[caption id="attachment_1606" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Image via Shutterstock ID 198052919[/caption] Chewing and eating are actions that our body is able to complete almost automatically. When you eat you don’t have to stop and think to open your mouth and then close it, and then to continue to chew, and we certainly don’t usually think about which side of our mouth to chew on. Researchers say that picking a preferred chewing side may have to do with pain. How Chewing Works Eating food doesn’t require much concentration and subconsciously the tongue generally moves the food to one side of the mouth or the other. The jaw joint is made up of a right and left temporomandibular joint that both support and guide the mandible when you chew. Generally the TMJ on the opposite side of the dominant chewing side is the joint that receives the larger amount of stress and tension. For example, food chewed on the left TMJ will put the right TMJ under the most stress and vice versa. According to the NIDCRmore than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder and have a problem with one of their temporomandibular joints. In many cases the disc is somewhat out of place and, surprisingly, people tend to unconsciously chew food on the same side of the problem TMJ because the stress is actually lower on the chewing side than the other. At the same time, continuous chewing, especially of hard foods, can weaken and further aggravate an already imbalanced or misaligned TMJ. If you suffer from symptoms related to TMJ disorder, the cause may be an imbalanced bite that can be fixed with the help of an experienced Nashville TMJ dentist. Contact Dr. Clark's office online or call Downtown Dental at 615-254-1393  to learn more about TMJ disorder and the treatments available to you.
NL_0915_TopDentists_Clark You may see a familiar face in the September 2015 issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine! We're thrilled to have Dr. Clark listed among the TOP DENTISTS of Nashville. This ranking system is cool because it's ranking done by fellow colleagues: consider it a way for the dental community to comment on the top doctors in their industry.  It's like a clinical high five! Click on the photo to expand or pick up your own copy at the news stand!
It’s not surprising that the main reason people don’t enjoy going to the dentist are the drills and shots. In fact, the piercing whine, unnerving vibration, and uncomfortable pain of dental drills and shots have prevented people from properly taking care of their teeth for decades. Because we know that stress and anxiety can prevent patients from seeking the dental care they need, it has always been our goal to offer the most comfortable and pain-free dental experience possible. Today, we are delighted to announce a new option that will make a pain-free dental visits a reality for all of our patients... Downtown Dental is one of the first dentist offices in Nashville to offer WaterLase iPlus Laser Dentistry, the most advanced and effective laser dentistry option in the world! This new technology allows Dr. Clark to offer injection-free, pain-free dentistry for many of our procedures including fillings, whitening and gum disease prevention. How will this innovative technology benefit our patients? Here are seven reasons you’ll want to try our new WaterLase System. What are patient’s that have dental work done with the Waterlase iPlus Laser saying?  We think you’ll be impressed with their testimonials. As we’ve mentioned before, our goal is to do more for the people in Nashville than just protect your smile, we want to make sure you’re able to live a long and healthy life. If you want to make sure your next dentist appointment is done with the Waterlase iPlus Laser, let us know. The future of pain-free dentistry has finally made it to Nashville and we can’t wait to see the smile on your face after you give it a try.
Health & Smiles If you're like us, you're shocked at how quickly the middle of January arrived. It seems like just yesterday we were counting down the last seconds of 2012 and ringing in the New Year. Now, Target it already selling swimsuits in stores! Weren't we also just deciding our New Year's goals? While you may have made several resolutions for various areas of your life, we think it's safe to say that one of those areas is probably related to your health. In fact, the most common resolution Americans made in 2013 was to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

We care about more than just your teeth.

Our staff's commitment to educating and advocating our patients to their best advantage doesn't stop with your pearly whites. We believe committing to total body health will help our families, patients, neighbors, and, frankly, the city of Nashville live fuller, richer lives!

But, before you hit the play button on Physical by Olivia Newton-John, let us share two other ways you can commit to total body health in addition to hitting the gym this year from our area of expertise: your teeth.

Maintaining a clean mouth can keep your body healthy. There are several studies showing good teeth do more than keep dental bills low - they can help protect you from a whole host of health problems.

Clean teeth can help prevent heart disease.

This study published in the British Medical Journal analyzed data from over 11,000 adults. It determined that participants who reported brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% increased risk of heart disease versus those who brushed twice daily.

Clean teeth can keep your lungs healthy.

Could proper dental hygiene help you to breath better? Possibly so. Another study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered a suspected link between periodontal disease and pulmonary disease (such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis).

As you continue to achieve your 2013 healthy goals, don't forget that your teeth can play an important role in your overall health throughout the year.

Stay tuned over the next several months as we partner with our patients and downtown Nashville to help them commit to making 2013 the healthiest year yet.

Earlier this month, we announced that our staff at Downtown Dental is committed to running the Music City Half Marathon [LINK TO: Join us in staying healthy from head to toe] as a way to commit to total body health and raise support for St. Jude Heroes. To help you join our cause, we’re rolling out a partnership and promotion with Nashville Running Company to give current and potential Downtown Dental 200 reasons to join in on staying healthy! Whether you’re one of the 30,000 people training for the Country Music Marathon or Half Marathon or you’re just looking to stay active during the winter months, investing in good running or walking shoes is important. However, most of us aren’t racing to buy new running shoes, even if we are preparing for a race. To help Nashville residents stay healthy from head to toe, we’re partnering with Nashville Running Company to offer the opportunity for an exclusive $200 gift card to anyone who schedules a new patient appointment or refers a friend to Downtown Dental from now until the end of April! Whether you’re a businessman who works downtown looking to beat your personal record for the half marathon or you just moved downtown and are looking for a new dentist, this is the perfect excuse to give us a call. How can you tell which Country Music Marathon finishers are Downtown Dental patients? There are a couple of ways: 1. They're part of Downtown Dental’s St. Jude Heroes Team! 2. They’ll be the ones with the fresh new kicks and white smiles in the pictures at the finish line. Whether you’re running in the Country Music Marathon or not, we hope you’ll join us as we continue to promote healthy living from head to toe and support St. Jude’s and support our St. Jude Heroes as we raise support for St. Jude's life saving mission of finding cures and saving children. New patients can click here, call 615.254.1393, or email us to schedule your appointment today to be in the running for the NRC gift card. Current patients will also be put in the running when their referral mentions their name while scheduling their appointment! Are you running the Country Music Marathon or Half Marathon? If so, leave us a comment below!