Call (865) 409-5077 to schedule your appointment!
When you visit our dental office, your smile and your overall health is our top priority. Our entire dental team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, guilt-free care that you deserve. We want to create a relationship with our patients that empowers them to achieve long-term oral & overall health.
Tommy Spears D.D.S.
Darrel Clabough D.D.S.
Frequently asked Questions
Q. Do you treat bad breath?
Bad breath (halitosis) is more than just a social problem. It can indicate a serious dental problem, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer. Your family dentists in Knoxville at Choto Family Dentistry compiled this information on how you can prevent bad breath, and how we can help.
What causes bad breath?
Diet: Many people love coffee, onions, and garlic, but all three are known for causing your breath to smell bad. The odors from eating or drinking these foods can stick around until your body has fully processed those foods or beverages.
Poor Dental Hygiene: Failing to brush and floss as recommended, allows bacteria to proliferate in your mouth. These bacteria excrete foul-smelling waste particles.
Tobacco: You know that smoking is bad for your health, but it also can cause bad-smelling breath. The same goes for chewing tobacco. Please consider quitting if you use tobacco in any form.
Dry Mouth: This happens when your ability to produce saliva diminishes, usually because of age, chronic mouth breathing, or a side effect of taking certain prescription medications.
Medical Conditions: Bad breath can be a symptom of certain ailments, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, gum disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal trouble, liver ailments, and kidney disorders.
How can you prevent bad breath?
The best way to combat bad breath is to have your teeth cleaned professionally (called prophylaxis) and to maintain your own home care through regular brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends each person brush at least twice per day, floss daily, and see their dentist every six months for a check-up that includes a professional dental cleaning. Make sure to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Bacterial growth on the tongue causes the majority of cases of halitosis. You may want to purchase a tongue scraper to remove sulfur compounds that can accumulate on your tongue.
You also can change your diet. If you’re bothered by bad breath, limit your consumption of coffee, garlic, and other pungent smelling foods.
You may also want to evaluate what medications you’re taking. Antihistamines, for example, can dry out your mouth. But, speak to your doctor before ceasing any medications.
Chewing gum is good, but avoid gum that is not sugar-free. Sugar-based gums and mints can give you a mouthful of decay.
Will mouthwash help?
Not necessarily. Generally, they are alcohol-based, and will, therefore, dry out your saliva and, in the long run, make things worse. And, they really do not kill bacteria (with the exception of Listerine, which does kill some bugs). One mouthwash, Peridex, is effective. It contains 0.12% Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which has been shown to eliminate oral bacteria effectively. Peridex is available by prescription only.
Dental care in Knoxville
Bad breath can be a turn-off to those around you, and a sign of potential issues. If your bad breath is due to gum disease, Choto Family Dentistry offers treatment for this ailment. We also provide general dentistry services, such as professional cleanings. Don’t live with the stigma and risk of bad breath. Schedule an appointment at our Knoxville office today by calling (865) 409-5077.
Choto Family Dentistry is here to serve patients in the areas of Knoxville and Knoxville in Tennessee.
Q. Why do we talk about your child's sleep at the dentist?
Despite the old saying, “sleeping like a baby,” we now know that children are at risk for the same sleep disorders as adults and sleep-disordered breathing is not just a grown-up thing. Even children at a very young age can suffer from sleep-disordered breathing and if left untreated, could have negative consequences on their health.
Studies performed by researchers at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that more than 11,000 children with sleep-disordered breathing were more likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems. Also, these children struggled with developing peer relationships as opposed to children that did not exhibit any symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing.
The researchers of this study compiled information from parent questionnaires. Parents were asked to answer various questions about their child’s sleep and breathing patterns, beginning from when their child was six months old until almost seven years old. Questionnaires regarding their child’s emotional and behavioral development were given to the parents when their child was four years old and again at the age of seven. The questionnaire addressed these issues: hyperactivity, anxiety and depression, problems with peers, conduct issues such as aggressiveness and rule-breaking, and positive social behaviors such as sharing and helpfulness.
Researchers concluded that children with sleep-disordered breathing were at higher risk of developing behavior or emotional problems as compared to children who suffered no breathing disorder while sleeping. The study also found these startling facts: that by the age of one year, children with sleep-disordered breathing were 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop behavioral problems. Hyperactivity and behavioral issues increased the most among children with sleep-disordered breathing. Also, over the six-year evaluation period, the study concluded that children with the most persistent sleep-disordered breathing exhibited the most severe behavioral problems of all.
Although this large-scale study provides a strong link between sleep-disordered breathing and behavioral problems among children, scientists have yet to determine why this is the case. The scientists believe a decrease in oxygen, lack of restorative sleep, and changes in body chemistry and cell development as a result of sleep deprivation, likely are what links sleep-disordered breathing and behavioral problems in children.
You may think sleep apnea only affects people who are older and overweight, but in reality, this disorder can affect patients of any age—even young children. Although only a sleep specialist can make a complete diagnosis of a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea, at Choto Family Dentistry, we can provide treatment for these disorders. Treatment varies, depending on the severity of the condition. But, if your child exhibits any of the symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea, ask us about a sleep apnea screening for kids today!
Q. Why does the dentist take my blood pressure?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an asymptomatic disease that typically remains undetected until your doctor takes your blood pressure. Unless your blood pressure is dangerously elevated (180/110 and higher), you probably won’t feel any warning signs. Sustained blood pressure readings of 200/140 often produce severe headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Dentists understand that while most of their patients visit them at least twice a year for checkups and often times more frequently for dental cleaning, the same patients may not visit their family doctor for several years (most people don’t go to their doctor unless they are sick or feel abnormal). This means dentists will always have better access to checking a patient’s important health markers like blood pressure, blood glucose level and heart functioning than medical doctors.
Why Tracking Blood Pressure Readings is Vital to Your Good Health
Called the “silent killer” for obvious reasons, untreated high blood pressure will eventually lead to heart attack, stroke and/or kidney failure. Consequently, more dentists are starting to take their patients’ blood pressure before cleanings or dental procedures as part of a comprehensive, long-term health plan.
If your dentist discovers your blood pressure is too high, he will advise you to seek additional medical treatment from your family physician. Medications to control high blood pressure dilate blood vessels so that blood flows more freely throughout the body to lower and stabilize blood pressure.
Benefits of Blood Pressure and Heart Monitoring at the Dentist’s
The dental anesthetics affect each patient differently, depending on their age and current state of health. Patients who receive anesthesia may bleed more during an extraction, especially if they are taking blood pressure medication or they have high blood pressure that is uncontrolled. The local anesthetics contain epinephrine, a hormone similar to adrenaline that helps prolong numbing of the gums. And in addition to these important things we have the larger issue at hand which is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or Sleep Breathing Disorder (SBD). Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure and High Blood Pressure are the most common symptom in adults for this deadly disease. In essence your dentist could save your life by taking your blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Medications and Oral Health
Some high blood pressure medications interrupt normal saliva flow and cause a chronic dry mouth. Dry mouth is responsible for halitosis, an increase in mouth lesions (canker sores) and oral fungal infections. Dry mouth also encourages growth of anaerobic bacteria, the primary cause of cavities and gum disease. We know the medication is imperative to your health and if you take medications for high blood pressure, the dentist or hygienist may recommend more preventive and frequent maintenance appointments to ensure that you’re in good oral and physical health. ( a few extra dollars per year will save you thousands of dollars in the future)
Make Sure Your Dentist is all about Your Blood Pressure!
By screening your blood pressure and monitoring your heart rate, your dentist is taking the measures to ensure your safety and comfort at the dentist office and at home.
Q. How can I have cavity-free Dental Checkups?
Use these sweets only in moderation (less than every day):
Coffee Drinks with syrups or mocha added
Breath Mints & Fresheners
Tums or other chewable antacids
Chewable Vitamin C
Sugar-free alternatives, which are safe for your teeth*, are available for all of these. Keep teeth free of bacteria by brushing 2 to 4 times every day, and flossing every day. Use home fluoride treatment daily.
Q. What questions should you ask when considering dental implants?
Before signing on for implant dentistry, you should absolutely feel 100% comfortable with your implant dentist and you should know what to expect from your implant procedure. Here are some questions to help you prepare for implants.
About Your Implant Dentist
About the Procedure
About Your Recovery and Results
Your dentist should always be happy to answer any of your questions concerning your dental implant needs. You should get answers that will allow you to understand so that you feel confident, fully informed, and prepared for your implant surgery needs. Dr. Tommy Spears and Dr. Jake Goza offer complimentary initial consultations to discuss your questions and dental goals.
Please contact our Knoxville implant dentists today to schedule your initial consultation with your Knoxville dentists at Choto Family Dentistry.
Q. How does pregnancy and your oral health relate?
Pregnancy is a very special time. You’ll want to think about taking good care of yourself and getting your baby’s life off to a healthy start. Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and good oral health habits not only help prevent oral problems during pregnancy, but they also affect the health of your unborn child. If you plan on becoming pregnant or are expecting, Choto Family Dentistry wants to make sure you are prepared with a plan to care for your teeth and gums.
Is it safe to get a dental X-ray while pregnant?
An X-ray may be needed for dental treatment or a dental emergency that can’t wait until after the baby is born. Untreated dental infections can pose a risk to the fetus, and dental treatment may be necessary to maintain the health of the mother and child. Radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low. However, every precaution is taken to minimize radiation exposure. A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental radiograph is taken. A leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation and should be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is strongly recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children. Dental radiographs are not contraindicated if one is trying to become pregnant or is breastfeeding. At Choto Family Dentistry, we’re able to limit radiation exposure thanks to our state-of-the-art digital radiography system, which takes images that are clearer and more precise while emitting a fraction of the radiation experienced when using traditional X-ray technology.
How does pregnancy affect my gums?
During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise considerably. Gingivitis, especially common during the second through the eighth months of pregnancy, may cause red, puffy or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush. This sensitivity is an exaggerated response to plaque and is caused by an increased level of progesterone in your system. Your Knoxville dentists at Choto Family Dentistry may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester or early third trimester to help you avoid problems. In fact, once you know you’re pregnant, it’s generally a good idea to schedule a dental cleaning for as soon as possible—even if it’s been less than six months—if only because it can be uncomfortable to sit in the dental chair for an extended period of time in the third trimester.
What can I do to keep my mouth healthy during pregnancy?
To help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque. Be sure to clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners like floss. Ask your dentist or hygienist to show you how to brush and floss correctly. When choosing oral care products, look for those that display the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
If you are expecting, Choto Family Dentistry wants all the best as you welcome this new addition to your family. Your bundle of joy shouldn’t compromise your oral health, though. To learn more about how we can protect your dental health during pregnancy, give us a call at (865) 409-5077 if you live in the areas of Knoxville and Knoxville, Tennessee.
Q. How does Smoking affect your oral health?
Researchers have found that the following problems occur more often in people who use tobacco products:
Kick the Habit
Regardless of how long you have used tobacco products, quitting now can greatly reduce serious risks to your health. Eleven years after quitting, former smokers’ likelihood of having periodontal (gum) disease was not significantly different from people who never smoked.
Even reducing the amount you smoke appears to help. One study found that smokers who reduced their smoking habit to less than half a pack a day had only three times the risk of developing periodontal disease compared with nonsmokers, which was significantly lower than the six times higher risk seen in those who smoked more than a pack and a half per day. Another study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that the mouth lesion leukoplakia completely resolved within 6 weeks of quitting in 97.5% of patients with these lesions who used smokeless tobacco products.
Operating at the forefront of dentistry, the family dentists in Knoxville at Choto Family Dentistry employ cutting-edge technology that enhances the patient’s experience, provides better results, and saves patients time spent in the dental chair.
CO2 Light Scalpel Laser
Using digital photography is a great addition to our patient cases for fabricating restorations, developing treatment plans, and for use in orthodontic cases. This technology also is used for before and after photographs to showcase patients’ results.
This system comes complete with a computerized mandibular scanner, electromyography that emits pulses to the jaw muscles to stimulate relaxation, and Electrosonography ideal for analyzing jaw movements,and sounds, is perfect for diagnosing and treating TMJ or TMD
Digital x-rays allow the dentist to be able to diagnose and treat areas below the gum line including the jawbone, implant placement, dental extractions, root canals, and more. They are much more comfortable for patients than traditional methods, and the image is generated on a computer screen and is immediately ready for viewing.
The 3Shape TRIOS intraoral scanner allows us to generate 3D images of your teeth and inside of your mouth, which is ideal for developing treatment plans for restorations such as crowns, veneers, dental implants, and dentures. The 3D images can immediately be sent to our dental laboratory partner to begin work right away on your dental restoration.
the CO2 Light Scalpel evaporates soft tissue as it works, instead of having to cut it away. Surgery with the CO2 Light Scalpel laser means less bleeding, shorter downtime, and a more comfortable procedure and recovery for patients. Plus, its precision is unparalleled even to the most skilled dentist using a scalpel.
Our newest X-ray technology is the Cone Beam Computed Tomography or CBCT, which is used to generate precise 3-D that are much clearer than what we get from using a traditional X-ray machine. By using this advanced technology, we can customize the device to capture a specific view of a patient’s jaw, head, neck, or facial structure.
1624 Choto Markets Way
Knoxville, TN 37922