painful joint problems.

Loss of Confidence – It is harder to feel confident when you feel people are staring at your incomplete smile. This drop in confidence can impact all areas of your life including career, romance, and even your self-esteem.

Difficulty in Chewing and Digesting Food – Chewing is the first stage in healthy digestion. The inability to process food fully can result in digestive issues and difficulty in absorbing nutrients from your food.

Your Health Can Be Compromised – As your remaining teeth shift into new spaces they are more at risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This condition is a bacterial infection in your mouth that can get into your blood stream easily. Scientific studies have linked it to major health conditions like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease

Saving your teeth or replacing ones that have had to be removed can not only improve the quality of your life, but help you live longer by preventing serious health problems.

We can help you get the healthy and happy smile you deserve. If you have postponed replacing teeth or other dental work because of dental anxiety, we also offer oral sedation dentistry to make it easier for you.

Give us a call at (865) 922-1613  Knoxville

Save Time & Prevent Stress with One Day Dentistry

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One of the little known benefits of oral sedation dentistry is that it allows us to accomplish a lot of dental treatment in just one visit. Although, designed for patients who are afraid of the dentist, many people choose sedation dentistry for other reasons. They know it is completely safe and as simple as taking a pill.

In most cases, oral sedation patients:

  • Take less time away from work and their busy lives
  • Appreciate less stress due to multiple visits
  • Like getting things done and enjoying the results quickly
  • Feel less anxiety and fear
  • Feel less overwhelmed if they need a lot of dental work
  • Are grateful they can get all of their treatment in one place
  • Can return home more quickly if they have traveled to see us

And, some people just like how easy it is.

What about you? Would these benefits make it easier to make a commitment to taking care of your dental health? Or, feel ready for a smile makeover?

Dr. Smith and our team have extensive training, certifications, and experience in providing a full range of dental care with oral sedation dentistry. We can help you enjoy a positive dental experience that brings you back to optimum dental health.

All you need to do is call: (865) 922-1613

Is Extracting a Tooth Cheaper in the Long Run?

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Times are challenging and some people are having trouble affording ideal dentistry.  When a tooth problem arises they may be faced with some difficult decisions.  If this happens to you, it is important to make sure you understand all of your options and take time to look at the big picture as well as your current situation.

Tooth extractions may seem inexpensive in the moment, but over time it may cost a lot more. Implants, bridges, dentures, and partial dentures are the systems normally used to replace teeth. We are grateful to be able to offer them, but would like to help you save your teeth when we can.

There is a different kind of cost for not replacing an extracted tooth and leaving the empty space. The neighboring teeth will tip into the open area, which causes them to come loose from the bone. This is how the vicious cycle of tooth loss begins.

Eventually, lost teeth can affect your appearance, digestion, and health.

Sometimes teeth cannot be saved. And, sometimes, you are in a tough spot and an extraction is really all you can afford. If you are faced with this decision, make sure you understand all of your options and look at the big picture. If you do end up losing a tooth, have it replaced as soon as possible to protect your other teeth and keep your mouth healthy.

Our Knoxville dental office would be happy to support you. We offer sedation (anxiety free) dentistry for those who find going to the dentist difficult and are experts at saving and replacing teeth.

Call: (865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

Ouch! Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

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You know that feeling. That shooting pain you get when you take a sip of sweet tea or try to eat ice cream.  Your teeth don’t hurt all the time, but you find yourself avoiding things in order not to feel pain.

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem.  It is different than a toothache in that it is usually felt as a reaction to:

  • Cold temperature
  • Hot temperature
  • Sweets
  • Biting down pressure
  • Something touching it

 Sensitivity usually has one of three causes:

  1. The inner part of the tooth called dentin is exposed.  This can happen due to receding gums, cavities, worn teeth, cracked fillings, or poor oral hygiene.
  2.  Excessive pressure from clenching or grinding sets the nerves of the teeth on edge.
  3.  The pulp or nerve of the tooth is exposed, infected, or damaged by cavities, wear, failing dental treatment, or cracked teeth.

The good news is that we can resolve almost all tooth sensitivity, sometimes in very simple ways. There is no reason to continue to suffer with this intermittent pain.  After all, everyone should be able to drink sweet tea, hot coffee, or eat ice cream without hurting.

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville