dog with toothbrush

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

Although our dental office in Collierville is focused on keeping our human patients’ mouths healthy, we also understand just how important it is to take care of your furry friends’ dental health, too. During this National Pet Dental Health Month, we’re switching things up to talk about some common pet oral health tips that aren’t so different from your own dental needs.

Brush Their Teeth

To some, brushing your pet’s teeth may sound unnecessary and perhaps even a bit silly. But our furry friends’ mouths aren’t so much different than ours, and brushing their teeth is an important part of keeping your dog or cat in good oral health. Just like humans should visit their dentist in Collierville to get a professional teeth cleaning, pets should also visit a vet to get the same. However, instead of the recommended bi-annual cleanings for humans, pets only need a thorough cleaning once a year. In between those visits, you can take steps to keep their mouths healthy at home. Consider wrapping a piece of clean gauze around a finger and gently scrubbing your pet’s teeth using a dedicated toothpaste just for animals. Doing this two or three times a week can go a long way in fighting tartar and plaque buildup.

Let Them Chew

While we normally discourage our pets from gnawing on things around the house, chewing on toys or bones can actually help strengthen teeth and minimize plaque. But not just any bone or toy will do. For example, a tough, solid bone may be your go-to pick, but these types of bones can increase the risk of breaking a tooth. There are plenty of treats and toys that are designed to stimulate the gums and remove tartar. It should be noted that chewing doesn’t remove the need for proper brushing, just as you eating smile-friendly foods doesn’t mean you should stop brushing.  

Be Aware of a Problem

When we talk to our patients about the signs of a potential dental disease or problem, we highlight symptoms such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Bleeding

These symptoms also apply to your pet. If you notice any signs of concern, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Taking care of your pets’ oral health can set them up for a lifetime of good overall health. Just don’t forget to take care of your own, too. Regular visits to your Collierville dentist, along with a great at-home routine, are the best ways to ensure your smile is in the best shape.

At our Collierville dental office, we’re always welcoming new patients of the human kind and would be happy to see you! Give us a call today!

heart health month

Posted & filed under Gum Disease, Oral Health, Prevention.

You may be wondering why your dentist in Cordova is choosing to talk about heart health. As a dedicated member of your medical team, we’re not only concerned with keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but rather we’re committed to keeping your whole body healthy. And it just so happens that your oral health plays a key role in overall wellness, including heart health. So during this American Heart Health Month, we want to provide all of our patients with important information on how keeping your smile in tip-top shape can help you maintain a healthy body.

How Does Dentistry Play a Role?

As research continues to advance what we know about heart disease, a strong correlation between oral health and heart health has been discovered. This link begins with gum health and, more specifically, gum disease. Gum disease is essentially an infection in the gum tissue that can lead to tooth loss. But perhaps what’s more concerning is that this infection has a direct route to the bloodstream. If it spreads, your body will produce excessive amounts of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is one of the known indicators of cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of CRP can lead to some serious health issues including:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

How to Avoid Gum Disease

The best way to avoid gum disease and the dangerous effects it can have on your heart is to prevent it by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. It’s also crucial to visit your Cordova dentist twice a year to remove buildup that your toothbrush just can’t touch.

Know the Signs

One of the scariest things about gum disease is that it can develop rapidly before you even suspect a problem. It is treatable and success is more likely if caught in the early stages. Knowing this, you should be aware of some early signs of gum disease so that you can seek treatment early. Some things to look out for include:

If you recognize any of the signs above, or it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, call our dental office in Cordova to schedule an appointment. Your smile and your heart will thank you.

We have dental offices in Cordova and Collierville to better serve you.

woman looks at teeth in the mirror

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

We all know that following a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can go a long way in protecting your smile against cavities. But even if you always brush twice a day and floss daily, there are still some things that may be putting you at risk for cavities. Join our Collierville dental office as we cover a few of the surprising ways you may be damaging your teeth.

Alcohol & Drug Use

Alcohol in particular poses two potential threats to oral health. First, it’s naturally drying and can lead to dry mouth. Second, its acidity wears away enamel. Dangerous, hard drugs such as methamphetamine traditionally cause tooth rot and many other oral health and whole-body health concerns.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect teeth in different ways. One way is by keeping you from getting the proper amount of nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, that your teeth need to stay strong. Another is by damaging tooth enamel through purging. While not all eating disorders involve purging, it’s a common practice in those with bulimia.

Genetics

Like your overall health, your genetics also play a role in your oral health. Whether your genes cause you to have higher amounts of bacteria in your mouth or they make you more likely to have soft or brittle teeth, they may put you at increased risk for cavities.

Getting Older

It’s a known fact that our bodies change as we get older. Our oral health is no different. Aging tends to weaken tooth enamel, which increases risk for decay by leaving teeth exposed to damaging bacteria. But the worries don’t end with tooth enamel. Gum recession is also common in older people, giving bacteria yet another place to attack.

Tobacco Use

Both smoking and using chewing tobacco can make you more susceptible to cavities since they contain nicotine, and nicotine is known to dry out mouths. Using any form of tobacco can also lead to yellow, discolored teeth.

Fillings

Even though fillings are meant to fix and treat cavities, having one that’s a bit large can put you at risk for developing more cavities. Large fillings can cause bacteria to get trapped underneath, which becomes impossible to remove with a toothbrush. If this is the case, your dentist in Collierville will need to fix the filling or perhaps use a dental crown instead.

Besides making sure you brush and floss regularly, visiting our dental office in Collierville bi-annually can help reduce your chances of getting a cavity. If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental check up, call to schedule an appointment today.

We have dental offices located in Collierville and Cordova to better serve you.

man with tooth pain

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Prevention.

Regular dental cleanings and exams can go a long way in keeping your mouth healthy. But when we miss these bi-annual appointments, the likelihood that a dental problem will pop up increases. These dental problems can be painful and even lead to more serious complications if left untreated. The team at our Collierville dental office encourages you to call to schedule an appointment with us if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Bleeding While Brushing or Flossing

Some may say that seeing some blood while brushing or flossing is normal. We’re here to tell you that it’s not. In fact, blood is never normal and may even be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease a serious oral health problem that requires professional treatment. If it’s not treated quickly and effectively gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other whole-body problems including stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Any Tooth Pain

Experiencing any form of tooth pain is your mouth’s way of telling you that something isn’t right in there and that you should get help. While the reasons behind toothaches can vary from anything from a cavity to a damaged dental restoration, the best way to get to the bottom of it and get relief is to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Collierville as soon as you can.

Hot/Cold Sensitivity

Having sensitive teeth could be a result of something as simple as brushing too hard or whitening your teeth too much. Other times, however, tooth sensitivity can also be caused by more serious things such as eroding enamel or receding gums. Both of these issues require a professional diagnosis and treatment plan in order to relieve the painful zingers of sensitivity.

Chronic Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may be no big deal, but if doesn’t go away it could be a sign of serious problem. Bad breath is often a sign of gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease. If not treated quickly the gingivitis can easily progress into gum disease and may eventually lead to tooth loss and the other whole-body concerns we mentioned earlier. Whether dry mouth is caused by medication you’re taking, is a byproduct of aging, or is a symptom of gingivitis, see your dentist to fix the problem once and for all.

These dental problems aren’t something to ignore and won’t go away on their own. The best way to diagnose and treat any of the issues above is to call our dental office in Collierville as soon as you notice something isn’t quite right. After all, many oral health complications are treated successfully and easily if caught early.

woman holds toothpaste

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, Prevention.

Whether due to aging, smoking, or drinking too much tooth-staining tea, there are plenty of things that can cause our pearly whites to be, well… not so white. If you’re one of the many people who are trying to score a whiter smile by using whitening toothpastes, our dental office in Cordova wants you to read on…

3 Pros of Whitening Toothpaste

There can be some benefits using whitening toothpaste. Some of these positives may include:

  • Effective Removal of Surface Stains. Most whitening toothpastes can effectively scrub away surface stains. So far, the stuff looks pretty good.
  • Easy to Use. If you can use regular toothpaste, you can use a whitening toothpaste. Just dab a little on your toothbrush and gently brush twice a day.
  • Most Affordable Option. At just a few bucks a tube, whitening toothpaste is appealing to many who are trying to get a whiter smile.

3 Cons of Whitening Toothpaste

However, using a whitening toothpaste isn’t all positive. While it may be effective, easy to use, and fairly cheap, there are also some disadvantages including:

  • It Takes a Long Time to See Results. A key part of making whitening toothpaste work is using it regularly. This means brushing with it twice a day, every day. Even then it could take weeks to see a change in color.
  • Could Cause More Harm Than Good. Whitening toothpastes are packed with abrasive ingredients. That’s another part of what makes it work. But it’s also what can cause damage. The abrasive texture of whitening toothpastes can wear away enamel, leaving teeth at risk for decay and sensitivity. Thinner enamel can also cause teeth to appear darker, which really isn’t the look we were going for.
  • It May Not Work for You. Sometimes tooth staining goes deeper than the surface, making whitening toothpastes essentially ineffective. But don’t panic. Cosmetic dentistry such as dental veneers can still transform your smile.

Alternatives to Whitening Toothpaste

Even though whitening toothpaste tends to be the go-to option for getting a whiter smile, there are other things you can do to help get, and keep, your teeth pearly white.

  • After drinking tea or coffee, rinse your mouth out with water.
  • Stop smoking or using chewing tobacco.  
  • Eat more apples, cheese, or celery to gently rub away potential stains.
  • Consider a professional smile whitening from your dentist in Cordova.

The best way to whiten your smile depends on several things, and there is no one solution that’s right for everyone. To find out what will help get you a whiter smile, we welcome you to schedule an appointment our Cordova dental office.

woman hiding her smile

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

When you look in the mirror and smile, what do you see? Are you happy with the way your smile looks, or are your teeth not quite white enough, not quite straight enough, or just overall not quite what you’d like? If you’re looking for ways to improve your smile’s appearance, look no further than our dental office in Collierville.  

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments to Transform Your Smile

Professional Teeth Whitening

The most common form of cosmetic dentistry is a professional smile whitening treatment. An in-office or professional strength at-home tooth whitening product from your dentist in Collierville can brighten a dull and discolored smile better than their over-the-counter alternatives. These professional whitening solutions are also often more customized for your needs and your teeth.

Dental Veneers

While professional whitening can be really successful for many people, there are times when it’s just not enough to transform a stained grin. In these situations, dental veneers can work wonders. Dental veneers are usually made from ceramic, and are custom-crafted for each patient to match their natural tooth shape. They’re also effective at creating a straighter smile, fixing cracked teeth, or eliminating gaps between teeth.

Composite Bonding

When it comes to covering up and fixing darkened decayed teeth or chipped teeth, composite bonding is an easy and effective solution. The process is simple. Your dentist removes the decay, covers the area with the safe composite material, and artfully molds it into shape to match the rest of your smile. The composite is then hardened and the transformation is complete.

Smile Makeover

A more comprehensive approach to a smile transformation is typically considered a smile makeover. After an in-depth discussion with your dentist to address all of your concerns, your smile makeover may consist of a combination of cosmetic dentistry treatments to give your smile the appearance you’re looking for.

As we ring in the new year and focus on the self-improvement resolutions that tend to come with the celebration, commit to giving yourself a smile that you’ll be proud to show off. Call our Collierville dental office today to get started!

young man with a cold

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

It’s official: We’re in the peak of cold and flu season. While we all try our best to avoid the stuffiness, coughs, and sore throats that tend to accompany the flu or common cold, there are times when germs take hold and make us sick, no matter what we do. At our dental office in Cordova, we never want our patients or neighbors to get sick, but we know the inevitable happens. And when it does, we want to educate everyone on some ways your go-to medicine of choice can damage your smile.  

Hidden Dangers

Medicines designed to help ease symptoms of the common cold such as cough syrups or cough drops are great at making you feel a bit better. But they tend to come with hidden dangers that can affect your oral health. Ultimately, the ingredients in many popular over-the-counter medications can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Sugary Sweetness

Medicines usually contain some sugars to mask the bad taste. But these sugars are dangerous to teeth. When sugar enters the mouth, bacteria begin feeding on them and release acid as a byproduct. This acid wears away tooth enamel, which is meant to protect teeth against decay. Without their protective coating, teeth are at increased risk for decay and cavities.

Alcohol

Another common ingredient in many cough medicines is alcohol. However, alcohol reduces saliva production and may cause dry mouth. This is concerning for your dentist in Cordova. Saliva is needed to rinse away sugars in the mouth and the acid produced by feeding bacteria. Without it, these sugars and acids are left behind to damage smiles by decaying teeth.  

Tips to Help

Does this mean we’re suggestions that you should tough out a cold and not take any medicine? Definitely not. But we are suggesting a few ways you can help limit the potential of your medicine causing oral health problems.

  • Trying taking the medication as a pill instead of a liquid. This will decrease or eliminate your teeth’s exposure to the dangerous ingredients.
  • Don’t take cough syrup right before bed. If you take your medicine after you brush your teeth, the sugar is left in the mouth all night long, greatly increasing your risk for decay
  • Take liquid medicine with food. Saliva production increases as we eat. So if you take your medicine when saliva production is highest, it can help rinse away the sugar and alcohol.

The team at our Cordova dental office hopes you can avoid getting sick this season. But if you do get sick, follow our tips above to protect your smile as you work on feeling better.

holiday dinner with wine

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

We are all aware that there are certain foods your dentist in Cordova just isn’t a big fan of. These foods typically include super sweet candies and treats, popcorn with hidden damaging kernels, and of course sugary sodas and juices. But there may just be one more to add to that list: wine.

How Does Wine Affect Oral Health?

Let us start by saying that we aren’t here to tell you that you shouldn’t enjoy a glass of wine after a stressful day or with a nice dinner. As long as you enjoy it responsibly and in moderation, go ahead and treat yourself. However, we do want to let you know about a few oral health problems that can happen as a result of too much wine.

Dry Mouth

Any alcoholic beverage has the tendency to dry out the mouth, and the rest of the body. However, in relation to oral health, a dry mouth is the perfect place for bacteria to flourish and decay to occur as a result. Normally our mouths produce a lot of saliva. This saliva rinses away bacteria before it has a chance to work on decaying teeth. Without it, teeth are at increased risk for cavities.

Calcium Reduction

Wine contains a lot of acid, and acid is bad news for teeth. When we eat or drink highly acidic foods or beverages, the acid begins to attack tooth enamel, first softening it. As enamel softens, some of the calcium within it leaks out and weakens it. Once enamel is weak, it leaves teeth exposed to bacteria, decay, and cavities. If it continues to diminish, tooth roots and nerves may begin to surface, causing painful sensitivity.

Tooth Discoloration

Loss of enamel has even more additional negative side effects, including tooth discoloration. As the enamel weakens, the inner part of the tooth becomes more visible. This inner tooth, or dentin, has a dark, yellowish color. Without the white, calcium rich enamel, teeth can appear dull and yellow. What’s worse is the color of red wine can cause your teeth to take on a reddish hue. Usually this discoloration can be reversed through professional smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry.

Don’t Panic

Before you get bummed out at the thought of ditching your nightly glass of vino, our dental office in Cordova has a bit of potentially good news. Several studies have suggested that red wine, or at least elements in red wine, may actually help protect teeth against decay by getting rid of mouth bacteria. But more research is definitely needed to support the claim.

Whether you’re a wine drinker or not, if you happen to notice signs of tooth discoloration, an unusually dry mouth, or have any other dental concern, we always welcome you to call our Cordova dental office to schedule an appointment.

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!