Category Archives: Murfreesboro Community

Mental Floss

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

You may have never heard of the word Porphyromonas gingivalis before unless you’ve sat through a dental school lecture.  However, most people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease.  A recent study at the University of Central Lancashire in England may have put the little-known bacteria P. gingivalis in the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research.

Recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the study showed that evidence of P. gingivalis was found in 4 out of 10 brain tissue samples from Alzheimer’s patients, while no evidence of it was found in any of the 10 brain samples from patients of similar age with no signs of the disease.  P. gingivalis is typically found in the mouths of people who have untreated, advanced, destructive periodontal (or gum) disease.  Gum disease is typically a result of poor oral hygiene (such as improper or nonexistent brushing and flossing) and a lack of regular dental office cleanings.

The researchers stated that the study did not prove that the bacteria, or its byproducts, definitely caused Alzheimer’s disease, only that the bacteria were found in the brain.  Due to this finding, this leads to the need for further research.  P. gingivalis has also recently been noted in other studies on rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, low birth weight and diabetes.  Even though no hard evidence proves a definite causative relationship between gum disease and other diseases, it would seem prudent to have your gum disease issues treated rather than hoping it doesn’t affect your overall health.  Call my office today @ 893-5500 to set up a check-up.


Help Find Murfreesboro Dentist Lost on Internet Superhighway!

stuck in imac


A good friend of mine, who has a bit of an overactive imagination, has always talked about how he wants to have all of his memories and knowledge transferred into a computer so that he can continue existing after his body ceases.  Recently I have had the feeling that in some ways I have already begun that process.  You see, I have been working with that same friend of mine on improving “my web presence” for advertising/marketing purposes.  Those with more computer savvy than myself call that “search engine optimization” or SEO.  Basically, it all comes down to making sure that “the Big 3″ search engines (Google, Yahoo, & Bing) can find my website and that  the information I have there is relevant to the keywords being searched.  There are so many ways to boost that presence, but it seems that many of them involve entering most of my information over and over.  It has gotten to the point  that I have considered changing my name to Dr. Google Nicholson.  So, if you need an appointment to have your teeth cleaned or to have a mercury-free, white filling placed, you should be able to find me a little easier now.  I’ll be the guy living inside your computer!


Baby Boomer Dentistry Quiz

People are living much longer than ever before.  When The Baby Boomer generation was growing up it was assumed that losing your teeth was unavoidable and dentures were a given. Now we know that that just isn’t the truth.  With proper care everyone should have the majority of their teeth for a lifetime.  We are also seeing that poor oral health can contribute to many of the causes of illness and early death such as heart conditions, diabetes and stroke.


Image courtesy of Ambro/


The following quiz contains information garnered through The American Dental Association site for Baby Boomers.

1.  Everyone needs dentures at some point. T or F

False.  75% of all adults over 65 have some or all of their natural teeth.

2.It doesn’t matter if I get calcium from my food or from supplements-its all the same.  T or F

False.  In a recent study, people who got their calcium almost exclusively from supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who took no supplements. The recommended daily amount of calcium for most adults is 1,000 milligrams a day, preferably from foods including low-fat dairy such as milk, cheese and yogurt.  Calcium can help to avoid bone loss and thus also tooth loss.

3. Dry mouth causes cavities.

True.  Many Baby Boomers take medications (such as certain blood pressure medications) that cause dry mouth.  This environment can cause an increase in cavity-causing bacteria.  Drinking plenty of water and using prescription fluorides to strengthen teeth.  Seeing your dentist regularly is extremely important.

4. A manual toothbrush cleans as effectively as an electric toothbrush.  T or F

True.  See my other blog titled “Doctor, What’s the Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste To Use?”  As long as you are brushing properly and often either one is effective.  For those with decreased manual dexterity due to osteoarthritis, an electric toothbrush may be the better choice.

5. It’s not important to my dentist if I have a heart condition or joint replacement. T or F

False.  The American Heart Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have noted that there are some conditions that have a high risk of bacterial infection from dental procedures.  They may recommend that you take antibiotics before dental procedures to reduce the risk.  Be sure to ask your physician if you have either a heart condition or an artificial joint before you visit your dentist.

Baby Boomers are the generation that have seen some of the most fantastic advances and innovations in all aspects of life.  It is because of many of these that they are living longer than any other generation in times past.  Keeping a healthy mouth and having an attractive smile is important to them as well.  They feel healthier and younger and want to look the part as well.  Many Baby Boomers are having their teeth whitened or having cosmetic dental veneers or crowns placed on their teeth to improve the looks of their smile.  If you are interested in having a free cosmetic dental consultation with me, Dr. Greg Nicholson at Cosmetic Dentistry of Murfreesboro, give my office a call today at 615-893-5500.  You too can discover why my office was voted “Favorite Cosmetic Surgery Center” in the Daily News Journal’s 2013 “Ruthies Awards”.


Doctor, What’s the best toothbrush and toothpaste to use?



Everyday I have the question from my patients about which toothbrush or toothpaste they should use to have a healthy mouth.  My answer isn’t usually as polished and glitzy as the commercials you see everyday selling these products.  My answer is “Whatever you like to use is the best one for you (as long as it is a soft-bristle toothbrush and a minimally abrasive fluoride toothpaste).”

The reason that my answer is that simple is that basically all toothbrushes are the same.  Yes, some of them spin, some vibrate, some will even play  “Rock and Roll All Night” by Kiss right in your mouth through vibrations in your skull!  But they all basically mechanically scrub off the sticky film of bacterial plaque that forms on our teeth all day long.  If you look for the American Dental Association seal of approval that will assure you that the toothbrush has been scientifically proven to be safe and effective.

To qualify for the Seal of Acceptance, the company must show that:

  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints
  • The handle material is manufacturer-tested to show durability under normal use
  • The bristles won’t fall out with normal use
  • The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque

As for toothpaste, they all basically boil down to fluoride (this is important to help keep your teeth strong and resistant to cavities), some sort of soap-like chemical that makes them bubble & foam, flavorings, colorings, abrasives (hopefully very mild) and then some other stuff to make them “new & improved” from every other one on the shelf.

Fluoride toothpastes must meet the ADA’s requirements for safety and effectiveness in reducing tooth decay. The manufacturer must provide:

  • Clinical studies in humans
  • Laboratory studies to determine the amount of available fluoride, the amount of fluoride released in one minute, and the amount of fluoride absorption in normal and weakened tooth enamel. These tests are also conducted in the ADA’s laboratory.

There are some toothpastes that contain baking soda as it is known for removing odors from your refrigerator, so it should do the same in your mouth.  Baking soda is somewhat abrasive so using it plain everyday can cause some enamel wear over a long period of time.  It is helpful in reducing the acids caused by oral bacteria so it may help in decreasing cavities as well.

Some toothpastes say they are “whitening.”  This is a bit misleading.  They may contain some peroxide, which is used in dental bleaching, but they are in such small amounts that they don’t actually whiten.  These toothpastes can however be used as an adjunct to maintain a smile that has been previously bleached.

Many toothpastes are produced for use on “sensitive teeth.”  Now there are many things that can cause sensitive teeth.  Sensitivity can be caused by a cavity, a cracked or broken tooth, a tooth or restoration that is hitting too high, or even nerve damage.  The chemical potassium nitrate (that is in toothpaste for sensitive teeth) only decreases sensitivity caused by exposed root surfaces along the gumline.  The potassium nitrate molecules occlude or block up little holes or pores in the enamel-free root surfaces of teeth thus decreasing the sensitivity caused by hot or cold temperatures.

With all this in mind, pick a toothbrush that feels comfortable in your hand and is small enough to fit in between your cheek and outside your last upper back tooth.  Also make sure that the bristles are soft so as not to do damage to your teeth.  Pick a toothpaste that makes your mouth feel good afterward and that you like the taste.  Make sure the toothpaste has fluoride to keep your teeth strong.  And finally make sure that they both have the American Dental Association seal of approval so that you know they are safe and effective.  Now finally even if you find the ultimate toothbrush and paste, it won’t matter unless you use them at least twice daily and use them properly.  If you don’t know how to use them properly, come visit me at my office @ 509 West College Street in Murfreesboro, TN.


Sleep better at night!!



Recently I attended the Academy of General Dentistry 2013 annual meeting in Nashville.  My main course of study while there covered everything you would want to know about removable anti-snoring appliances.  This was an eye opener as to just how effective these devices are. According to the physician that led the course these retainer-like devices have been proven to be as effective as the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine in helping folks prevent airway obstruction during sleep . So many of our Murfreesboro friends and family have to use the CPAP -’Darth Vader’ mask every night.  Good restful deep sleep is as important to our health as anything. Call me at 615-893-5500. I’ll have you in for a free consultation or as part of your regular check-up. Do it for yourself or a family member. I’d love to help!


Hello Murfreesboro and Rutherford County!

We just added this section to our dental website. Its called a Blog. I know … to me that sounded like something you might get your truck stuck in. But i believe this will be a great way for me to communicate with my patients or potential patients. In the next weeks, months and years I will let you know here about important stuff that’s happening at our practice or with us and the community. When I find something new that I think you’d enjoy hearing about or something that may improve your life I’ll take some time to share it here.

Feel free to comment on my posts or you can ask me a question here and I will do my best to respond a quickly as possible. But I think most of my patients know that they are welcome to call or come by the office if they ever have any questions. Our office is “user friendly’. We are always here for you!!

(Well, we have set hours, but you know what I mean.)