Recent Posts



Your Heart’s Health May Depend On Number of Natural Teeth!

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Could tooth loss and bleeding gums set you on a path for cardiovascular disease? In the largest study of its kind, a connection has been revealed that shouldn’t be ignored.

Research results were recently released on how periodontal disorders, such as tooth loss and gingivitis, are associated with risk for cardiovascular disease.

The report was released in April 2014 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It published information on a clinical trial involving 15,828 participants, all with chronic coronary heart disease. It found that indications of periodontal disease (few remaining teeth and gum bleeding) were common in these patients.

However, those who had more natural teeth were found to have lower levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors. They also had lower glucose levels and better blood pressure readings. Even participants who had diabetes, consumed alcohol, were under stress or were smokers had healthier numbers when they had more teeth and minimal gum bleeding.

Nearly 70% of these participants with chronic cardiovascular disease were current or former smokers. Sixteen percent of the group had no remaining natural teeth with 41% having less than 15 teeth. Over one-fourth of the group reported bleeding gums when brushing teeth.

These findings reinforce the link between dental disease and coronary heart disease. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. The study’s evidence shows poor dental health among chronic coronary patients increases their risk level. While age and smoking are recognized as risk factors related to both periodontal and cardiovascular diseases, this shows that the association between the conditions goes far deeper.

Although this doesn’t confirm that periodontal disease is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, it is another reason to make every effort to maintain healthy gums and do everything possible to keep your natural teeth.

If you have bleeding gums, you likely have periodontal disease. Contact us promptly at (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. This will not improve without treatment and can result in eventual tooth loss.

By the way, the next time your dentist recommends a crown to protect your natural tooth, remember this study that shows your heart may reap the benefits as well.

Easy Fresh Breath Tip

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

It’s always unpleasant to have a conversation with someone who has bad breath. Once it occurs, the memory of it tends to stick in our minds. It becomes what we think of each time we encounter them thereafter, even if their breath is fine.

Persistent bad breath is a symptom of Periodontal Disease, along with tender gums that bleed when you brush. However, if you are worried about occasional bad breath, be sure to floss daily and brush at least twice a day. In addition, here is a tip many people are unaware of how greatly it helps remove oral bacteria (the cause of standard ‘halitosis’).

After brushing your teeth, take your toothbrush and go over the entire surface of your tongue, especially in the back. Although you may gag when far back, this action is well worth it. The tongue, with its many grooves, provides an excellent home for bacteria to embed. The back of the tongue tends to harbor these bacteria the best.

You can also purchase a tongue scrapper at the drug store in the toothbrush section. Run this over your tongue a few times (rinsing after each swipe) to remove a great deal of bacteria in 3-4 passes.

Finally, use your toothbrush to clean other parts of your mouth after brushing. Run it over the roof of your mouth, under the tongue and inside the cheeks and lips. Finish with several good swishes of water.

You don’t have to fear being “that person” who leaves a bad breath impression! Decrease the bacteria in your mouth and you’ll give your breath a leg up!

If, however, your bad breath is frequent and you are experiencing tenderness or bleeding of the gums, you have Periodontal Disease. This will only worsen without treatment. Call (828) 297-9440 for an appointment.

Never Ignore Unusual Oral Symptom

Posted on Apr 19, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Oral cancer is on the rise and, of all major cancers, has the worse five-year survival rate … only 54%. The death rate of oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer or melanoma. It is the seventh most common cancer among males with incidence and mortality rates almost three times higher for men than women.

Oral cancer includes cancer of the tongue, lip, palate, floor of the mouth, gum tissue, and oropharynx. Most lesions grow slowly; however, some double in size within a few days or a week. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer is in the best interest of your health. These include:
• A sore in the mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal
• Pain, burning sensation, or numbness in the tongue or other areas in the mouth
• Change in texture of the tongue
• Sore throat or feeling there is something stuck in the throat
• Change in voice or hoarseness
• White or red patch on tongue, gums, or tonsil
• Browning discoloration that borders the lip
• Lump, ulcer, or swelling of jaw, neck, or oral tissues
• Thickening of soft oral tissues of the mouth

Early detection is vital, with survival rates as high as 81%. Late intervention has an average survival rate of 17% or less. Most dental check-ups include an annual examination for signs of oral cancer. The screening process is painless and takes only minutes.

React quickly to any symptoms by calling (828) 274-9440 for an examination.

One-Stop-Shop For Implants May Have Risks

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Recently, I’ve been seeing ads for ‘clinics’ promoting dental implants. They make the process sound quick, easy and a good deal. However, as a dental specialist, I understand these ‘quick and cheap’ options come with risks.

When someone offers a ‘package deal’ on something as intricate as dental implant procedures, it can quickly fall short of the good deal it seems. We all want to know that the time and money we invest in anything is a good value. Putting your long-term oral health and well-being in the hands of quickie solutions can have pitfalls.

Your dentist knows your health history, commitment to oral hygiene in the office and at-home regimen. He or she also understands your preferences in appearance and function as well as comfort needs. When working with a periodontist, he or she communicates all history and aspects of your oral health and overall preferences. We then work together as a personalized team on your behalf. This lessens the potential for factors that can contribute to implant complications or eventual failure (resulting in removal).

Since some clinics offer only one particular implant system, performing them in bulk may allow them to give you a better rate. Yet, the type of implant placed may not be the best one for your individual needs; something that can come back to haunt you later.

There are many types of implants designed for specific needs, such as those for people who have lost a lot of jaw bone mass or those who want non-removable teeth. The cost for dental implants is such that ‘having it done right the first time’ is not something to be overlooked.

You deserve to know all the options that are appropriate for your individual needs and goals. Having it ‘done right the first time’ is the best way to achieve a lasting, successful outcome. Call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation.