Dentist Gallatin, TN | 120 Goodview Way, Suite B | Gallatin, TN 37066 | (615) 675-0555

9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Tongue | Dentist in Gallatin TN

We use our tongues every day to talk, taste, and swallow, yet we rarely take time to think about this flexible organ. Here are 9 things you may not know about the tongue: 

  1. The longest recorded tongue was more than 3.8 inches from back to tip; the widest measured over 3” across. 
  2. The human tongue contains 8 separate muscles intertwined. 
  3. A blue whale tongue weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant! 
  4. Tongues come in many shapes and have varying numbers of taste buds. This makes a human tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint. 
  5. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds in their mouth. 
  6. A single taste bud contains between 50 and 100 taste cells, which may have sensors for multiple tastes. 
  7. No individual taste cell can identify both bitter and sweet flavors. 
  8. 1 milliliter of saliva contains about 1,000,000 bacteria. 
  9. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue is proven to help prevent osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility. 

Health issues involving the tongue are most commonly caused by bacteria or tobacco use. Proper cleaning of the tongue can help prevent these conditions from developing. However, if you notice sores, discoloration, or other symptoms, contact our office. 

Some tongue-affecting illnesses include: 

  • Leukoplakia – excessive cell growth characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. It is not dangerous, but can be a precursor to oral cancer. 
  • Oral thrush – an oral yeast infection common after antibiotic use, often characterized by cottage-cheese like white patches on the surface of the tongue and mouth. 
  • Red tongue – may be caused by a deficiency of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12. 
  • Hairy tongue – black and/or hairy-feeling tongue can be caused by build-up of bacteria. 
  • Canker sores – small ulcerous sores on the tongue, often associated with stress. These sores are not the same as cold sores and are not contagious. 
  • Oral cancer – most sore tongue issues are not serious. However, if you have a sore or lump on your tongue that does not heal within a week or two, schedule a screening. 

For more information about the tongue or to schedule a screening with our doctor, contact our office

Resource: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/

Seniors and Oral Health | Dentist Gallatin

386 Dental Studio

Your teeth age with you. It’s important to keep them strong and healthy even as you grow older. Seniors are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease. In addition to getting a regular dental examination, here are some other tips to keep your teeth healthy. 

Keep a Routine 

Regardless of age, we cannot stress the importance of keeping up with a daily oral hygiene routine. Make sure you are brushing twice-daily and flossing at least once per day. For seniors with dentures, it is important that you remove them for at least four hours each day. We recommend removing them at night. Dentures need to be cleaned daily so make it part of your routine as well. We also suggest staying hydrated by drinking water. Not only does water help keep you producing enamel building saliva, but if it contains fluoride, it can help keep your teeth strong. Make a regular visit to our office part of your routine as well. 

Tips for Caregivers 

If you are the primary caregiver of someone elderly, working with them to keep their teeth healthy can be a challenge. It is up to you to remind them to brush and floss regularly. Help them by establishing a routine and set times for brushing their teeth. We ask that you assist them in making an appointment to visit our dental office. If keeping up with daily dental health seems to be too difficult, please contact our office. We can work with you to offer some advice and solutions.  

Financial Assistance 

For seniors in a nursing home that are enrolled in state or national financial programs, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests considering the Incurred Medical Expense regulation. This works to assist in paying for care that is deemed a necessity. If our dentist finds that treatment must be done, consider this as an option to lessen the financial burden. Talk to your nursing home or care facility’s caseworker for more information. 

Don’t Forget About Gums 

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can be brought on by certain medications. When you visit our office, be sure to update us on any changes to your medications. At times, early periodontal disease is painless which makes it even more important that you keep a regular routine of visiting our office for a thorough exam and evaluation. According to the ADA, more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 have chronic periodontitis.  

Keeping your teeth healthy as you age can be difficult. We suggest sticking to a daily routine in terms of brushing and flossing, and keeping up with regular visits to our office. If you are the caregiver of an elderly spouse, parent, or loved one, do not overlook their oral health. Make sure they are receiving the needed attention and are sticking to a daily oral healthy routine.  

For more tips on keeping your teeth health or to set up your next appointment, please contact our office

Resources – The American Dental Association 

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/aging-and-dental-health http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease

Subject: Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth? | 37066 Dentist

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Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth?  Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion.  Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:

Decreased Saliva Flow:  Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out.  Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay.  To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout.  You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.

Jaw Clenching:  Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights.  This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth.  To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouthguard.  These can be purchased at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our Gallatin dentist can make a custom fitted mouthguard for you.

Consuming Sports Drinks:  Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water.  The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage.  Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay.   Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects.  If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.

Contact our Gallatin dental office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.

The Benefits of Adult Dental Sealants | Gallatin Dentist

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Although dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, they can be a beneficial option for adults as well. A dental sealant is a protective, plastic film that helps prevent tooth decay.

Even with at home oral health care, there are areas of the mouth that can be difficult to reach, making it tough to properly clean. Our 37066 dentist can determine whether dental sealants are a viable option in helping give you extra protection from tooth decay.

Our goal is to make every one of your dental visits as comfortable as possible. Applying dental sealants is a quick procedure, which offers substantial benefits. According to the American Dental Association, adult sealants are an effective solution to cavity prevention and in preventing the progression of an early non-cavitated tooth lesion.

With proper at home care and regular professional cleanings, dental sealants can last up to 10 years while effectively preventing tooth decay.

Contact our Gallatin dental practice for more information about dental sealants and to schedule a cleaning with our professional dental team.

How Exactly Does Fluoride Help Teeth? | Gallatin Dentist

Dentist 37066

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in the earth and in nature. Water supplies and some foods also contain fluoride. Many community’s drinking water contains fluoride, and this helps to strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Studies have shown that people that use fluoride have less tooth decay.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Bacteria cause demineralization and this is when bacteria feeds on sugar and produces acidic saliva. This acid weakens tooth enamel. Fluoride helps to control and protect damage from demineralization. This helps keep our teeth looking and feeling healthy. Fluoride also helps to replenish the calcium that help make our teeth hard. This prevents tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.

If Fluoride Safe?

If used properly fluoride is safe and does not cause any harm. If you are using fluoride toothpaste it is important to ensure children do not swallow the toothpaste. Swallowing toothpaste may cause an issue because most toothpaste brands contain fluoride. Overall fluoride is a great way to protect your teeth from decay, and does not pose any risk to your health.

What Type of Fluoride Treatments Are Available?

There are a few different types of fluoride treatments available to patients. Topical fluoride products are applied directly to the teeth. This can be done in our office and takes only a few minutes to complete. Typically fluoride treatments are inexpensive and most insurance plans cover this treatment. The topical treatment contains a higher level of fluoride and can only be applied by a professional. Fluoride is also in our toothpaste and mouth washes. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can help give you the protection you need from decay that can lead to cavities.

Looking To Find Out More About Fluoride Treatment?

If you are looking to find out more information about fluoride treatments and how they can benefit you, please contact our office. Our team is here to help, and your oral health is our priority. Preventative care is a way to keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling healthy.

We offer flexible hours, and do our best to see patients as soon as possible. To schedule your next exam contact our office, and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Do Oral Piercings Cause Infections? | Dentist Gallatin

Sumner County TN Dentist

Oral piercings are popular among young adults and adolescents. Piercings are the cool thing to have, and they give people a way to express themselves. Piercings can interfere with your speech or your ability to chew and swallow. Many people also wonder if their choice to have a piercing can lead to infection.

Can My Oral Piercing Cause an Infection?

Oral piercings are considered trauma because they involve breaking the surface of the skin or tissue in the mouth. This does involve a risk for infection because the piercing gives bacteria an area to gather. Our mouths have larger amounts of bacteria, and piercings that are on the lips have a greater risk for infection. This is because they are towards the skin surface.

Even though oral piercings pose a risk for infection, oral tissue has the ability to heal quickly. This decreases the chance for bacteria to cause an infection. In addition, piercings can increase the risk for contracting a viral infection depending on where the piercing is located. Choosing a clean and reputable facility for your piercing is important. Sterilization and good hygiene is necessary with any type of piercing.

How Can I Avoid an Infection if I Have an Oral Piercing?

The first thing to consider is your oral hygiene. In order to keep your teeth, mouth, and the piercing area clean at all times you must have proper hygiene. This also helps to keep your risk of infection lower. Keeping the area clean after meals is important. Brushing and flossing as well as using an antiseptic mouthwash can help avoid bacteria from collecting around the piercing area.

Watching for signs of infection can help you get in front of an issue. Symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, and redness or swelling around the piercing area. We encourage you to contact our office immediately if you think you may have an infection, or notice unusual swelling in your mouth or tongue.

How Do You Treat an Infection From an Oral Piercing?

An infection from an oral piercing can be treated by a dental professional. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you may have an oral infection. Catching the infection early is important, and the infection can be easily managed. Typically antibiotics will be needed, and in some cases depending on the severity of the infection the piercing may have to be removed. This will help the infection heal quicker.

Concerned You May Have an Infection?

If you are concerned you may have an infection due to an oral piercing we encourage you to contact our office. Our staff is available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Leaving an infection untreated can lead to more serious health issues. Treating an infection as soon as possible can help stop the infection in its tracks, and prevent the infection from getting worse.

Contact our friendly staff to schedule an appointment in our office. We are happy to assist you, and we accommodate all of our patients to ensure they can be seen right away. Let us help get you on the road to recovery.

Should I Brush or Floss First? | Dentist in Gallatin

Dentist in Sumner County

Creating an oral hygiene routine at home is important to help maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums feeling great. Brushing and flossing each day is extremely important, and the order in which you do these two items is a common question. Many wonder which way gives the most benefit.

Is Brushing First Better?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a key part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing cleans your teeth and removes plaque, as well as prevents cavities from developing. Brushing is not the only thing you need to do to keep your oral hygiene in check. Flossing is another integral part of oral hygiene. The order in which you do these two items is a popular discussion.

Brushing does allow the toothpaste with fluoride to get in-between the teeth and help lift residual plaque when you floss after brushing. Studies show that flossing first is better, and is a more efficient way to keep up with your oral health. Flossing last also leaves particles in your mouth if you do not remember to rinse afterwards.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

Benefits of Flossing and Brushing

  • Prevents gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene or not brushing and flossing properly. Routine dental cleanings in our office are important and we recommend dental cleanings at least twice a year.
  • Removes plaque that is the leading cause of gum disease. If you floss and brush your teeth regularly plaque does not have the chance to harden on your teeth.
  • Prevents decay and costly dental procedures. If you take care of your oral health you can avoid serious complications or dental procedures in the future.

Overall, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Cavities and gum disease are preventable, and remembering to floss and brush each day will help keep your mouth feeling great. Visiting our office regularly for your cleaning and exam is another way to stay on top of your oral health.

During your dental exam our team will discuss any hygiene recommendations, and review how to keep up with your oral hygiene care at home. Taking care of your oral health is important, and your health is our priority.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to improve your oral hygiene routine at home, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Are There any Differences Between Mouth Washes? | Sumner County, TN Dentist

37066 Dentist

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

How Can I Reduce My Costs for Dental Care? | Dr. Skylor Morton

Dentist Sumner County TN

Dental care can be costly, and simple procedures can even run up your bill. Caring for your teeth is necessary to keep your oral and general health in check. Many people have no dental benefits at all, or if they retire their benefits are lost.

Skipping dental care is not an option, and can lead to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, or heart conditions. There are ways you can reduce your dental care costs, and help pay for those costly procedures that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Ask Your Dentist if They Offer an In-House Membership Plan

Many dental practices today offer their own dental membership for patients. These plans act like an insurance plan, and give patients discounts on procedures that are done in their office. If a patient does not have insurance it is wise to inquire about an in-house plan to help keep costs down.

Sign Up for a Dental Plan Through Your Employer

Many companies offer both medical and dental insurance plans. Most plans pay for at least half of the cost, and preventative services are typically covered 100 percent. Routine procedures are usually covered around 80 percent, and larger more involved procedures such as crowns are usually covered at 50 percent. Using in-network providers can help you save money, and allow you to get the dental work you need.

Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans are available to participants who pay a fee to join. The fee is typically annual, and allows you to choose from a network of dentists that offer discounts for members. Dental savings plans allow patients to get the work done that they need at a discounted price without insurance.

Affordable Care Act

Patients can apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Logging on to their website can let you know if you qualify to purchase dental coverage.

Dental HMO Plan

A dental HMO plan may be available in your state. Typically cleanings and exams twice a year are covered, and procedures are at a discount. Many dentists participate and accept HMO plans, and this is a good way to help save on dental care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran you qualify to receive insurance at a reduced rate. Disabled veterans are also eligible for free dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do Your Research

If you are required to have a costly procedure, research the average price of that procedure. Ask your dentist for a discount, and most likely they will work with you, and help find a price and payment plan that fits your needs.

Create an Emergency Dental Fund

Setting aside money each month for dental care can help cover procedures or emergencies that are unpredictable.  Knowing you have a savings account will put you at ease if an emergency arises and you need dental care.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Taking care of your oral health is a great way to prevent costly dental procedures. Brushing and flossing each day, and staying away from foods and drinks that contain sugar can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visiting our office regularly for exams and cleanings is extremely important to maintain your oral health. Regular visits allow our team to get in front of issues before they become urgent, and we can help you keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling great.

Interested in Finding Out More?

We care about our patients, and our team is here to help take care of your oral health. Ask our team if you have questions on coverage or payment plans, and we will work with you to ensure you can receive the very best care.

To find out more about dental programs we offer, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.