hygiene appointment

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Oral Health, Prevention.

Every October the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP) sponsor National Dental Hygiene Month to both recognize talented dental hygienists everywhere and to drive awareness to the importance of practicing proper oral hygiene. Of course this is a celebration our Collierville dental office can certainly get behind.

The Daily 4

Each year there’s a new theme surrounding National Dental Hygiene Month and for 2017, the focus is on the four crucial parts to a healthy oral health routine. Recognized as The Daily 4, the activities to build a foundation for great oral health include:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing
  • Chewing

In this blog, we break down each component of The Daily 4 and its benefits to oral health…

Brushing

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing is actually a delicate undertaking and you should use soft, gentle circles with your brush to effectively remove bacteria and plaque but not do harm to your teeth.

Flossing

When we brush our teeth and pass on the floss, we miss cleaning about 35% of each tooth’s surface. That leaves a lot of surface area free to bacteria that can cause decay. To make sure you’re getting the best clean possible, make sure to floss in between each and every tooth and up under the gum line every day.

Rinsing

Using mouthwash can also be an important part of your oral hygiene routine. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain ingredients that help protect or fight off bad breath, gingivitis, decay, and plaque. But not all mouthwashes are created equal. Look for one that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance, this means the rinse you’re buying has scientific evidence that supports the claim made on the label.  

Chewing

After meals, it would ideal if you could escape to the bathroom and brush your teeth. But we understand that’s not always an option. Instead, carry sugar-free gum on you at all times and pop a piece in your mouth after eating. Chewing sugar-free gum causes you to produce more saliva. This increased saliva helps neutralize food bacteria that tends to linger around in the mouth after eating. Again, look for a gum that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Following The Daily 4 every day can really help keep your mouth healthy. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your dental cleanings at our dental office in Collierville. Make sure you maintain bi-annual visits with your hygienist to protect your smile.   

dentist goes over x-ray with patient

Posted & filed under Family Health, General Dentistry.

There are a variety of reasons you may be searching for a new dentist in Cordova. Perhaps you’ve just moved to our area, maybe your former dentist is retiring, or possibly you’re considering a second option. No matter the reason why, embarking on the search for the right dentist isn’t an easy task. After all, you’re looking for someone you will feel comfortable with and who you can trust with your smile and health. Consider the following tips during your search to ensure you’re picking the right dentist to meet your individual needs.

Ask Around

The best place to start your search for a new Cordova dentist is to talk with your friends, family, and coworkers. Ask around and gather the names of a few practices you can take a closer look at. Talk with the trusted people in your circle to find out what they like about their dentists and compare what they say to what you’d like in a dental team. It’s also wise to hop online to check out the practice’s available services, get to know a bit about the doctor, and to get an idea of the office personality.

Pick Up the Phone

Once you’ve compiled a list a few options from your friends and family, give each office a call. The first phone call can give you some insight into the personality of the practice and provides you the opportunity to ask some valuable questions. Consider asking questions such as what you should expect during your first visit, how the office handles finances, and the level of training of the staff. Following these calls, you should have a good idea of which dental office in Cordova stands out and who may be the right fit for you and your family.

Schedule a Visit

Making an initial visit with your top choice is a great way to get to know the office and the dentist in person. Schedule your new patient appointment and get into the office and into the dental chair. You’ll know pretty quickly if you feel comfortable, get along with the team, and if the dentist’s personality complements yours. Physically visiting a dental office can help you see for your own eyes whether the office in clean, the team is friendly and compassionate, and if you receive the type of care you’re looking for. After this initial visit, you should have a good idea if this is the dentist for you.

Every dentist is different and practices in slightly different ways. Because of this, not every dentist is the right fit for everyone, so it’s beneficial for you to do your research and consider your options when looking for a new dental home.

Whether you’re new to the area or if you’re just in need a of new dentist, we always welcome you to give our Cordova dental office a call. We’ll be sure to answer any questions you may have, schedule a prompt appointment if desired, and get you on your way to healthy smile.

dental night guard

Posted & filed under Bruxism, Oral Health, Prevention.

So you’ve just had your six month dental checkup and you were told you need to consider getting a dental night guard. What exactly is a dental night guard and what is it for? The team at our dental office in Collierville is here to explain.

What’s a Dental Night Guard For?

Dental night guards are often the treatment of choice for patients who have a history of grinding their teeth while they sleep. Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding typically occurs at night when patients have no way of knowing they even do it. Chronic bruxism can lead to several problems with teeth and even the jaw. If left untreated, bruxism can cause broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, headaches, and TMJ/TMD. Bruxism can be treated and should be done so early to avoid future problems.

What Types of Night Guards Are Available?

There are two types of night guards: professional, custom-made and over-the-counter, boil and bite. While the night guards found at drugstores can work to reduce tooth grinding, there are several benefits to choosing a custom night guard made by a dentist. To begin, custom-made night guards use detailed molds of your teeth, making them a more comfortable choice. Your dentist will also consider the alignment of your jaw during the fitting process to ensure your night guard won’t place unnecessary stress on the joint which could lead to other problems. Lastly, while a store-bought night guard may seem attractive at first due to the lower cost, custom-made night guards usually last up to 10 years, making them a more cost-efficient option in the long run.

Are There Other Treatment Options?

Night guards may be the most common treatment method to stop tooth grinding, but it certainly isn’t the only option. Other recommended treatments may include methods of stress reduction, limiting the intake of caffeine or medication with stimulants, or perhaps orthodontics to straighten teeth and realign the jaw.

Signs of Bruxism

While your dentist in Collierville is the best person to diagnose bruxism, there are several signs you should keep a lookout for in between visits including:

  • Flat or chipped teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Waking up with sore jaw muscles
  • Neck or facial pain

If you happen to notice any of these signs and suspect you may be grinding your teeth, we welcome you to give our Collierville dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll perform a thorough evaluation in our relaxing office to determine if bruxism is the root of what you’re experiencing. If it is we’ll talk with you about your treatment options and work together to decide which one may be best for you.

woman with tooth pain

Posted & filed under Oral Health.

There are plenty of reasons why a tooth may hurt. When this happens, the best thing you can do is to call your dentist in Collierville as soon as possible to determine the reason why and get treatment started quickly. However, there are a few ways you can try to narrow down the cause of your tooth pain at home. Check out some of the most common symptoms and potential explanations to the most common causes of tooth pain.

Symptom: Quick Bursts of Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Foods or Drinks

Possible Cause: There’s a good chance you may have a cavity. Treatment for this incredibly common dental problem is easy as long as you seek treatment quickly. If left untreated, a cavity can progress into an infection, also known as an abscess. If a cavity isn’t to blame, you may have some gum recession brought on by rough brushing or perhaps a loose dental restoration.

Symptom: Pain When Biting Down

Possible Cause: If your tooth pain is more commonly experienced when pressure is applied, you could again have a cavity, or perhaps even a cracked or broken tooth. The best course of action is to see your dentist as soon as you can to see if there’s any damage to the interior of the tooth, or the pulp. If there is, you may need a root canal to reverse the pain. But don’t worry, a root canal isn’t as scary or painful as you may have thought. In fact, the procedure actually makes the pain go away.

Symptom: Aching in the Jaw or Upper Teeth

Possible Cause: This type of jaw or tooth pain is typically a result of chronically clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism). The constant friction between teeth can wear away tooth enamel and leave your teeth feeling sensitive. What’s more common, however, is the jaw pain associated with grinding. Grinding may also contribute to severe headaches or sinus pain. Your Collierville dentist should be able to identify if grinding is a problem for you and recommend the appropriate treatment. Most of the time, a custom nightguard is the go-to solution.

Whatever the Cause, See Your Dentist

Any tooth pain is usually a sign of a problem, and even if you suspect nothing serious is going on, we recommend seeing your dentist to make sure. After all, it’s better to be cautious than to let tooth pain go and end up with a larger issue.

Looking for a caring dental team to help? Give our dental office in Collierville a call to schedule an appointment today. We’re always happy to help!

dentist explains to patient

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Oral Health, Prevention.

At our dental office in Collierville, a large part of what we do involves educating our patients and community about all things related to oral health. While we’re always ready and willing to talk about dentistry, there are some key elements that we feel are the most important for you to know. Read on to learn the five things that topped our list.

Dental health is related to overall health.

Recent studies have identified a positive correlation between poor dental health and several systemic diseases including heart disease, oral cancer, and diabetes. Additionally, oftentimes these diseases will first show signs in the mouth. Like most illnesses, the earlier the problem is diagnosed, the more successful treatment tends to be. This makes maintaining your dental visits at least twice a year important for not only your oral health, but your overall health too.

Bi-annual dental appointments are important.

As we just stated, bi-annual dental appointments can help catch oral health or whole-body problems early, making treatment more successful. But there’s even more to these twice a year visits. At your dental checkups and cleanings, we’ll remove plaque or tartar build up, take x-rays, talk about any changes you’ve noticed, and get you all set for another six months of great oral health.   

So is brushing and flossing everyday.

Bi-annual dental visits aren’t the only way to help keep your smile healthy. Following a proper oral hygiene routine at home is also essential. Your dentist in Collierville recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque. Just remember to brush gently using small circular motions to avoid damaging gum tissue.

What you eat affects your oral health.

A healthy diet isn’t only good for your body, it’s also good for your oral health, too. Besides following a balanced diet, you should limit sugar intake as well as carbohydrates. We all know that sugar leads to cavities, but carbohydrates can do the same. As carbs break down, they convert to simple sugars. Bacteria then feed on these sugars and produce an acidic byproduct. This acid then eats away at the protective tooth enamel, leaving teeth exposed to decay.  

It’s not normal for gums to bleed.

Believe it or not, but seeing a little bit, or a lot, of blood in the sink after brushing or flossing is not normal. In fact, bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, and gum disease is dangerous to both your smile and your body. If left untreated, gum disease could lead to tooth loss, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Don’t ignore bleeding gums and make sure to talk with your dentist about it at your next appointment.

If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve been to the dentist, we encourage you to call our Collierville dental office to schedule an appointment with us today.

back to school baby

Posted & filed under Family Health, Prevention.

Notebooks? Check. Backpack? Check. Pencils? Check. Every parent has their own list of back to school supplies that their child needs to start the school year off on the right foot. No matter what’s on your back to school to do list, our dental office in Collierville wants to make sure a dental visit is one of them.  

Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health

While there are several reasons children should see their dentist in Collierville before heading off to their first day of school, perhaps the most important one has more to do with their whole bodies, not just their smiles.

Poor oral health has been linked to several serious diseases including:

These chronic health issues are so common in children that, according to the National Institutes of Health, 20-30% of American children and adolescents suffer from diseases caused by poor oral health. It’s our goal to keep the children in our community healthy, and their regular dental visits can help. Dental cleanings and checkups at least every six months help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat and before they start to affect the rest of the body.  Cavities can be filled before they cause pain, sealants can be applied to help protect teeth against decay, and gum disease can be treated.

Poor Oral Health Can Affect Grades

Another reason we like to encourage parents to get their children to the dentist prior to beginning school is to help keep kids in school so they can learn. Any dental problem that isn’t caught before the school year begins can cause pain which distracts kids from learning, and even cause children to be absent from class. In fact, a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that of the six days of school missed each year on average, two of them were because of a dental related issue. In order for children to thrive in school and get good grades, they need to be in school. Seeing a dentist for a clean bill of health can help.

Doing Your Part at Home

Dental checkups at least every six months are only one part of protecting teeth from decay and gums from disease. We also need to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. This means making sure your kids (and you!) are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Looking for a family dentist? Call our Collierville dental office to schedule an appointment!

baby with toothbrush

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

Aging isn’t easy. And there are plenty of ways to try to combat it. You can get a new wardrobe, a flashier car, or a personal trainer. You can get a face lift, fillers, an updated hairstyle, or age-defying creams. These efforts might work, and they can go a long way toward boosting your confidence and make you feel better about getting older. But they don’t necessarily have longevity. There is, however, one thing you can do that will make you look younger immediately: a smile makeover.

How can doing something to your teeth make you look younger? How can this kind of change be more effective than diligently working out or seeing your plastic surgeon?

Anti-aging dentistry from your Collierville dentist is a fast, long-lasting way to look younger, healthier, happier, and simply offer up the best version of yourself. Cosmetic dentistry can be the answer to many common aging complaints. Here are just some of them…

Problem #1: Sagging cheeks

Solution: Dental implants

If you’re missing teeth, sagging or hollow cheeks can be the result. You may think a missing molar may not need immediate tending to since it’s not like people can see it that easily, but over time your skin will shift as a result of the holes in your smile. Get rid of developing jowls by replacing those missing teeth with dental implants which will fill in the gaps of your smile, rebuild the foundation of your teeth, and help you say so long to
sagging skin.

Problem #2: Dark gaps in the corners of your smile

Solution: Porcelain veneers

Black holes can appear at the corners of your mouth as you age. It’s inevitable that your mouth and face will change as the years pass, but this narrowing doesn’t have to be permanent. Porcelain veneers are a fountain of youth. Veneers can be used to manipulate the size of your teeth – while also making them look white, straight, and attractive – which will eliminate any corner darkness. Bonus: Veneers can even out your lips, plumping them up without the need for fillers or tingly lip plumpers.

Problem #3: Worn down teeth

Solution: Invisalign or TMJ treatment

The longer you live, the more wear and tear your teeth will undergo, and that can impact your jaw’s functionality, causing discomfort. The pain can lead to grimaces rather than grins, a look that will make you look older than you actually are. Depending on what’s happening with your smile, your Collierville and Cordova cosmetic dentist might recommend orthodontia – Invisalign is ideal for adults who want to resurrect their smile on the sly. Or you may discover that you have a grinding or clenching issue that’s resulting in unattractive worn down teeth, and TMJ treatment can fix the root of this problem.

Problem #4: Stained teeth

Solution: Tooth whitening

Years of drinking coffee or wine, years of smoking, or the simple fact of aging can discolor your teeth, making you look older and unhealthy. Some stains are more easily removed than you think, and a professional tooth whitening treatment can revitalize your smile and your overall appearance. This is one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry treatments available and, if it’s right for you, can happen in just one hour.

Problem #5: Chipped or broken teeth

Solution: Smile Makeover

Aging teeth can crack, chip, or break. Bad habits like chewing on pencils or ice or opening things with your teeth can cause breakage as well. Your smile makeover is customized, and your broken teeth can be fixed with any number of cosmetic dentistry treatments, from porcelain crowns to dental implants to porcelain veneers.

The goal of anti-aging dentistry is to adjust the size and shape of your teeth into a flattering customized look that will smooth wrinkles around your mouth, support your jaw, and balance your smile. Plastic surgery can only take you so far – and it can easily look unnatural. A beautiful, healthy smile is what will strip years off of your actual age and revitalize your appearance. Cosmetic dentistry is a minimally invasive way to wind back the clock – even the smallest adjustment to your smile can transform your look and your confidence.

Contact Sneed Dental Arts to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Kathryn Sneed at our Collierville or Cordova dental offices, and discover the smile makeover treatment that’s your ticket to anti-aging.

woman opening bottle with teeth

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Prevention.

We all know that eating or drinking too much sugar can cause cavities, and by now we should all be aware of the oral health risks associated with smoking or tobacco use. But these common facts aren’t the only habits that may be affecting your smile. At our dental office in Collierville, we know plenty of other habits that can be just as damaging. Check out some of the top, and perhaps surprising, culprits.

Biting Your Nails

Nail biting is an incredibly common habit that comes with its share of harmful side effects. Not only can biting your nail expose your body to the tons of bacteria that live under the nail, it can also cause damage to your jaw and smile. The act of nail biting cause the jaw to protrude at an unnatural angle, placing pressure on your jaw joint. If the habit continues, you could experience TMJ or TMD. What’s more, nails are made of a hard material and biting them off can cause teeth to chip or break.

Eating Ice Cubes

Ice cubes have one purpose and one purpose only — to make things cold. However, some individuals have a difficult time keeping themselves from chewing on these frozen cubes of water. Crunching on ice is a sure way to create tiny chips in the teeth, leaving them exposed to bacteria that cause cavities. Eating ice can also lead to bigger cracks or breaks that require cosmetic dentistry to fix.

Sucking on Lemons

Exposing your teeth to lemons also exposes them to the high amount of acid found in these colorful fruits. Acid of any kind erodes the protective layer of tooth enamel. Once the enamel is gone, you may experience increased tooth sensitivity as well as an increased risk for decay.

Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Your dentist in Collierville encourages you to brush your teeth twice a day, but not just any type of brushing will do. Any scrubbing motion or using too much pressure can cause gums to recede. Instead, brush using gentle circles to get your smile clean and keep it protected.

Clenching and Grinding

Some people find themselves clenching or grinding in moments of stress. Others do it while they’re sleeping and don’t even know it. Either way, there are various types of dental issues that can occur as a result including jaw pain (TMJ/TMD), worn down teeth, or broken teeth.

Using Teeth as Tools

We’ve all used our teeth to open pesky packaging or to hold something when our hands were full, however it’s really not recommended. Ripping open stubborn packages or using your teeth for anything other than eating can chip teeth or cause other damage.

The team at our Collierville dental office would prefer if all of our patients and neighbors had perfectly healthy smiles and never encountered any problems, which is why we put so much emphasis on preventing dental issues from ever occurring by educating them on things just like this. But we understand that things do happen, and when they do, we’re more than happy to help.

woman indicates gum irritation

Posted & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

If you’ve ever noticed gum tissue appear to creep up higher and higher over time, showing off more and more of the actual tooth, you’ve seen gum recession in action. Really slow action, but nonetheless, you’ve experienced it. Gum recession is incredibly common and can be treated. But our dental office in Collierville wants to emphasize that just because it’s treatable, doesn’t mean you should let it go. It can be painful and be a sign of more serious problems.

Why is Gum Recession Concerning?

Besides helping to hold teeth in place, one responsibility of gums is to protect the roots of teeth. When gums start to recede, it leaves the roots exposed to the elements, making teeth sensitive and painful. If gum recession is left untreated, it will only lead to more serious and often painful problems including:

  • Severe inflammation
  • Increased susceptibility to bacteria
  • Erosion of bone and supporting tissues
  • Rotting teeth that will fall out

Top Causes of Gum Recession

There are a variety of things that can cause gum recession. While we can list multiple reasons here, the main culprits include:

Signs of Gum Recession

Gum recession is a slow process, and the best way to catch it early is to maintain regular visits with your dentist in Collierville. In between appointments, keep an eye out for:

  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Little indentations on the teeth near the gum line

Gum Recession Treatment

Treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity. Sometimes a new toothbrush and better flossing habits will keep it from progressing. For more serious cases, a deeper dental cleaning called scaling and root planing may be appropriate. People who have let the recession progress for a long time may need to explore a surgical option.

Gum recession isn’t something to take lightly. If you’re experiencing it yourself, we welcome you to call our Collierville dental office. We’ll talk about your oral hygiene habits, examine your mouth for any other problems, and discuss the best treatment option for you.

young woman smiling

Posted & filed under General Dentistry.

A healthy smile is definitely a powerful tool. It can change the mood in a room. It can convey confidence and professionalism, even if you’re not feeling it. You can hear someone smiling over the phone, without even seeing their face light up. My dental office in Collierville knows the importance of a great first impression because it needs to leave a lasting impression. That’s why we make sure your teeth and gums are healthy so that your smile is one you’ll be proud to share with everyone.

Your Personality is Showing

A smile projects a more positive vibe, friendly and approachable attitude, along with inherent leadership skills. It’s been shown that humans will smile more depending on who is at the other end of the conversation. During our initial contact with other people, our first impressions and assessments are usually made within seconds. Most of the time this is all being subliminally so we’re not even aware we’re doing it.

Your Teeth Tell A Story

Hippocrates believed that every person belongs to one of four different types of temperaments. And believe it or not, your teeth determine what group you belong to. This is known as Morphopsychology-Visagism and it’s the possible connection between your personality and your teeth shape. Your dentist in Collierville wants to know what category you belong to!

  1. Melancholic/Sensitive = Oval-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Artistic, perfectionist, organized, reserved, timid, and abstractive

  1. Sanguine/Dynamic = Triangle-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Impulsive, extroverted, communicative, enthusiastic, and eager

  1. Choleric/Strong = Rectangular-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Intense, objective, explosive, intense, passionate, and entrepreneurial

  1. Phlegmatic/Peaceful = Square-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Conformist, discreet, diplomatic, mystic, and spiritualized

Sharing your smile with the world is important in so many ways. It conveys your intent and personality. Your smile even has the ability to boost another person’s mood, making them more happy in the process. My Collierville dental office wants to help you put your best smile out there and ensure your true confidence and charisma always shine through.