Recent Posts



Baby Boomer? Protect Overall Health By Monitoring Oral Symptoms!

Posted on May 29, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

It is our goal to ensure your smile is a positive part of your health, in all aspects. A survey commissioned by the Academy of General Dentistry revealed 63% of ages 45 to 65 with an oral symptom found it was linked to a more serious health condition. It seems key symptoms in the mouth were warning signs of adult onset diseases.

For instance, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease increases with age. Researchers believe that these diseases often manifest themselves in the mouth.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which usually begins after age 45. Initial indicators of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums. However, only 29% of the baby boomers surveyed were aware of this connection.

After the age of 45, the risk for developing heart disease triples. Although heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, a sore and painful jaw is often overlooked as a warning signal. As a matter of fact, 60% of those surveyed were unaware these symptoms could be signs of a potential heart attack.

Research continually reveals links between oral and overall health. While the health of your smile is our emphasis, your overall well-being is also important. Please mention any unusual symptoms you are experiencing and keep us updated on all medications you take, including the dosage.

Bone Loss Is Consequence Of Tooth Loss

Posted on May 22, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Tooth loss has many frustrations. Dentures contribute to discomfort, reduced confidence, decreased ability to chew and enjoy foods, and a daily inconvenience.

Unfortunately, many acknowledge these ordeals as “normal”, unaware that an underlying occurrence is taking place with even greater impact to one’s life … bone loss.  Bone loss, over time, contributes to deep wrinkling and a sunken-in appearance around the mouth, a “witches chin,” jowls and a severe reduction in biting strength.

When tooth roots are missing from the upper or lower jaw, the bone begins to shrink, or resorb.  This resorption continues and is even accelerated by the pressure of dentures. An indicator of bone loss is the change in the fit of your denture.  Dentures that once fit securely will eventually begin to loosen due to the change in the bone underneath the gum.  As the bone shrinks in size, the ridge under the denture slowly flattens out. Over time, the denture has less of a foundation, decreasing one’s ability to bite and chew comfortably. The biting strength of natural teeth is 250 pounds.  A denture wearer bites with 5 to 6 pounds, on average.

Emotional repercussions are equally as severe. In addition to a decrease in self-esteem and self-confidence, denture wearers tend to unplug from society, don’t look at people in the face, smile and laugh less, don’t leave home often, wear no make-up and eat out rarely.

There is a solution, however. Dental Implants recreate the presence of tooth roots, slowing bone loss and restoring the strength of your bite.  There are many types of implants designed to accommodate individual needs.  For those who have lost a great deal of bone depth, there are procedures that can rebuild the bone to a normal depth.

Dental Implants are designed to last your lifetime. When properly selected, placed, and cared for, they will bring you nearly as much pleasure and satisfaction as natural teeth. To discuss your options in tooth replacement, call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation appointment.

Yikes! My Denture Is Full Of WHAT?!!!

Posted on May 21, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

These days, Americans are more aware of keeping bacteria at bay by regular hand-washing and proper food handling. Yet, little publicity has been devoted to the bacterial presence in dentures and partials.

The material that holds the replacement teeth of dentures and partials is porous. This means that bacteria can become embedded in it. Not only do bacteria reproduce at a rapid rate, these organisms eat, and therefore produce waste, continually in your mouth.

This bacterial buildup can result in painful inflammation, cracking at the corners of the mouth, redness and soreness. But, once established, disease-causing microorganisms (like Candida albicans, for example) won’t go away on their own. Ridding them may require powerful antifungal medications.

Full and partial denture-wearers must rinse their appliances after every meal and soak them in disinfectant solutions nightly. Not only is this process burdensome, many people sleep in their dentures and partials. The warm, moist, dark environment this provides is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. As bacteria builds, the eventual result is an infection called periodontitis. This form of gum disease can result in painful and serious problems, such as increased inflammation in the body.

Yet, oral bacteria can cause devastating damage far beyond one’s mouth. Research has shown that the bacteria of gum disease can become bloodborne throughout the body via tears in gum tissue. These bacteria can trigger (or increase) inflammation that research has shown to contribute to coronary artery disease, diabetes, preterm babies, stroke, and arthritis.

Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, they restore chewing comfort and biting stability. Dental implants allow you to eat the foods you love and laugh without worry. Dental implants help to preserve the jaw bone by recreating the stimulation once provided by natural tooth roots. They are safe and, when properly selected, placed and maintained, will last all your life.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of dentures and partials, call (828) 274-9440 to discuss the dental implant alternative. Like other adults, your life will enjoy many, many advantages!

Moms-To-Be Should Be Extra Diligent About Oral Health

Posted on May 16, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

While many pregnant women become more health conscious during pregnancy, moms-to-be should also be extra attentive to their oral health. Research has shown that oral decay and the bacteria of periodontal disease can lead to pre-term labor.  Additionally, many OB/Gyn doctors now caution their pregnant patients that poor oral health during pregnancy can put an unborn child at risk of infections or low birth weight.

When pregnant, women often eat more frequently. The reaction in your mouth is an acid attack every time you eat or drink. Be sure to swish or brush afterwards and floss daily. Use a tongue scraper, which helps to remove oral bacteria embedded in the tongue.

For those who are experiencing morning sickness, try to rinse with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Most importantly, however, have a thorough periodontal examination early in your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby can both enjoy optimal health!

To schedule a periodontal exam, call (828) 274-9440.