oral health, chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, gum disease, oral hygiene, dental care, Hermitage Dental Group, Hermitage, TN, comprehensive dental care, preventive services

Maintaining good oral health isn’t just about preventing cavities and gum disease—it’s also essential for your overall well-being. Surprisingly, your oral health can have a significant impact on chronic diseases throughout your body. Let’s learn more about how taking care of your teeth and gums can contribute to better overall health in relation to chronic diseases.

Heart Disease

Research suggests a link between poor oral health and an increased risk of heart disease. The bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease may contribute to the development of cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes. By keeping your gums healthy through regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, you can potentially reduce your risk of heart-related complications.


People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease due to impaired immune function and difficulty controlling blood sugar levels. Likewise, untreated gum disease can make it harder to manage diabetes, as oral infections can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental care are crucial for patients with diabetes to maintain both their oral health and overall health.

Respiratory Issues

Poor oral health can also affect your respiratory system, increasing the risk of infections such as pneumonia. Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, leading to inflammation and infection. By practicing good oral hygiene habits and seeking prompt treatment for oral infections, you can help protect your respiratory health and prevent unwanted complications.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Hermitage, TN

For more information about the connection between oral health and chronic diseases, reach out to Hermitage Dental Group. Dr. Friedmann and the rest of our dedicated team treat our patients with compassion and expertise, providing comprehensive dental care to help you achieve optimal oral health. Whether you’re seeking preventive services or treatment for existing dental issues, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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cropped closeup of Black woman sticking her tongue out against a yellow background

It’s important to brush and floss every day to protect your oral health. When you brush your teeth, you should also brush your tongue! There are many benefits to cleaning your tongue daily. Here are the main ones:

Removes Harmful Bacteria

Your tongue has a bumpy, porous surface that attracts both good and bad bacteria. If you neglect to brush your tongue, harmful bacteria can spread to your teeth and gums. Add daily tongue-brushing to your oral hygiene routine to help reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. If it is hard to brush without gagging, stay consistent! You can train your gag reflex to be less sensitive with practice. Additionally, our team can provide personalized tips at your next checkup.

Improves Your Breath

The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease produce strong odors. When you brush your tongue, you’re cleaning off the odor agents and making your mouth a cleaner, better-smelling place. If you are brushing your tongue every day and still struggle with chronic bad breath, schedule a visit to your dentist. You could be dealing with a problem, like gum disease or tooth decay, or another underlying health condition.

Prevents Problems Like Thrush

If you don’t brush your tongue, the yeast in your mouth can build up and result in an infection called oral thrush. Symptoms include a white film or blotches on your tongue, burning in your mouth, and a loss of taste. Oral thrush is typically treated with antifungal medication. But brushing your tongue daily can help prevent it from occurring.

We Can Help You Maintain Great Oral Health!

Brushing your tongue is a critical part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Professional cleanings and exams at the dentist every six months are also essential to help you avoid cavities, gum disease, and other issues. Hermitage Dental Group in Hermitage, TN, is proud to offer comprehensive dental services, like preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, treatment for sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and more. Please contact us today if you have any questions or want to book an appointment!

Closeup of a woman using string floss to floss between her teeth

Flossing is an essential part of your at-home oral health routine. Have you been skimping on flossing regularly?

Food gets stuck between your teeth when you eat. And bacteria can build up under your gumline. Even with regular brushing, you may not be able to get all of the trapped debris out of these crevices. In conjunction with your toothbrush and toothpaste, a flossing tool can help you clean plaque from every nook and cranny in your smile. This prevents buildup of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque), and thus reduces your risk of developing bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Benefits of Flossing Every Day

Here are just some of the many benefits of daily flossing:

  • Removes trapped debris better than toothpicks
  • Brightens smile
  • Freshens breath
  • Reduces your chance of dental disease
  • Lessens your risk of developing certain health conditions, like heart disease

Different Types of Floss

Do you put off flossing because you don’t love traditional string floss? Fortunately, there are a wide range of floss tools available, including:

  • Dental tape
  • Electric flosser
  • Floss picks
  • Waxed & unwaxed thread floss
  • Water flosser

Schedule Your Biannual Dental Visit!

In addition to brushing your teeth, brushing your tongue, and flossing every night, make sure you are keeping up with your biannual dental appointments. The American Dental Association recommends patients see the dentist at least twice a year to maintain a healthy smile.

At Hermitage Dental Group, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy, radiant smiles in Hermitage, TN. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment! Our office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 7 AM to 5 PM, and alternating Fridays from 8 AM to 3 PM. We accept cash, check, credit and debit cards, CareCredit and Lending Club financing, our in-house discount plan, and many dental insurance plans (Aetna, Ameritas, Assurant, BCBS of TN, Cigna, Companion Life, Delta Dental Healthspring, Delta Dental PPO & Premier, Dentamax, GEHA, Guardian, Humana, Metlife, Principal, Regence of Oregon, Smile Value Plan, UCCI, and UMR/UH).

A blue and white water flosser on a bathroom sink in front of a blue, white, and gray backsplash

If you’ve ever considered switching from traditional string floss to a water flosser, this is the article for you. In today’s blog post, we’re talking about the benefits of both methods, helping you to decide which one will be right for you.

Water Flossing

Water flossers are electronic devices that pump water into the mouth via a pressurized stream. That pressure is powerful enough to actually floss between your teeth! When using a water flosser, you have control over that pressure, as well as its pattern. You simply maneuver the device to clean between the teeth and gums. This allows you to stimulate the gum tissue and remove the bacteria that builds up between the teeth and under the gums.

Studies have shown that water flossers work just as well as, if not better than, traditional floss. Water flossers can be very helpful in accessing and cleaning hard-to-reach areas, especially for patients with braces and limited mobility. Water flossers can also help improve blood flow to the gums, which is important for your oral tissue to receive the nutrients it needs.

Traditional Floss

While water flossers have clear and undeniable benefits, that doesn’t mean that traditional floss doesn’t have its merits! String floss is the tried and true method for cleaning between the teeth, and it comes with a number of great benefits. Traditional floss can’t be beat for its portability and affordability. String floss is easy to use and you can do it just about anywhere.

Preventive Care in Hermitage, TN

Choose the flossing method, or combination, that you feel is right for you. We just want you to be flossing every single day to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and from under your gums. At your routine checkup, we’ll examine the health of your gums and let you know if we think you need to change your flossing technique or floss more frequently.

If your gums bleed when you floss, keep flossing and brushing your teeth every day! You likely need to improve your oral hygiene. If the bleeding persists, please notify our team!


A water flosser next to a blue container of string floss to floss teeth every day in Hermitage, TN

Flossing is one of the most important ways you can protect your teeth against cavities, decay, and gum disease. When paired with regular brushing, flossing can give your entire mouth the deep clean it needs to be healthy and clean.

But there are different ways to floss. In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between string flossing and water flossing.

String Flossing

Traditional flossing requires you to take a long piece of dental floss and clean between the teeth in a C-shape, using a clean part of the floss between each set of teeth. Because you’re in full control of the floss, you can get a deep clean under the gumline and adjust the pressure to accommodate each part of your mouth. However, the floss can break if you have tight spaces between your teeth or be difficult to handle if you have arthritis or limited mobility.

Water Flossing

Water flossing uses pressurized water to clear the teeth and gums of bacteria and trapped food particles. It also stimulates bloodflow in the gums. This gadget is great at navigating tight and hard-to-reach places gently, particularly for patients who have a difficult time using string floss. While there is nothing to throw away when you’re done and it can be done with only one hand, a water flosser is more expensive up-front and requires electricity and counter space.

Which Floss Should I Use?

If you’re torn between using dental floss or opting for water flossing, you can certainly use both to maintain your dental health! Many patients use dental floss to loosen up plaque and bacteria, and then wash away the excess with a water flosser. Both are effective and any form of daily flossing is better than not flossing at all.

Affordable Dental Care in Hermitage, TN

Apart from regular brushing and flossing, twice yearly dental appointments for routine cleanings and examinations are crucial to maintain a healthy smile. Hermitage Dental Group offers a wide variety of affordable dental services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office!