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Solutions for Swollen Gums

Blonde woman in a mint green shirt looks up and touches her chin as she worries about her swollen gums

Do you have swollen gums but don’t know what to do about them? Here, we’ll talk about common causes of swollen gums and suggest tips to improve your gum health.

Causes of Swollen Gums

There are a number of different reasons why your gums might be swollen, but some of the most common causes of gum inflammation include:

  • A side effect of certain medications
  • An allergic reaction to a new brand of toothpaste or mouthwash
  • Poor nutrition indicating a vitamin C deficiency and insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Inadequate brushing and flossing that has caused gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease, due to irritation from the buildup of plaque and tartar

Tips to Improve Your Gum Health

  1. Brush & Floss Daily
  2. This may seem like a no-brainer, but brushing and flossing regularly will drastically improve your swollen gum problems by removing plaque before it accumulates and hardens into tartar. Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once a day, particularly right before bed.

  3. Rinse Your Mouth
  4. You can rinse your mouth with either an alcohol-free mouthwash or a salt water solution. Both will help kill bacteria and ease pain from your swollen gums.

  5. Consume a Healthy Diet
  6. A balanced diet doesn’t only keep you slim, it also helps improve your oral health and will reduce your swollen gums. Limit foods and drinks high in sugar such as soda, candy, potato chips, crackers, and white bread. Instead, choose whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, especially those high in vitamin C and calcium.

  7. Drink Water
  8. Drinking water, especially during and after mealtime, will wash away food particles remaining in your mouth. If left in your mouth, bacteria feed on your dietary sugars and produce acidic byproducts that destroy your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. Staying hydrated also ensures you have an adequate flow of saliva, which helps remineralize your enamel and rinse away debris.

  9. Stop Smoking
  10. Smoking and using tobacco products diminishes your body’s ability to fight off inflammation and infection. For optimal oral health and overall health, try to quit as soon as possible.

  11. Visit Embrace Dental Care for Routine Cleanings & Checkups!
  12. Of course one of the best solutions to your swollen gums problem is to regularly come in and see us. We can remove plaque and tartar that are irritating your gums, as well as suggest additional ways to improve your oral health. Contact us today to schedule your next checkup and cleaning.

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How to Fix Receding Gums

Brunette woman with receding gums covers her mouth in embarrassment

If you are concerned that your gums are receding, you are probably wondering if there’s anything you can do about it! Here, we’ll discuss what receding gums are, what causes them, and how they can be fixed.

What Are Receding Gums?

Gum recession is when the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth pulls back and recedes to expose more of the tooth and its root. Because gums are meant to protect your teeth and help secure them to the bone, there can be dental issues when your gums recede. Receding gums form pockets between the tooth and the gumline, which are great homes for bacteria to build up in, leaving your mouth susceptible to tooth sensitivity, decay, infection, and tooth loss.

What Causes Receding Gums?

There are a number of things that can cause your gums to recede:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene
  2. The most common cause of receding gums is poor oral hygiene habits that lead to periodontal disease. Not brushing and flossing every day will lead to the accumulation of a sticky film of bacteria (called plaque) and tartar (hardened plaque) along your teeth and under your gumline. If left untreated, bacterial gum infections can destroy not only your gum tissue but also the bone that’s holding your teeth in place!

  3. Genetics
  4. Your genes can also influence your risk of gum disease and recession; 30% of people are believed to be more susceptible to gum disease and receding gums just based on their genetic makeup. However, oral hygiene has a much greater impact on your gum health than your genetics, so nobody is doomed to have unhealthy gums solely based on their genetic code.

  5. Hormones
  6. Hormonal changes in women during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can make their gums more sensitive to irritation and inflammation, and therefore recession. For female patients, regular dental checkups and consistent oral hygiene are always important, but particularly key during these times.

  7. Unusual Forces
  8. Abnormal pressure on your teeth and gums can also cause irritation and recession. This can happen if you aggressively brush your teeth, grind or clench your teeth, or have a misaligned bite that results in unusual forces. To prevent these forces, brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and ask us about a custom nightguard for bruxism and our orthodontic treatments.

Can Receding Gums Be Fixed?

There are a number of treatment options for receding gums, which all depend on the cause of the gum recession and how severe it is. In general, a look at your oral health habits is always warranted. Ask yourself:

  • Do I brush my teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste?
  • Do I use a soft-bristled toothbrush?
  • Do I floss at least once a day, with either string floss or a water flosser?
  • Do I drink plenty of water?
  • Do I eat a balanced diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates?
  • Do I avoid chewing sugary gum?
  • Do I avoid tobacco products?
  • When was the last time I had a dental checkup & cleaning?

If your gum recession is caused by periodontal disease, the first step is tooth scaling and root planting, where we remove the accumulated plaque and tartar from the surface and roots of your teeth. This will help your gum tissue heal and reattach to the tooth. If your gum recession is very advanced, with deep pockets, infection, and loss of bone, more complex measures will be needed, such as surgery, grafting, and antibiotics.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Regardless of the level of gum damage and its cause, our team can put together a personalized treatment plan to restore your smile to full health. So if you need treatment for gum recession, contact us today.

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What Is Bruxism?

Brunette woman clenching and grinding her teeth while sleeping in a white bed has bruxism

In this blog post, we’ll discuss bruxism, including its warning signs, potential causes, and treatment.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that involves clenching and grinding teeth while you’re awake or asleep. For some, bruxism will not require treatment, but for others, the grinding may be so severe and frequent that it could lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and chronic headaches if not addressed. Those who have sleep bruxism may have a harder time diagnosing themselves since they may not be aware of it, which is one reason why regular dental checkups are important. At every appointment, we’ll examine your teeth for unusual signs of wear and tear, which may indicate you grind your teeth.

What Are the Warning Signs of Bruxism?

Some indicators of bruxism that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Sounds of clacking and grinding teeth that wake up your sleep partner
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Broken, flattened, or chipped teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain that mimics an earache
  • Tight or locked jaw muscles
  • Dull headaches at the temples
  • Sleep disruption & daytime sleepiness

What Causes Bruxism?

Some experts think that bruxism is caused by emotional issues such as stress, frustration, anger, tension, or anxiety. Other contributing factors may include malocclusion (when the teeth and jaw don’t line up correctly), anti-depressant medications (such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil), rare conditions that affect the nerves and muscles in the face, or complications from Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

How Can Bruxism Be Treated?

Once you have been diagnosed by our expert dental team, we can determine the best course of action to address your unique situation. One of the most common treatments is a nightguard, which will separate your teeth and help your chewing muscles to relax so that you can’t damage your teeth. Other solutions include stress or anxiety management, as well as behavioral therapy in which you practice positioning your mouth and jaw in a way that protects your teeth.

Get In Touch with Our Team for Treatment

Do you think you might be suffering from bruxism? Take a big step toward healthier teeth and a better night of sleep–contact Embrace Dental Care today!

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The Connection Between Oral Health & Overall Body Wellness

Brunette woman wears a baseball cap and smiles with her mouth open showing good oral health and overall body wellness

You may not realize it, but your dental health is closely connected to the health of your overall body. Here, we’ll explain what the connection between them is, what conditions affect both your dental and overall wellness, and how to protect your oral health.

The Connection Between Dental Health & Overall Wellness

Your mouth is essentially a gateway to the rest of the body–a gateway that is naturally filled with bacteria, most of it harmless, but some of it potentially dangerous. With proper oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you can rid your mouth of much of the bad bacteria that cause poor oral health. However, if you do not thoroughly clean your mouth, you run the risk of developing serious dental health issues, such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. These conditions are worrisome for your teeth and gums, but they can also negatively impact the rest of your body.

Conditions Associated with Poor Oral Health

One of the most serious conditions associated with poor dental health is cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that oral bacteria associated with your dental issues can get into your bloodstream and travel to your heart. This leads to clogged and hardened arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, which can contribute to a stroke, heart attack, and tissue death. Bad bacteria from your mouth can also make its way to your heart and cause endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Gum disease is another culprit that affects both the mouth and the body. When you have inflamed and infected gums, you can breath in that bad bacteria and develop an infection in your lungs like pneumonia. Gum disease has also been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. Moreover, there is early evidence that suggests an association with Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Conditions with Oral Effects

There are also a number of health conditions that affect the mouth. Those who have diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease because diabetes can decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. People who have HIV/AIDS often have painful oral health issues such as mucosal lesions, and those with Alzheimer’s disease experience a decreased ability to care for their oral hygiene as their dementia progresses. Other health conditions that affect oral health include osteoporosis, eating disorders, head and neck cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune disorder.

How to Keep Your Oral Health in Tip-Top Shape

Regardless of the current state of your oral health and your overall health, the best way to protect your oral health is by practicing good oral health habits every day. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss at least once a day, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet low in added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and acids. It’s also vital for your oral health to come in for regular checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at Embrace Dental Care!

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Tips to Deal with Halitosis

Brunette woman covers her mouth with a brown hat because she's embarrassed about her bad breath

Nobody wants to be known as a person with foul breath. If the situation is bad enough, it can lower your self-confidence and even negatively affect your relationships with other people. Both of those are things we definitely don’t wish for you! It’s important to know that chronic bad breath, which is formally called halitosis, doesn’t only come from eating stinky foods. There are other common causes too, which means there are a variety of things you can try to remedy your situation. Here are some tips for dealing with halitosis:

  1. Brush & Floss Every Day
  2. This tip might seem self-explanatory, but it’s an important one! A common cause of bad breath is bacteria left in your mouth. With brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you can keep your teeth and gums fresh, rather than allow the accumulation of food debris, which encourages a breeding ground for halitosis-causing bacteria.

  3. Take Care of Your Tongue
  4. You know that your teeth and gums need regularly cleaning, but did you know that you should take care of your tongue too? Your tongue can be home to bad bacteria as well. During your daily brushing routine, give the surface of your tongue a good brushing, or you can use a tongue scraper.

  5. Address Dry Mouth
  6. When you have proper saliva flow and are drinking enough water, it helps to wash away bacteria and food particles that can cause halitosis. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, and quit and avoid the use of tobacco. Additionally, chew sugarless gum for at least 20 minutes after meals to stimulate more saliva flow. If you need more help managing your dry mouth, contact us for information about a lubricating mouth rinse or saliva-substitute.

  7. Check Your Medical Conditions
  8. There are a few different medical conditions that can have an effect on how your breath smells, including diabetes and respiratory tract infections. There are also certain medications that could result in bad breath. Consult your doctor to see what your options are.

Dealing with halitosis and want to discuss your situation with a professional? Contact Embrace Dental Care today, and we’ll be happy to help!

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How to Care for Your Teeth After Dental Surgery

View looking up into 3 dentists in turquoise scrubs holding tools performing dental surgery

If you’ve just had oral surgery, you may be wondering how you should recover after the procedure. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to care for your teeth after dental surgery.

  1. Take It Easy
  2. One of the most important things to do for your teeth and your body is to take it easy so yourself time to heal. Particularly in the 24-48 hours after surgery, don’t perform any strenuous physical activity, drive a car, or operate machinery. Instead, stay home and rest in bed or on the couch with your head propped up by pillows. This will reduce any bleeding or swelling.

  3. Ice Your Mouth
  4. After dental surgery your face may swell or bruise. While this is completely normal, you can apply ice to your face and jaw to help the swelling go down. For the first 24 hours after the surgery, place ice packs against your face for 15 minutes and then remove for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process as needed.

  5. Be Careful of What You Eat
  6. While you may be ready to chow down on a hamburger after surgery, your mouth and teeth won’t. For the next few days after the surgery, choose soft foods and liquids such as pureed soup, yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, cream of wheat, and oatmeal. Just make sure nothing is too hot or too cold. If possible, opt for foods that are high in vitamins A and C–which will aid the healing process–such as mashed sweet potatoes and stewed carrots. Additionally, avoid alcohol and anything spicy, don’t drink from any straws, and stay away from any and all tobacco products.

    Aerial view of a bowl of soft white yogurt sprinkled with uncooked oats and sliced strawberries

  7. Brush Carefully
  8. After surgery, you’ll need to continue to brush your teeth, but be sure to be very gentle around the affected area. You don’t want to cause any further irritation.

  9. Keep Your Mouth Clean
  10. Avoid rinsing for 24 hours after the procedure. But then, to help keep the surgical site clean, gently rinse with warm salt water a few times a day. This rinse gently removes any bits of food stuck around the affected area that could lead to tooth decay or infection.

  11. Follow Your Dentist’s Orders
  12. It is vital that you follow the instructions of your dental surgeon. Follow all their post-operative care instructions and only take any prescriptions in the correct doses. By following their recommendations, you can avoid infection and promote a smooth recovery.

More Questions? Ask Us!

If you have any other questions about caring for your teeth after dental surgery, contact us today.

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Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?

Blonde woman wearing a black blouse covers her mouth due to embarrassment about her yellow teeth

There are a number of things that can turn your teeth yellow, some of which are out of your control and some of which you can prevent. Here, we’ll discuss the reasons why your teeth turn yellow and how you can best avoid discoloration.

  1. Certain Foods & Drinks
  2. There are a wide variety of foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. From pasta sauce to curry, balsamic vinegar to berries, these foods all have pigments that cling to and stain your tooth enamel. Beverages like coffee, tea, sodas, red wine, white wine, and even sports drinks can also turn your teeth yellow. To avoid staining, try to limit these foods and drinks. And when you do expose them to your teeth, concurrently drink water to help wash away any staining elements.

  3. Tobacco Products
  4. Tobacco (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco) leaves yellow and brown stains on the surface of your teeth, whether you smoke or chew it. And because nicotine is addictive, it makes you smoke or chew more and more, causing your teeth to become yellower and yellower. And not only is tobacco hard on your teeth, but it is terrible for your oral health and your overall health!

  5. Poor Dental Hygiene
  6. If you don’t brush and floss every day, staining particles are left to coat your teeth. But even worse, poor dental hygiene will lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which cause discoloration and serious oral health issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

  7. Damaged Enamel
  8. Enamel is the hard translucent outer shell of your tooth that protects the more vulnerable inner layers of your teeth. When enamel is damaged, the middle tooth layer shows through. This layer, called the dentin, is brownish and deep yellow in color, which gives your teeth a more yellowish appearance. Your enamel can be damaged via things like a diet low in tooth-strengthening nutrients, a diet high in sugar, poor dental hygiene, teeth grinding, and mouth trauma.

  9. Genes
  10. It may seem unfair, but some people are just born with naturally yellow teeth. This happens when a person inherits enamel that is thin or very translucent, allowing the underlying yellow dentin to show through, or their enamel inherently has a more gray, brown, or red tint than white.

How to Prevent Yellow Teeth

As you get older, your enamel wears away from a lifetime of chewing and consuming acidic foods and drinks, revealing the yellowish dentin beneath. But fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and strong:

  • Gently brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush
  • Floss between your teeth at least once a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a healthy diet high in nutritious whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are sugary and/or acidic
  • Quit smoking ASAP
  • Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth during sleep so you don’t grind away your enamel

Achieve a Healthier Smile at Our Florence Dental Office

Another important part of maintaining a white smile is to visit Embrace Dental Care for regular checkups and cleanings. Moreover, if you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, we can help you determine whether you’d benefit from one of our cosmetic dentistry services, such as veneers, Lumineers®, or professional teeth whitening. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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How Oral Health Can Affect Your Skin & Complexion

Closeup of a brunette woman with freckled skin wondering how oral health affects her complexion

Your oral health plays a large role in your overall health. In fact, did you know that it can be directly linked to your skin’s clarity? We often are advised to “drink more water” or “maintain a healthy diet” when struggling with pesky blemishes. These are definitely sound advice, but perhaps taking better care of your teeth can help too! Read on to learn more about how your smile may be affecting your skin.

Bacteria Buildup

Studies have shown that oftentimes the bacteria that is present on your skin can also be found in your mouth. Your mouth is simply acting as the point of entry for bacteria to multiply and move to other areas of the body, causing inflammation and irritation. Bacteria spreads rapidly so ensure you’re taking proper preventive measures to fight off bacteria by maintaining a healthy oral cavity.

The Order of Your Routine Matters

While most people know that your nightly routine should consist of brushing your teeth, flossing, and washing your face, many people don’t pay attention to what order they do that in. If you’re washing your face before brushing, toothpaste residue may remain around your chin and lips. Moreover, if you are flossing after washing your face, your hands are likely touching some areas of your face again. This may transfer bacteria from your hands to your face. For best results, make washing your face the last step in your nightly routine.

From Your Mouth to Your Body

Your mouth and your body are certainly not independent. Think of your mouth as the gateway into your entire system. When your mouth isn’t properly cared for, you increase your susceptibility for full-body diseases. Periodontal disease is associated with an increased occurrence of many different illnesses throughout the body, such as heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. Your skin is no exception and can certainly be impacted by poor dental hygiene.

How to Have Healthier Teeth & Clearer Skin

Practicing superb dental hygiene will promote clearer skin and stronger teeth, and allow you to eat, speak, laugh, and smile with confidence. In conjunction with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, come visit our team every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. Safeguard your total wellness–schedule your routine cleaning with Embrace Dental Care today!

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How to Deal with Bad Breath

Brunette woman hides her mouth with a green leaf because she is embarrassed about her chronic bad breath, known as halitosis

Is chronic bad breath keeping you from smiling, laughing, and talking for fear of embarrassment? Here at Embrace Dental Care in Florence, KY, we don’t want halitosis (bad breath) to hold you back. Here are some pointers for combatting this pesky issue so you can enjoy the benefits of fresh breath!

  1. Pinpoint Its Cause
  2. Because there are a variety of factors that can contribute to halitosis, the first step to battling bad breath is to figure out where it’s coming from. Pinpointing the cause will help you figure out the best way to prevent it. For some, bad breath may be a result of not brushing or flossing properly, tobacco use, or gum disease. For others, bad breath is due to genetics or a medication they’re taking. If this is the case, we recommend talking to your primary care physician.

  3. Maintain a Proper Oral Hygiene Regimen
  4. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause some pretty stinky breath. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should gently brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes each and floss at least once a day. If you’re still struggling with bad breath, we recommend that you do both a little more often. However, do not brush your teeth harder, as excessive pressure will wear down your enamel. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush if you have trouble applying the right amount of pressure with a manual toothbrush. Furthermore, be sure to scrape your tongue with your toothbrush to remove the coating of bacteria that usually forms throughout the day and while you sleep. You may be surprised at how much cleaning your tongue can help with any unwelcome mouth odors!

  5. Rinse Your Mouth & Avoid Sugary Mints
  6. One of the best ways to minimize bad breath is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after you eat. In addition, instead of reaching for a peppermint after your meal, chew sugar-free gum with xylitol. Despite their great smell and flavor, mints are often filled to the brim with sugar. This sugar will be eaten by your mouth’s bacteria, which will then produce acids that contribute to bad breath and tooth decay. In contrast, not only does the xylitol in sugarless gum help combat cavities, but the act of chewing gum also stimulates saliva production, which is a great natural defense against bad breath and decay.

  7. Limit Certain Foods & Drinks
  8. While you may think you can just brush away the smell of food after you eat it, that is actually not the case. Certain foods and drinks such as onions, garlic, tuna, alcohol, and coffee actually enter your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, causing you to breathe out unpleasant odors. You don’t have to give up the foods and drinks you love, but we do recommend steering clear of them if you know you are going to be talking a lot, meeting up with a first date, or in close proximity to other people.

Our Team Is Here to Help!

We hope these tips help you curb any frustrating bad breath. If you have more questions about halitosis or if you’re unsure of the cause of your bad breath, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with our friendly team here at Embrace Dental Care.

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Emergency Dentistry: How to Avoid Dental Emergencies at All Times in Florence, KY

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You are out with your friends to play basketball. Everything was prepared the night before – towels, shoes, jerseys, and a water bottle. As you exit the gate, your mind is all in the game, occupied with the thought of conquering the court and beating your opponents. Perhaps, fantasy robs your focus, making you forget the most important gear every sports enthusiast should have – the mouthguard. So there it is, injury happens, and it greatly affected your mouth and teeth. By this time you should know you need an Emergency Dentistry Care. Talk to us at Embrace Dental Care.

According to an article, the number of people who encounter dental emergencies in America is constantly increasing. Fortunately, emergency dental care is widely made available today. Injuries that are considered a subject for the said service may include painful oral problems, tooth pain due to accidents or stuck food particles in the teeth, fractured tooth, loose, chipped, or cracked teeth, broken dental appliances, and facial pain.

Although emergencies could be inevitable, you can always perform preventive actions to avoid them. Here are simple ways to get rid of dental urgencies:

  • One of the best approach to prevent the occurrence of oral complications like toothache is through practicing proper dental hygiene. The simple act of brushing and flossing can go a long way in eliminating dental emergencies in the future.
  • Despite the fact that injury is always part of the game, it is still best to protect your oral health everytime you indulge yourself in contact sports. By wearing a teeth protector, you will feel confident to play inside the court knowing that you are literally well-protected.
  • The teeth are only used for eating foods. But people are sometimes guilty of using their chompers as a tool in opening plastic packets, cutting things, and even opening a bottle! In return, they end up getting a chipped tooth.
  • Comply with your regular dental visit every six months to ensure that your mouth, teeth, and gums are all in a good state.

We at Embrace Dental Care believe that as much as possible, dental emergencies should be avoided. But when you face such, know that you can always rely on us.

For inquiries about Emergency Dental Care in Florence, KY, book an appointment with us at Emergency Dentistry Care. You can also visit us at 8544 US Highway 42, Suite 500, Florence, KY 41042.

Embrace
Your Smile!

8544 US Highway 42, Suite 500, Florence, KY 41042
(859) 371-4000

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM
10000 Brownsboro Rd. Ste 6,
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 890-7760

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM