See How Your Workouts Can Have a Dire Effect on Your Teeth

See How Your Workouts Can Have a Dire Effect on Your Teeth

Did you know that certain aspects of being an athlete have a devastating effect on your teeth?

Whether you prefer to run for miles at a time or you’re a gym rat who loves tossing heavy weights around, your workout habits can be taking their toll on your oral health. Learn more about why this is and what can be done about it to ensure that your own smile stays healthy.  

The Shredded Body and Rotten Mouths of Olympians

For evidence of how athletes’ oral health is impacted by strenuous exercise, look to this study that focused on 278 visitors to the Olympic clinic and reported stunning facts about their declining oral health. At this clinic for Olympic athletes, at least 75% had diseased gums and 55% had cavities. About one-quarter of the athletes said their dental problems impacted their quality of life during the games. These stats beg the question – why are athlete’s teeth so bad?

3 Main Reasons that Athletes’ Teeth Often Suffer

From rowers to track stars, serious athletes run a greater risk of gum disease than the average person. It’s important to know that this dental damage isn’t caused by their workout at all – it’s caused by decisions that are made surrounding the workout. By keeping these pitfalls in mind, you can engage in your favorite physical activities without your teeth having to suffer for it.

  1. Breathing Hard Causes Dry Mouth

Ever notice how it becomes difficult to breathe normally while running? This increased level of exertion means that more oxygen must be circulated throughout the body, and this manifests as harder and more frequent breathing. Ultimately, this leads to dry mouth, a condition that is terrible for your oral health. Dry mouth deprives the mouth of its main defense system: saliva.

  1. Sports Drinks are Loaded with Sugar

Are you a fan of Gatorade, Powerade, and other popular sports drinks? It’s important to know that these beverages played a key role in the poor oral health of Olympic athletes in the aforementioned study. From runners to bodybuilders, numerous athletes tend to grab sports drinks that are marketed towards them, not knowing the damage they’re causing to their teeth. Considering that a basic 20oz Gatorade has over 30g of sugar, water is clearly a better option.

  1. Snack Choices are Often Bad for the Teeth

Hours of intense exercise means that athletes need to refuel, and their choices are often pre-packaged, quick, and full of sugar. Whether your favorite sports snack includes protein bars, dried fruit, or trail mix, each of these sports snacks will take a toll on your oral health. Ensure that your mid-workout snacks are low in sugar to prevent damage to your smile.

Quick Tips for Keeping your Teeth Healthy While Working Out

While working out can take a toll on your smile, these consequences can be easily avoided with a few steps. Check out these quick tips for keeping your teeth healthy as an athlete:  


  • Choose Water Instead of Sports Drinks


You need to stay hydrated during your workout and water can make that happen without filling your body with extra sugar.


  • Make Your Own Electrolyte Water Sports Drink


If replenishing electrolytes is a concern, there’s still no need to rely on store-bought sports drinks. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own instead! Finding your own favorite recipe for an electrolyte rich sports drink will save you money on brand name sports drinks. Try these five variations you can make yourself.


  • Plan Healthy Snacks Instead of Packaged Sports Bars


While there are some healthy, natural, and low sugar options for protein bars and sports snacks, most of them advertise as if they’re healthy while being loaded with ingredients that aren’t. Take the guess work out of it by putting together some snacks you can be proud of: Look to natural snacks like baby carrots, cucumbers, apples, and bananas to keep you fueled for your workout.

Count on Dentistry of Nashville to Restore Your Smile!

Our Nashville dentists have a strong appreciation for athletic hobbies. In fact, water skiing, tennis, and other sports are among our favorite activities. We understand that serious athletes face additional risks to their oral health that the average person does not. You can depend on us to examine your unique condition and put together a treatment plan that takes your needs into account – Contact us today!

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3 Ways to Enhance Your Smile at Dentistry of Nashville

3 Ways to Enhance Your Smile at Dentistry of Nashville

Most people spend time getting their bodies in shape for the summer, but what about your smile? Your smile is the first thing people see when they meet you and a great smile conveys positive things to the world. Whether your smile has been impacted by stains or has sustained damage over the years, there are reliable treatments that will restore it to its former glory.

From a simple in-office teeth whitening procedure to porcelain veneers which act as shells attached to your teeth, it’s very likely that we offer a solution to enhance your smile at Dentistry of Nashville.

Brighten your Smile with In-Office Whitening

If you’re a fan of your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine, then your teeth may have been affected by staining. While this doesn’t harm the teeth, it alters the color of their outer layer, darkening your smile. Fortunately, our Nashville dentists offer a whitening service that can brighten your teeth by several shades.

Teeth Whitening

While over-the-counter teeth whitening kits have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry, a more potent version is offered at our dental office. Take home trays are easy to use and thorough instructions will be given by our doctors. Proven to whiten your teeth by multiple shades throughout the day, take home whitening kits are an excellent value for those who want to enhance their smile.

Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants

Missing teeth can cause a lot of problems for your mental and physical health. Those with missing teeth don’t smile with as much confidence, and this can affect everything from dating to professional situations. In terms of overall health, missing teeth causes a negative impact to your nutrition, gums, and surrounding teeth. Filling your empty sockets with brand new dental implants will greatly enhance your smile.

Dental Implants

While dentures and dental bridges are also designed to replace missing teeth, dental implants are the superior method because they prevent the jawbone from shrinking. Other advantages include completely restored chewing and speaking ability, plus the fact that you don’t have to remove your dental implants. Not to mention, your dental implants appear as a natural looking smile and no one will be able to tell the difference.

Repair Your Smile with Porcelain Veneers

There are a wide variety of reasons why your teeth may have sustained damage. Perhaps it was from that time you tried to carry too many boxes down the stairs on moving day, or maybe when you took an elbow during an intense game of basketball. Whatever your reasons for sustaining damage to them, chipped and cracked teeth cannot always be repaired – but your smile can be. Learn more about how porcelain veneers are used to hide your dental damage and restore a perfect smile.

Porcelain Veneers

One all-encompassing treatment that is used to cover up a wide range of dental ailments is the porcelain veneer. Essentially a porcelain shell that gets bonded to each tooth, veneers enable the dentist to hide a massive variety of problems. These include:

  • Cracked Teeth
  • Stained Teeth
  • Crooked Teeth
  • Decayed Teeth
  • Broken Teeth
  • Chipped Teeth

Regardless of the damage sustained to your teeth, a veneer can cover it up with durable, natural-looking material. The result is a realistic looking, completely restored smile that you can be proud of.

How Will You Enhance Your Smile This Summer?

Whenever you get the urge to do something to boost your appearance, remember that your smile is a major part of that. With decades of experience between them, there are a lot of ways that Drs. Elam, Vaughan, and Fleming can brighten, repair, and restore your smile. Contact Dentistry of Nashville with your questions or make an appointment – Our staff would love to hear from you!

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It’s Time to See the Dentist – Here’s Why

It’s Time to See the Dentist – Here’s Why

Between shuttling the kids to school and practice, holding down a full-time job, and trying to exercise, it’s hard to find time for anything.

Balancing a busy schedule is commonplace. And it’s great to lead an active life! But it’s imperative that you have your priorities in order, with your health topping that list. Unfortunately, we notice that a lot of people let their dental health fall by the wayside.

Part of a healthy oral hygiene regimen involves visiting a dentist every 6 months, but sometimes, there are telltale signs that you should pay yours a visit a bit sooner. Nashville dentists Drs. Elam, Fleming, and Vaughan are here today to discuss four red flags that indicate it’s time to see the dentist.

1. See the Dentist if Your Gums are Bleeding

One of the things that never fails to shock us at Dentistry of Nashville is just how many people think that it’s normal for their gums to bleed. Bleeding gums are indicative of serious oral health problems that need to be immediately addressed.

Bleeding gums can indicate

  • Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Bleeding, swollen, and tender gums are major indicators of the condition.
  • Poor Brushing Habits – If you brush with anything harder than a soft-bristled toothbrush, you’re inflicting major damage on your gums.
  • Adverse Reaction to Medications – Certain blood thinners are known to cause the gums to bleed.

If you notice a little blood in the sink, don’t ignore it. Get to your dentist as soon as you can.

2. See the Dentist if You Drink Coffee or Alcohol Regularly

We understand that it’s a tall task to ask our patients to quit their coffee habits. For some people, a morning cup of joe (or two) is the only way to properly start their days. Couple that with a few drinks of alcohol at night and your teeth are in major danger.

Tinted drinks like coffee, soda, and red wine have dark pigment in their chemical makeup, which can get stuck in the microscopic cracks of your enamel. If you don’t clean them promptly and properly, your teeth can end up permanently stained.

Next time you look in the mirror, check to see if your enamel has yellow or brown stains. If you notice some, give your dentist a call. It may be time to schedule a deep cleaning.

3. See the Dentist if You’re in Pain

You probably want to see the dentist anyway if you have a toothache. Toothaches are much more than minor inconveniences—they’re crises. They can be distracting, painful, and indicative of much more severe health problems.

Common causes of toothaches include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Infection
  • Malocclusion (bad bite)
  • Teeth grinding

If your mouth is in pain, don’t ignore it. The condition may not go away on its own. Keep your toothaches at bay by visiting your Nashville dentist as soon as you feel that something isn’t quite right.

4. See the Dentist if You Have Headaches

Headaches and oral health are closely linked. If you wake up in the morning with headaches, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. This not only causes a bad headache but can lead to damaged teeth and jaw disorders.

Plus, your dental health and sinuses are connected. When your sinuses grow inflamed due to sinusitis or sinus infections, your upper teeth and jaw can start to ache. Persistent and recurrent sinusitis can cause you to breathe through your mouth, which may dry it out and allow the bacteria to grow more quickly.

Make an Appointment with Your Nashville Dentist

Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent long-term oral health problems and ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong. Make an appointment with Dentistry of Nashville to take charge of your oral health and maintain a bright and happy smile.

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Dentistry of Nashville

Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Dentistry of Nashville

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Here in Nashville, families enjoy Father’s Day barbecues, outings, and spending time appreciating all of the wonderful things that dads do year round.

Why not think outside the box when shopping for gifts this year? There are plenty of thoughtful and useful things for dad that you can get in your dentist’s office. Why not get him something that will leave him smiling all summer long?

Teeth Whitening

As we age, our teeth tend to grow yellow or discolored. Unless your dad takes impeccable care of his teeth, he may benefit from teeth whitening treatments from the Dentistry of Nashville.

A professional teeth whitening treatment is a great and affordable way to help your dad regain confidence in his smile. We offer take-home teeth whitening treatments so he can whiten and brighten his teeth from the comfort of his home.

The Dentistry of Nashville’s take-home whitening kits consist of trays that fit over your teeth. The trays are filled with a whitening agent, and over time, the agents will reduce the appearance of stains and discoloration.


If your dad has crooked, cracked, or misshapen teeth, he might appreciate veneers. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Because they can be individually tailored to his needs, veneers can repair even the most damaged of smiles.

A lot of Hollywood stars have perfected their signature grins with veneers because they yield stunning results. The entire process only takes a few visits, too. First, your dad will meet with our Nashville team to discuss the treatment plan best for him. He and the dentist will decide how many veneers are needed as well as the size and shape.

Next, he’ll have his teeth prepared. Depending on the state and nature of his teeth, he may have them polished or shaved down a bit to make room for the restorations. This process won’t hurt and can be completed very quickly. He’ll walk out of the office that day with a set of temporary veneers until the custom ones are ready.

Finally, he will return to our office to have the beautiful final pieces cemented to the front of his teeth. They will be so securely bonded to the front of his teeth that only a dental drill or laser would be able to remove them. After that, he’s finished! He will be able to flash his beautiful, straight smile for a lifetime.


If your dad paid for your braces when you were a teen, now could be the time to return the favor. If his teeth are crooked or misaligned, he may be able to benefit from Invisalign.

Invisalign aligners are clear, plastic retainers that fit over crooked teeth. Every few weeks, the aligners will be changed to slowly straighten crooked teeth, with the end result being a straight and beautiful smile.

And the best part? Invisalign aligners are completely invisible! Your dad won’t have to worry about dealing with noticeable metal wires and brackets, giving him the freedom to eat and smile without embarrassment.

Father’s Day Gifts at the Dentistry of Nashville

Drs. Elam, Fleming, and Vaughan aren’t just dentists—they’re all fathers, too. They love Father’s Day and spending time with their children and grandchildren in celebration. Why not take their advice and get dad something that he could use for the rest of his life—a confident smile! Contact our office for other Father’s Day dental work ideas.  

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Country Music Mecca — 5 Cool Facts About the Nashville Music Scene

Country Music Mecca — 5 Cool Facts About the Nashville Music Scene

country music in Nashville | Dentistry of Nashville From the twang of a banjo to the smooth blare of a harmonica, the foundation of Nashville is inarguably rooted in music. Dubbed “Music City U.S.A” back in 1950, the down-home sounds of the music scene here in Nashville continue to be heard across the country.

The influences of country music can be traced to gospel, bluegrass, and R&B. With the Nashville music scene dating all the way back to the 1700s, there are plenty of interesting facts that would surprise even the most dedicated country music buff.

1. The History Of “Music City U.S.A”

So, where did our hometown get the name Music City? There are several theories regarding Nashville’s nickname. Some believe the moniker can actually be attributed to WSM-AM announcer David Cobb who named Nashville “Music City U.S.A” on air back in 1950.

Others believe that the name originated from the Fisk Jubilee Singers from Nashville’s Fisk University. The group is one of the first musical acts to tour around the world. Rumor has it that Queen Victoria is responsible for the nickname because she said that the singers must come from the “Music City.”

2. Evolution of the Grand Ole Opry

There’s no question that the Grand Ole Opry is a key part of Nashville’s country music legacy. It all started with a Saturday night broadcast from WSM radio company that featured country music — known as the WSM Barn Dance. The program debuted on the night of November 28, 1925, with a fiddle player named Uncle Jimmy Thompson.

Quickly gaining popularity, the show now known as the Grand Ole Opry moved to a performance hall in order to accommodate the live audience. After several moves, the show eventually made its home at the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974.

3. A Songwriter’s Paradise

Boasting an impressive and eclectic music scene, Nashville is also known as the “Songwriting Capital of the World.” Musicians and songwriters flock to our city for its unique charm and opportunities to better their craft.

Bluebird Cafe, located just outside of downtown, is considered paradise for up-and-coming artists. The venue is recognized worldwide as a space for artists to perform their own songs. Garth Brooks is one of the many performers known to regularly play Bluebird Cafe’s open mic before he was discovered and signed to Capitol Records.

The popularity of Bluebird Cafe continues to solidify the city’s songwriting reputation with its regular appearance on the popular ABC drama, Nashville. The cafe is an important piece of the drama’s plotline showcasing the music industry in Nashville.

4. Home of The Country Music Association

If you’re a fan of country music, chances are that you’ve heard about the Country Music Association. This association was founded in Nashville back in 1958 to promote country music. According to the CMA, the association was formed in response to the growing popularity of rock ‘n’ roll on the radio.

The CMA started out with just 160 members and now has more than 7,500 professionals representing different areas of the country music industry. Today, the association is best known for the annual televised CMA Awards.

5. The Birth of Nashville Sound at RCA Studio B

What eventually became known as the distinct Nashville sound began at RCA Studio B, which was originally known as just RCA Studios in the 1960s. The famous recording studio is credited as reviving the popularity of country music and establishing the city as a music recording hub.

Some country music’s heroes like Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson have recorded in Studio B. The historic studio is now a popular cultural attraction for both locals and tourists.

Country Music Hits a High Note in Nashville

Whether you like the steady rhythm of Johnny Cash or the pop-infused sounds of Carrie Underwood, there’s no question that our city is the place to soak up country music culture for all honky tonk connoisseurs.
Don’t believe us? Just look at Nashville’s impressive legacy and contributions to our favorite music genre!

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Your Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery

Your Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery



These days it’s no surprise that so many people are choosing dental implants, the healthy, convenient, and long-lasting choice for replacing missing teeth.  This revolutionary technology offers numerous advantages over dentures and dental bridges, the two most common alternative treatments.

Preview the Dental Implant Process

Once you and your dentist have determined that dental implants are the best solution for replacing your missing teeth, one of our dedicated dental health specialists will sit down with you and come up with a timetable that matches your schedule.  At this point we will go over the entire dental implant process with you and address any questions or concerns you may have.

The Dental Implant Process

The dental implant process typically requires 3 to 6 months to complete.  However, this timetable could be expanded if our doctors determine that you require any additional procedures, such as bone grafting or treatment for gum disease,  to prepare for dental implants.

Here’s a list of the steps involved in the dental implant process, including pre-surgery procedures which you may not require:

  • Preparation of the surgical site. Any damaged or broken teeth are removed.
  • Pre-implant procedures. Dentist performs pre-surgery treatments, such as bone grafting or treatment for gum disease.
  • Your fixture is surgically fitted.
  • Your jawbone becomes firmly integrated with the fixture.
  • Your abutment and crown are attached to you implant.

Your Post-Surgery Instructions

We will provide you with detailed written instructions on how to prepare for each stop of the dental implant process, but please don’t hesitate to call us at any point if you have any concerns at all.  This is your smile we’re talking about and you have every right to know what to expect at every stage of the process.

Follow our Directions for Quick and Healthy Recovery

The surgical fitting of the dental implant fixture to your jawbone is a crucial to the success of the entire implant.  It’s essential that the fixture forms a strong bond with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration to anchor the entire dental implant to your mouth.  That’s why it’s so important that you follow your dentist’s directions during your recovery from the procedure.

Expect Some Swelling and Bleeding After Dental Implant Surgery

It really helps to know what to expect going into the dental implant process.  For example, some pain, bleeding, and swelling are a natural part of the recovery process and it should not alarm you to be feeling some discomfort after your implant fixture has been surgically fitted to your jaw.

Patients commonly experience some swelling after the fixture is fitted.  Typically the swelling reaches its peak 2 to 3 days after the procedure is completed.  However, your level of pain should reach its highest level about six hours after surgery.  You can place an ice pack on your cheekbone above the surgical site and you can should also use your pain medication as directed by your dentist.  And if your dentist prescribes any antibiotics, be sure to take all of them in order to fight against possible infection.

Like swelling, bleeding is another common side effect of dental implant surgery.  You can change your gauze every 30 to 45 minutes as necessary.  Wetting your gauze and biting down on it can make this process easier.  You should not feel alarmed if blood continues to leak from the site for up to 48 hours after the surgery.  But again, please feel free to contact our office about any concerns you might have.

Additional Side Effects Following Dental Implant Surgery

Dry lips and bruising on the cheek are two additional side effects that are a common part recovery from dental implant surgery.  You can use a lubricant such as Vaseline to treat your lips and the bruising should begin to subside by 2 to 3 days after the surgery.

Things to Avoid Following Dental Implant Surgery

In order to ensure a healthy recovery, the following should be avoided for at least five days following your implant surgery:

  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Drinking from a straw
  • Nicotine
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hot drinks such as coffee and tea
  • Hard and crunchy foods

Your New Smile

Once your dental implant fixture has been successfully fitted, you are on your way to having that new smile.  You will look and feel attractive, healthy, and ready to face the world with a new sense of confidence.  Call us today at Dentistry of Nashville to find out what dental implants can do for you.






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By: Karen

By: Karen

Going to either Mexico or Costa Rica for Dental Tourism. I need to have bridge put in over two teeth. Must fix cavity on one of teeth before getting bridge. Would I be able to get work done completely within 3-7 days? Can anyone tell me where to go and who to see to get this work done? I need to have work done soon, so cavity doesn’t get worse. Local USA dentist said price would be ~$3000. I don’t have dental insurance and I don’t have money for it either. I would need a loan or put on credit card. I would be going alone on this trip and I’m >60 yrs old. Is this a good idea? I’ve not done anything like this before. Worried about going to terrible dentist. Not sure how to find out information about clinic and dentist.
Please help give me information. Thank you.

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