Friday, December 25, 2015

Seasons Greetings!

Seasons Greetings! Our entire team at Thomas Family Dentistry send out our warmest wishes to all of our patients, friends and family!

Our Broken Arrow office will be closed for the Holidays until Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 8:00AM.

Be safe and may you enjoy this special time of year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

God Bless,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa's Treats: The Dental Connection!

Although many people will leave Santa a very special treat on Christmas Eve in the form of milk and cookies in anticipation of his yearly visit, few individuals know that there is a dental connection to this Holiday tradition!  Research has shown that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, or yogurt, can actually lower your chances of contracting gum disease!

Not only does chess provide large amounts of much needed calcium, cheese is considered to be a cavity fighter! Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect teeth from the acids that weaken the enamel.  That means that cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal.

The next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese or a glass of milk and remember that with each bite, and every sip, you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles!   If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Holiday Break 2014!

As many of the area schools close for Christmas Break, now comes the time for family vacations, hanging out around town, celebrating some special Christmas family traditions, spending time with friends, or simply catching up on sleep! And our Facebook page is a great place to share your experiences and memories with us.

No matter what your plans may be or where your plans may take you, we would like to wish all of our valued patients and their families a very safe and fun holiday season!

God Bless,

Friday, December 11, 2015

Spreading Holiday Cheer: The Dental Connection!

Spreading Holiday cheer begins with Fresh Breath! Not only during the Holidays, but everyday of the year, keeping your teeth clean and your breath minty fresh, can be a struggle for many people! Although good oral hygiene is the first step, there are many other factors that can contribute to bad breath such as tobacco, a dry mouth, medications, sinus issues, foods and gum disease.

So if Buddy the Elf's famous quote about Santa, your breath smells like "beef and cheese," is hindering you from spreading Christmas cheer, then remember that visiting our office for regular cleanings and exams can keep your holidays fresh and bright!

God Bless,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Holiday Stress: The Dental Connection!

Now that the Holiday Season is in full swing, many people feel an increase in the level of stress.  Although excess stress can cause headaches, stomach aches, or even cause a feeling of "being on the edge," too much stress can also contribute to many dental problems as well! Many people don't realize that mouth sores, clenching, poor dental hygiene and gum disease are possible stress related problems that have been linked to oral health as well.

Don't let this year's holidays stress you out, instead, remember to pause and reflect on the true meaning and spirit of the holiday season!  If you have any additional questions related to stress and your oral health, or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Our entire team at Thomas Family Dentistry want to extend each and everyone of our patients a note of thanks for being a part of our dental family! May this holiday be filled with friends, family and great food!

Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

God Bless,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015!

With Thanksgiving 2015 on Thursday, a look at the history of the holiday is in order. When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held in Plymouth in 1621.  But did you know, according to the National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Did you also know, the Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation, celebrated an entirely different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief.  They even fasted.  A few days later, they received rain that they so desperately needed.  Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples that they could not otherwise obtain.  He also advised them that a Dutch supply ship was en route.  In gratitude for the abundance of these blessings, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.

Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation also indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today.  The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn.  There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other "traditional" foods that appear on modern menus.

Today, Thanksgiving is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving.  For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families.  Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football games, or by playing family games.

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, may we never forget the true blessings that God has given to each one of us! 

God Bless,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Women's Medications: The Dental Connection!

Women using medication to treat a variety of medical conditions are often unaware of the potential side effects.  One common side effect of the medications such as blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and cancer treatments is a dry mouth.

A dry mouth can lead to many undesirable side effects in the oral cavity including periodontal disease and a high rate of decay.  Many women who have not had a cavity in years will return for their routine exam and suddenly be plagued with a multitude of cavities around crowns and at the gum line, or suddenly have active periodontal disease.  And, the only thing that the patient may have changed in the past six months is a new medication.

Saliva washes away bacteria and cleans the oral cavity, and when salivary flow is diminished, harmful bacteria can flourish in the mouth leading to decay and gum disease.  Many medications can reduce the flow of saliva without the patient even realizing the side effect.  Birth control pills can also lead to a higher risk of inflammation and bleeding gums.  Patients undergoing cancer treatments, especially radiation to the head and neck region, can experience a greatly heightened risk of oral complications due to the possibility of damage to the salivary glands.

Although the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks associated with a dry mouth, it is very important to be aware of the potential unintended side effects.  There are many different treatments and approaches for a dry mouth ranging from over the counter remedies to prescription alternatives.

If you suffer from a dry mouth, have other dental questions, or are simply in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Erosion: The Dental Connection!

Many people consume carbonated or sugary drinks and acidic foods every day, but have no idea that those beverages may be harming their teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth erosion.   The acid in the foods that we eat and drink can cause tooth enamel to wear away, making your teeth sensitive and discolored.  And, in many cases, what's important is not what you eat and drink, but rather how you consume it.

Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure caused by the weakening of dental enamel, which is the strongest substance in the human body.  Enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape. When the enamel is weakened, it exposes the underlying dentin, which can cause the teeth to appear yellow.

Tooth erosion may occur when the acids in the foods and beverages that you eat and drink, as well as other factors, weaken the enamel.  Acid can come from many sources like carbonated drinks, fruit juices, sour foods and candies, low salivary volume, acid reflux disease, bulimia, binge drinking, or simple wear and tear.

Acid wear may lead to serious dental problems.  When the tooth enamel erodes, your teeth become more vulnerable to cavities and decay.  Dental erosion symptoms include severe sensitivity, tooth discoloration, rounded teeth, transparent teeth, visible cracks in teeth, or cupping, or dents, that show up on the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth.

There are many dental recommendations to prevent tooth erosion that include replacing carbonated drinks with water, consuming all acidic drinks quickly, consuming acidic foods with a meal, rinsing with water after consuming acidic foods, chewing sugar-free gum to produce more saliva, and brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste.

It is important to know that the majority of dental problems, such as tooth erosion, do not become visible or painful until they are advanced.  And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat.  A professional cleaning and exam twice a year is the best way to detect and or treat any dental problems like erosion.

If you have any questions about tooth erosion or are in need of a dental appointment, feel free to call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tricked By Treats! The Dental Connection!

As the uptick in candy starts tonight, it's important to remember that every sugary treat that you consume, elevates your risk of developing tooth decay, which can break down your teeth.

While not all bad in moderation, when eaten in excess, candy can lead to big problems, especially if good oral hygiene habits are not followed.  Check out these helpful tips if you just can't stay away from all of those treats:

     1. Consume candy and other sweets during meals when your saliva can help neutralize the
         acids that are found in some candies, especially the sour variety.

     2. Avoid sticky or hard candies, which can stay in your mouth longer than you think, resulting in
         acids being constantly exposed to your teeth.  That acid can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

     3. Make sure the water you drink is fluoridated.  Water that is fluoridated has been shown to help
         prevent cavities.

     4. Make sure to maintain your daily oral hygiene habits.  This includes brushing twice daily for a
         two minute duration each time and flossing at least once.

     5. Regular dental checkups and cleanings twice a year are very important to identify problems
         early in order to reduce the effects that decay can have on your teeth.

With Halloween the start of the holiday candy season, don't allow your teeth to be tricked with all of the treats! If you want to learn more about cavity prevention or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Veneers: The Dental Connection!

Dental Veneers are a way to correct and transform your smile by using "contact lens" for your teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or ceramic material that are bonded to the front of the teeth.   They are strong and durable, look and feel like natural teeth, and improve your smile.

Dental veneers can help with cosmetic and dental health issues, and treat multiple problems at once.  Some of the common reasons that individuals choose veneers are to to close gaps and spaces between the teeth, fix minor alignment issues, change the overall shape and appearance of a tooth, whiten a smile by covering stained or discolored teeth, and cover chipped or cracked teeth.  If you have teeth that are already worn down and weakened, veneers can also help prevent further damage by covering them with a thin tooth-colored shell.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 16, 2015

Colas: The Dental Connection!

On the east coast, carbonated beverages or colas are generally called sodas, in Arkansas they were usually called "Coke" and here in Oklahoma we refer to them as pop, but no matter what the label, these popular drinks can be the enemy of a healthy smile! While one glass might not hurt your teeth, drinking colas on a regular basis can do some real damage to your teeth.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that about half of the population in our country drink soda regularly, averaging 2.6 glasses each day.  That's a lot of soda considering the drinks are acidic, full of sugar, and have little or no nutritional value.  Although many people drink diet pop to avoid the sugar, it may surprise you to learn that it's actually the acidity of cola, NOT the sugar, which poses the biggest threat to your teeth.  Unfortunately, all pop has citric acid, which over time, repeated exposure to this acid in soda wears down tooth enamel, leaving teeth stained and less able to prevent cavities.

As enamel wears away, teeth can be discolored, take on a rough texture, and become highly sensitive to hot or cold.  Your teeth may start to tingle, and brushing and flossing can cause pain.  If not checked by dental care, teeth may start to erode, becoming thinner and more likely to crack. It's a pretty high price to pay for a glass of cola.

So other than completely avoiding colas all together, check out these tips on ways to lessen the acid impact on your teeth.

  • Cut back on all acidic drinks
  • Add more water to replace colas
  • Use a straw when you drink
  • Remember that diet colas are highly acidic
  • Rinse your mouth with water after drinking a cola
  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking a cola
  • Brushing too hard can weaken enamel that is already soaked in acid

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 9, 2015

October & Dental Hygiene: The Dental Connection!

Adults are no strangers to feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  The alarm clock rings and within minutes the busyness of life starts for the day!  From preparing the kids lunches for school, returning text messages, removing the dog hair from your clothing, to making sure that your child has completed their science project, the simply routine of brushing your teeth for the recommended two minutes can easily fall to the wayside.

To simplify the dental routine to better dental health, the American Dental Hygienists' Association and the Wrigley Jr. Company have joined in partnership to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month this October and to encourage everyone to "Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew...Keep It Clean, Keep It Healthy!"  Check out their tips for a quick and effective home oral health routine.


     Brushing your teeth twice daily is the most important thing that you can do to diminish the
     accumulation of plaque and the potential for other oral problems such as cavities and gingivitis.

     Flossing once daily removes the plaque and food debris from beneath the gums and between
     the teeth that brushing alone cannot remove.  Tooth decay and gum disease often begin in
     these areas.

     Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial, non-alcohol based mouthwash kills plaque and
     gingivitis germs.

     Chewing sugar-free gum helps produce saliva, which also battles cavities.  The gum also
     neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and removes remaining food.  It is especially important
     to chew gum after eating or drinking.

It's easy to put the toothbrush down in order to take care of matters you feel are more urgent, but remember, a good oral health routine at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease.  75 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, which is linked to more serious illnesses such as diabetes and stroke.  Maintaining regular cleanings and exams during the busyness of everyday life can also help reduce the incidence of dental disease as well.

Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month not only this October, but all year long! If you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 2, 2015

THREE: The Dental Connection!

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is an early stage of gum disease.  If you have gingivitis, it's very important to have professional dental treatment, since home care isn't enough to get rid of the plaque that leads to tartar and eventually to gum disease.  Check out the "BIG THREE" to see if you have these signs of gingivitis, and get help as soon as you can to prevent the progression to periodontitis. Your vigilance could save your teeth!

  • Common factors include:
    • Tobacco use
    • Females going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
    • Diabetes
    • A compromised immune system
    • A family history of gum disease
  • Symptoms include: 
    • Pain in the gum tissue
    • Redness in the gum tissue
    • Swelling in the gum tissue
  • Symptoms include:
    • Development of unusual tooth spacing
    • Partials no longer fit

If you have any questions about any of the common "THREE" things associated with gingivitis or periodontal disease, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Friday, September 18, 2015

Must Haves: The Dental Connections!

At our office, we customize treatment for every patient.  Amid all of the fillings, crowns and cleanings, we find that there are three dental treatments that are most valuable when offering our patients options: dental implants, bite guards, and teeth whitening.

Dental implants are a great tool for those who have lost teeth from trauma, genetics, decay, or fracture.  They are a great investment when maintaining bone structure, chewing function and smile presentation.

In our faced-paced lives, people can take their stress and tension out on their teeth.  Clenching and grinding, called bruxism, are on the rise.  This can cause chipping to crowns, fillings and natural teeth.  Headaches, earaches and tender teeth can also be symptoms of untreated bruxism.  Although most people are unaware that they may be clenching while they are asleep, bite guards can be used to prevent the potential damage that can occur.

Finally, tooth whitening is safe and effective.  From professional in-office applications, take home custom trays, to over-the-counter strips, each is effective, though at different levels.  An easy dental consultation can determine which option is best for you!

Although each of these beneficial dental treatments can have risks, we can discuss the ways to consider your needs, and yet customize your wants to fit into the equation.  A little stability from implants, protection from a bite guard, and a brilliant smile may be just what you need to achieve your dental goals. If you have any questions, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Insurance Overview: The Dental Connection!

Unless you work for an insurance company, you probably do not spend a lot of your time studying all of the terminology that dental insurance companies use to describe the treatments and services that they cover.  If it seems pretty confusing, here are some of the most commonly used dental insurance terms and what they mean.

A Basic Glossary

  • Annual Maximum.  The maximum yearly amount your policy will pay for your care.
  • Co-payment.  The amount the patient pays at the time of service before insurance pays.
  • Covered Services.  A list of all covered treatments, services and procedures.
  • Deductible.  The yearly out of pocket dollar amount you must pay.
  • Diagnostic/Preventive Services.  Covered treatments before the deductible.
  • In-Network.  Services covered at a larger portion by contracted providers.
  • Lifetime Maximum.  The maximum covered amount that will be paid out.
  • Limitations/Exclusions.  Procedures not covered by your policy.
  • Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee.  Eligible person for benefits.
  • Provider.  Health care person that provides treatment.
  • Waiting Period.  Specified time the patient must wait before coverage begins.

There are many different insurance options available, so you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers.  It's important to review your plan with a qualified insurance specialist.  Don't be afraid to ask questions about the policy so that you can understand it fully and be confident that you know everything that your policy covers the next time that you come in for treatment.  If you have additional questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day 2015!

Labor Day is once again upon us, the unofficial end to summer. Before long, the temperatures here in "Green Country" will start to cool down, and, for many, this is your last chance to barbecue, head to one of our area lakes, or if your are into fashion etiquette, wear your favorite pair of white pants!

Each year, Labor day is celebrated on the first Monday of September.  It is the one day of the year that Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to the prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Did you know...
  • Every year, 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day
  • Canada was the first country to celebrate Labor Day
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day an official US holiday in 1894
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans
  • Labor Day marks the end of the hot dog season, which Americans consume seven billion

Thanks for being a valued part of our dental family and whatever your plans may be this upcoming weekend, have a fun and safe Labor Day!

God Bless,

Friday, August 28, 2015

Smoking: The Dental Connection!

Although smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and emphysema, it also impacts your smile! Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that make their smiles unsightly.  Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may be the momentum you need to kick the habit for good.

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals. Of these chemicals, many are know carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth.  The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.

The chemicals in cigarettes and cigars also cause your teeth to become less clean.  Smoking is associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth.  Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems.  Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

In addition to having unsightly teeth, smoking can cause serious health conditions. Because of the carcinogens in cigarettes, smoking is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, which can be deadly.  Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.  You may experience an increased loss of bone within your jaw, which will cause significant problems later in life.

By decreasing the amount of nicotine and other chemicals that you consume, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer and gum disease.  If you have any other questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Headaches: The Dental Connection!

Many people suffer from headaches for years without really ever getting to the root cause of their problem.  If you find yourself feeling like you're part of one of the "headache" commercials commonly seen on TV these days, it might be worth a trip to see a medical professional. However, it might not be the person that first comes to your mind!

Chronic headaches can frequently be associated with dental issues.  In fact, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain estimates that 80% of headaches are caused by muscle tension, which often originates in the jaws.


  • Feeling as though your head or scalp is painful to the slightest touch
  • Experiencing a dull throbbing pain behind your eyes
  • Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw joints
  • Grinding or clenching the jaws, particularly in times of anxiety or at night
  • Feeling as though your jaw muscles are sore upon waking from sleep

Several dozen muscles control your facial expressions, jaw movements, and motions such as swallowing.  When these muscles are contracted for long periods of time, tension builds up within the muscles and can lead to headaches.  This may happen if you clench or grind your teeth at night, your bite is maligned, or you have muscle imbalances in your jaw or neck.

  • Bite.  In many cases, correcting your bite through orthodontics releases the stress on your jaw muscles, and reduces the frequency of headaches.
  • Nightguard.  A nightguard, which resembles a sports mouthguard, may also be helpful if you frequently grind or clench your jaws during sleep.  Nightguards distribute the tension from your clenched jaws and reduce the possibility of dental damage.
  • Physical Therapy.  Correcting the posture of your shoulders, neck, and head may alleviate muscle tension associated with headaches.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, August 7, 2015

Procrastination: The Dental Connection!

Procrastination, prəˌkrastəˈnāSH(ə)n/,
the action of delaying or postponing 
something.  When you have dental issues or just need routine care, you may try to put off an appointment. Common reasons for procrastination are not having the time or fear of pain. However, avoiding necessary dental treatment usually allows relatively small problems to develop into much larger ones that can lead to more dental work and overall expense.

Take a look at what can develop from waiting on dental treatment.  

  • Surface restorations deepen into larger weaker fillings
  • Larger weaker fillings can develop fracture lines requiring crowns
  • Crowns restoring deeper fracture lines can develop into root canals
  • Lack of routine cleanings can develop into gum disease
  • Gum disease can develop into tooth loss

Unfortunately, avoiding dental appointments due to a lack of time may mean that you will have to give up substantially more time later on.  As the saying goes, "if you neglect your teeth, your teeth will neglect you."

If you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dental Hygiene: The Health Connection!

There are many ways in which your oral health has an impact on your overall general health.  There are naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth.  Some of those bacteria, including strep and staph, are harmful, while other bacteria are essential for the balance of intestinal flora. The healthier your mouth is, the less likely it is that the harmful bacteria travel to other parts of your body to infect it and make you sick.  There is much more to good dental hygiene than brushing and flossing.

Historical Methods of Maintaining Oral Health

Ancient civilizations relied on natural remedies for maintaining oral health.  Around 250 AD, Egyptians used myrrh and other herbs as antiseptics for treating infected gums.  Two centuries later, the Nubian, drank beer to ease the pain of infected teeth.  That probably sounds crazy, but beer was effective because they used grains that were contaminated with the same bacteria that produce the antibiotic tetracycline.

Today's Challenge

In the past, tooth decay was more of an issue because there was no routine dental care, and problems that are routinely treated today went untreated.  Thanks to fluoridated water, and toothpastes containing fluoride, tooth decay is far less problematic that it was a century ago.  Gum disease has now replaced tooth decay as the most serious dental problem facing people today. According to the American Dental Association, a staggering 80 percent of Americans over the age of 65 suffer from some form of periodontal disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease.

Researchers are now discovering that untreated inflammation in the mouth acts as a driving force for multiple chronic illnesses, including clogged arteries, heart attacks, arthritis, and even cancer. That inflammation is one of many hypotheses that may explain how chronic infections can trigger systemic diseases, and even intensify existing ones.  Bacterial overgrowth in the inflamed gum tissue can enter the bloodstream as you eat.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer: The Dental Connection!

Summer brings sunshine and warm weather, and many people find that summer is the perfect time of the year to brighten their smiles! Teeth whitening is safe, quick, and inexpensive. It can be used to correct many tooth discolorations which may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth.  By using the latest in whitening technology, creating a beautiful smile can be achieved in a safe manner.  Don't let the summer sunshine out brighten your smile today!

If you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Dry Mouth: The Dental Connection!

Does your mouth always feel dry?   If it does, you may be suffering from xerostomia, which is defined as a dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow.  There are various medical conditions that can cause this type of dry mouth.  Minor and more serious health problems can both factor into causes associated with xerostomia.  It can affect the ability to eat and enjoy food as well as jeopardize one's dental health.  Some of the more common symptoms can include a sore throat, a burning sensation in the oral cavity or tongue, and difficulty in swallowing.

One of the more serious problems associated with dry mouth is an increased risk of tooth decay.  Decreased saliva can allow more plaque to form. Saliva acts as a buffer to the things we eat and drink.  Less saliva means that more food debris can be retained in the mouth, thereby leading to an increase in tooth decay.

If you are experiencing a dry mouth, make sure you hydrate with plenty of water.  If you are required to take medications that contribute to xerostomia, drink water before taking the medication, as well as a full glass of water with the medication.  Be diligent with brushing and flossing and to discuss your condition with us at your next visit.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4th, 2015!

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of our country and its independence on the Fourth of July! There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends.  For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while others it is all about the beach or barbecues.  However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area. Check out these fun facts about the Fourth!


  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first "official" Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin believed that the turkey should be the national bird but was outvoted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

No matter how or where you celebrate this year, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our great country!  Happy Fourth of July!

God Bless,

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Break: The Dental Connection!

After your son or daughter departs for college this Fall, the last thing that you want to receive is a call or text only to learn that he or she is in pain.  Although there aren't many emergency situations that can be avoided, when it comes to dental health, one crisis that can easily be prevented before your teen heads hundreds of miles away for college is wisdom tooth extraction.

Many college bound students are affected by the problems that arise from wisdom teeth because the third molars usually erupt in the late teens to early 20s.  Most young adults experience spacing and crowding problems that can cause impaction and infections, which is why most oral surgeons are strongly recommending that they be electively removed during this time period.  Unfortunately, wisdom teeth can go from barely noticeable to extremely painful in a brief period of time.

Summer break is the perfect time to remove wisdom teeth so that your child can avoid the scenario of experiencing this medical emergency while they are far away from home.  If you have any questions are are in need of an appointment to have your child's wisdom teeth removed, please call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, June 19, 2015

Toothpaste: The Dental Connection!

Everyone knows that it is recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily.  But have you ever wondered what's in toothpaste and how it actually works? The mouth is home to more than 500 types of microorganisms that feed on the leftover food that gets stuck on and around the teeth.  Toothpaste is the best line of defense against all of those pesky germs. Take a look at how it works.


Toothpaste contains mild abrasive additives that combat microorganisms and fight plaque.  When you brush, the abrasives in toothpaste dislodge food particles and microorganisms more effectively than if you simply brush with water.  The abrasives also work to remove food stains and polish the surface of the tooth.  Some toothpastes include ingredients like triclosan and Xylitol. These chemicals prevent the growth of bacteria that produce plaque.  The bacteria in plaque not only causes cavities, but it can also lead to more dangerous issues like periodontal disease.


Fluoride is the key ingredient in toothpaste.  As the germs in your mouth feed off of the leftover food particles, they leave behind acid and sulfur byproducts that wear away the enamel of the teeth. This is the technical way that the acid forming on your teeth causes cavities.  And it's the sulfur byproduct that causes bad breath.  Fluoride works to fight the acid and help to protect teeth.  By brushing, the fluoride is incorporated into the tooth enamel, which in turn makes the tooth more resistant to acid and plaque.


Not all toothpastes are the same.  The flavoring agents added to the toothpaste don't have anything to do with fighting microorganisms and plaque, but taste is one of the most important selling points in finding a brand that you like and more importantly, will consistently use.  Flavoring agents mask the taste of some of the other ingredients in toothpaste as well, and without those agents, chances are that nobody would be brushing their teeth for the recommended two minutes twice daily!

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Foods: The Dental Connection!

Summer--that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Your teeth, gums, and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year.  In previous studies, nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.

Check out these summertime foods that can improve your oral health:

Watermelons and Strawberries

     Watermelons have a high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars they contain and
     stimulates the flow of saliva.


     Consuming apples can help you attain whiter, healthier teeth.  Biting and chewing an apple
     stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of  
     bacteria and other harmful acids, leading to a lower incidence of tooth decay.


     Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack that can help ward off cancer.  The yummy red fruit
     contains lycopene, which helps to protect your skin from sunburn. They can also help fight heart
     disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients that they contain.  Tomatoes are high
     in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Life's Routine: The Dental Connection!

Whether it's watering the garden, changing the oil, or replacing the smoke detector's batteries, life has many important routines. While daily oral hygiene habits are essential to good oral health, professional dental cleanings at our office ensure that your teeth are treated to a more thorough level of cleaning.  Current recommendations encourage the average patient to have a routine checkup every 6 months.  In addition to a cleaning and polishing of your teeth, these regular visits help to detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.  If you are pregnant, use tobacco, or have certain medical conditions like diabetes or a dry mouth, more frequent visits may be needed.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day 2015!

While fire trucks, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May seem to represent this federal holiday, Memorial Day truly represents the time when America observes a day and takes the time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Services.  The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day.  Unlike other holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks.  In America, Memorial Day has also come to represent the unofficial start of the summer - a long, hopefully sunny, warm, weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

So whatever you're weekend encompasses, our entire team at Thomas Family Dentistry wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day Holiday!

God Bless,

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Working Lunch: The Dental Connection!

Many working adults find that the demands of their job require eating lunch while continuing to work. Although a recent survey revealed that despite knowing that a healthy, good-looking smile affects not only their personal health, but their professional image as well, with the time constraints placed on them by their work environment, very few people have the time to brush and floss at the office regularly, which allows harmful food debris to have an impact upon their teeth and gums.

Although time is a premium at work, it only takes two minutes to improve your oral hygiene. With this in mind, consider these brushing tips while at work.

  • Leave a toothbrush at work to increase the likelihood of brushing.
  • Brush your teeth at least two minutes, twice daily.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Clean between your teeth with floss daily.

Brushing after breakfast and lunch will eliminate any remaining food particles and odors.  Removing plaque and debris after each meal, even after that working lunch, can decrease the risk of decay and gum disease.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Secrets: The Dental Connection!

Life is full of secrets, but the secret to keeping your teeth for life is... that there is no "real" secret; and in fact, there is no difficulty involved.  Following this simple basic four-step process can help insure that you will have healthy teeth for life!

             At least, you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily, preferably once in the
             morning and once at night.  Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and light pressure; you do not 
             want to scrub away your gums.  Keep your toothbrush clean and replace it about every 
             three months.

            Make flossing part of your daily routine, at least once a day.  Flossing is important for more 
            than just removing food particles between your teeth.  The process also help to remove 
            bacteria that you cannot see.  Bacterial build-up turns into plaque, or tartar: a cement-like 
            substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.  Effectively flossing not only removes 
            the bacterial from below the gum line, but also at the contact point between the teeth, 
            where the toothbrush cannot reach.

            Mouthwash does more than freshen breath.  Rinses help kill the bacteria that lead to plaque
            formation and gum disease.  This extra step can go a long way toward having healthy teeth 
            for life.

            Not a misspelling for the word  "app" in the electronic world, but it stands for 
           "Appointments."  Although dental appointments seem to get pushed aside in our everyday
            hectic lives, for the average patient, committing to a professional cleaning twice a year is 
            essential to maintaining optimal dental health.  Our hygienists will remove any plaque 
            build-up to prevent gingivitis, which if left untreated, can become full-blown gum disease
            called periodontitis, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in the adult population.  Equally 
            important, at each regular cleaning appointment, your teeth are checked for cavities and an 
            oral cancer examination is completed.  Early detection and treatment of any dental 
            problem is much easier to remedy than waiting until the situation becomes more critical.

If you have any questions about the "dental secrets" of maintaining your teeth for life or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Real Thing: The Dental Connection!

With 1.2 billion Cokes consumed world wide daily, it's important to understand the impact that not only this popular drink provides, but all soda.  Check out this interesting timeline that occurs during the first hour after consuming a Coke.

At 10 Minutes

  • 10 Teaspoons of sugar hit your system.  The phosphoric acid in the pop cuts the overwhelming taste of sugar, which prevents vomiting.

At 20 Minutes

  • Blood sugar rises quickly which turns up your insulin.  The liver goes into overdrive and responds by changing every possible sugar particle into fat.

At 40 Minutes

  • The caffeine in the Coke has now been completely absorbed. Your blood pressure rises, your pupils dilate and then your liver dumps even more sugar into your blood stream.  As a result, your normally drowsy reaction to sugar is now blocked.

At 45 Minutes

  • The pleasure center of the brain increases dopamine.  This reaction is similar to heroin, FYI.

At 60 Minutes

  • The acid is the soda binds to calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your intestinal tract.  This provides even more of a metabolism boost.  This reaction pushes calcium out of the body, which can be related to osteoporosis. 
  • Your body begins to push out fluids.  This shuttles out calcium, magnesium and zinc.  You also lose sodium, electrolytes, and water.
  • Next comes the crash.  As your body calms, the sugar crash hits.  You become tired, sluggish, and possibly angry.  By now, you've pushed out all of the Coke product, along with precious minerals, water, and electrolytes.  Finally,  you're dehydrated, you've robbed your teeth and bones of calcium, and your tired and cranky.

From a dental standpoint, current research has shown that all pop, including diet versions, contains citric acid, which has now been shown to dissolve enamel and increase the risks of dental decay! While eliminating this very popular drink from your diet may not be very realistic, understanding its impact upon your health and limiting its consumption, may be the "Best Thing" when enjoying the "Real Thing!" If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 17, 2015

FIVE: The Dental Connection!

Gum disease can be painful and lead to missing teeth if you don't treat it properly. However, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your risk of getting gingivitis and periodontitis.  Here are five easy ways to prevent gum disease.

    • Basic oral hygiene is always the first line of defense against gum disease.  Brushing two minutes twice daily and flossing reduce the naturally occurring bacterial plaque, which leads to the build up of tartar. Together, plaque and tartar lead to the painful symptoms of gum disease.
    • Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease.  The risk of getting gum disease is SEVEN times greater in a smoker as compared to a non-smoker! 
    • Gingivitis is a bacterial infection, and a strong immune system helps fight it. Many nutrients are essential for a well-functioning immune system. For example, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruit, broccoli, and strawberries for their vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.  Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant, is in nuts, plant-based oils, and wheat germ.
    • Having regular check-ups and cleanings are the best ways to detect early signs of gum disease that may otherwise go undetected. 
    • Knowing the symptoms of early gum disease is crucial in early detection.  The symptoms may include sensitivity while brushing, sensitivity while eating hot, cold, or sugary foods, painful and bleeding gums, or loose teeth.  Bad breath without cause is another possible symptom.  

If you have any other questions about the "FIVE," or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Parenting 101: The Dental Connection!

Many parents are concerned that their children's teeth are not falling out on time. Parents want to know: When will my child lose his or her first baby tooth?  At what age should the last tooth fall out? Is there a specific order in which the teeth are lost?

Today, we will address those common questions or concerns that many parents voice.  A child's 20 baby teeth (primary teeth) typically come in by age three and begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for the permanent teeth, which usually appear by the time your child is six. It is important to know that timing may vary, and girls typically lose their baby teeth earlier than boys.  The last baby teeth will likely fall out by the time your child is 13.

So, which teeth do children lose first?  Baby teeth usually fall out in the order in which they come in, which means that the lower central incisors are usually the first to go when your child is between six or seven, closely followed by his or her top center pair, called the upper central incisors.

To learn more about baby teeth, or if you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lost In Space: The Dental Connection!

Many people lose teeth over their lifetime and develop spacing due that loss.  When you are missing teeth, it is very critical to replace them, especially if the tooth loss has created spacing.  Without all of your teeth, these gaps cannot only be uncomfortable, but make chewing quite challenging. Missing teeth can destabilize your bite.  Dental implants have been a fantastic advancement in dentistry and can be a great option for replacing teeth that are missing or are badly diseased.  A dental implant offers relief, support, and stability to your bite, and often, implants are the most natural and effective option available.

Our entire team has helped many patients using dental implant dentistry at our Broken Arrow, OK office restore their smiles to look more natural.  Each implant has been created as a custom fit for your individual bite and will blend with the look of the rest of your teeth.

Implant Benefits Include:

  • Restoring the appearance of a natural smile
  • Restoring your ability to properly chew
  • Preventing your teeth from shifting and moving
  • Stabilizing your bite, which helps you avoid pain or discomfort

Don't get "Lost In Space," if you have any other dental questions about implants or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter: The Dental Connection!

Between Cadbury Eggs and neon-colored Peeps, children expect to see candy from the Easter bunny, but this year consider skipping the sweets.  Sugary, sticky candy hangs on to the teeth long after the taste is gone.

Sugar in candy combines with the bacteria in your mouth to create acids, which attack the enamel of your teeth.  What tastes so great in the moment, can lead to cavities and other dental problems down the road.  And if you skip the sugar in your child's basket, you might even avoid the sugar rush!

So this year, once again, consider setting aside "most" of the delectable goodies you usually put into your Easter baskets and choose some of these healthier alternatives:

  • Tooth Treats
    • Plak Posse Palz are soft toys with "real teeth," so kids can practice brushing and flossing on a furry friend.  Kids will also enjoy a Spider Man musical toothbrush- a super hero and music for twice the fun! Or, for the princess in your life, check out a Cinderella Electric Toothbrush.
  • Healthy Snacks
    • Decorated hard-boiled eggs in your baskets will provide protein and energy to active kids.  Or, consider some fresh, colorful fruit like kiwis, mangos, or clementines as a delicious snack.  Trail mix, yogurt-to-go and cheese sticks are also healthy fare.
  • Fun Stuff For Kids
    • Colored chalk and bubbles are fun for kids and can occupy them for hours. Play Dough, bouncy balls and stickers are also great treats for the little ones.  
  • Fun Stuff For Teens
    • Dried fruit or granola bars are a healthier treat.  For girls, consider including gifts of nail polish, jewelry or fun accessories like lip gloss or perfume.  Treat boys to a video game, book or puzzle.  And of course, all teens like gift cards, ear buds or cool sunglasses.
  • Sugar-free gum
    • Chewing gum creates saliva that helps wash away acids in the mouth, protecting teeth from cavities.  But make sure it's sugar free!

Whatever you choose for your child's Easter basket this year, keep in mind that sugary foods can be tough on your teeth. And a healthy lifestyle is a good gift to "give" every day of the year!

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Dental Connection!

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition-where your immune system attacks your own body-that causes swelling in the joints of the body, especially around the hands, feet, and wrists.

So where does brushing your teeth fit in?  According to US researchers, there is a link between the bacteria that causes gum disease, and how early the arthritis develops and how severe it is.

Scientists at the University of Louisville's School of Dentistry in Kentucky discovered that gum disease produces a unique enzyme, which "enhances" collagen-induced arthritis-a type of arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis.  The enzyme-called PAD-then changes proteins in the body into a different protein called citrulline.  The body identifies citrulline as an intruder and then attacks it.  For people who have rheumatoid arthritis or those who are prone to it, this means chronic inflammation. Previous studies have revealed that gum disease is at least twice "more prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients."  Early results suggest that the enzyme PAD may be the link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.  Preventing gum disease decreases the presence of the enzyme and may decrease the overall risks or severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dry Mouth: The Dental Connection!

Medications often have frustrating side effects such as nausea or headaches.  But did you know that dry mouth is also a common side effect of prescription drugs? There are over 400 medications that can affect your salivary glands.  These medications include those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, Parkinson's disease, and many other conditions.

Our salivary glands are extremely important because they produce saliva. Saliva keeps our mouths moist and breaks down the foods that we eat.  It also helps keep the bacteria in our mouths under control.

Dry Mouth Implications

  • A higher risk of gum disease
  • An increase in cavities
  • Discomfort and difficulty eating, swallowing and talking

7 Simple Solutions To Help Fight Dry Mouth
  • Drink more water
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Eat frozen fruit
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Use a humidifier while sleeping
  • Maintain regular oral care habits
  • Maintain regular dental cleanings
  • Use saliva replacement products

If you are having a lot of trouble with dry mouth or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, March 13, 2015

St. Patrick's Day!

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them.  St. Patrick's Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage.  The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity.  March 17th, the day of St. Patrick's death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick's Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the "wearing of the green" on St. Patrick's Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue.  His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick's Day.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick's Day is a great time to celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim "Erin go Bragh!" (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet.   Have a great St. Paddy's Day!

God Bless,

Friday, March 6, 2015

Osteoporosis: The Dental Connection!

Today we examine the relationship between osteoporosis and oral health.  40 million Americans have osteoporosis or are at a high risk for developing the condition. This common condition affects the density in bones, so that they can become easier to fracture.  Research suggests that there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw, which supports and anchors the teeth.  Tooth loss affects one third of adults 65 and older!

Bone Density And Dental Concerns

  • Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss.
  • Low bone density can result in other dental issues.
  • Osteoporosis is linked to less positive outcomes from oral surgery.

For more information about the connection between osteoporosis and your dental health, or if you are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, February 27, 2015

Headaches: The Dental Connection!

That ache in your head may stem from your jaw.  If your jaw falls out of alignment, you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.

It's not clear what causes TMD. However, there are several factors which include obesity, stress and pressure on the jaw, or a misaligned bite, where the upper and lower teeth don't fit together when you close your mouth.

TMD can affect your life and your health by making it painful to eat and hard to sleep.  Some people even find the nagging pain difficult to bear.


  • Recurring headaches with no other cause
  • Pain along and behind the ears
  • Pain in your cheeks or lower face
  • Clicking noises when you talk or chew
  • Tired or sore jaw muscles after eating
  • Limited jaw movement

  • Relaxation and stress reduction techniques
  • Pain reduction recommendations, which may involve medication
  • Jaw joint exercises that can help reduce stress
  • Dental guards

Left untreated, TMD headaches and other symptoms can become quite severe.  If you suffer the symptoms of TMD, you do not have to live in pain.  Call our dental office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment to learn more about how to reduce the pain of TMD and restore comfort to your life!

God Bless,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pediatrics: The Dental Connection!

In recognition of National Children's Dental Health Month, this week's BLOG addresses an all too common parental problem. For many parents, getting your children to brush, brush well, and brush often can be a significant challenge! Here are some tips that can help you keep those beautiful little teeth healthy.

  • Set a good example
    • Brush your teeth with your children and make it fun! Pick a song to play while brushing.
  • Make Brushing & Flossing a game
    • See who can be ready the fastest to brush and floss.  Just make sure it's NOT a race to the finish! It takes a full two minutes to remove all of the bacteria.
  • Use a sticker sheet
    • Every time your children brush well, give them a sticker.  Be sure to check their work!  After a certain number of stickers, they can earn a reward.
  • Special Tip:  
    • Let them check your brush work as well! This will help to instill the importance of "doing it right."

As parents, we should always help our children make health and wellness an important part of their entire lives!  Be encouraging if they make a mistake, whether forgetting to brush or even if they develop a cavity! 

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,