Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

An Athlete’s Best Friend: A Custom Mouthguard!

Many student athletes, college and otherwise, have been practicing all summer long for their fall sports, and know that training is just around the corner for the spring teams. But are they really prepared and protected for when they make contact with the opposing team? Of course they have helmets, protective padding, supportive shoes, and gloves. In a world of controversy over concussions and the long term effect of contact sports on the body, you can never be too careful. However, your child might be missing one of the most important pieces of protective equipment that you can possibly purchase: a custom-made mouthguard!

Your child’s smile is at an increased risk of sustaining injury during youth sports if they are playing without a mouthguard. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children are most susceptible to sports-related dental injuries between the ages of 7 and 11. Losing an adult tooth to a sports injury can have lifelong consequences! The importance of wearing a mouthguard!

There are several mouthguard options available for those seeking to minimize damage to the mouth during sporting matches. The least expensive options available are over-the-counter stock or Boil-and-bite mouthguards. These over-the-counter options, while better than wearing no protection, do not offer a comfortable fit that also adequately protects an athlete from injury. There are many drawbacks to stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards: lack of customization to accommodate athletes in braces, lack of compliance by the athlete due to poor fit, minimal protective layers to absorb the shock of impacts, and poor quality materials. Also, both of these over-the-counter guards obstruct the natural airway, causing discomfort which can inhibit overall performance. Custom MG vs a Boil-and-Bite MG

The best mouthguard option available is the custom-made pressure-laminated mouthguard. This mouthguard offers a completely customized fit for the player with multiple layers of protection which can be tailored to the type of sport played. Because the mouthguard is made in the office utilizing impressions of the athlete’s mouth, we are able to minimize uncomfortable bulk, while maximizing the amount of protection that the guard can offer. Fitting securely to the player’s teeth, breathing is not obstructed which improves communication during play. If an athlete has a guard that he or she can wear comfortably, they will wear it more consistently than if they had an ill-fitting, bulky guard that was difficult to breath or talk with. Our Pressure Laminated MG

Our office recently obtained the technology that gives us the capability to manufacture custom-made pressure-laminated mouthguards here in our office. By having our in-house lab technician fabricate the guard, we are able to eliminate the wait-time that is unavoidable when an outside lab has to fabricate the device. We have the ability to personalize your guard with a variety of colors and patterns and even team logos! Call our office today to schedule your appointment for a custom-made mouthguard: 615-893-8771


Orthodontics and Adult Patients: Is it too late?

It is never too late to make a positive change to your smile!  More and more adults are looking to orthodontic care as a possible solution to their smile woes,  and it’s not just for esthetic reasons.  Misaligned teeth can effect how you are able to eat and digest your food properly; it can cause difficulties in maintaining proper oral hygiene which can lead to decay; it can also be the cause of facial or profile imbalance.

Orthodontic therapy has progressed a long way over the past few decades.  You are no longer limited to the traditional metal braces.  There are more options available depending on your particular needs and what the orthodontist deems appropriate for treatment.

Traditional Metal Braces:

Traditional Metal Braces

Clear Braces:


Clear Aligners:


Lingual Braces:

lingual braces

There are many options for you and your orthodontist to explore as you discuss which treatment plan is best for your lifestyle.  Modern orthodontic therapy can minimally impede your lifestyle, while majorly changing your smile!

Dental Bites: Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can happen to anyone, any where, at any time and any age:  no one is safe from an unexpected dental emergency.  That is why it is so important that you be prepared to handle any dental emergency that may come your way.  This mini-series will help you identify what are dental emergencies and how to respond to minimize any potential long-term damage.  The AGD website has all of this information and more to help you handle anything that might pop up!


What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is when a tooth breaks or cracks, becomes loosened or is knocked out of place, or out completely.  It is also when a crown comes off a tooth or when an injury occurs to the soft tissue of the mouth.

There are many ways to prevent a dental emergency jawbreakerfrom occurring in the first place though.  You can minimize your risks by avoiding foods that might break or chip your teeth.  In other words, avoid the urge to crunch on that tasty jawbreaker that you just picked up from the candy store!

mouth guardsAnother preventive measure is to always wear a mouth guard when you are participating in sports.  In children the top two reasons for tooth loss is due to falls, and sports related injuries.  And only one of those reasons can you be pro-active about: sports injuries.



Next time we will discuss what to do in certain dental emergencies.  Check back to  see what to do when a tooth is knocked out!

Dental Bites: Tooth Sensitivity Part 2

Last time we discussed the anatomy of sensitive teeth and the various causes.  Now we will discuss what can be done to minimize or eliminate tooth sensitivity.  There are several at-home remedies that you can try, but before you start, be sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist first!

What YOU can do:

The first (and most important) thing you can do to reduce tooth sensitivity is to maintain good oral hygiene.  We already know that plaque buildup is a cause of tooth sensitivity, so be diligent to brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent plaque from building up.  Using a soft bristled brush when you clean your teeth will help minimize abrasion of the enamel and gums.

When brushing your teeth with that soft bristled brush, you could try using a desensitizing toothpaste.  You might need to try several different brands before you find one that works for you.  You can even apply a thin layer of fluoridated toothpaste to the root of the sensitive teeth if you are experiencing sensitivity caused by root exposure.  Doing this right before you go to bed will allow time for the tooth structure to absorb fluoride helping to reduce sensitivity.

Stay away from acidic foods!  Acid (specifically citric acid) is well known for dissolving tooth enamel over time.  Staying away from that morning grapefruit, avoiding lemons and lemonade and other sources of edible acids will help your teeth keep what enamel is still intact.  Once enamel is gone… it’s gone… leaving your dentin exposed to stimuli that trigger sensitivity reactions.

Grinding your teeth at night is a cause of tooth sensitivity as it wears away at the hard enamel layer and can also cause tiny cracks in the structure of the teeth.  If you find yourself waking up with sore jaw muscles and sensitive teeth from grinding, it would be a great idea to consider a night-guard.  This night-time use mouth-guard will protect your teeth from being exposed to the upwards of 120 pounds of biting and grinding pressure that the masseter muscle can generate.

And of course, see your dentist on a regular basis and keep an ongoing discussion regarding your tooth sensitivity.  There are tooth sensitivity solutions that only your dentist can prescribe and perform which leads us into our next section!

What Your DENTIST Can Do:

There are a few topical treatments that your dentist can recommend if it is appropriate for your situation.  Fluoride varnishes and dentin sealers can be applied to exposed root surfaces, giving another layer of protection between the tooth and the environment.

More permanent solutions comprise of composite bonding applications, fillings, root canals or crowns.  Composite bonding can be used to cover exposed root surfaces, or replace an area of decay that has let to tooth sensitivity.  If the tooth is cracked or there is a large amount of decay leading to tooth sensitivity, it might be necessary for a root canal and crown placement.  A root canal will deaden the nerve in the tooth leaving it unable to be affected by stimuli such as hot or cold.  The porcelain fused to metal crown will provide strength to the tooth while it protects it from further damage and stimuli that leads to sensitivity.

As you  discuss your sensitivity with your dentist, you will be able to develop a treatment plan that is ideal for your particular case.  Just remember to describe your discomfort as specifically as possible to help with your diagnosis and treatment!

Dental Bites: Tooth Sensitivity

It has happened to everyone:  you take a sip of ice cold tea or lemonade and your teeth give you a mild electric shock, making you take a small gasp from the suddenness of the pain.   It ranges from mild and occasional, to daily and severe:  it is tooth sensitivity.  Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints from patients, effecting almost 40 million Americans from one degree or another.  We will be exploring the Why and How of Tooth Sensitivity in our Dental Bite.

The Anatomy of Tooth Sensitivity

Anatomy of a ToothThe tooth structure is made of several layers:  enamel, dentin, pulp, nerves & blood vessels.  Within the dentin layer are tiny tubes that carry fluid between the enamel and the pulp.  Sensitivity is often triggered when the fluid is exposed to extreme temperatures or other stimuli and the impulse is transmitted through the tubes to the nerves within the pulp.  The stimulation of the nerves is what most people characterize as a sensitivity reaction when they drink something hot or cold,  eat sweet things, or even breathe in cold air.

What are the causes?

Tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of a larger problem which is why it is so important that you keep your doctor informed of when you have sensitivity and what it feels like.

Sensitivity can be caused by enamel erosion which exposes the dentin to more stimuli.  Enamel erosion is often due to brushing too hard or certain eating and drinking habits like excessive consumption of acid-containing foods.  If you can’t start your day without eating a whole lemon, you might begin to experience sensitivity over time as the citric acid wears down your enamel exposing the dentin layer.  Grinding your teeth can also wear down your enamel exposing the dentin.

Another cause of sensitivity could be gingival recession or tooth decay near the gingiva.  Enamel thins as it meets the gingiva and then transitions into cementum (a hard substance that covers the tooth root in a very thin layer).  If tooth decay begins along the gingiva of the tooth, there is less enamel protecting the dentin and pulp from being exposed to the bacteria and stimuli.  Recession of the gingiva exposes the tooth roots leaving them more vulnerable to hot and cold stimulation.  Recession can sometimes be caused by improper brushing practices and gum disease.

Cracked teeth often have sensitivity as a symptom.  The cracks allow bacteria from plaque to enter into the inner layers of the tooth causing sensitivity and pain.  Bacteria from plaque can effect healthy teeth as well.  If you have plaque build-up on exposed root surfaces, this can cause sensitivity.

Some products such as teeth whitening solutions, and some mouthwashes can be a contributing factor to tooth sensitivity.  Teeth whitening solutions are designed to penetrate into the enamel layer to whiten stains under the surface.  Some people feel “zinging” sensations and sensitivity discomfort after using in-office or at-home whitening products.    Certain mouthwashes contain acids that after long-term use, can heighten sensitivity as the dentin of the tooth is repeatedly exposed to the solution.   There are acid neutral mouthwashes available to help alleviate this problem.

Abrasive toothpastes can also Rock Erosionbe a culprit in tooth sensitivity.  The abrasive materials found in some toothpastes that are effective in removing plaque and whitening teeth can sometimes wear down tooth enamel.  The effect is similar to wind and sand erosion on rocks but on a micro scale.

So now we know Why and How tooth sensitivity can occur, we will address what you and your dentist can do about it on our next Dental Bite.

MTSU’s Veterans Recognition Day: Seats for Soldiers!

Seats for Soldiers!

On November 19th, MTSU will be facing off with Arkansas on our home turf.  This home game created a great opportunity for MTSU and you to celebrate and support our veterans.  Hence the “Veterans Recognition Day” here at MTSU.   This will be an event-filled day created to honor our nation’s veterans and their families, and treat them to the football game free of charge!

Starting at 10:30am, in the Tom Jackson Building, there will be a Veterans Memorial Service.  Following the service, there will be a complimentary picnic for veterans and their families held on the Hall of Fame Lawn.  Here is where the veterans will receive their complimentary tickets to the foot ball game.

Now here is where MTSU needs your partnership to make this happen.  MTSU has created special ticket packages for people interested in donating seats to our military attendees.  And, a huge plus is that MTSU will match your donation, ticket for ticket!

The All- American package costs $1,280, which purchases 80 tickets.  And when these 80 tickets are matched by MTSU, 160 tickets are now available for the men and women of the armed forces!  As a thank you to YOU for purchasing this package, MTSU will give you and autographed Coach stockstill football, recognition on Blue Tube as well as on

The Patriotic package purchases 40 tickets, with an MTSU match for 80 total, at the cost of $640. You will receive recognition on Blue Tube and for this donation.   And the True Blue package purchases 20 tickets, matched to 40 by MTSU, for only $320!  This package comes with a recognition of your gift on


For more information about the program call James Kentfield at the MTSU Ticket Office: 898-5198.  Also click here to download the donation form and additional details about the ticket packages :Salute to Armed Services-Veterans Day.


Help us celebrate those who have and continue to serve and protect our nation!


Another Piece to the Puzzle

Recently, our office had the opportunity to host “Another Piece to the Puzzle” implant seminar for the surrounding dentists in the area.  We had a such a great turn out with the room jam packed with area dentists and their staff.  It was so much fun to get to know offices from towns as far away as Jasper, TN as well as a few closer to home!

Due to the generosity of Barksdale Lab of Alabama and Crest, the doctors and staff were treated to a wonderful selection of door prizes!

Here are a few highlights from the event:

Dr. Chitwood welcomes all of our attendees

Dr. Chitwood demonstrates the cantilever method for implant placement

Betty Barksdale, Dr. Chitwood and Dr. Kenneth Malhoit pause for a door prize drawing. Dr. Malhoit is the first winner of the morning!

Here we have Kenneth Guthrie, Betty Barksdale, and Oz Richie of Barksdale Lab, along with Cheryl Bellmann of Crest. These generous people were the providers of the doctor and staff door prizes.

Check back next week to see the rest of the pictures from the seminar!

Block Party: Enjoy the Summer!

The summer is starting to wind down, and it was certainly one of the hottest in recent memory.   Although, it seems like the every summer is ALWAYS one of the hottest in recent memory regardless of the year!  Regardless of how hot it is relative to our childhoods, it is at least winding down with whispers of cooler weather!  And to take advantage of this, Dr. Chitwood decided to throw a cookout for several of the offices on the block.  It was so much fun to get together with the neighbors of almost 30 years, share stories and just have a good time.

Here are some of the pictures from the cookout!

Yes, the fire trucks drove by twice during our cookout.  We assumed they were hungry!

Dr. Chitwood manning the grill.


The girls enjoying the sunshine & a Coke

Donna & Jennifer sneak out to enjoy the sunshine before the fun begins.










We should get a Coca-Cola endorsement...

Donna and Debby enjoy some time with Dr. Chitwood's mother.

Beautiful day for a cookout!

Jennifer, Michelle, Melinda, Alison and Donna cheesing it up for the camera!











Goodness look how tall she is!

Donna & Sarah setting out the food.

All the lovely ladies of Dr. Potter & Dr. McClain's offices! What fun they were!










Dig In!

We ate and laughed so much we almost burst!










So many desserts to choose from!

Dr. Chitwood and his lovely wife, Denise, share a smile.










Here you find Dr. McClain, Dr. Potter and Dr. Chitwood hanging out after being neighbors for almost 30 years!

In the end, the only thing left to say is when’s the NEXT cookout?!?!

undeSERVEd Part Deux!

Team all geared up to serve the Memphis community

Here is Dr. Chitwood’s service team, they are all geared up to start hitting the streets and helping the needy.  They can’t contain their excitement!

They're so excited, they just can't hide it!

They're so excited, they just can't hide it!

To prepare their hearts and minds for the task of serving in various parks, hospitals, non-profits, churches and retirement homes, the young adults spent time each morning in devotionals meditating on how God’s Word can impact their lives so that they can impact other people’s lives.

Studying and then applying God's Word in their hearts and minds

Studying and then applying God's Word in their hearts and minds

Dr. Chitwood’s team had the opportunity to serve at the non-profit organization, Bibles for China.  They were able to assist the organization with cleanup of the facilities.  This was a large blessing to the organization because so much of their focus is placed on their mission of sending Bibles in Mandarin/Cantonese to China, a country notorious for being opposed to their citizens  embrace of Christianity and religion in general.

Another area that this team served was in a local retirement home.  Here the youth were able to entertain the residents with sing-a-longs and exercise routines.  This allowed the staff to catch up on paperwork and other overdue projects.  The residents seemed to really enjoy the blast from the past with some of their favorite old songs!

Getting the residents hyped up for their sing-fest

The boys lead a group of singers down memory lane

The residents get sporty with a game of bags

The residents get sporty with a game of bags

And of course… there is ALWAYS dentistry to be done!

Who needs an office anyway!

Dr. Chitwood & son, Walt, use a flashlight to see what's going on!

At the end of the week, the youth were exhausted (and so were the adults!) but they were so blessed to have been given this opportunity to reach out to the areas of need in the Memphis community.  Many people felt the love of God through the service of His Church as they answered the call to serve!

Belle Aire’s Youth undeSERVEd Serves Memphis

Mission undeSERVEd kicks off

Last week, Dr. Chitwood, his family and several of our patients traveled to Memphis, TN, as part of Belle Aire Church’s youth outreach to the area.  There were quite a few opportunities for the youth to serve the Memphis community:  Park clean-up, delivery of coloring books to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, service in area retirement homes just to name a few!  As these young adults followed Christ’s call to serve, they saw lives changed around them and God’s love shown through them.

Dr. Chitwood's service group

Dr. Chitwood, Carleigh and Walt get ready to serve with the rest of their service group

The young people were divided up into service groups with leaders and co-leaders.   They stayed with these groups for devotionals, service projects, and for fun!

Mrs. Chitwood & Mary Ansley's service group

Mrs. Chitwood & Mary Ansley's serivce group

It was a fantastic experience for these young people to serve as Jesus Christ’s hands and feet in the area.  Not only were the people in the community ministered to on this mission trip, but the young adults who took part were also touched as they stepped out in faith to serve the needs of the people around them!

Stay tuned for the second installment of the events from the “undeSERVEd” outreach!

Check out a few more photos from the trip:

More silly times

Silly times

Silly times

More silly times