The Link Between Stress, Gum Disease & Damaged Teeth

stress grind teeth gum diseaseRecent 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 in the mouth.  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.

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, call and schedule an appointment.  

You may be a candidate for a nightguard appliance that will protect your teeth from extra wear and tear or other recommendations that can help prevent or minimize the effects of gum disease.

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry  (865) 922-1613

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We Can Help You Maximize Your 2017 Dental Benefits

dental insurance dentist Knoxville
Most dental insurance and flex plans have yearly allotments for how much they will pay. Generally, if you do not use your available benefits in any given year the money that was available to you will go away forever.

As we move into the final quarter of the year, we  recommend that you review your recommended dental treatment and remaining benefits available.  Doing so can help you get the most out of the benefits that you have paid for.

This is especially important if you have existing treatment recommendations, are prone to dental problems, or haven’t seen a dentist already this year.

Reasons to optimize your dental benefits by using the maximum each year include:

  • Not letting benefits you pay for go to waste
  • Preventing the risk of multiple emergencies and more out of pocket expenses by letting dental needs pile up.
  • Saving money on large or complex cases by starting them at the end of one year and completing them in January of the following year, resulting in 2 years worth of benefits for the treatment.
  • Having more insurance available the following year for unexpected needs or emergencies
  • Feeling good about receiving the highest level of benefits possible each year
  • Knowing you are on top of your dental care.

If you are one of our patients, we would be happy to review your recommended treatment and remaining benefits to help you maximize what is available for you.

If you are in need of a new dentist in the Knoxville area, we would love to meet you and provide a plan that optimizes your benefits and takes care of your dental needs.

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry (865) 922-1613

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

What to Look for In a New Dentist

Ron & TEam out to lunch at the Front Porch

Ron and Team Eating at The Front Porch

Choosing a new dentist can feel daunting. There are so many out there and if you don’t know what to look for, they can all look the same. But, the truth is that they will vary in personality, philosophy, and have preferred ways of doing things.

So, how do you find the new dentist that is perfect for you?

Look for Experience – Dentists receive great educations, but there is a lot to be said for the dentist who has established success and refined his skills over a number of years. They develop an instinct for knowing which dental treatment will be best in a variety of situations and usually have a well established network of resources and specialists they can trust.

Look for Friendliness, Caring, and Compassion – Choose an office that treats you well on the phone and makes you feel welcome. If you are embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, make sure you don’t feel judged. One way to get a feel for how offices treat their patients is to go and sit in their reception room. How does it feel? How are they with the patients they are talking to? Are they friendly with each other? And, give them extra points if they greet you warmly and offer to help you learn more about their office.

Look for Areas of Special Training – For example, while we provide all types of general dental care, we also offer Oral Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Smith has years of training and certification in providing this service that can be very important for people who are nervous or need a lot of dental treatment. This is just one of many things that our team has special training in.

Look for a Modern, Clean Office – You should feel good in the environment of your new dental home and a well-cared for office is often an outer expression of how they approach other things.

Look for a Commitment to Continuing Education and Current Technologies – Dentists that embrace learning and new things will have up to date resources for your needs. An example in our office is our work with dental implants and implant supported dentures. These newer technologies are allowing us to provide ideal outcomes and improve people’s lives.

We do want to say though, having the latest fancy equipment does not always mean better care. Sometimes new technologies are not yet proven or still being refined. An experienced dentist committed to excellence will be open and embrace new things when they feel sure the technology is best for their patients. They understand how to balance new opportunities and the level of expert care they already provide.

If you are looking for a new dental home in the Knoxville area, we would love to talk with you. Give us a call at (865) 922-1613. 

Holy Halitosis! Causes and Solutions for Bad Breath

 

bad breath halitosis girlIf you are concerned you have bad breath or have someone in your life who should be, we have the scoop for you.

Let’s start with a short video that explains what halitosis is and how it happens:

There is a good chance that the video gave you some ideas for cleaning up your breath, but if you are still unclear as to the cause or have already tried to fix it on your own unsuccessfully,  it is important to call your dentist.  They will be your first line of defense in creating a fresh smelling smile.

For most people halitosis can be prevented by taking these steps:

  • Stop smoking
  • Drink lots of water
  • Brush and floss daily
  • See your dentist and hygienist regularly
  • Keep a food log to help you identify bad breath triggers

If you are concerned your breath may be keeping people at a distance and live in the Knoxville area, we would love to help.  (865) 922-1613