Dental Care For Seniors

Are You Growing Older?

Contrary to popular belief we do not become less cavity prone as we grow older.. In reality we become more cavity prone as time passes. This is due to several reasons. First, our gums begin to recede with time, exposing the more cavity prone root surfaces of our teeth. Secondly, our salivary flow decreases. Saliva has several components that keep decay under control. It buffers the acids contained in our diets. Saliva also has antibodies that attack the bacteria responsible for decay. Older patients take many medications that can lead to dry mouth. Thirdly, the pits and grooves on our back teeth have been exposed to the bacteria and acids for longer period of time. These pits and grooves are not accessible to tooth brush cleaning. Their microscopic size is ideal for harboring cavity causing bacteria.

Don’t Ignore Your Dental Health.

This doesn’t mean you are doomed to loosing our teeth or being slammed with a lot of cavities. It just means we need to become more vigilant and prevention minded.. Regular, and possibly more frequent professional hygiene visits may be indicated. Fluoride treatment is a must for the older patient ( even if your insurance doesn’t cover it) Home care is equally as important. The use of an electric toothbrush, flossing, and using baking soda as your dentifrice and prescription fluoride gels all can be beneficial in reducing cavity occurrences.


Gum Disease Affects More Than Just Your Mouth

Your Gums Are Important

Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to one of the most overworked and often under appreciated parts of the hum body: our gums. You hear how important it is to brush, and how having healthy teeth is an important goal for all of us. With all this talk about teeth and bones, sometimes we forget about humble gums, whose sole job is to hold our teeth firmly in place, protect them from the elements, and keep our entire mouth nourished and healthy. In short, we need healthy gums in order to have healthy teeth, and healthy body, too. We know that gums are often under-valued because more than 47% of adults living in the United States have some form of gum disease.

What Is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?

Gum disease is caused by two things. 1) the presence of bacteria in the mouth 2) place for that bacteria to congregate and stay. Most often, bacteria collect on buildup (calculus) around and below the gum line. This buildup causes inflammation and irritation, triggering an immune response by the body. The mildest form of gum (periodontal) disease is called gingivitis. Left unchecked, the condition can create periodontal “pockets” or areas where the bacteria can collect deeper under the gum line. Gingivitis can progress to periodontists, where the bacteria, inflammation and the body’s continual response can actually break down the connection between the gums and the teeth.


Suffering From Toothbrush Abrasion

Are You Over Brushing?

Our team at Hendersonville Family Dentistry will tell you that brushing on a regular basis is critical for a healthy mouth, but you can definitely overdo a good thing. Known as “toothbrush abrasion,” over brushing can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums, not to mention the wearing down of the protective layers of your tooth enamel. Over brushing can also push back your gums, and in the process, expose the dentin layer under the enamel.

Avoid Over Brushing.

  • Use a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to prevent gum damage and wear on the soft tooth dentin.
  • Keep in mind which direction bristles face when you brush. They should be perpendicular, not parallel. Place the head of your toothbrush with the tips of the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the gum and brush away!
  • Move the toothbrush with short strokes and scrubbing motion, several times in each spot- don’t saw back and forth across the teeth with your toothbrush.
  • Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are squashing the bristles, you’re brushing too hard.
  • Replace your toothbrush when you notice frayed and bent bristles.
  • Brush for two minutes at a time.

If you have any questions about proper brushing techniques, ask us about it at your next appointment or give us a call today!

Using Mouth Guards In Sports

National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and with warmer weather and longer days, it’s perfect time to get out and exercise. While exercise is great for your mind and body, it can be harmful to your teeth without the right protection.

Why Mouth Guards Shouldn’t Be Forgotten.

  1. The American Dental Association estimates that about one third of all dental injuries are sports-related.
  2. Using a mouth guard is proven to reduce the risk of sport-related dental injuries preventing over 200,000 of them every year.
  3. Mouth guards protect against the following types of injuries, chipping or breaking teeth, damaging dental work like crowns or bridgework, injuring lips or cheeks, and fracturing jaw.
  4. Any athlete playing a sport should wear a mouth guard, but you should be especially vigilant when playing contact sports like football, hockey, or boxing. You should also wear a mouth guard when playing a sport where another athlete or ball could hit you in the face, like basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball or wrestling.
  5. There are a few different types of mouth guards available, but getting one custom made by your dentist will provide the most comfort and protection.

Everyday Can Be Earth Day

Happy Earth Day-Hendersonville Dentist

During the early days of he environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. They early 1970’s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth’s atmosphere were generally dismissed. Within a couple of decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right, the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

In fact, the little things you do can add up to make an great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd all year around.

Ways To Be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle your textiles: Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year. Donating unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut own on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposable: Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers, and other things we can use and toss our are convenient, but they’re not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water: If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 15 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights: Flip the light switch “off” if you’re going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling cost.

It’s not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make the big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment. Our team at Hendersonville Family Dentistry wanted to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit you and your children’s generation.

Our Team-Hendersonville Dentist

Hendersonville Dentist Thanks His Team

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to my amazing team at Hendersonville Family Dentistry. From our front desk personnel who take the phone calls and greet patients upon arrival, the the office manager who rungs the day to day activities, our insurance coordinator who is constantly on the phone verifying insurance claims, the dental assistants who insure the cleanliness of the operation and sterility of the instruments, and especially the dental hygienist who keep your gums healthy. I salute each and everyone of you!

As A Patient of Our Practice in Hendersonville, TN

As a patient, you may be unaware of the training and dedication required to be a dental assistant. Dental assistants receive one year of education and training post high school, usually at a trade or technical school. This is only the beginning of their educational path. Many more years are spent on the job learning the various skills and tasks required by the dentist whom they work for. At Hendersonville Family Dentistry, our assistants are required to learn digital imaging and crown designs using our CEREC technology.

Dental hygienist receive a two year degree in dental hygiene at a college or community college. They are trained in recognizing various disease of the gums and oral cavity. They are highly trained in dental instrumentation and the removal of deposits from above and under their gums. They, too are trained in dental radiography. They are much more than “tooth cleaners” or “mouth spa workers”. Many patients are unaware that the hygienist saves teeth every day through efforts at cleaning the root surfaces and identifying problem areas that might result in premature tooth loss.

And last, but not least, consider the front office personnel. The receptionist does more than just greet the patient and answer the phone.They are the right hand to the office manager, helping with insurance file claiming, scanning documents and assisting with the completion of treatment plans. They have the most difficult job because multi-tasking must come naturally, all done with a smile on their face. Our insurance coordinator insures they are filing insurance claims in a timely manner, collection of fees, reviewing treatment plans, answering patient questions about their dental insurance policy.

So remember at your next dental appointment be sure to thank our team for their top notch job that these folks do for you! From my stand point, I couldn’t do my job without each and everyone of them! So THANK-YOU!


Hendersonville Dentist Offers Free Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. Oral cancer collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Only about 60% of the people newly diagnosed will love longer than 5 years. Moreover many who do survive suffer long-term problems such as facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking. The death rate associated with oral cancer remains particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.


Hendersonville Dentist Wants to Help

Dr. Harbin and the entire team at Hendersonville Family Dentistry want to bring awareness to this cancer. For the month of April schedule an appointment and receive a FREE Oral Cancer Screening. This doesn’t require a lot of time or energy to do, but it may help in aiding your risk with Oral Cancer. Schedule your appointment today! Call our office at 615-822-8262

Be aware of the following signs or symptoms:

  • soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away.
  • red or white patches, pain or tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips.
  • lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas.
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth.


Are Dental Implants The Cure for Teeth Loss?

Your Smile Says A Lot About You.

Tooth loss is treatable, and there are many options available such as dental implants to replace broken or missing teeth. Dental Implants are the most common and efficient of all options. Dental implants have become very common as more patients turn to this option to deal with the loss of teeth.  If you have issues with TMJ, migraine headaches, and tooth loss, it is advisable to consult your dentist right away.

Tooth loss can occur from accidents, tooth decay, congenital problems, trauma and other causes that may lead to their extraction. If there are many missing teeth, dental implants for dentures should be given serious consideration. These can either be removable or non removable denture implants, and the normal chewing function is restored, you will not be required to remove your teeth.

What Dentist Look For..

When consulting your dentist for a dental implant, one of the things that they check is whether your jawbone is strong and thick enough and if it’s not thick, bone grafting for a dental implant is carried out. This procedure is necessary because chewing exerts significant pressure on the bone and if it is not strong enough to support the implant, the whole surgery process will fail in performing its intended role.

Many benefits come with dental implants. For you to enjoy the benefits that come with the dental implant process your periodontist must ensure that you are fit for treatment, you must have adequate bone to have long- term success with dental implants. It is important to disclose your needs to Dr. Jones at Hendersonville Family Dentistry to help him work towards restoring your smile.

Dental Implant Benefits

Humans have attempted to replace missing teeth similarly shaped materials for thousands of years. However, in the last 35 years or so, tooth replacement has completely evolved with the introduction of dental implants. Major changes have continued to occur in the world of dentistry and the last five to ten years have seen ever greater advancements introduced.

Dental implants are successful over the long-term in about 97 percent of cases, are free standing, and are permanently fixed in the jaw. Titanium screws fuse with the bone before the false tooth is placed. Once the replacement tooth has been fitted, patients are able to eat and care for the replacement tooth in the same ways that they were able to with the natural tooth. Dental implants are also more aesthetically pleasing than either dentures or bridges and can be place by Dr. Jones at Hendersonville Family Dentistry  

Dental Implant Advances

Dental implants have come a long way since their introduction. Imaging technology allows accurate three dimension images of the inside of patients’ mouths to be taken with just quick scan and uploaded to special software. These images are then used to plan the procedure from start to finish. Patients can even see a rendition of how the tooth will look once it is placed.

The materials being used for dental implants have changed in recent years, bringing the replacement teeth even closer to the appearance of natural teeth. Laboratories now focus on not just coloration, but also ensure that replacement teeth display the same light translucence as natural teeth so that they do not appear darker when patients smile or laugh.

Interested in Orthodontics

Adults And Braces–Hendersonville, TN

It’s never too late to perfect your smile, even when you’re a grown-up. If you want a new you in the New Year, straightening your teeth or fixing a bite issue is a great idea. Adults have a variety of options and things to consider.

Make an appointment with Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones to find out if you are a good candidate for braces. They can tell you if braces are the best option for your issue, and can address any other concerns you may have.

What Are Your Options?

Traditional metal braces will likely be the less expensive option, but there are other choices that are more costly and less noticeable. You can look into clear ceramic braces, when are still worn on the front teeth, but blend in with the color of your teeth. Lingual braces have brackets on the back of teeth instead of the front, keeping them out of sight. Invisible braces, like invisalign, are a series of clear aligners that are also removable for eating and brushing.

Call our office to schedule an appointment today, 615-822-8262.