Posts for category: Oral Health
Sustaining healthy gums is easy with these simple at-home habits.
While millions of Americans are suffering from some degree of gum disease, the good news is that you have the tools and habits to prevent this condition from occurring in the first place. In fact, most of these helpful tools can be found in your very own home. No matter whether you’re at an increased risk for gum disease or not, our Madison, TN, general dentists, Drs. Mark and Andrew Thomasson, want you to practice these habits to support your gum health:
Brush Twice a Day
It’s important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time. Make sure to set a timer before brushing so you know that you are brushing long enough. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line when brushing your teeth, and make sure to always use fluoride toothpaste.
Even though brushing can certainly remove plaque and food from the gum line, you will still need to floss in order to remove plaque from between teeth. Flossing will clean areas of your smile that brushing just can’t reach. If flossing causes you trouble and you find the whole process a bit intimidating, there are a ton of other options, from disposable floss picks to oral irrigators, that can make flossing every day easier.
Use a Special Mouthwash
While using mouthwash should never take the place of brushing and flossing, it’s a good idea to use an oral rinse throughout the day, especially after snacking or lunch (if you don’t have access to a toothbrush). If you are prone to gum disease, talk with your Madison, TN, family dentist about special mouthwashes and rinses that you can find either over the counter or from our office to reduce tartar buildup and gum inflammation.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your gums, just like the rest of your body, requires adequate nutrients to stay healthy. Refined carbs (e.g. white pasta and bread; potato chips) and sugar-laden foods/drinks will only increase your risk for inflammation and gum disease. The USDA recommends a daily diet that incorporates each of the five foods groups (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, and lean protein). Of course, it’s also important that you receive enough vitamin C and B12, as well as omega-3 fatty acids to support good gum health.
If you are still smoking or using tobacco products, then you are putting yourself at great risk for gum disease (along with a host of other serious issues including oral cancer). It’s important to ditch this habit for good if you want to maintain healthy gums.
The dentists at Thomasson Dental in Madison, TN, are here to provide you and your family with routine checkups and cleanings. Along with proper at-home care, visiting your dentist every six months can also reduce your risk for gum disease and cavities. If it’s time for your next cleaning, call (615) 865-1732 to schedule an appointment.
Your oral care routine should include more than just brushing.
What are you doing to ensure that you have a healthy smile? Can you list all the ways that you keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy? If there are some gaps in your routine, it’s a good thing that you caught them now so that you can make the necessary changes. From the office of our Madison, TN, dentists Drs. Mark and Andrew Thomasson, here are some ways to soup up your oral care routine,
- Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably first thing in the morning and right before going to bed.
- Don’t forget to brush your teeth at night, as this can leave plaque and food to sit on teeth and gums for hours, leading to decay and inflammation.
- Make sure you are brushing both the front and back surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue (which can also harbor bad breath-causing bacteria).
- You should brush for a minimum of 2 minutes every time that you brush.
- Replace your toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or the moment you notice the bristles looking worn. Worn bristles can actually be too harsh on teeth, causing excessive wear and tear on enamel. You should also replace your toothbrush head after being sick.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Talk to your Madison, TN, family dentist about whether an electric toothbrush may help you get a cleaner smile.
- Always use a generous amount of floss (approximately 18 inches).
- Make sure that you are gliding the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth.
- Always use a clean, unused section of floss for each tooth.
- Floss at least once a day, ideally at night time before brushing your teeth.
- If you have braces or a dental bridge, opt for floss threaders or a water flosser to easily clean between braces or dental restorations.
- Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
- Talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard if you grind your teeth while you sleep, which can protect teeth from damage.
- If you’re playing sports, it’s important that you wear a mouthguard, especially if playing high-contact sports.
- Avoid sugar, starches and processed foods, which can lead to decay.
- Enjoy a healthy, balanced diet.
- Make sure to stay hydrated every day.
Looking for a dentist in Madison, TN, that can provide dental care to your whole family? If so, Thomasson Dental is here to make sure that everyone gets the individualized treatment and care they need at any age.
If you have experienced tooth loss, you know how distressing smile gaps are. At Thomasson Dental in Madison, your team of highly skilled dentists counter the adverse effects of missing teeth with state of the art dental implants. Dr. Mark Thomasson and Dr. Andrew Thomasson use these artificial teeth to restore smiles to realistic form and excellent function. Learn the benefits of dental implants here.
Above and below the gum line
Each one of your teeth functions both above and below your gum tissue. The crown of a single tooth plays a significant role in:
- Biting and chewing
- Keeping adjoining teeth strong and aligned
- Smiling, personal appearance and self-esteem
- Speech clarity
Below the gums, your tooth has roots and soft interior pulp which attach to the jaw bone, keeping it strong, healthy, and sizable.
Without your tooth, all these things change, and it's not for the better. Confidence, personalty, eating, speaking, and jaw bone integrity deteriorate. Lose more teeth, and the adverse effects multiply.
Enter dental implants
They've been around for about 50 years, replacing teeth from roots to crown. Unlike the familiar options of bridges and dentures, dental implants actually improve appearance, oral function and jaw bone quality because they are surgically inserted into the jaw. Through osseointegration, the bone bonds to the titanium implant, creating a durable, sturdy anchor for the metal post and porcelain crown which complete the artificial tooth.
Osseointegration is not instant; however, it's worth waiting for. Most sites are ready for the abutment and crown in a few months.
Qualifying for dental implants
In his Madison office, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums and bone structure. Important to dental implant insertion and long-term retention is good systemic health and a strong jaw bone. That being said, the American College of Prosthodontists maintains that most adults can receive dental implants and enjoy them for many, many years.
The benefits of dental implants
In general, patients who have dental implants love their new smiles. Personal appearance, confidence, and oral function soar. Biting and chewing is very natural, and the jaw bone retains a healthy shape and size.
Additional benefits include:
- Eating whatever healthy foods you normally enjoy with no restrictions
- Excellent chewing and biting
- Simple oral hygiene (brush, floss, and get routine check-ups and cleanings at Thomasson Dental)
- Amazing stability of implant-supported dentures
- Implant surgeries which are well-tolerated and heal completely
Prepare for a great result
Dental implants can deliver it. If you wish to close gaps and keep your smile strong and good-looking, you should come to Thomasson Dental in Madison, TN, for a friendly consult with one of our dentists. He'll give you all the information you need. Call us at (615) 865-1732.
Do you have gum disease? Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the structures around the teeth. Gum disease ranges from mild gum swelling to serious disease that results in major damage to the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. In severe cases, teeth are lost. Led by dentists Dr. Mark Thomasson and Dr. Andrew Thomasson, Thomasson Dental (located in North Madison, TN) provides state-of-the-art treatments for patients with gum disease. Here are 5 signs that you may have gum disease.
1. Bad Breath: Foul-smelling breath may be a warning sign of periodontal disease. It's caused by poor oral hygiene. If you have persistent bad breath, make an appointment with your dental provider immediately. Finding out what's causing the problem puts you one step closer to getting rid of it.
2. Receding Gums: Gingival recession, also called gum recession, is a sign that you may have periodontal disease. Gingival recession is a condition in which the gums have pulled away from the teeth. Periodontal disease is the main cause of gingival recession. If your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist in Madison.
3. Red Gums: Healthy gums are usually pink in color, although they may contain other pigments depending on your ethnic origin. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become purple or bright red. Gum disease results from infection that causes swelling. This inflammation process causes discoloration of the gums.
4. Bleeding Gums: If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, you may have periodontal disease. That blood in your sink is something you shouldn't ignore. Bleeding gums are never normal, not even when you have your professionally cleaned by a dental professional. The best way to find out what's causing the bleeding is to see your dental provider.
5. Swollen Gums: Periodontal disease is the most common cause of swollen gums. In gingivitis, the gums become swollen and inflamed. For some people with periodontal disease, this inflammation is not painful. If the cause of your gum inflammation is gum disease, good oral hygiene is the first step to recovery.
Periodontal disease can lead to major issues if it is not treated in a timely manner. Don't delay- call Thomasson Dental at (615) 865-1732 today to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Madison, TN. If you have periodontal disease, we can bring your gums back to health. A healthy smile and a happier you are well on their way!
If you suffer from a temporomandibular (“jaw joint”) pain disorder (TMD), you know any activity involving jaw movement can be uncomfortable. That includes eating.
But avoiding eating isn’t an option—which means you may be attempting to minimize discomfort during flare-ups by choosing soft, processed foods that don’t require a lot of jaw force. While this may certainly ease your TMD symptoms, you might also be cheating your health by eating foods not optimally nutritious.
It doesn’t have to be a trade-off: with a few simple techniques you can still eat whole, natural foods while minimizing jaw joint pain. Here are 3 tips for making mealtime less stressful during TMD flare-ups.
Cut food into manageable bite sizes. Preparing your food beforehand will make a big difference in how much effort your jaws exert as you eat. Make sure all your food portions of vegetables, fruits or meats are cut or prepared into small, manageable bite sizes. It also helps to remove the tough outer skin of some fruits and vegetables or to mash other foods like potatoes or beans.
Use cooking liquids to soften food. For foods that aren’t naturally moist, you can add liquids to soften them and make them easier to chew. Incorporate gravies, sauces or marinating liquids into your meal preparation to help soften tougher foods like poultry, meats or some vegetables.
Go easy with your chewing and biting motion. The strategy here is to minimize jaw movement and force as much as possible. While preparing your food as mentioned before will help a lot, how you bite and chew will also make a big difference. Limit your jaw opening to a comfortable degree, take small bites and chew slowly.
Managing a jaw joint disorder is an ongoing process. When practiced together with other treatments like therapy or medication, eating deliberately can help make life with TMD easier.
If you would like more information on coping with jaw joint disorder, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”