woman eats chocolate

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Prevention.

When it comes to talking about food choices that are good for your teeth, your dentist in Collierville has some not-so-surprising go to selections such as veggies, cheeses, and dairy products packed with calcium. But it may surprise you to hear that our dental office in Collierville is also a fan of chocolate.

Fight Cavities, Eat Chocolate!

Recent research conducted on the oral health effects of chocolate have caused dental professionals across the world to take a closer look at the sweet treat. It probably comes as no surprise that dentists typically shy away from sugar-packed snacks such as chocolate. But several studies have shown a positive benefit between consuming dark chocolate and lower amounts of decay.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!

It may seem like magic that something so delicious may actually have a host of health benefits, but there’s a solid scientific explanation behind why dark chocolate is actually good for teeth. To better understand the science behind the benefits, we need to take a closer look at what makes up our favorite dark chocolate snacks.

The Good Stuff

The compounds found in dark chocolate, or more specifically the cocoa bean husk, have antibacterial and plaque-fighting properties. One of the main components of dark chocolate, CBH, may even find its way into over-the-counter dental products in the future thanks to the positive research on its beneficial effects. Studies surrounding CBH support the idea that this ingredient may be better at fighting decay than fluoride treatments. But don’t go and pass up the fluoride just yet. More research is needed to truly determine the entire host of CBH benefits.

How Does It Work?

Usually when we eat foods with a lot of sugar content, we leave our teeth exposed to the dangers of the sugars. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid eats away at protective enamel and leaves teeth susceptible to cavities. However, the compounds in dark chocolate counteract the high sugar content and the damaging effects that go along with it by releasing their antibacterial properties and fighting off plaque.  

Not Just Any Chocolate Will Do

Keep in mind that these studies look at the benefits of dark chocolate. Milk chocolate as well as white chocolate have a higher sugar content, and eating too much of either may contribute to higher rates of decay.

Following a well-balanced diet can do wonders in helping you keep your mouth healthy and cavity free. Add in a few dark chocolate indulgences, brush and floss regularly, and maintain hygiene appointments at our Collierville dental office for the best preventive approach to good oral health.

holiday stress

Posted & filed under Gum Disease, Oral Health, TMJ Treatment.

Late November is when we gear up for a few weeks of feasts, family, fun, shopping, and all that the holiday season brings. Between arranging schedules to see everyone you need to see, fitting in all the parties you’ve been invited to, cooking large meals, and everything in between, it’s no wonder that stress levels tend to soar this time of year. As we all know, stress can affect our overall wellbeing. But at our dental office in Collierville, we also know stress can jeopardize oral health, too.

What’s With The Jaw Pain?

Our bodies react to stress differently, and we aren’t even aware of some of the things it does when stressed.  Clenching and grinding our teeth tends to be one of those things. When we grind our teeth against each other, the forces put on the teeth can cause them to chip, crack, or break. Clenching can do the same thing, but it also affects the jaw. Habitually clenching our teeth may cause serious jaw pain and, if left untreated, long-term TMJ problems. If you’re experiencing clicking or popping in the jaw joint, jaw pain, or occasional jaw locking give your Collierville dentist a call.

Gum Disease

The main causes of gum disease usually include improper oral hygiene, dry mouth, or smoking. But one of the lesser known risk factors to developing this serious oral health problem is stress. Research has shown a strong link between prolonged stress and a higher risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a health problem that originates in the mouth but also can affect the entire body. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, heart disease, and other serious health problems.

Stay Calm, Stay Healthy

At our Collierville dental office, we know that life can be super stressful, especially during the holidays. If you find your blood pressure increasing and your anxiety levels rising, try a few of these tips to relax and keep yourself healthy.

  • Eat Well. Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs can keep energy levels high and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
  • Sleep Often. During the holidays we try to shove so many things into our schedules that sleep is usually the first thing we sacrifice. However, getting enough sleep every night can help ensure your body will stay healthy enough to enjoy all the holiday festivities you have planned.
  • Exercise Regularly. Hit the treadmill, go for a walk, attend a class — whatever you choose to do, make sure you exercise regularly. Exercise is naturally stress reducing, so don’t skip your workouts

The team at our Collierville dental office wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season!

woman expresses thanks

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry.

Thanksgiving is day dedicated to giving thanks for all that we have in our lives. The typical thankful sentiments of life, health, family, and friends usually top the list. This Thanksgiving, the team at our Collierville dental office wants to give you one more thing to be thankful for, something that’s typically overlooked: your teeth.

We know it may sound silly to give thanks for your pearly whites, but trust us, after we list the top reasons you should appreciate your teeth, you’ll be praising them in no time.

Your Teeth Are One of Your Most Defining Features

According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), your smile is one of the first things someone notices about you. It can also impact your life and others’ perceptions of who you are. In fact, the same AACD study concluded that 74% of those who took the survey believe an unattractive smile can negatively affect someone’s career. But don’t worry, if you’re not proud to show off your grin, cosmetic dentistry from your Collierville dentist will transform your smile and maybe even your life.

They Help Us Communicate

Teeth are an essential part of speaking. Without them, we’d have difficulty pronouncing certain letters and sounds such as ‘f,’ ‘v,’ ‘s,’ ‘th,’ and so many more. Go ahead and give it a try. Can you say a full sentence without touching your teeth together or bracing your tongue against them? We’re guessing it was a bit challenging. Those who struggle to pronounce sounds correctly can benefit from seeing a dentist, undergoing orthodontics, or working with a speech therapist.

Teeth Allow Us to Eat All of the Delicious Thanksgiving Treats

One of the teeth’s main purpose is to help us break down foods into more manageably sized pieces so that we can swallow easier. Different types of teeth have a different jobs when it comes to aiding in eating. For example, incisors (the front four teeth on top and front four on the bottom) help us bite bits of food while the molars and premolars are responsible for mashing and chewing the food.

They Can Improve Digestion

Also related to eating, there’s more that the mouth does to help prepare food for proper digestion other than simply chewing. As we chew, our saliva production increases to help further break down the food particles. The saliva contains enzymes that kick start the digestion process. If we don’t chew well or fully, proper digestion can’t happen.

We hope our few reasons to be thankful for your teeth this Thanksgiving, and all year around, makes you appreciate a healthy smile. If there’s any concern about your smile, whether it’s cosmetic or functional, we welcome you to call our dental office in Collierville.

Great American Smokeout

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

The mission of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a widespread health problem through research, service, and education. One of their larger events of the year, the Great American Smokeout, occurs on the third Thursday in November. This annual event strives to encourage all tobacco users to designate a quit date and work towards a smoke-free life. The mission at our dental office in Cordova is to help our neighbors live a healthy, happy life, and not using tobacco is directly related to us fulfilling that mission. So this November, we’re going to highlight a few benefits of quitting as well as a few tips to help.

Smoking & Oral Health

Most people are aware of the various health issues that go along with smoking. And those are absolutely serious. But your dentist in Cordova focuses more on the many oral health problems that tend to accompany years of tobacco use. Some of these concerns include:

  • Slowed healing time after dental treatment

Tips to Quit

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, and sometimes people try several times before they stop once and for all. And that’s ok. Whether this is your first try or your twentieth, we believe in you and want to help by providing a few of the best tips we’ve found to help you quit.

  • Gather a support system by recruiting friends and family to help you manage cravings. Having a solid support team is one of the key ingredients to a successful quit plan.
  • List out your reasons for quitting and refer back to them whenever you feel yourself start to slip. Reminding yourself of the money you’ll save or the health you’ll get back can snap you out of a potential fallback.
  • Be aware of your triggers and work to either avoid them or change your habits surrounding them.
  • Keep healthy options handy to keep your hands and mouth busy. Chew sugar-free gum or snack on crunchy carrots to help satisfy your cravings.

If you’re looking for help to finally quit smoking, or perhaps you’re ready to get your mouth healthy after quitting, we welcome you to call our Cordova dental office to schedule an appointment. Even it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist or you’ve been a smoker for years, you don’t need to worry about a lecture with us. We believe that supporting you through your journey is much more helpful to getting you healthy.

woman afraid of dentist

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

We’re right in the middle of Halloween season, which typically means all things spooky and eerie come out of the woodwork to try and scare you. While the team at our dental office in Cordova understands the creepiness behind ghosts, goblins, and zombies, there is one thing that many people fear all months out of the year that we’d like to help with: the dentist.

Reasons Behind Dental Fear

Before we can work to overcome a fear, we must first try to identify why the fear exists. Fear of the dentist is no different. Some of the most common reasons behind dental fear include fear of pain, embarrassment, losing control, or a negative past experience.

Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

Believe it or not, just by choosing to read this blog, you’ve taken a step towards overcoming your dental fear. The next steps may be a bit more difficult, but we know you can do it.

  • Start by calling dental offices that are recommended to you by friends or family. Get a feel for the personality of the office over the phone, without ever stepping foot in the office.
  • After you’ve spoken to all your prospective dental offices, schedule a new patient appointment at the one that made you feel the most comfortable.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. Having a bit of trusted support can go a long way.
  • Consider something to distract you such as an mp3 player with headphones.
  • Most importantly, we encourage you to speak with your dentist in Cordova about your fears to help ensure calm and comfortable dental visits.

You’re Not Alone

We understand that trying to explain your fear of the dentist to someone who doesn’t feel the same way can make you feel alone. But dental fear is much more common than you may think. In fact, dental phobia affects 5-8% of Americans, all of which avoid regular dental care because their fear is just so strong. But that’s not all. According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle nearly 20% of Americans will only see the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary, such as when there’s pain.

We Believe in You

Avoiding regular dental visits can allow serious oral health problems to sneak up on you, requiring more in-depth treatment. That’s why the team at our Cordova dental office encourage all of our patients to maintain dental cleanings and checkups twice a year. But doing something that may scare you so deeply can be hard. That’s why we’re all dedicated to learning about you, your fears, and your dental goals so we can cater your treatment to you and keep you calm and relaxed throughout your entire visit.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Cordova that understands your dental fear, will work with you to overcome and that fear, and will provide you with nothing but compassionate, gentle care at every single visit, we welcome you to give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll be honored to see you!

Halloween teens

Posted & filed under Family Health, General Dentistry.

October isn’t only when we celebrate Halloween, it’s also National Orthodontic Month. With this in mind, the team at our dental office in Cordova thought it’d be a great time to combine the two and talk a bit about which Halloween treats are safe for those with braces. Don’t worry, if you do have braces, you still have plenty of yummy options to choose from.

Best Candy for Braces

When searching for safe candy options for braces, consider the texture of the sweets. Anything that’s super sticky, gooey, or hard is probably best to avoid. Instead, look for these top braces-friendly choices.

  • 3 Musketeers
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Peppermint Patties
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Milky Way
  • Crunch Bar/Krackel Bar
  • Pure Chocolate Bars

All of these delicious options are easy to bite and chew and don’t contain any ingredients that are hard enough to damage braces.

Worst Candy for Braces

At our Cordova dental office, we want all of our braces patients to have fun this Halloween and enjoy some treats. However, we also feel it’s important for them to be informed of what candy could potentially damage their brackets or wires so they also know what to avoid.

  • Hard Candy
  • Gum
  • Caramels
  • Jelly Beans
  • Nuts or anything containing nuts

Additionally, don’t attempt to eat any of the “safe foods” if they’ve been frozen. Freezing candy negates the soft texture that makes them safe for braces and biting into a rock hard candy bar can certainly cause some trouble.

When you’re out in the neighborhood gathering your treats and maybe showing off some tricks, politely pass on any candy that may cause damage to your braces and rather pick the pieces that are both delicious and safe.

Most importantly, be safe, have fun, and Happy Halloween from your Cordova dentist!  

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!