Nitrous Oxide Relieves Fear of the Dentist

man afraid of the dentist dental anxietyYou do not have to let dental fear and anxiety stop you from taking care of your oral health anymore. Nitrous oxide dentistry can make going to the dentist seem like a walk in the park.

Taking care of your teeth and gums is critical since we now know that inflammation or infections in your mouth can contribute to life threatening medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. And, if it’s been at least a year since your last dental visit it is likely that you have one of the leading causes, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

We specialize in patients who are fearful and could tell many stories of how people’s lives have changed thanks to nitrous oxide. There are no needles or IV’s involved. It’s as easy as breathing and allows you to relax and feel good during your dental visit.

Don’t let anxiety or fear stop you from taking care of yourself. The condition of your mouth could be shortening your life and no one wants to lose teeth, have bad breath, or a smile you feel embarrassed to share.

 We encourage you to  give us a call and learn more about how we can help you take care of your mouth in a comfortable and caring way. We promise not to judge you if it’s been awhile since your last visit. We understand and will take excellent care of you.

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

What Causes Dry Mouth Syndrome?

dry mouth lips

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

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

dental hygienist teeth cleaned

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

Can Not Seeing the Dentist Make You Sick?

unhealthy woman healthy woman

Photo credit Malvestida Magazine

It used to be that dentists just fixed teeth and made dentures so people could eat and smile, but things are different now.

Scientific research has shown that poor oral health can contribute to major conditions like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and more.  These are all serious conditions that can shorten your life and impact the quality of the time you have left.

The biggest culprit is periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, which is an infection in your gums.  The inflammation caused by this infection, even when it is low grade, is what scientists believe to be the link to these major medical conditions.

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that can be maintained, but not cured. We see it most often in smokers, diabetics, and people who have not seen the dentist in a year or more. But don’t be fooled, you may have it too. The CDC did a study in 2010 that showed about 65% of the adult population has it. We wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers have gone up since then.

The best way to prevent or treat gum disease and protect your health is to brush and floss daily and see your dentist and hygienist at recommended intervals. 

So, when you feel like skipping your dental appointment or if fear or money are keeping you away, think again.  It is not just about your teeth.  Not seeing the dentist could negatively impact your overall health.

If you are looking for a new dentist or are concerned about your oral health, give us a call.  (865) 922-1613

Diabetes & Gum Disease – A Dangerous Mix

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Recent research has shown that poor oral health, especially periodontal gum disease, can contribute to the onset and severity of diabetes. 

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect blood glucose levels and your ability to control them.  It is a chronic condition that may not have any obvious symptoms, so it is important to see your dentist regularly, especially if you are diabetic.

On the flip side, diabetes can make you more susceptible to infections like gum disease, creating a vicious cycle of declining health and lost teeth.

As the primary cause of tooth loss, gum disease is scary enough, but when you combine it with diabetes, the consequences are even more profound.

Periodontal disease is also linked to other illnesses you will want to avoid, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. It is believed that the chronic inflammation it causes can increase your risk of more serious health issues.

If you are diabetic:

  • Be sure to let your dentist know
  • Inform your medical doctor if you have periodontal gum disease
  • Stay current with your dental appointments
  • Get your teeth cleaned more frequently
  • Eat healthy and exercise
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Do what you can to keep your blood sugar at optimal levels
  • Eat and stabilize your blood sugar before dental appointments

We will partner with you and your medical doctor to ensure that you are well cared for and stay as healthy as possible. If you are looking for a dentist familiar with diabetes, please give us a call. We would love to help you experience the health you deserve.

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville

 

The Three Levels of Periodontal Gum Disease

If you have been reading our blog, you know that gum disease is dangerous for both your teeth and your health.  When given a diagnosis of gum disease, your dentist may have used different words that represent different stages of the disease.  In this post we will explain what those names mean.

Gingivitis – this is the earliest stage of periodontal disease.  Symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums that are inflamed, but there may be no obvious symptoms at all. This is the best time to catch it because in most cases there is no permanent damage at this level.  Treatment may include a thorough professional cleaning, home care recommendations, and possibly repairing any dental issues that make it hard for you to reach and clean areas of your mouth.

Periodontitis – at this stage, the plaque on the teeth has hardened into calculus (tartar) and created new places for bacteria to live that you can’t easily clean.  Your gums may have started to recede and the pockets between your gums and teeth are getting deeper as the bone that supports your teeth is being lost.  These pockets will be harboring bacteria and infection that will worsen if prompt action isn’t taken.  Treatment at this level may include a series of deep professional cleanings by the hygienist, antibiotic therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Advanced Periodontitis – when the disease reaches this level, the infection is out of control and is destroying the gums and bone that support teeth.  Teeth are likely to be lost and there will be bone loss throughout your mouth.  There will be a higher risk of the infection getting into the bloodstream and spreading to other areas of your body.  This condition can also have an impact on diabetes and heart health, possibly even more. Treatment may include a series of professional cleanings, antibiotics, and surgery.  Since teeth are likely to be lost at this point, there will also be additional work to restore your teeth or create dentures.

Periodontal disease is not something you want to ignore.  It is a serious infection that just happens to be in your mouth.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see a dentist right away.  They will be able to help you get your dental health back under control.

If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help. (865) 922-1613

Oral sedation dentistry is available.

Dentistry is Not Just about Teeth Anymore

 

heart health gum diseaseDentistry used to be about fixing teeth and helping people be able to eat for their lifetime.  But, things have changed.

New research shows that inflammation and chronic low-grade infections contribute to many of our major life threatening conditions.  The list includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more.  All things we want to avoid if we plan on being on this earth very long.

Our mouths are one of the most common places where the infection and inflammation occur.  Periodontal  gum disease is a chronic  infection that affects about 80% of the adult population. And, while we have always known it was the number one cause of tooth loss, we now know that the stakes are even higher.

So, take care of yourself by taking care of your teeth.  See your dentist and hygienist regularly at the frequency they recommend and don’t delay dental work unless you have to.  Dentistry is not just about teeth anymore.