My Blog
By Knutson Family Dentistry
January 18, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   tobacco   smoking  

Young woman breaking a cigaretteWhile the current percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes is the lowest it’s been in decades, those who continue the habit remain at risk for heart and lung disease. Additionally, while we know smoking is also bad for our oral health, most don’t understand just how bad it is…

More Than Just Stained Teeth

From its seemingly mild side effects (bad breath, tooth discoloration, buildup of plaque and tartar), to the more sinister (increased risk of oral cancer, loss of bone within the jaw, gum disease and any number of resulting complications) – tobacco is indeed an oral health risk.

Tobacco can cause serious health issues by breaking down the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Because of this breakdown, the use of tobacco makes smokers much more susceptible to infection and diseases. In fact, 90% of people who have cancer of the mouth, throat, or gums admit to using tobacco in some form. 

Cigarettes, cigars and pipes aren’t the only culprits; smokeless tobacco can be just as detrimental to oral health, if not worse. In fact, there are twenty-eight chemicals found in chewing tobacco alone that are proven to increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Chewing tobacco and snuff contain higher levels of nicotine than those found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, making it exposes the roots, and ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to decay. 

Help is Just Next Door

The only way to help eliminate these risks is to never start using tobacco products or to quit if you do. In fact, simply reducing tobacco use is proven to help lower your risks. If you feel that it is time to reduce your risk of cancer, gum disease, infection and other oral complications, your dentist or doctor can help you create a plan to help you quit using tobacco, along with prescribing certain medicines or programs to help you kick the habit. Free cessation assistance is available by calling the SD QuitLine at 1-866-737-8487 or visit These resources can increase your chances of quitting for good.

Remember, it is never too late to quit. If you’re interested in getting help to quit, let us know the next time you’re in for an appointment.

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By Knutson Family Dentistry
November 04, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental cleanings  

Do you brush twice a day or after meals? Floss every night? If so, you're doing great things for your oral health. However, all that hard dental cleaningswork doesn't mean you can skip your regular dental cleanings. After all, twice-yearly exams with the general dentists here at Knutson Family Dentistry in Vermillion, SD, are key to making sure that your dental hygiene is on track and your mouth is healthy in every aspect.

Read on to learn why it's so important to have regular dental cleanings with Dr. Matthew Knutson, Dr. Richard Knutson, and Dr. Brandon Jensen:

Cavity Prevention

Diligent brushing is a great way to keep your teeth clean and tartar at bay, but plaque can still build up on your teeth, despite your best at-home efforts. Fortunately, the special tools our dentists use can fully remove the sticky film that can lead to tooth decay and the formation of cavities.


Brushing frequently with a whitening toothpaste can certainly help with removing stains from coffee, tea or wine, but a professional dental cleaning can take whitening to the next level. The high-powered polishing you receive in the dental chair is key in keeping your teeth bright and white.

Gum Disease Prevention

When you skip too many dental visits, plaque can start to creep up on your tooth and under the gums, potentially leading to extreme decay and the weakening of your jaw bone. In some cases, this may cause your teeth to become loose or even fall out. By visiting our office, your general dentist can recognize the signs of gum disease and intervene before gum disease becomes a major issue.

Total Body Health

When your teeth are unhealthy, your whole body can suffer. Dental cleanings help keep your mouth in good health, lowering your risk of conditions like heart disease. By examining your mouth on a regular basis, your general dentist can see any changes that might indicate other health problems and refer you for any needed medical care.

Need an Appointment? Give Us a Call

A full dental examination/cleaning generally takes under an hour, and the benefits are long-lasting. Call Knutson Family Dentistry in Vermillion at 605-857-8008 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Matthew Knutson, Dr. Richard Knutson, or Dr. Brandon Jensen.

By Knutson Family Dentistry
August 21, 2019
Category: Periodontal Health

Despite the fact that more American adults are keeping more of their natural teeth well into their golden years than ever before, tooth loss gumdiseaseremains a big problem. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gum disease remains the leading cause of tooth loss, which affects millions of Americans every year. But when caught and treated early, periodontal (also known as gum disease) can be reversed or managed to prevent permanent damage and tooth loss. The general dentists at Knutsen Family Dentistry in Vermillion, SD, offer preventive and restorative dental services for the entire family.


Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Vermillion, SD

There are a number of factors at play when it comes to your oral health. Genetics and family history, your lifestyle, and your oral hygiene routines and habits are all good predictors of your general oral health. For starters, the ADA recommends a check up and professional cleaning every six months to a year. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to identify potential problems before they can progress and cause lasting damage.

Gum disease is progressive, meaning that it develops slowly and generally gets worse over time without treatment. The first stage is gingivitis, where you might notice that your gums appear red and swollen and bleed when you brush and floss your teeth. If treated in time, gingivitis can be reversed and doesn't cause lasting damage to your gums and the underlying tissue.

The next stage is periodontitis, which does result in some irreversible damage to the connective tissue and results in "pockets" between the teeth and gums which can trap bacteria and cause plaque and tartar buildup and inflammation. Even if you have periodontitis, your general dentist can still help prevent further damage and get your oral health back on track.

The last stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, which results in permanent damage like bone loss and permanent structural damage that can result in changes to your bite pattern and ultimately tooth loss.


Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

The most common warning signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Signs of infection like pus around a tooth
  • Loose teeth
  • Noticeable changes to your bite (how your upper and lower jaw fit together)


Find a General Dentist in Vermillion, SD

For more information about periodontal disease and how to protect yourself and your family from oral health problems and tooth loss, contact Knutson Family Dentistry today by calling (605) 857-8008 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.

By Knutson Family Dentistry
July 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Porcelain Crowns  

Porcelain crowns can help your smile in so many ways. Crowns strengthen and protect teeth that have been worn down or damaged and dental-crownsare too weak to perform everyday biting and chewing functions properly. Crowns can also improve the appearance of teeth with cosmetic concerns by concealing imperfections. A dentist can help you decide if porcelain crowns are right for you. At Knutson Family Dentistry, Dr. Matthew Knutson, Dr. Richard Knutson, and Dr. Brandon Jensen are your Vermillion, SD, general dentists for porcelain crowns.


What are Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain crowns are caps placed over problem teeth to protect, strengthen, and restore them. Once in place, a crown completely encapsulates the tooth it has been placed over and acts as a hard protective shell. The crown protects a weak or damaged tooth from being further worn down or damaged. The crown also provides the tooth with a new exterior strong enough to resume normal biting and chewing functions. Porcelain crowns are often placed over a tooth that has been restored through root canal therapy to further strengthen and protect the tooth.

Crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of teeth with certain cosmetic flaws. For example, teeth that are oddly shaped can be given a new, more aesthetically pleasing shape simply by placing a custom crown over the top. The porcelain material used to create crowns is a close match for tooth enamel so porcelain crowns look just like a natural tooth once in place. Additionally, each crown is custom created for a perfect fit. Your Knutson Family Dental general dentists in Vermillion, SD, can help you decide if porcelain crowns are right for you.


Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

There are several restorative, protective, and cosmetic benefits associated with porcelain crowns. In addition to restoring damaged teeth and improving the appearance of teeth with cosmetic issues, porcelain crowns can also be used to hold bridgework securely in place. Crowns can even replace missing teeth when placed over a dental implant. Some of the ways porcelain crowns can help your smile include:

  • Protecting weak or damaged teeth
  • Restoring normal tooth functioning
  • Concealing cosmetic imperfections
  • Holding bridgework securely in place
  • Preventing loose fillings from falling out
  • Replacing missing teeth when placed over a dental implant

There are many ways in which porcelain crowns can help your smile. Whether your goal is to strengthen and restore damaged teeth or improve the appearance of cosmetically flawed ones, porcelain crowns can help. Your Vermillion, SD, general dentists can discuss how porcelain crowns can address your specific concerns and improve your smile. To schedule an appointment with Drs. Matthew or Richard Knutson or with Dr. Jensen, call Knutson Family Dentistry at (605) 857-8008.

By Knutson Family Dentistry
April 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

If you're considering having your teeth whitened, and you've never experienced this cosmetic dentistry procedure before, you probably whitened teethhave some questions. Dr. Matthew Knutson and Dr. Richard Knutson are cosmetic dentists in the Vermillion, South Dakota area, and are proud to offer dental whitening as part of the services in their practice. Below, are a few of the questions you may have if you are considering having your teeth professionally whitened.

How do teeth get discolored?

Your teeth aren't completely smooth on the surface, although you wouldn't be able to tell without the use of a microscope. Each tooth has tiny cracks and grooves on its surface, all of which are too tiny for a toothbrush to reach. These spaces trap food particles which can build up over time and leave the teeth stained.

How does whitening work?

Your Vermillion cosmetic dentist will start your whitening treatment by applying a gel that is made up of peroxide, a chemical mostly made up of oxygen. The peroxide solution is activated when it comes into contact with the embedded food particles, creating a chemical reaction that produces oxygenated bubbles. This reaction causes the particles to break down further, where they can be rinsed away and your best, brightest smile can be revealed!

Will my teeth be sensitive after whitening?

Not everyone will experience tooth sensitivity after whitening, but it is a potential side effect. The process of whitening essentially deep-cleans the tiny grooves of the enamel. Unfortunately, even the best quality whitening treatment can also temporarily remove important minerals that insulate the nerves inside of the teeth. This can cause mild to moderate sensitivity that only lasts as long as it takes for the teeth to remineralize, typically within a few days. In the meantime, you can use anti-sensitivity toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush and avoid very hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages.

If you have more questions about whitening, or any other cosmetic dentistry procedure, your best bet is to contact Knutson Family Dentistry in Vermillion, South Dakota for a consultation appointment today!

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