Dentistry for Kids
At Tatum Dentistry, Dr. Vicki Tatum and her team provide exceptional dental care for children of all ages...from toddlers to college students.
Our love of children and Pediatric Dentistry encompasses areas in orthodontics, oral surgery, growth and development, preventive dentistry, and emergency dental services.
As you browse through our website, we hope you will find answers to your dental questions. Our philosophy is simple...we provide your child with the very best dental care possible.
Dental sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits, which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don't want that. So Dr. Tatum will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Tooth-Colored White Fillings
Tooth colored fillings are dental fillings used to restore teeth that are fractured or decayed. Made from durable plastics called composite resins, tooth colored fillings closely match your natural tooth’s color, appearance, and texture. In addition, they can cosmetically alter the size and shape of teeth by closing gaps, repairing chips, and giving the appearance of straighter teeth.
The benefits of tooth colored fillings extend beyond the cosmetic advantages, though. They are strong, harden quickly, don’t expand/contract in extreme hot and cold temperatures, and create a better seal over your teeth than traditional, silver/amalgam fillings.
Whether you’re in need of new fillings or are considering replacing your traditional fillings, tooth colored fillings are an ideal solution.
Root Canal Therapy
When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, root canal therapy is used to save the tooth. By and large, people wince when they hear the term “root canal,” but root canal therapy is a safe, effective, and low-pain option for saving teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. And, in fact, is the preferred treatment.
Why is this when a tooth extraction seems so much simpler? Tooth extractions tend to cause problems for the adjacent teeth and, when dental implants and bridges are taken into consideration, are ultimately more expensive. Root canal therapy isn’t a scary procedure, and most patients experience little-to-no pain.
The process consists of numbing the area around the affected tooth, removing the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any existing decay that is present. In order to restore the tooth to its full function, the resulting space is then filled with special medicated dental materials. While some soreness may be present following the procedure, over-the-counter painkillers are typically enough to remedy the discomfort.
Root canal therapy is a highly successful, routine treatment. If you are experiencing pain, contact Victoria Tatum, DMD, to set up a consultation.
Dentistry for Diabetes
What do brushing and flossing have to do with diabetes? Plenty. If you have diabetes, here's why dental care matters — and how to take care of your teeth and gums.
When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands. Learn what you're up against, and then take charge of your dental health.
Cavities and Gum Disease
Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is key. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of:
- Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria,but when the acids in plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth (enamel), this can lead to cavities. The higher your blood sugar level, the greater the supply of sugars and starches — and the more acid wearing away at your teeth.
- Early gum disease (gingivitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria. If you don't remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it'll harden under your gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva — the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. This is gingivitis.
- Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control. Preventing and treating periodontitis can help improve blood sugar control.
Sleep Apnea/Snoring Treatment
Snoring occurs when air is unable to move freely through your nose and mouth during sleep, often caused by a narrowing of the airway, usually from abnormalities of the soft tissues in the throat, but the position of your tongue and poor sleep posture are also contributing factors. What many people don’t realize is that in addition to poor sleep, fatigue, and irritability, snoring can lead to increased health problems.
Your body requires sleep in order to remain healthy, and snoring isn’t the only culprit that can interfere with a restful night. We all have moments in our lives that have been filled with one sleepless night after another, but many people think they’re sleeping all night only to wake in the morning feeling exhausted. How can this be?
One possible explanation is a common, potentially dangerous disorder called sleep apnea. A person suffering from sleep apnea will have one or more pauses in their breathing while they sleep. These pauses can last upward of several minutes before normal breathing resumes, often occurring repeatedly per hour, pulling the person in and out of deep sleep with each pause.
While sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a physician, there are some warning signs:
- Restless sleep
- Waking up often at night
- Waking with a sore and/or dry throat
- Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Daytime sleepiness/lethargy
- Mood changes
If you think you might have sleep apnea, it is important to contact your medical doctor for a diagnosis. Once you have the diagnosis, or if you are already aware that you suffer from sleep apnea, there are several possible treatment plans to consider.
Weight loss, exercise, and good sleep hygiene are proactive steps you can begin immediately; however, since sleep apnea can pose a serious danger to your health, you shouldn’t stop there. Surgery is an option for some people. Another treatment is use of a pressurized air generated delivery system, called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), while you sleep.
At Tatum Dentistry, we offer Oral Appliance Therapy to patients suffering from sleep apnea and/or snoring. These oral appliances, similar to orthodontic retainers, are custom designed and fitted to you. Worn during sleep, the appliance attempts to maintain an open, unobstructed airway so the pausing in your breathing abates, allowing you to get the healthy, restful sleep you’ve been missing.
There are treatment options for people suffering from sleep apnea and snoring. We would love to help you get a good night’s sleep.
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a chronic degenerative disease, and is generally defined as an imbalance between the jaw and skull with the muscles that control jaw movement. This imbalance can cause consistent muscle fatigue, headaches, migraines, facial pain, ear pain, jaw pain, ringing in the ears, difficulty chewing, uncomfortable bite, worn-down teeth, as well as additional areas of lingering discomfort and pain.
If any of the above sounds like a problem you are experiencing, the first step to relief is diagnosis. Upon arriving at our office for a consultation, Dr. Vicki Tatum will complete a thorough evaluation to determine if you are suffering from TMJ disorder. Once a positive diagnosis is made, he and his team will develop a customized treatment plan designed to alleviate your symptoms.
We have been able to help many patients suffering from TMJ disorder find relief. Let us help you.