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Mandibular Advancement Devices

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) are used to treat and prevent snoring. Some may mistakenly call these devices a night guard. On the contrary, they are actually a dental prosthetic that is carefully measured and custom-made for the patient. This device works to prevent snoring by manually moving the jaw forward. By shifting the jaw forward slightly, the airway is opened up. This is so air can move from the lungs to the mouth and back, without the sound of snoring. Patients may seek this kind of treatment when their snoring has become severe and is interfering with sleep and the sleep of a loved one!

Who Can Benefit from MADs?

  • Patients who snore and do not have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) features.
  • Patients with mild/moderate OSA who cannot use a CPAP machine.
  • Patients with severe OSA who failed CPAP therapy.
  • Patients with a large tongue that obstructs airflow.
  • Patients with a poorly positioned hyoid bone.
  • Patients with OSA who have a short mandible or maxilla, and reduced facial height.
  • Patients with a large-sized uvula.
  • Patients with a large soft palate that extends down and toward the throat.Mandibular Advancement Devices - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

Mandibular Advancement Devices are used to treat snoring, as well as sleep apnea when applicable. However, it must only be done through a licensed dentist. Mouth guards from the drug store will do nothing for your snoring or your sleep apnea. These are medical and dental issues that need to be addressed by a professional. So, you should contact your dentist if you think a Mandibular Advancement Device is right for you.

Legacy Hill’s Specialty Dentistry

As part of our specialty dentistry, Legacy Hill Dentistry fits patients for prosthetics to treat varying dental issues. These range from annoying to painful and in between. Mandibular Advancement Devices are fitted to each patient specifically. The dentist will make a perfectly-fitting prosthetic based from bite impressions from your initial visit. Your MAD should fit securely and allow you to sleep without any issues. At Legacy Hill, our #1 goal is customer dental health and satisfaction. So, if you aren’t happy with your device – we want to know! These devices will only work when you wear them, and we know you won’t wear it unless it’s right.

Consider calling Legacy Hill Dentistry before making major decisions regarding your dental health. Specialty Dentistry is often a headache because a lot of it is trial and error. Before seeing a dentist about your snoring, you should make sure other factors aren’t causing it. it isn’t caused by other factors. Consulting your primary care physician can save you time and money -and find the answers you need. Unsure about proceeding with an MAD, but would like to discuss it? One of our associates is waiting to hear from you! Call Legacy Hill Dentistry 615-459-8050.

The Importance of Regular Brushing Through the Holidays

It’s difficult to stick to a routine when children are on break from school, when the family is traveling, and bedtimes fluctuate due to holiday festivities. The holidays bring with them busy days, hectic schedules, and house decorating, cleaning, and prepping. If you don’t have established routines before the holidays, you might find it difficult to maintain them during this crazy time of year. Now is the time to think about oral hygiene and healthy habits.

Mouth-Healthy Habits The Importance of Regular Brushing Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

It is important that everyone in the family has good oral hygiene. It saves money in dental care and prevents a lifetime of oral woes. As you enter into the holiday season, keep the following tips in mind to keep your family mouth-healthy.

  • Regular Brushing

Everyone, young and old, should brush twice daily. Brushing after every meal can be difficult, but if the dentist recommends brushing after every meal, follow your dentist’s instructions. For regular brushing make sure you are using ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and an appropriately sized soft-bristle brush. Teach children to brush properly starting at a young age.

  • Floss Daily

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends cleaning in between your teeth at least once daily. There are many methods of doing this now because there are many kinds of interdental cleaners on the market. Flossing moves plaque and food from between the teeth that might otherwise stay. In the wet, dark areas between the teeth, bacteria grow easily. Choose a method of flossing that you’re comfortable with, and start flossing today. It can prevent cavities between the teeth that affect two teeth instead of one! Flossing also adds to gum health.

  • Rinse with Mouthwash

There are two types of mouthwash—therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash kills bacteria, while cosmetic mouthwash improves bad breath temporarily. Utilizing therapeutic mouthwash can help prevent or control tooth decay, gum disease, and tartar. It also freshens breath and helps to heal mouth sores.

  • Sip Water

It’s important to offer your children water throughout the day, and to drink it yourself. Water is refreshing, keeps you hydrated, and helps to neutralize acid in your mouth. Drinking water instead of sweet drinks and sodas during the holidays can help prevent bad breath and plaque buildup.

  • Chew Sugar-free Gum

Chewing gum that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance contributes to good oral health. The act of chewing increases saliva, which neutralizes acids in the mouth, which decreases plaque, thereby preventing cavities.

  • Balanced Nutrition

Avoiding too many sweets this holiday season will help prevent extra wear on your teeth. Sticky candies are especially bad for your teeth because the sugar is difficult to clean from the surfaces and in between the teeth. Sweet alcoholic beverages are also acidic and can be bad for your teeth in excess. The best way to maintain oral health is to stick to a balanced diet throughout the holiday season and year-round.

Contact Us

When it comes to your teeth, you don’t want to leave it up to chance. Winter is filled with candy, beginning with Halloween, then Christmas, and finally Valentine’s Day. You do not want to neglect your teeth during this time! On top of brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and eating a balanced diet, you also need to schedule routine checkups. Legacy Hill Dentistry is everything you’re looking for in a family dentist, and we’re accepting new patients now. Call 615-459-8050 now to schedule your dental check-up.

TMJ: Symptoms and Solutions

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint connecting the upper and lower jaw at both sides of your face in front of your ears. This joint can become dysfunctional as a result of arthritis and overuse resulting in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). TMJ disorders can range from mild or no discomfort to difficulties eating, sleeping, and living comfortably. TMJ disorders can be treated, but symptoms should not be ignored, as they will increase in severity over time.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorders TMJ Symptoms and Solutions Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from TMD according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH). These disorder go widely undiagnosed and untreated due to there being no standardized method of treatment. Patients should be proactive about symptoms and treatment, and educate themselves about TMJ Disorders in order to live comfortably. If you are afraid you have a TMJ problem, you can discuss your symptoms with your dentist or primary care physician.

Common TMD Symptoms

According to the TMJ Association (TMJA) common symptoms for TMD include:

  • Pain in the jaw muscle
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Chronic headaches
  • Jaw muscle stiffness
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Ear pain, pressure, fullness, and tinnitus (ringing or whooshing in the ears)
  • Clicking, popping or grating in the TMJ when opening/closing mouth (painful, or not)
  • A bite that feels “off”
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems

If you experience these symptoms, you should discuss diagnosis and treatment with your physician. Your doctor will most likely instruct you to visit your dentist or refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. Depending on their findings, there may be different treatment plans to pursue.

Treating TMD

Although there isn’t one specific evidence-based cause of TMJ disorders, teeth clenching and grinding definitely contributes to dysfunction and pain. Your dentist may construct prosthetics for you to wear at night in order to prevent clenching and grinding during sleep. Other treatments might include chiropractic care, pain management, and nerve and muscle treatments. To improve ability to perform day-to-day functions like eating and yawning, you can apply cold packs to the area and take over-the-counter medications. In extreme cases, the patients undergo TMJ implants or bite adjustment. Your dentist can discuss the best options for your TMJ pain. Until you can meet with your dentist, you can relieve pain and pressure by maintaining a soft food diet and limited direct pressure on the jaw area (sleeping on back instead of side or stomach, avoiding bracing chin or jaw on palm).

Legacy Hill Dentistry puts patient comfort and care first, and it is our goal that our patients with TMJ disorders can find relief through custom night guards and proactive at-home care. If your temporomandibular joint is disrupting your life, call Legacy Hill today, and ask about TMJ treatment. Dial 615-459-8050 or use our online contact form today.

Halloween Candy, Sugar, and Your Teeth

Halloween candy image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryOn a certain upcoming Tuesday, you may be surprised (or not) to find ghouls and goblins running around your neighborhood. These peculiar creatures may knock on your door and offer to perform a trick to get a treat. The Halloween fun may only last one night, but the candy that these kids get from “trick or treating” may last weeks. What’s a parent to do to protect their kids’ teeth from the gooey, gummy treats they bring home on Halloween night?

Sugar and Our Teeth

We’d like to pretend it’s only the kids who partake in Halloween treats, but everyone in the family likely eats the candy, whether from trick or treating, or buying from the clearance aisle. Whatever the reason, the candy is there, and the temptation is real. This sugar WILL affect our teeth, and the tiny teeth of our children. It sticks in gaps, cracks, and crevices. It turns to plaque and attacks enamel. Many candies like popular taffy brands can’t be rinsed away with water, but have to be brushed off. Others, like suckers and hard candies take minutes or hours to eat, and will coat the mouth longer, sneaking into every part and turning to acid that attacks the mouth.

What You Can Do

If you ban Halloween candy, you won’t win any popularity awards with your family, but it is possible. If you do allow the candy, there are other things you can do to help.

Ration the Candy

If you are a family that enjoys desserts after dinner, let the kids pick one candy for after meals. This will make the stash last longer, and limit the amount of sugar consumed in one sitting.

Snack Cups

There are handy snack cups on the market now that have a place for drink, and a place for a snack. Giving your kids candy in a snack cup filled with water is a great way to get them to drink water while enjoying their treat. Rinsing the mouth with water is a great way to protect teeth from acids while eating any foods, especially candy!

Mouth-Healthy Habits

Talk to your kids about healthy oral habits. Find great resources at Mouthhealthy.org to explain the importance of a healthful diet, brushing twice daily, and flossing in between the teeth for a thorough clean. Talk to your children about the dentist, and how you care for your teeth, or if you haven’t taken great care of your teeth, explain the results.

Hire Your Kids as Candy Inspectors

Children love to trick or treat, to dress up and have fun as a family or with friends. Add to the fun by hiring them as candy inspectors. Some candies are worse than others and you can make a game out of separating it and deciding what to do with it. (hint: if the kids have to brush their teeth after eating gummy, sticky candies, they may decide it’s not worth it!)

The important thing is to have fun with your family during the holidays. From Halloween until Valentine’s Day, many families have all the candy they can handle. It’s important to have fun, while avoiding permanent damage. If you haven’t scheduled your family’s dental checkups yet, call us now, and let the staff at Legacy Hill Dentistry talk to your children about candy.

Call (615) 459-8050 or contact us online.

How Alcohol and Coffee Impacts Your Smile

Coffee & Teeth - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryWhen it comes to your teeth, it is the dentist’s job to preserve them. We do this a variety of ways, and oftentimes, it’s an ongoing job! Many times, individuals don’t think much about how food and drink will affect their smile, but it’s our job to tell you. The dental professionals know your habits by looking in your mouth, and they have more of an impact than you think.

Increased Alcohol Consumption

Individuals suffering from alcoholism have a higher rate of plaque buildup and risk of permanent tooth loss. Alcoholism is a serious problem and should be addressed. Someone consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis may neglect dental visits and oral hygiene. This will have a long-term affect on oral health. Heavy drinkers are not the only people who risk their teeth, however. Occasional drinkers and those who just drink one drink per day are also affecting their teeth.

The sugar content in many alcoholic beverages is often overlooked when patients are consuming alcohol. Many times people finish the day with a drink, and those who don’t brush teeth before bed will be affected by all this sugar. It turns to acid, plaque, and eventually tooth decay.

Consuming alcohol also leads to dehydration, which decreases saliva production, stopping the natural cleanser that would help clean your teeth.

Finally, drinking certain alcoholic beverages can stain teeth overtime. For instance, red wines drank every night can lead to a tint change in your smile.

Daily Coffee Consumption

Many dental patients, even those who take good care of their teeth, can be affected by stains from coffee and tea consumption. Coffee is acidic and a dark color (even if you enjoy a less strong variety). Over time coffee will stain your teeth. Your tooth enamel is filled with microscopic pits and ridges that can be filled with coffee molecules. Even coffee that has been lightened by creamer is dark at the molecular level, and will have the same affect on your teeth. Coffee with creamer may be worse for your teeth because of the sugar content! The best way to prevent coffee from affecting your smile is to abstain from drinking it. If you can’t stop, consider drinking only in the morning or at a specific break time. Sipping on coffee throughout the day is hard on your oral health. It’s better for your body and your teeth if you instead sip on water throughout the day.

Other Foods and Drinks that Affect Your Smile

Coffee and alcoholic beverages are definitely not the only culprits affecting teeth. Too much citrus can erode enamel, soda reaches even the furthest parts of your teeth and gums with acid and sugar, and sticky candies and foods can stay on your teeth for hours, attacking your enamel.

What you put into your mouth matters more than to your waist line. Consider what you may do to your teeth with the things you eat and drink this winter. Swap out your soda for water or fizzy water drinks. Try your coffee without creamer. Save money and consume less specialty coffee drinks. You can save your smile this winter.

If your smile is stained and you want to start fresh, we can help you with teeth whitening services. Call Legacy Hill Dentistry today at 615-459-8050.