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Ways to Combat Dry Mouth

Your dry mouth could be caused by a variety of things. Some medications cause dry mouth, as well as certain conditions, stress, age, and smoking or drug use. No matter what causes it, dry mouth can be detrimental to good oral health and should be corrected as much as possible. It can cause bad breath, discomfort, cracked lips, gum irritation, tooth decay, mouth sores. In addition, it can even cause difficulty eating, tasting, and speaking! Dry mouth is not fun for anyone. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to combat dry mouth. Some are simple, and some will take some work.

What You Can Do

Ways to Combat Dry Mouth - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryChewing Gum – Choosing a sugar-free gum to chew or candy to suck on throughout the day will stimulate saliva production.
Sip on Water – Sipping on water throughout the day will help stimulate saliva production and act as a rinse to prevent tooth decay.
Breathe Through the Nose – Instead of breathing through the mouth, breathe through the nose as often as possible. Use a humidifier at night to help combat dry mouth.
Limit Caffeine/Alcohol – These beverages increase dry mouth.
Avoid Antihistamines and Decongestants – These products are designed to treat runny eyes and nose. They also cause dry mouth.
Try a Saliva Substitute – There are over-the-counter and prescription saliva substitutes. They come in the form of sprays that moisturize the oral cavity.
Change Mouthwash – Instead of a mouthwash with alcohol, try one designed for dry mouth. These products will protect your mouth against tooth decay whereas regular mouthwash can worsen dry mouth.
Stop Smoking – Tobacco products increase dry mouth symptoms, increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and cause bad breath.

If you have tried everything you can think of, you should talk to your doctor or dentist. Your dry mouth may be caused by a medication you’re on or caused by a condition that is treatable. Click here for important information about Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Protect Your Teeth

Having dry mouth can make it more difficult to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but there are still things you can do while you figure it out.

Watch Your Diet – Avoid sugary and acidic foods that can lead to plaque and decay. If you have trouble changing your diet, make sure to sip on water throughout the day.
Brush and Floss Regularly – Brush twice per day with a medium-bristle toothbrush. Floss once per day.
Schedule Dental Visits – You should see your dentist at least annually for a cleaning and exam. Your insurance may even allow 6-month visits. These visits may be the only time that a professional see your teeth. It’s important for preventing and treating tooth decay.

Don’t let dry mouth cramp your smile. Our staff at Legacy Hill Dentistry is waiting for your call. Schedule your check-up today so that you can be one step closer to combat dry mouth.

Call Legacy Hill Dentistry today at 615-459-8050!

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

People of all ages develop cavities. Tooth decay affects everyone, and many people fail to get treatment simply because they don’t like how fillings look in their mouth. The silver amalgam fillings are affordable, long-lasting, and strong, which is why they’re used so often. Silver amalgam is not your only option, however. You can opt for tooth-colored fillings that maintain the look of your natural teeth and can help you smile with pride.

What is a Tooth-Colored Filling?

Advantages of Tooth Colored Fillings - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryTooth-colored fillings are created when the cavity is drilled and cleaned as usual. Then, it is filled with a durable composite resin, a moldable plastic material. Sealed with a dental sealant, this resin bonds to the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings are also made of porcelain or microscopic glass. They are placed in an acrylic base and sealed with a dental sealant. Either way, the finished product is a natural looking tooth worth smiling about.

Do They Cost More?

Yes. Tooth-colored fillings cost more, and many dental insurance plans will not cover them because amalgam is cheaper and works at a comparable level.

Why Pay More?

There are benefits that make tooth-colored fillings worth the cost. First, having a natural appearance that blends with your teeth is beneficial for self-esteem. Second, tooth-colored fillings work just as well as amalgam without putting mercury or dangerous chemicals into the body. You can even have amalgam fillings removed in order to have them replaced with tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also more like the teeth. They do not warp over time or under extreme temperatures. Finally, they require less removal of the original tooth in order to place it. It is always the dentist’s goal to keep as much of the natural tooth intact as possible to maintain the best dental health.

What to Expect?

When you choose tooth-colored fillings, your procedure is more involved than if you chose amalgam filling. It is more delicate work and takes longer. Some patients may experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods and possible pain following the treatment. This doesn’t usually occur with amalgam fillings, but is only temporary.

Tooth-colored fillings can be part of restorative treatment, but may also be cosmetic. If you have amalgam fillings, we can replace them with tooth-colored fillings. At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we have the experience to match the filling to your tooth perfectly. If you’re in the Smyrna area and you’re not satisfied with your fillings, let us help you! Call and schedule an appointment at Legacy Hill Dentistry today at 615-459-8050!

Diet Can Compromise Your Dental Health

You’ve heard that sugar is bad for your teeth, but what are other harmful foods? What foods and drinks are the worst for your dental health? Is there a compromise?

Products to Limit

Diet Can Compromise Your Dental Health - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryBread and Bready Snacks – In the mouth, bread turns to sugar that sticks to your teeth and gums in a type of paste. Opting for a snack that has less refined sugar and less added sugars will make a difference. Alcoholic Beverages – Alcohol causes the mouth to dry, which decreases saliva production and prevents your body’s natural cleaning process. Wine not only causes dry mouth but can also stain your teeth when consumed regularly.
Sour and Chewy Candies – Sour candies create acid in the mouth and lead to tooth decay. Chewy candies stick directly to the teeth, allowing these acids to work against the teeth until it’s cleaned away.
Sodas – Carbonated beverages are simply acid, and acid is what causes tooth decay. When you drink soda, you’re coating your teeth and gums in acid. Like wine, habitually drinking dark-colored sodas can stain your teeth over time.
Citrus – Consume citrus fruits in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Adding lemon to water or orange slices to a salad causes acid in your mouth that will lead to tooth decay.
Dried Fruits – Most dried fruits are sticky. They should be eaten in moderation and should be cleaned away with toothbrush or floss, but not right after eating!
Chips – Whether we’re talking about potato chips or corn chips, they’re starchy and notorious for binge-snacking. When people eat chips, they may eat an entire bag. This is not healthy for your mouth, not to mention the saltiness causing dry mouth.
Coffee – Specialty coffee drinks cause consumers to drink an acidic drink with a high concentration of sugar. The sugar is bad for the teeth, but a coffee habit will discolor teeth faster than many other things.

Products to Avoid

Tobacco – There is not a dentist on the planet that will endorse tobacco use. Whether it’s smoking cigarettes or another smokeless product, they cause stained teeth, bad breath, loss of taste, slow healing, gum disease, and oral cancers.
Ice – Chewing on ice can damage your enamel and break your teeth. Avoid this habit, as it’s hard to break.
Vaping – E-cigarettes and vape machines have grown in popularity over the last few years. They are helping countless people get off tobacco. However, according to Medical News Today, the concentrated nicotine and flavoring agents damage gum tissue, mouth cells, and can cause dry mouth.

No matter what you crave, you should be able to have your favorite products as part of a balanced diet while remembering oral hygiene! There are treatments that can help, including teeth whitening. However, nothing replaces a healthy diet and oral care!

The Process of Tooth Whitening

Your smile has the power to make or break you. It can light up a room and build up your confidence. Many professionals attribute lower stress levels, mood elevation, and success in personal and professional life to the smile. But, what if you do not like your smile? It can be difficult to share it, like it, and you may avoid it altogether if your smile is a little ‘off’. Whether the problem is with the color or the placement of your teeth, your smile now doesn’t have to be your smile forever. At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we strive to make your smile something to be proud of.

Cosmetic Dentistry

The Process of Tooth Whitening - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryAt Legacy Hill, we offer general dentistry that keeps your teeth and gums healthy and long-lasting, but we also specialize in cosmetic dentistry. Services that keep our patients smiling are important to us. That is why we offer cosmetic products including realistic and beautiful crowns, bridges, implants, as well as realignment and whitening.

A Brighter Smile

Our most requested cosmetic procedure at Legacy Hill is tooth whitening. It’s a fairly simple process sometimes called “bleaching” in which the teeth are brightened, and most stains are removed. Patients who have undergone whitening procedures are more confident at home, at work, and socially. People with bright smiles and beautiful teeth make better first impressions, have a more confident posture, and even speak more clearly and confidently. If this process would benefit you, there is no better time to start than now.

What to Expect

First, in order to evenly treat all of your teeth, Legacy Hill staff will take impressions of your teeth to properly shape the tray. Next, trays are made and properly fitted. These trays will hold the whitening solution which covers your teeth and improves their color. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on what to do at home. It’s important to follow directions and to understand that tooth whitening is changing the surfaces of the teeth. It can cause sensitivity, and this is normal. Once completed, your teeth will return to normal-except the new, beautiful color! Depending on your teeth and your habits, you may need to repeat the tooth whitening process. The procedure should whiten all of the teeth, but it will not prevent new stains from a daily coffee habit, tobacco use, or other foods that cause stains.

Who Should Consider Tooth Whitening?

You may have discoloration due to foods, drinks, medications, fluoridation, tobacco habits, and time itself. If you want a brighter smile, then tooth whitening is right for you. It’s an inexpensive way to get big results at home, at work, and in the world. If you’re currently getting dental work done, or need dental work done, make sure you talk to your dentist about how best to match the color.

Now is the time to put yourself first. Legacy Hill Dentistry has just what you need for a more healthy and confident smile. Call us at (615) 459-8050 and get started today!

We Offer Periodontal Gum Therapy

Periodontal Gum Therapy Available at Legacy Hill DentistryEvery part of your mouth affects the rest. It is a moist, warm space that is perfect for growing bacteria (and developing infection) if not properly cared for. Some patients may not have a problem with periodontal (gum) disease at all, and others may struggle with gum health for their entire lives. Different people may have more – or different kinds of – bacteria in the mouth, putting them at increased risk for gum disease, which puts their tooth health at risk as well.

The Effects of Gum Disease

Many people may go years never realizing they have a gum problem. Too many go without regular checkups that would indicate there is a problem, and still more think it’s no big deal. Periodontal health is a big deal! Your gums and your jaw hold your teeth in your mouth. The gums protect the fragile intersection of teeth and jaw — not to mention the pain that can come from untreated gum disease.

Signs you may have gum disease:

  • Gum recession and/or gaps between teeth
  • Bleeding gums, especially when flossing, brushing, or chewing
  • Red, sore, or swollen gums
  • Bad breath that is persistent despite brushing, mouthwash, etc.
  • Loose teeth

The spaces that are between teeth and gums, as well as created by swollen gums, are the perfect place for bacteria to grow. This type of open space in the mouth, as well as infection caused by gum disease, can change the atmosphere in the mouth. In turn, this can raise the pH level and increase the rate of tooth decay. It is important to treat gum disease as it occurs. It can be tempting to only go to the dentist when there is a problem and pay for expensive appointments when absolutely necessary, but routine dental visits are preventative. They prevent pain, lost time at work, and expensive treatments later.

Prevent Gum Disease

Your dentist cannot prevent gum disease, but you can. Maintaining oral and dental health at home is your first defense against periodontal disease and tooth decay (cavities).

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss once daily
  • Use a daily mouthwash or fluoride rinse
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Sip on water throughout the day instead of sugary drinks
  • Avoid bedtime snacks
  • Reduce stress at home, school, and work
  • Avoid clenching or grinding teeth
  • Limit or remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your life

What Legacy Hill Can Do for Your Gums

At Legacy Hill, we encourage our patients to keep annual and semi-annual dental checkups. At these appointments, we give your teeth a thorough cleaning and examine the teeth and gums. If you show signs of periodontal disease, we will complete a more advanced cleaning procedure that will promote healing. Scaling and root planing means we will numb the area, scrape away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, and smooth the surface of the teeth so that the gums are better able to attach to the teeth as they should. If this process doesn’t solve your gum issue, surgery may be necessary.

Gum disease is not a prejudiced disease. It affects all ages, genders, and lifestyles. If you have new symptoms or pain in your teeth or gums, do not wait to call your dentist. Call Legacy Hill at 615-459-8050 and ask about periodontal therapy today.