Just Bite Me - Cornelia Dental Blog

Why We Avoid the Dentist

Avoiding the Dentist symbol

Top Reasons People Avoid the Dentist:
Too Busy
Preventive dental care can actually save you time. Professional dental care takes about two hours a year PLUS another two (2) minutes of brushing at home - 2 times a day (24.5 hours per year). If you think you are too busy for 2 hour of preventive care - we KNOW you're too busy to take hours away from work for restorative dental care that may have been prevented.
Guilt / Embarrassment
We are a lecture-free dental practice. We know there are lots of reasons people haven't received the dental care they need. We understand that life happens: moms can get busy taking care of children, adults can put the priorities of elderly family members above their own care, and the boss can't do without you at work. We will welcome you into our practice and start where you are to help you get the dental care you deserve.
It's Too Expensive
If you don't have dental insurance you are probably just avoiding the dentist and hoping that a dental disaster doesn't strike you. Without the regular preventive dental care, you could be taken unnecessary risks with your dental future. We want everyone to have access to regular preventive care, which is why we created our dental savings plan for people for people without adequate dental insurance. Those regular visits can help make the difference between a healthy smile or a dental headache.
Bad Past Experiences
Never again! We've all probably had a past experience that was so bad that we were "one and done!" While you can avoid having some experiences again (like Brussel sprouts or going to the opera), dental care is not optional. Good oral health almost always requires professional care, so we encourage you to tell us your fears and share your past bad experiences with our team so we can help you move past those negative experiences to get and stay healthy.
Scared of Pain
Fear of pain is often linked to a past bad experience. You may hate needles because of a shot you had as a child. You may not have been sufficiently numb when you were having a dental procedure, or you may have just heard horror stories from a well-meaning friend or relative. We have lots of ways to make your dental visit less scary and more comfortable. Whether it's nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, or one of our other comfort solutions, we want your visit to be comfortable and stress-free.
Many people grow up believe wives' tales and myths about dentists and dental care. These inaccurate beliefs can lead them to believe that their dental conditions are less serious than they really are or that they are inevitable. Myths can cause people to believe that healthy teeth are simply out of their reach.
Stop Avoiding the Dentist


Defeat Monster Mouth That's the message from the American Dental Association.

Want to defeat Monster Mouth?

  • You need to brush 2 minutes 2 times a day

  • Clean between your teeth daily - THAT MEANS FLOSS :)

  • Limit snacks and eat healthy meals.

  • Visit your dentist regularly

Overdue for a cleaning?

Don't Get Flagged on the Play

Habersham Raiders Football Helmet We recommend custom mouthguards for anyone involved in an activity that could result in a dental-related injury. Contact sports like football and hockey obviously require mouthguards. In his role as a college football official, Dr. Jackson has directly seen the benefits of custom mouthguards. Ill-fitting mouthguards can make it difficult to communicate on the football field. When players stick their mouthguards in their helmets in between plays they sometimes forget to put the mouthguard back in -- resulting in a costly unnecessary penalty.

Many athletes in other non-contact sports like baseball and gymnastics can benefit from the use of a mouthguard. A bad hop of the baseball or a slip on the balance beam could result in a blow to the mouth. Players that aren't wearing Invisalign should know that it's no fun getting your lips and tongue cut up from metal braces! As a baseball umpire/dentist, Dr. Jackson has provided emergency care on the baseball diamond to help a first baseman untangle his lips from painful wires. Definitely NO FUN!

Protect your investment and your smile by wearing a mouthguard!

Get a custom mouthguard today!

Are Crooked Teeth Costing You Money?

invisalignCould your teeth be standing in the way of your success? Think straightening your teeth is just a matter of vanity? Think again. You could increase your earning potential by enhancing your smile with straighter teeth. Several studies have indicated that people who are more attractive can earn up to 10 or 15 percent more than unattractive employees. A pair of University of Michigan scientists discovered three reasons why attractive workers make more money:

  1. Physically attractive workers are considered more able by employers and therefore paid up to 10% higher salaries than unattractive workers.
  2. Physically attractive workers are more confident, and higher confidence increases wages.
  3. Physically attractive workers have better social and communication skills which increases their employer's value of the employee.
Want to climb the corporate ladder? Increase your earning potential? Invisalign technology can give you straighter teeth that will allow you to approach your boss for a raise with confidence or secure that job interview with a dazzling smile. Don't worry, with clear aligners, no one has to know you're wearing braces. Your secret is safe with us. With invisible braces, you can discreetly remove them whenever you choose and tackle your power lunch with confidence.

You don't need to sacrifice time from your busy career. We use our iTero scanner to take digital impressions of your mouth – (no goopy impression material and better results). Invisalign ships back your computer-generated clear braces. Because we send several sets of aligner trays home with you at each visit, you'll have more time to spend with your own clients - not at the dental office.

Ready to enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening?

Invisalign Consult

Straight Teeth Without The Sacrifices

invisalign vs metal bracesWe all know the problems with metal braces. Not only do you have to endure the incessant teasing (metal mouth, brace face), you may have to deal with pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by metal wires and brackets. You invest in straight teeth but suffer from plaque buildup, tooth decay, and tooth discoloration because you aren’t able to brush and floss like you normally would. Most of us are willing to sacrifice to have straighter teeth, but what if you didn’t have to sacrifice the foods you love. Who wants to give up their favorite foods? Goodbye popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, candies…No more apples, carrots, corn on the cob.

Say hello to Invisalign. Eat what you want. Brush and floss the way you should. Straighten your teeth without the brace face.

Find out more

Is It Smart to Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

dental x-ray While many dentists recommend removing your wisdom teeth during the teenage years long before any symptoms occur, not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. Why would you want to go through that procedure when you aren't experiencing any problems? Our job as dental professionals at Cornelia Dental is to help you to weigh the benefits of having your wisdom teeth removed against the risks involved in removing the teeth.

Complications can arise when these third molars become impacted as they are blocked from growing into the mouth completely by either the jaw itself or surrounding teeth. When that happens ... these little troublemakers have the ability to really ruin your day. Our digital panoramic x-ray is an excellent tool for diagnosing the level of impaction, assessing risk factors, and determining the best course of action for you. This x-ray is quite comfortable since the x-ray head rotates around your head while you stand still. The digital image appears on our computer screen and allows us to see your entire jaw and sinuses as well as all of your teeth.

Since you may not experience any signs of an impacted wisdom tooth, we screen for potential problems with 3rd molars at your preventive dental visits. Some people choose to deal with wisdom teeth proactively before they have symptoms. In between your regular six month visits, it is possible that you may experience symptoms which could range from mild to severe:

  • Localized pain where the tooth is growing in the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Redness in the area where tooth would erupt
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness at site
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Periodontitis (recession and unprovoked bleeding of the gums)
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Pressure localized around the molar/gum area
  • Swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums
Not experiencing any of these problems? You may choose to keep your wisdom teeth if:

  • Your teeth have completely erupted (grown normally through the gum surface) and are in correct alignment with your other teeth
  • You are able to bite and chew with your wisdom teeth without problems
  • You are able to keep your wisdom teeth as clean as your other teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth and the teeth surrounding them are healthy
  • The risk of removing the wisdom tooth is greater than the benefit of removing the tooth.
Concerned about your wisdom teeth? Want to know which course of action is right for you?


Half of Americans have it. Do you?

bleeding gums One out of two people over the age of 30 has it. What is IT?


It is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth.

What causes it?

Plaque. It’s a sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. If you don’t remove it DAILY by brushing and cleaning in between your teeth (floss... hint, hint) it can eventually harden into calculus (AKA tartar).

If I don’t have cavities – I can’t have gum disease. Right???

Congratulations! You're cavity free!

Unfortunately many people who don't have cavities still have some form of gum disease. Since gum disease is often painless it goes untreated because people have no idea that they have it. Do your gums bleed easily or are they red, swollen or tender? Those are common signs of gingivitis. Fortunately, if you catch gum disease in this early stage – it is reversible. A professional dental cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar --- followed by daily brushing and flossing can eliminate gingivitis and get you healthy again.

I’ve got gum disease. That means I will lose all my teeth.

Not necessarily! Your hygienist and Dr. Jackson can often design a treatment plan to help you keep your gum disease under control. You’ll also need to make a commitment to good oral hygiene: brushing your teeth twice a day, cleaning between your teeth every day, choosing a healthy diet, and scheduling and keeping regular dental appointments.

My friend said bleeding gums during my pregnancy is normal.

Some women do develop a condition commonly called “pregnancy gingivitis” but not everyone experiences this. You will want to be even more meticulous with your dental care and may want to schedule more frequent dental cleanings during this important time of your life.

My girlfriend says I have “dog breath”. Does that mean I have gum disease?

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be signs of gum disease, other oral diseases or possibly a medical disorder. Make an appointment to see us at Cornelia Dental first so that you can find out exactly what’s causing the problem. If the problem is medical, we can refer you to the proper health care professional.

If I have diabetes, am I going to get gum disease?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to process sugar. High blood sugar can have a detrimental effect on many parts of your body, including your mouth, eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. You may also be less resistant to infection and may not heal as quickly as other people. Be aware that you are at a greater risk or developing some oral health problems and we will be honored to work with you in being diligent in maintaining good oral health.

Concerned that you may have gum disease? Call us and we will be happy to set up a complimentary consultation for you with one of our hygienists.

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Why is THAT in my toothpaste?

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Are you using the right toothpaste?

You’re standing in the toothpaste aisle with dozens of choices of toothpaste…Confused?

Each product makes different claims and you have no idea what toothpaste is right for you and if it really even makes a difference. You want to be a savvy shopper…but which one do you buy?

Our hygienists recommend that you choose a toothpaste with fluoride to help make the enamel stronger and reverse early stages of acid damage to the teeth. Since most toothpastes contain fluoride this will do little to help narrow down your choice of toothpaste. It is up to you to decide if you need or want a toothpaste that is designed to address specific dental issues.

We’ll try to help you narrow down the choices by asking yourself these questions:

Are your gums red or bleeding?

Red or bleeding gums can be a sign of a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis.* Anti-gingivitis toothpastes can help reduce oral bacteria and be helpful in reversing this condition when combined with regular flossing. Many anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis toothpastes contain triclosan/copolymer. Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent that attacks and kills bacterial cells resulting in lower plaque levels and reduction in gingivitis. Triclosan itself has recently come under attack since there are conflicting reports about the possible side effects of triclosan. The FDA has not required that these toothpastes be pulled from the market, but many stores have imposed their own ban from their stores.

Is it painful when you eat or drink something cold or hot?

One in every four adults under the age of 45 experiences some degree of dentinal hypersensitivity.* If you are one of them, you may want to choose a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Desensitizing toothpastes are designed to reduce pain by blocking the tooth’s pain signal to the nerve. The dentin of your tooth has tiny tubes called tubules that are normally covered by enamel or cementum. If these tubules are exposed, you may experience sensitivity. Potassium nitrate, potassium citrate, and potassium chloride which may be found in desensitizing toothpaste can enter the tubules and interrupt the pain signal from the nerve to the brain and over a period of time can eventually build up and protect these tubules. Strontium chloride and stannous fluoride when used as desensitizing agents work by simply blocking the dentin tubules so that they are covered as they would have been by the cementum or enamel. If you continue to have dentinal hypersensitivity after using a desensitizing toothpaste, you may want to ask us about directly applying a product like Brush & Bond to your teeth at your next dental visit to provide an acid- and wear-resistant shield for the tooth that produces an amazing result.

Has your hygienist commented that you tend to build up more tartar than normal?

Tartar (or calculus) is a deposit that forms when plaque (a sticky, clear film full of bacteria) hardens on your teeth. Unlike plaque, tartar is fairly easy to see when it is along the gum line since it is usually yellow or brown in color. Because tartar bonds so strongly to the enamel, it can only be removed by a dental professional. Some people tend to build up more tartar than others and tartar-control toothpastes are formulated with pyrophosphate, hexametaphosphate, and zinc to help slow or prevent the buildup of tartar on the teeth to help keep your teeth and gums healthier. Since the calcium in your saliva causes plaque to solidify, pyrophosphate and hexametaphoshate work by stabilizing the calcium level in the saliva and interfering with tartar crystal growth. Zinc inhibits crystal growth and controls the formation of tartar. You can help prevent tartar buildup by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day to remove plaque before it has a chance to harden. Tartar generally forms along that gum line and can promote gingivitis and can cause damage to the bone that supports the teeth, causing periodontal disease. If you choose a tartar-control toothpaste, be aware that the chemical pyrophosphate may cause burning sensations or small “sore spots” or lesions in certain individuals.

Do you eat or drink anything that potentially stains your teeth on a regular basis?

Whitening toothpastes are contain polishing or chemical agents such as calcium carbonate, silicas, magnesium carbonate, aluminum oxide and argonite to polish the enamel and remove surface stains from your teeth. If you are not able to attain the degree of whiteness that you desire with a whitening toothpaste, you may want to inquire about dental bleaching to first achieve the desired shade and then use a whitening toothpaste to maintain that shade. The professional whitening products that we provide through our office use peroxide to bleach your teeth in professional strength that remain in contact with your teeth for at least an hour at a time. While some toothpastes have peroxide as an ingredient, the concentration is so low and the amount of time that the product is in contact with your teeth is so short that the abrasive chemicals are actually responsible for the majority of the whitening that takes place. Some people find whitening toothpastes to be too abrasive to the enamel of their teeth and therefore too irritating to use on a regular basis.

*Tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, and red or bleeding gums can be symptoms of more serious dental conditions. Make sure you consult your dentist if any of these conditions persist.

More - Did You Know

It's Like Pulling Teeth

rotten toothWe've all heard the expression - it's like pulling teeth. It is used when referring to something that is difficult to do - especially if it is referring to extracting information or the truth from some people. Fortunately, pulling teeth isn't as difficult for the doctor or the patient as it once was when the expression originated in the 1800s.

Whenever possible, we will recommend that you save your tooth. However, teeth may need to be removed for a variety of reasons:

  • infection
  • unrestorable decay
  • severely damaged or fractured tooth
  • fractured tooth
  • extreme mobility of tooth
  • extraction of premolars for orthodontic purposes
Prior to your extraction you will be advised of your options for removal of your teeth. Teeth are safely and comfortably removed in our office under local anesthetic and/or oral conscious sedation. We also offer nitrous oxide and NuCalm to help make the experience as comfortable for you as possible. You may elect to go to an oral surgeon to have the teeth removed while you are under general anesthesia. These options and the complications and risks involved will be discussed with you in order for you to make an informed decision.

The process of extracting a tooth will begin by reviewing your medical history and medications, obtaining an accurate blood pressure and explaining what to expect during the procedure. You may be given nitrous oxide or NuCalm to help you relax during the procedure. Some of our patients prefer a higher level of sedation and we are happy to accommodate your request by either performing the procedure while using oral conscious sedation or by referring you to an oral surgeon who can use IV sedation to allow you to be completely unconscious while the extraction is being performed.

The doctor will apply topical anesthetic to numb the area before administering a local anesthetic. After insuring that you are completely numb, the doctor will use instruments to loosen the tooth from the gum and jaw before removing the tooth. You can expect to hear popping or cracking sounds as the tooth is removed. You will feel pressure, but should not feel pain during the procedure. Depending on the situation, a tooth may need to be removed in sections or pieces or an incision may need to be made.

The process of removing impacted teeth (such as wisdom teeth) generally requires that the dentist make an incision through the surface of the gum above the tooth. Any bone covering the tooth will be removed. When the tooth itself is removed it may require that the tooth be divided in to pieces to safely and comfortably remove the tooth with the least amount of trauma to the surrounding bone, nerves, and tissues.

While wisdom teeth obviously do not need to be replaced, other teeth may need to be replaced in order to:
  • keep teeth from shifting and drifting
  • avoid losing other teeth
  • chew properly
  • smile with confidence
The good news is that many different options are available for replacing missing teeth if you do require an extraction that requires replacement.

After Care Instructions

You will be given oral and written detailed instructions to follow to ensure the successful healing after your extraction.

It is normal to experience discomfort for the first 24 hours.

Please call us immediately if you experience:

  • Increased or heavy bleeding
  • Pain or swelling that increases or does not subside after 2 - 3 days
  • Bad taste or odor in your mouth
  • Reaction to medication
How to avoid dry socket:

Dry socket is a painful condition that you want to avoid by protecting the blood clot that is forming on the extraction site:
  • Bite on the gauze we have provided for you firmly for 30-60 minutes. Blood and saliva mix in the mouth and make it look like there is more bleeding than there really is. Some oozing is normal; however, after 1 hour, repeat with a clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse. The site could ooze for as long as 24 hours.
  • Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth, and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours because it slows healing.
  • Don’t sneeze or cough, so have sinus or allergy medication on hand if necessary.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities, and elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks, and avoid hot or spicy foods.
During first 24 hours:
  • To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off. We usually recommend taking whatever you would normally take for a headache.
  • To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • After the numbness has worn off completely, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.

After the first 24 hours:
  • Begin to eat normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
  • Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for about a week.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic, continue to take them until they are gone.
  • Apply moist heat to reduce soreness or swelling.
  • Gently rinse with warm salt water.