Archive for April 2015

Putting off your dental visit to Uptown Dental Gig Harbor because of fear or anxiety only increases the potential for tooth decay or gum problems. At our office, Dr. Rhonda Savage and our team offer solutions that allow you to relax, without any pain, so you can keep your mouth healthy. Our solutions can help with many different anxiety issues for both adults and children.

Help with minor anxiety

Nitrous oxide is an excellent choice for most patients. Sometimes referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide can be regulated to provide you with the amount of sedation you need. When used before a local anesthetic, the injection will not be uncomfortable and you should not notice any pain during your procedure.

If you plan to use nitrous oxide, you can drive yourself to your appointment. In most cases, you will be fine to drive after your treatment: the sedation wears off quickly. Nitrous oxide can also be used along with other sedation techniques to produce a higher level of sedation.

Oral sedatives are available in a liquid or pill form. If you experience moderate anxiety levels, you can be given a tablet to take before your appointment. This type of sedation will be beneficial in relieving the anxiety that can build before your procedure. However, if you choose this method, you cannot drive yourself to your appointment.

Help with major dental anxiety

If you experience extreme levels of stress and anxiety about dental treatment, you may wish to discuss deep sedation or general anesthesia. With these techniques, you will be barely conscious or unconscious during your procedure. You will not feel discomfort or pain. Once you have experienced dentistry with a sedation technique, your anxiety level may decrease on its own.

People are not born with the fear of a dental exam. Unfortunately, most anxiety issues are due to a bad dental experience or childhood trauma. Sometimes anxiety comes from listening to the tales of others, who may have exaggerated their story. Talk to Dr. Savage and our team about your dental concerns or fears. Let us help you so you can get the dental care you need for a healthy mouth for life.

For more information about overcoming dental anxiety, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Savage, please give us a call at our convenient Gig Harbor, WA, office!

Dental visits are often negatively associated with discomfort in many people’s minds. But at Uptown Dental, Dr. Rhonda Savage and our team have created an atmosphere focused on dispelling those myths. Our team is truly passionate about dentistry, and we are trained to gently accommodate each individual patient’s needs, with every procedure and visit performed with the utmost focus on your comfort.

If you are a patient of record at Uptown Dental, we are committed to your oral health and are available to you. If you would like to learn more about stress-free dentistry at our Gig Harbor, WA office, or to schedule an appointment, we encourage you to give us a call!

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is caused by stress in nearly 70% of people, according to studies reported by the Mayo Health Clinic. The remaining cases of bruxism are closely linked to abnormal bites or crooked or missing teeth. Other factors can also contribute to teeth grinding, such as chronic alcohol consumption, smoking, and the use of recreational drugs.

Before you attribute your bruxism to stress, carefully evaluate your lifestyle and overall health condition. Bruxism can also present itself as a symptom of an underlying disorder such as sleep apnea, which would need to be addressed by our office first and foremost.

If you or your partner has determined that you grind your teeth at night, seek the opinion of Dr. Rhonda Savage and our team at Uptown Dental Care Gig Harbor in order to get a proper evaluation of any damage to your teeth that may be occurring, as well as a diagnosis of the primary cause. Simple treatment options, such as a custom-fit night guard, can help prevent damage to your dentition due to teeth grinding. The ability of night guards to reduce the negative dental health effects of teeth grinding at night shouldn't be underestimated, and Dr. Savage can help you with this!

You can also take control of the situation by implementing certain lifestyle changes. Reduce or discontinue alcohol use in the evening. Alcohol is a depressant. If you must drink alcohol, try not to indulge in the three or four hours leading up to your bedtime. In the hours before you go to sleep, turn down the lights and music or television volume. It is helpful to reduce the amount of stimuli so our bodies wind down at the end of the day.

Try not to focus on your teeth grinding. The more you worry about it, the more tense you may become, and exacerbate the problem. Instead, as you fall asleep, experiment with visualization techniques that will relax you and make you feel safe and happy. For example, you may conjure up a picture in your mind of yourself on a deserted beach with the wind gently blowing through palm trees. Your happy place will be unique, but once you find it, it will be easier and easier to return to each night.

Teeth grinding is very treatable. Together with Dr. Savage and our team, we can help treat your bruxism and have you back to sleeping soundly once again. Contact our Gig Harbor office today!

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, 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, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Uptown Dental wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, 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 who have passed away serving the country, 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 come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Gig Harbor, WA area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Dr. Rhonda Savage!

At Uptown Dental, we see a lot of patients who are concerned about their bad breath, also known as halitosis. So today we thought we would educate our patients about what you can do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene on your part is the first step. With proper brushing and flossing you can keep halitosis in check. Even though you may have done an excellent job of brushing and flossing your teeth, if you fail to brush your tongue, you may still have bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in your mouth. Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease can cause bad breath.

Besides proper brushing and flossing, bad breath can be prevented if you:

Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products: Ask Dr. Rhonda Savage and our team for tips on kicking the habit.

Keep your mouth hydrated: Because a dry mouth typically leads to bad breath, drinking water or eating oranges or celery may help.

Visit our Gig Harbor, WA office for regular dental checkups: By visiting Uptown Dental at least twice a year, you will keep bad breath at bay. Dr. Rhonda Savage will conduct an oral exam and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Uptown Dental. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Rhonda Savage and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

At Uptown Dental, we have been creating beautiful smiles for years. Whether you have visited Dr. Rhonda Savage and our team for a week or for your entire life, we would love to hear your thoughts about your experience! In fact, we encourage you to leave a few words for us below or on our Facebook page!

We look forward to reading your feedback!

Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized around the world to bring attention and education to global environmental issues. Conserving our natural resources, reducing water and air pollution, and developing green technologies are all ways in which we can improve the environment around us.

Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse

One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic, and metal refuse. By keeping recyclable items out of landfills, we reduce the need for new disposal space and the amount of energy needed for burning refuse. Recycling products also helps conserve the resources that are used in making new products.

You can save money by reducing your consumption of many everyday products. Single disposable water bottles can be recycled but they are costly. By using filtered faucet water, you can conserve your financial resources. Disposable paper towels can also be wasteful. Consider reusable cleaning rags for the majority of your chores.

Reusing items saves both the environment and your finances. A large number of products can be re-purposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you are not able to find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity. Remember to continue your positive environmental steps on a daily basis.

Other things you can do to improve the environment

Everyone, young or old, can find ways to participate in improving the environment. Some ideas include:

  • Planting trees
  • Picking up litter
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Walking, bicycling, or carpooling to work or school
  • Disposing of hazardous waste properly
  • Using rain barrels to conserve water for plants

Earth Day is designed to appreciate and celebrate the health of the earth. Keeping the earth healthy is important, but keeping your mouth healthy is important, too. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to your overall health and well-being, so remember to call our team at Uptown Dental to schedule an appointment. Have a happy and healthy Earth Day, from Dr. Rhonda Savage!

As you grow older, your mind may be preoccupied with the health of your bones, heart, or brain. However, our team at Uptown Dental will tell you that keeping your teeth healthy is an equally important part of the aging process. Older adults are at increased risk for a variety of oral health conditions, which makes it essential for you to speak with your dentist to create a prevention plan that’s best for you.

Oral health conditions associated with aging

Just as the rest of your body continues to change as you age, your mouth changes, too. Certain conditions become more likely to develop as you reach older adulthood, including:
 

  • Dry mouth. Although your salivary glands continue to produce saliva as you get older, medications and chronic health problems often cause dry mouth.
  • Root decay. Your teeth have lasted you a lifetime, but improper nutrition or cleaning may lead to decay at the roots of your teeth.
  • Diminished sense of taste. Your eyesight and hearing aren’t the only senses affected by aging. The ability to taste naturally diminishes over the course of older adulthood.
  • Tissue inflammation. Are your gums tender, bleeding, or inflamed? Tissue inflammation may indicate gum disease or may be a consequence of wearing dentures that don’t fit well.
  • Oral cancer. Risk for most cancers increases with age, and oral cancer is no exception. Older adults are at increased risk for oral cancer compared to younger individuals.

Ways you can prevent dental problems

Fortunately, many age-related oral health problems are preventable. Begin by improving your diet to include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choosing water over coffee or soda will keep your teeth whiter and cavity-free. Also remember to practice good brushing habits to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Visiting the dentist at least twice a year is vitally important when you reach older adulthood. Your dentist is familiar with your oral health and may be the first person to notice a sore, discolored patch, inflammation, or other abnormality that indicates oral cancer or gum disease.

If you’re experiencing any problems with dental health, let your dentist know immediately. Together, you can troubleshoot solutions and create a plan that keeps your mouth and gums healthy.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rhonda Savage, please give us a call at our convenient Gig Harbor, WA office!


Women, in general, are more sensitive to taste, touch, smell and sound (tone of voice). It's because of the way our brains are wired. Has she ever said, "It's not what you say, it's how you said it?" Also, something to be aware of: We often don't smell ourselves, because we're used to our own smells. If someone is willing to tell you that you have bad breath, they're doing you a favor. I've helped hundreds of patients make positive changes in this area; some have had such bad breath that people can smell them when they walk into a room.

Bad breath can hold you back in social environments and also, sadly, be a causative factor in a work situation, such as lack of promotion.

The first step is to see your dentist. Is the breath due to a dental condition, like periodontal disease (disease of your gums and bone)? Do you need a tongue scraper and a thorough, comprehensive cleaning? The next step is to rule out a medical condition, or bad breath caused by medications.

The good news is that there are wonderful products that can combat bad breath, and innovative treatment that can help you have whiter teeth, fresher breath. Make an appointment today at UpTown Dental, 253-857-0835, and receive a complimentary Philips Sonicare brush.