Gum Disease, Inflammation & Foods To Pass Up
Posted on Apr 29, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums that causes loss of the bone that support teeth. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation creates an over-production of immune cells that actually damage, rather than repair. Rampant inflammation can lead to cancer, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, as well as other major health problems.
To aid your body’s ability to keep inflammation in check, it is important to maintain a healthy mouth. Your mouth can be a tremendous source of bacteria, which can develop into gum disease. When gum disease weakens oral tissues, this bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Research has already associated the inflammatory reaction of oral bacteria with a list that includes coronary artery disease, stroke, memory loss and diabetes.
This information, in itself, should be enough to motivate adults to brush (at least twice daily) and floss every day. However, it is also important to keep those six-month dental exams and cleanings. This allows removal of bacteria-laden plaque, which can occur between visits (even for diligent brushers and flossers). Plaque build-up is what your Hygienist is scraping off, and no amount of brushing or flossing will remove it.
In addition to maintaining good oral health, you may be interested in a list of foods that may actually add to harmful inflammation. While everything in moderation is always wise, some foods are more irritating and tend to exaggerate inflammation. They include:
MSG – This preservative and flavor enhancer is a chemical that has been shown to have inflammatory responses. While more research is needed to understand why MSG causes inflammation, we already know that the human body does not tolerate it well.
Sugar – Excess sugar in the body creates havoc in a number of ways. While the body goes through intricate maneuvers to process it, the end result is inflammation.
White Bread – White bread is refined to nothing more than fast-digesting carbohydrates that irritate the body. Both white bread and pastas break down quickly into sugar, leading to higher sugar levels in the blood.
Gluten – Sensitivity to gluten can lead to bloating or digestion problems. It is believed that these symptoms could be an inflammatory response.
Alcohol – Alcohol becomes sugar as soon as the body begins to break it down. A small amount of alcohol is tolerable – even beneficial. However, too much allows bacteria to easily enter the linings of the intestines. This can lead to irritation and inflammation.
Trans Fats – Many processed foods are full of hydrogenated oils (manmade fats), which can damage the cells that line your blood vessels. This results in ‘plaque buildup’ in arteries.
We’ll keep you posted on new findings as they are published. In the meantime, if you’ve been irregular with oral hygiene at home or infrequent with your dental check-ups, call us for a periodontal exam. It’s one of the wisest ways to help protect your overall health and well-being! Call (828) 274-9440 to schedule.
Affordable Periodontal Care
Posted on Apr 24, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
There are few things that add so much to your life than a healthy smile. Not only does the health of your mouth impact your overall health, having a great smile tends to boost self-confidence, self-esteem and causes people to smile more often, projecting a positive and upbeat individual.
When a patient decides they cannot afford needed dentistry because “my insurance won’t cover it,” it is the insurance company who is smiling. Insurance firms are profit-making companies. Their goal is to cover ‘basic necessities’ rather than what will enhance your long-term well-being.
For those who make their own decision on what they want, we offer excellent payment options. These enable patients to enjoy the benefits of a confident smile while making monthly payments that fit their budgets. Many of these options require no down payment and are interest free. Some treatments are also tax deductible.
Our goal is to help patients achieve the healthy smile they desire regardless of their insurance coverage. For those patients who know ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ I frequently hear, “It’s the best investment I ever made!” once their new smile is part of their life.
To discuss payment options, call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation. Your new smile may be adding joy to your life soon!
If You Have Jowls, Thank Your Dentures. Here Is Why…
Posted on Apr 22, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Long-time denture wearer? If you suspect your face has grown longer, it is probably because jowls have formed on both sides of your face. This is often the result of facial muscles that have detached from the jaw bones once it shrinks to a certain point.
Here is why you’ve lost bone: When natural tooth roots are held by the upper and lower jaw bones, they provide stimulation to the bone, which helps to maintain its mass. When tooth roots are no longer present, lack of stimulation results in bone resorption, or ‘melting away’ of the bone.
Although resorption occurs slowly, pressure on the jaws from wearing dentures actually speeds the resorption process. Since many denture wearers also sleep in their dentures, this continual pressure accelerates the rate of bone loss even more.
When dentures are first placed, the fit can be satisfactory for one to five years. However, as bone loss progresses, it continues so the denture’s fit lasts at less-frequent intervals each time. For example, one year after the extraction of teeth, a denture wearer experiences a 25% bone loss. Three years later, 60% of the bone is gone. While the biting force with teeth is 250 pounds, an average denture wearer bites with only 5 – 6 pounds of force.
Today’s implant dentistry includes types, such as the ‘All-On-4,’ that need minimal bone for placement. Because these implants are placed at unique angles, just four implants (upper or lower) can support a full arch of non-removable teeth.
Although other implant types may require more bone, procedures that can rebuild the jaws to a healthy mass. Some cases are accomplished using bone generating materials. Others may require a bone graft. Upper implants may need a ‘sinus lift’ to ensure there is ample bone protecting the sinus cavity.
Regardless of the process, dental implants will enable you to chew comfortably and speak and laugh confidently without fear of embarrassment. Begin with a consultation and examination to learn what is required for your needs as well as treatment options. Call (828) 274-9440 to schedule.
We Are Committed To Your Comfort
Posted on Apr 16, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
As a Periodontist, I cannot imagine hurting a patient. Even more, I cannot fathom why a Dentist would continue to work on a patient they can see is in pain. Yet, from the horror stories I have heard, it’s no wonder gum disease is so rampant since many end up avoiding dental care for years.
While I’ve always been committed to providing exceptional results and healthy smiles, I also know that procedures can be performed without the patient experiencing pain. For fearful patients, most do fine with Oral Sedation, which requires no needles to administer and has a quick recovery. Once patients realize they can trust me to prevent any discomfort throughout their procedure, some even opt for standard numbing.
A healthy smile is an important part of one’s overall health and well-being. If you know someone who avoids dentistry because of fear, suggest they arrange a consultation. This conversation will hopefully be the beginning to a confident smile!