Oral Health and Pregnancy

Oral Health and Pregnancy

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Pregnancy brings about numerous changes to the body. Each day can bring new surprises from swelling and sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations! Monthly or even weekly doctor visits to monitor the growing baby and mother are the norm, but what about dental care? How does this play into a healthy pregnancy?

According to the National Library of Medicine, “pregnant women are susceptible to a wide range of oral health conditions that could be harmful to their health and the future of their baby.” Various studies have been done to combat the old myth that women cannot visit the dentist while pregnant as it may cause complications to the baby’s development in utero. However, this myth could not be farther from the truth! 

Proper oral care can prevent and treat harmful diseases affecting the baby’s long-term health. For example, women and babies can experience “premature birth, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, vaginal tissue ulcerations, gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, loose teeth, and more” if proper dental hygiene and oral care are not prioritized during the gestational period. 

For example, mothers with periodontitis, also known as gum disease, by comparison to mothers with healthy gums, have a higher risk of giving premature birth as well as delivering a baby with low birth weight. Roughly 40% of pregnant mothers have gingivitis, a more mild form of periodontitis, which shows a real risk of these birth complications.

Proper nutrition also affects pregnant women at a higher rate. For example, a study from the AAFP shows that one-fourth of women of reproductive age have dental caries, a disease caused by carbohydrate fermentation that decomposes tooth enamel. Sugary and carb-rich foods can cause caries in pregnant women due to their higher susceptibility to oral cavities and cravings. Similarly,  if the mother does not consume the right amount of nutrients, the child could experience tooth problems due to low calcium intake. 

Pregnant women are also more likely to develop oral lesions, loose teeth, and oral tumors, so inform your dentist or dental hygienist of your pregnancy! Discuss any concerns or fears about routine oral care during pregnancy to ease your mind, and be sure to practice regular oral care. This preventative care goes a long way with keeping yourself healthy and your growing baby as well!

Stop by Cakmes Dental Studio for excellent prenatal oral care. Our team will be sure to look out for any anomalies to be concerned about and provide you with tips for keeping your dental hygiene routine perfect!

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What are Cavities and How to Prevent Them

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We’ve all experienced the anxiety that accompanies a trip to the dentist’s office, often caused by one word: cavities. So what exactly are they? 


As defined by the Mayo Clinic, cavities are permanently damaged areas on the hard surfaces of teeth that appear as tiny holes. Also referred to as tooth decay, cavities are among the world’s most common health issues caused by poor oral hygiene and excessive sugar in the diet, which causes plaque and bacteria. While you may think tooth decay is more prevalent in children, all age groups can get them- 80% of Americans develop a cavity by their 30s.


You may already know that teeth are exposed bones covered in enamel, the hard coating that protects the tooth mentioned above. Unfortunately, tooth enamel cannot be replaced: once it has been eroded, only dental work can help repair it. So when cavities form, breaking down enamel, minor procedures called fillings must be done to prevent further damage. If not attended to, these holes can develop infections and abscesses. Be sure to learn more about fillings from a recent blog!


There are three types of cavities: smooth surface, pit and fissure, and root decay.


Smooth Surface: These are slow forming only within the enamel and are very treatable with fluoride solutions and very attentive dental cleaning.


Pit and Fissure: Occurring in the molars, pit and fissure cavities usually develop from plaque and food buildup due to infrequent toothbrushing. These can be treated with sealants.


Root Decay: As the name suggests, these only occur at the root of teeth, near the gum. This type is common in patients with receding gums, aging, and/or poor oral health and is treated with root canals and fillings.


Cavities of all kinds are preventable by consistent and thorough oral hygiene such as toothbrushing, flossing, mouth washing, and biannual checkups for monitoring. Reducing excess sugar from your diet will also help prevent cavities from forming.


If you are experiencing symptoms such as toothaches, bad breath, bleeding gums, and sensitivity to cold or hot foods, you should schedule an appointment with Cakmes Dental Studio for a proper exam and treatment plan.

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How Botox Can Fix TMJ Pain

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Stress can manifest in many different ways, including in your mouth. The most common showing is through TMJ (the temporomandibular joint). You have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of your mouth, which connects your jawbone to your skull. These joints produce a hinge-like motion that allows you to open and close your mouth, chew food, yawn, and control other jaw movements. 

When someone is under a great deal of stress, they may clench their jaw or grind their teeth, often subconsciously. This causes their TMJ to lock up, and they find it difficult to open their mouth or eat food. Because these movements are done without the person knowing, it can be a hard habit to break. 

Luckily, there are many fixes to TMJ pain. Many dentists recommend custom mouth guards to wear at night, reducing the chance of grinding teeth while asleep. However, if the issue is from grinding your teeth during the day or clenching your jaw, a mouth guard probably won’t work for you. If that’s the case, Botox may be the answer for you. 

Botox is no longer used for purely cosmetic reasons; it can now be used to treat migraines, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and TMJ pain. Another bonus is that Botox keeps you off of hard prescription pills. At Cakmes Dental Studio, we will never choose to prescribe prescription pills unless that’s our last resort. With TMJ pain, Botox is safer and more effective, so it’s our preferred route. 

The primary use of Botox is to relax facial muscles, whether in a cosmetic way to reduce forehead wrinkles or in a pain-management way to prevent jaw pain or lockjaw. Botox blocks nerve signals to the brain, which allows the specific area targeted to relax. When we inject Botox into your strained muscle, it will have a relaxing effect, and you will no longer feel the need to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. In addition, the Botox will work to decrease spasms which will limit lockjaw and create a wider range of motion. 

Botox can be performed in our office in just one treatment, and many people start to feel relief within five to ten days. If you or someone you know is suffering from TMJ pain due to stress, it may be time to consider Botox as a solution. Call us to set up a consultation to determine if Botox is the best option. It’s important to know your options during Stress Awareness Month and beyond.

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Caffeine Awareness Month

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Around 150 million Americans have at least one cup of coffee each morning; that’s about half of our country’s entire population. Many people can’t start their day without a fresh cup of joe, and often, that’s ok. One cup of coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine, and anywhere under 200 mg is considered safe, even for pregnant women. So, if you have one or two cups of coffee each day, you’re probably in the clear, but if you have more than that, use this month to consider reevaluating your caffeine intake. 

There are many benefits to drinking coffee; it can help wake you up, focus, and stay alert, as well as potentially help you lose weight and decrease the chances of certain cancers or diseases. However, there are also many negatives to relying on coffee and caffeine. For example, coffee can cause restlessness or insomnia, especially if you consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. It can also increase your heart rate and blood pressure, cause nausea or vomiting, and cause bad breath and yellowing of the teeth. 

Effects of Coffee on Your Teeth

It’s no secret that drinking coffee can turn your teeth yellow. The reason for this is due to the tannins in the beverage. Tannins cause colored compounds to stick to your teeth, leaving an unwanted yellow stain behind. Tannins are in other beverages such as red wine and tea. 

Many people brush their teeth immediately after finishing their coffee to get rid of that awful coffee breath, but we are here to tell you to stop doing that. Coffee contains acid, and brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic weakens your enamel and can cause further staining. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes before your brush your teeth. During this time, you should rinse your mouth out with water and drink a full glass of water to help prevent bacteria buildup. In addition, professional whitening can help reverse signs of staining.

If you want to switch to energy drinks or tea to reduce the effects of coffee on your teeth, please do so in moderation. Many energy drinks contain at least 200 mg of caffeine and can increase your blood pressure and anxiety and impact your sleeping patterns. Keep these factors in mind as you choose between whiter teeth and adverse health issues. 

At Cakmes Dental Studio, we can unlock a smile up to eight shades whiter in less than an hour. If coffee keeps you going every morning, we can help reverse the adverse aesthetic effects. This month, take time to evaluate your caffeine intake and make adjustments when necessary; if the only negative you see with your morning cup of coffee is yellow teeth, we can help. Call us today to schedule a whitening consultation or a bi-yearly cleaning.

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Cancer Prevention Month

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National Cancer Prevention Month happens every February, and it’s a time to acknowledge various types of cancer, work on prevention methods, and focus on living the healthiest life possible. As dentists, we have specialized knowledge on all things oral, including oral cancer, so that’s where our focus will lie. 


Oral cancer is not as widespread as many other types, including breast, lung, and skin cancer, but it still accounts for about three percent of cancer cases per year, over 50,000 new cases. 


Oral cancer is caused by squamous cells (flat, thin cells that line the mouth and throat) growing uncontrollably in the oral cavity and oropharynx. The leading causes of the expedited growth are tobacco and heavy alcohol use, HPV, sun exposure, and age. 


The symptoms of early-stage oral cancer are quite common. If they linger for more than two weeks, you should see your dentist or doctor. The most common symptoms include:

  • Sores or lumps in your mouth, throat, or lips
  • Red or white patch(es) in your mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
  • Numbness in any area of your mouth
  • Constant sore throat feeling


As mentioned, many of these symptoms are pretty standard. For example, a sore throat happens for various reasons, and TMJ can result in difficulty moving your jaw. Still, if these symptoms continue or worsen, it’s crucial to get them checked by a professional. 


The best ways to avoid oral cancer are to take care of your mouth the same way you take care of your body. Proper dental hygiene goes a long way and limits alcohol use and never uses tobacco products. Oral cancers are most common in men and women over 40, so it’s essential to take extra precautions once you’ve reached that age. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have at every checkup. 

The dentists at Cakmes Dental Studio are the best in the business and will work with you to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. If you have any questions or have experienced any symptoms mentioned above, reach out to us. We can help determine if oral cancer is in play or something else causing your issues and come up with a solution to keep you on the right path.

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Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year!

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It’s hard to believe, but there are just a few weeks of the year left! With that comes last-minute gift shopping, spending time with family, and making sure that you’ve used your medical, dental, and vision benefits.


Most people know, but many forget that you pay for your dental insurance whether you use it or not – so you might as well use it! Dental health is a big factor in overall health, and it can even play a role in your mental health and social life. 


Depending on your insurance, you’ll see varying levels of coverage, but most plans will allow for at least two cleanings and one x-ray exam each year. If you need or want work beyond that, many dental insurance benefits cover a large majority of the cost of preventative dental care treatments, if not the entire cost. 


Preventative care treatments typically include:

  • Routine cleanings
  • Examinations
  • Sealants
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Periodontal care
  • X-rays
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Mouthguards
  • Patient education


When it comes to general dental care, insurance typically covers around 50 to 80% of the cost of treatment. 


General dental care treatments typically include: 

  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Porcelain inlays onlays
  • Porcelain crowns and bridges 
  • Dental implants 
  • Removable partials
  • Dentures
  • Root canals 
  • Minor tooth extractions
  • Cerec restoration 


Regardless of the type of treatment you need, it is important to remember that although you pay for dental insurance that does not mean that your insurance benefits roll over from year to year. If you don’t use your benefits before the year ends, you will likely miss out on the services your insurance can help cover. 


At Cakmes Dental Studio we provide all of the services listed above and more, and would love nothing more than to help you take care of your dental needs and help you end every year feeling confident in your smile! 


The end of one year and the beginning of a new one are always the perfect time to evaluate your progress; whether that be your progress at work, your physical health, your mental health, or even the relationships you’ve built, evaluating what you have done in the past year and what you hope to achieve in the future are healthy ways to establish goals and keep yourself accountable. 


Take care of yourself, focus on your goals, and take advantage of your dental benefits before the year ends! Book an appointment at Cakmes Dental Studio by calling us at (865) 584-6163 or by filling out this form! There’s still time to end the year on the right note, with a healthy and beautiful smile at the center of it all. 

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The Best Ways to Fix Bad Breath

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Do you find yourself constantly reaching for mints or gum throughout the day? As a dental studio, we are well versed in how embarrassing, uncomfortable, and difficult bad breath can be. Luckily, at Cakmes Dental Studio, we also know the cures for it. 

Good Oral Hygiene

Pretty much everything comes back to having good oral hygiene, so much so that we’ve detailed it in previous blogs! As a refresher, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day (don’t forget your tongue!) and floss at least once for the healthiest mouth. If you’re finding that this isn’t enough to fight off that halitosis, try brushing your teeth after every meal or strong drink, such as coffee; try to limit the amount of coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks you consume.

Also, ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day, as this can help prevent bacteria build-up. Water is the number one stimulator of saliva, which also helps to fight off bacteria. You may notice that your breath smells and tastes worse when your mouth is dry, and these are the reasons why! 

Home Remedies

If these daily routines still aren’t cutting it, there are more things that you can do at home to help reduce your halitosis. The first is to get a new (and possibly better) toothbrush. In 2021, we recommend using an electric toothbrush and tossing the manual brush to the side. The electric toothbrush helps reach more places than a manual toothbrush; it can remove more plaque buildup from your teeth and gums and ensures that you brush for a full two minutes each time. 

Ensure that you replace your toothbrush head every three to four months; new brushes remove more plaque than a heavily used one and firm bristles are more effective against preventing bacterial growth. Using an older toothbrush or toothbrush head could easily contribute to your bad breath, as you are essentially brushing your teeth with extra bacteria and fungal particles. 

Visit Your Dentist

You should schedule routine cleanings twice a year to ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best health possible. If all of the above remedies don’t work, let your dentist know! Our tools can provide a deeper cleaning and more plaque and bacterial removal. In addition, we know other tricks of the trade for fighting bad breath, such as discontinuing the use of specific medicines (as mentioned in a recent Ted Lasso episode!).

No one wants bad breath, and luckily, there are many ways to fight against it. If you or someone you know is suffering from halitosis, give these at-home remedies a shot! If you’re still not happy, head to our Knoxville, TN studio for a deeper look and a more personalized diagnosis. We’re here to help your oral hygiene be the best it can be, and minty fresh breath goes right along with that. Give us a call to schedule your next appointment or ask any questions you may have about fighting halitosis or any other ailments your mouth may present to you.

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Stress Awareness Day

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Stress is such a big part of most people’s daily lives that there is an entire day dedicated to the awareness of it all. This year, we all acknowledge the role stress plays in our lives on November 3, and we do what we can to eliminate it ahead of what some consider the most stressful two months of the year. 

Stress can manifest in many different ways; one of which is by causing problems in your mouth, such as teeth grinding, TMJ pain, gum disease, and much more. 

Grinding or clenching your teeth, also known as bruxism, is a well-known sign of stress or anxiety. The difficult part about this is that many people do it subconsciously, oftentimes in their sleep. While a night mouthguard can be a good option, it is always wise to consult your dentist to be sure that is the root cause of your pain and that there are no long-term effects from your bruxism. 

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is found in the muscles and joints of your jaw. Those experiencing TMJ pain find it hard to eat, chew, and sometimes even open their mouth. There are signs to look for, including sore jaw muscles and a pop or click in your jaw. If you are experiencing jaw pain or soreness, especially while under a great amount of stress, even if you don’t hear pops or clicks, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. Stress is the number one cause of TMJ, so your dentist will work with you to find a solution that best fits your lifestyle, such as Botox. 

Stress can cause even more severe issues, such as gum disease and infections; over half of all adults in America have periodontitis, which is the most severe form of gum disease. Stress can cause a weakened immune system, which can lead to oral infections and other bacteria spreading through your gums. 

Chronic or severe stress can also manifest into dry mouth and canker sores. While a dry mouth can generally be treated by drinking plenty of water and using non-alcoholic mouthwash, you should see your dentist if you experience dry mouth often and more than just during stressful periods. Canker sores are painful sores that are formed on the tissue of your mouth. Stress can increase the risk of developing these canker sores, and each one takes between 10 and 14 days to fully heal. While most canker sores can be treated at home, you should call your dentist if you are constantly battling them. As you can see, stress has a crazy way of affecting your daily life. If you’ve noticed any of these above symptoms (or anything else relating to your mouth, gums, or teeth), give us a call. We know that everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, but we’d love to help you reduce yours – whether that’s a mouthguard to cut down on your grinding, Botox to help reduce your TMJ, or anything else that works for your specific situation.

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Periodontal Care

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When thinking about everything that contributes to a healthy smile, many may think that brushing and flossing are sufficient. The truth, though, is that gum care is just as important as dental care. Periodontal care, also called gum care, is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. 

Healthy gums contribute to strong teeth and a healthy mouth, overall. If left untreated, gum issues can cause severe damage. When bacteria and plaque build up below or along the gum line, it can lead to inflammation, which may result in gum disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. Bacterial infections can also attack bone tissue which can cause teeth to become loosened from the gums. 

Many people who have gum disease in the early stages don’t realize it or are unaware of the signs. Inflamed or swollen gums, loose teeth, tenderness around the teeth along the gum line, and bleeding gums are often the first signs and symptoms of gum disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there are links between periodontal disease (gum disease) and several systemic diseases. The diseases include, but are not limited to, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Gum disease has also been linked to preterm childbirth. When handled in the early stages, gum disease is easily treated and has an excellent prognosis. 

Before brushing your teeth, always be sure to floss in between each tooth. This allows you to reach areas that your toothbrush can not, which helps remove any remaining food in the teeth and can help prevent bacterial growth. Regular dental cleanings are also important in the overall health of your gums. Your dentist will be able to examine your gums to check for any irregularities or signs of infection.

If you have any gum concerns or are in need of a regular cleaning, Cakmes Dental Studio is here to provide you with the best dental care available so that you can be confident in your healthy and beautiful smile. Our office offers a variety of periodontal care services to ensure that your gums stay in great shape. A few of the services we offer include periodontitis treatment, gingivitis treatment, bacterial infection treatment, and inflammation care. Contact our office at (865) 584-6163 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.   

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Oral Hygiene Habits to Start Implementing Today

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Good oral hygiene starts with keeping your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good dental habits. Taking a little time each day to follow some of these healthy habits is key in preventing problems down the line, such as gum disease, cavities, and more. Maintaining good oral hygiene is also the first step in ensuring that you’re in good health overall. Following these healthy dental habit tips daily and having regular checkups with your dentist are two of the best practices to keep your smile healthy and happy.


Brush Twice a Day

For most people, it’s a given that brushing your teeth is the key to good dental health. However, there are many factors involved when it comes to proper brushing techniques. First, be sure to have the correct toothbrush. Always choose toothbrushes that have been certified by the American Dental Association (ADA) and try to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. When brushing, do so twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Use circular motions and remember to brush all sides of your teeth, as well as your tongue and inside of your mouth.


Floss Each Time You Brush

Flossing should be done every time you brush your teeth. It helps to remove any plaque or bacteria, especially in areas where your toothbrush may not reach. Flossing also reduces inflammation at the gum line and can help prevent gum disease. 


Drink Plenty of Water and Follow a Healthy Diet

What you eat and drink has a big impact on your oral and dental health. Limit the number of sugary foods and drinks you consume, as these can lead to cavities and are harmful to the enamel of your teeth. Drinking plenty of water can help rinse some of the acids from these sugary foods and drinks out of your mouth as well. 


Check-In with Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are necessary even for those who take the best care of their teeth. Dentists can perform thorough cleanings of your teeth to remove all possible plaque. They’ll also be able to check for any potential problems such as cavities or gum disease. Most insurance companies cover two dental checkups per year, so be sure to take advantage of this and schedule your dental appointment accordingly. 

At Cakmes Dental Studio, our number one goal is keeping patients feeling confident by ensuring that they are maintaining the best oral health possible. If you have any concerns about your teeth or gums, give our office a call to set up an appointment. In between dental checkups, be sure to follow these daily habits to promote a lifetime of good dental health!

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  • 6230 Highland Place Way
    Suite 201
    Knoxville, TN 37919

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