Tackle Gum Disease Sooner Than Later
Posted on Nov 26, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
While regular dental check-ups and cleanings are designed to help you maintain a healthy mouth and catch problems at the earliest stage possible, these visits are not structured to treat a mouth that shows signs of gum disease.
Like many diseases that form in our bodies, there are no obvious signs as gum disease is first forming. For example, by the time many women discover a lump in their breast, it is because it has grown to a sizable mass. This is why mammograms are recommended at regular intervals, so a growth can be remedied when treatment requirements are (hopefully) still minimal.
The initial stages of gum disease are silent. Once symptoms emerge, such as gums that bleed when brushing or persistent bad breath, a more intensive form of “cleaning” is required. This can be successfully and comfortably completed by a Periodontal Specialist, who is specifically trained to treat even late-stage periodontal disease.
By seeking this specialized care, you can hopefully avoid tooth loss. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, often due to delay in treatment. Once the mouth is restored to good oral health, resuming a committed home care regimen and regular dental cleanings can help keep it that way.
Maintaining good oral health is also necessary to support overall health. The bacteria of gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies and impotency. Research has continually shown just how devastating oral bacteria can be once it enters the bloodstream through diseased gum tissue.
Without treatment, gum disease will continue to worsen. The gums become sore and tender and pus pockets form around teeth. Eventually, teeth will loosen and have to be removed. Tooth loss creates an entirely new set of problems.
If you suspect you have gum disease, take proactive measures now by getting periodontal disease effectively treated. Call (828) 274-9440 for an appointment.
Link Between Arthritis And Gum Disease
Posted on Nov 20, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disabling condition that can lead to long-term joint damage, persistent pain and loss of function. Studies now show that adults with RA have a higher incidence of periodontal (gum) disease.
Although RA symptoms can affect manual dexterity, which can make tending to oral hygiene more difficult, research shows that other factors may play a role as well.
An extensive study concluded that RA patients are nearly 8 times more likely to have periodontal disease.
While the results showed that oral hygiene played a significant role, a recent study’s results suggest that rheumatoid arthritis is associated with periodontal disease. Because RA and gum disease are both systemic inflammatory disorders, inflammation seems to be the internal trigger that links the two diseases.
If you have RA or know someone who does, or if RA runs in your family, it’s important to achieve and maintain good oral health. Call (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. New patients are always welcome with patient comfort a priority at all times.
How To Spend Less On Dental Care
Posted on Nov 18, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
As a Periodontal Specialist, I see the insides of many, many mouths. Occasionally, I see a patient who wants to improve the appearance of their smile, such as through crown lengthening or repairing a ‘gummy smile.’ In most cases, however, the mouths I see are in dire need of care.
Whether an adult is at my office for dental implant placement due to lost teeth or needs their gum health restored due to periodontal disease, most of these situations are avoidable. And, their condition is not always one of neglect as much as from a lack of knowledge.
While commercials promote denture creams, tooth paste and whitening strips, there has been little public awareness of how to adequately care for one’s teeth and gum health. A dental hygienist may urge you to floss, but do you really know how? Or, do you know why you should and what can happen if you don’t?
A vast amount of research is showing how your oral health can impact your overall health and even contribute to the onset of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and preterm babies. Yet, the American population still lacks the understanding of how easy it is to prevent problems from occurring in the mouth in the first place.
This year, be determined to save your money on dentistry and spend mere minutes per day tending to your oral health. The key is to:
Floss daily – Ask for a ‘flossing lesson’ if you’re having difficulty
Brush thoroughly (at least twice a day) using a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste
Swish after meals when you cannot brush and drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist
Use a tongue scrapper daily to remove bacteria embedded in the tongue
Maintain your 6-month dental check-ups and cleanings
Keep between-meal snacking to a minimum and avoid sugar whenever possible
If you have soft enamel, ask your dentist for sealants. When teeth are cracked or fractured, have them crowned as soon as possible.
If you are missing teeth, replace them – preferably with dental implants.
We tend to spend many hundreds of dollars on the upkeep of our automobiles, yet, balk at investing in our oral health and appearance. Your smile is worth the attention you can give it each day to keep your smile in good working order and looking great! Be as committed to your smile as your vehicle and you’ll save time, money and enjoy overall health benefits all day, every day!
Keep Your Breath Close-Up Fresh For Holiday Gatherings
Posted on Nov 13, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Being in close conversations with family, friends or co-workers can quickly become an uneasy situation if bad breath comes between you. For those of us who’ve encountered someone who had bad breath, we tend to associate them with their breath odor from then on. While chewing gum in social settings doesn’t make for a polished impression, bad breath makes a worse one. Fortunately, you can have breath fresh without needing gum as a crutch.
For positive impressions as you celebrate this holiday season, keep your mouth as bacteria-free as possible. This requires a daily regimen of brushing (at least twice – in the morning and before bedtime) and flossing between teeth. Also, a tremendous amount of bacteria are embedded in the grooves of the tongue. When brushing, finish up by brushing the tongue or use a tongue scraper.
Be committed to your six-month dental check-ups and cleanings, which rid your mouth of bacteria accumulation since your last visit. If you are not maintaining those visits regularly, see a periodontal specialist for a thorough exam. A Periodontist specializes in care of the gums and helps you achieve a ‘clean slate,’ so having fresh breath and a healthy smile are easier to maintain.
It is also helpful to limit beverages containing alcohol, which is drying to the mouth. Certain medications, age, or particular foods and beverages can also cause dry mouth. Drink plenty of water. If you take medications that are drying, ask your doctor if there are alternatives. Decrease your intake of alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods as well. Smoking is horribly drying to oral tissues. If you smoke, this is yet another reason to give it up.
Enjoy the holidays with close conversations and hugs with those you love, leaving an impression that makes them smile! Call (828) 274-9440 if you would like to schedule a consultation or an exam appointment. We’ll be happy to help you begin your holiday on a “fresh” start!