Recent Posts



Dread Dental Cleanings? Here’s An Easy Fix.

Posted on May 30, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Being in the dental field, it’s not unusual to hear, “I hate going to the dentist,” or “I’d rather (insert various phrases) than go to the dentist.” Yet, there ARE those who actually enjoy having their teeth cleaned and their smile brightened every six months!

If you dread dental cleanings, it’s likely because it’s uncomfortable. The reason it’s not comfortable is probably because (drum roll) you don’t floss on a daily basis.

Daily flossers remove bits and particles between teeth before they begin to breed bacteria. As these particles rot, bacteria accumulate and form a sticky substance known as plaque. When plaque is not sufficiently removed on a daily basis, it hardens into tartar that the Hygienist has to scrape away during your cleaning.

Oral bacteria not only eat away at tooth surfaces (causing cavities), they attack gum tissues, which causes inflammation. This makes your gums tender and sore. When the hygienist scrapes tartar off teeth that are surrounded by inflammed gum tissue, it’s not going to be without sensations.

The good news is – you can prevent all of this in just two minutes a day! Commit to daily flossing for two weeks, which should be enough to get you comfortable and in the habit. Most daily flossers feel uneasy when they DON’T floss because a flossed mouth is a cleaner mouth.

If you need help, ask your Hygienist to work with you so flossing is easy and to ensure you are doing it effectively. Be sure to brush at least twice daily (for a minimum of 2 minutes each time) and use a tongue scraper to remove embedded bacteria from the tongue.

Your breath will be fresher, you’ll save time and money by avoiding dental repairs, and you will hopefully change your dread of dental visits to actually looking forward to 6-month cleanings!

If you are experiencing tender gums that bleed when you brush, you are in the initial stages of periodontal disease. This will only worsen without treatment. Call us at (704) 274-9440 for an appointment.

Why Dentures Contribute To Bad Breath

Posted on May 28, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Although Periodontal Disease is one of the first symptoms associated with persistent bad breath, denture wearers often complain about an unpleasant odor on a frequent basis. This is due 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 reproduction 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. Although this process is burdensome, many people sleep in their dentures and partials. This warm, moist, dark environment is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, exacerbating the bacterial onslaught in one’s mouth.

This is yet another reason we advise dental implants. Dental implants are tooth root replacements positioned in the jaw bone. They restore chewing comfort and biting stability. Implants allow you to eat the foods you love and laugh without worry. They also help to preserve the jaw bone by recreating the stimulation once provided by natural tooth roots. They are safe and designed to last for a lifetime.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of the inconvenience and discomfort of dentures or partials, please call for a Consultation. Your confidence in eating and being close with others is worth exploring this option. And, today’s dental implants are more affordable than you may think! Call (828) 274-9440.


Think Dentures Are An Easy Solution To Oral Problems?

Posted on May 27, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Dentures always seem like such a simple solution to oral problems. They’re not. Research has shown that adults who are totally edentulous (missing all of their natural teeth) die at an age that is ten years earlier, on average, than those who have their natural teeth. Research also indicates a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

A new study links fewer teeth and bleeding gums with a range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums could allow up to 700 different types of bacteria to penetrate the bloodstream. Once bloodborne, this bacteria can increase heart attack risk regardless of how fit and healthy the adult is otherwise.

Studies have shown that an individual’s number of natural teeth affects their potential for systemic inflammation. A Swedish study of over 15,000 adults showed that the fewer teeth remaining, the higher the levels were of an enzyme that increases inflammation and promotes hardening of the arteries.

Along with higher cardiac risk, few teeth was related to higher cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference. Those with fewer teeth also had greater chance of having diabetes. However, it’s not just keeping your natural teeth. Your gum health plays a significant role as well.

Initial signs of gum disease are bad breath and sore, bleeding gums. If untreated, plaque build-up on teeth can result in cavities, receded gums and tooth loss. While bleeding gums are associated with higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing heart disease can occur through periodontal treatment and regular dental check-ups.

As a Periodontist, it is my commitment to stay current on the latest findings surrounding the correlation between oral health and overall health connections. I am aware of the dire importance of saving natural teeth to one’s overall health that much of our population lacks, unfortunately. Although it may seem ‘easier’ to have teeth removed or cheaper to avoid dental visits, the long-term health repercussions will eventually emerge in costly ways — physically, emotionally and monetarily.

When your mouth is healthy, teeth and gums are easy to keep in good shape through a committed home care regimen and regular dental check-ups – all simple and affordable steps. For those who are contemplating dentures to ‘solve’ their dental problems, here’s my advice: Ask someone who has worn dentures for over ten years, if they could go back in time, would they have made more effort to keep their natural teeth?

Call us at (828) 274-9440 to begin on your path to a healthy smile.

Major Cause Of Oral Problems – Dental Fear!

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

In my office, I see some pretty rugged guys. Some patients are men who have fought in wars (some, more than one), have jobs that are physically challenging and think nothing of tackling projects like knocking out walls or cutting massive logs into nice wedges for firewood. I’ve also seen these guys break down in tears as they recall traumatic episodes during dental procedures. These often one-time occurrences leave otherwise strong men and women with an embedded fear of dental visits, so much so that many will endure severe pain rather than walk through a dental office entry.

As a dental specialist, most of my patients arrive here because their problems have become so severe that they can no longer postpone dental care. Many have already lost natural teeth and are at risk of losing more. Many have periodontal disease that can trigger an inflammatory reaction in the body. Gum disease bacteria has been associated with heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, impotency, preterm babies and more.

I pride myself and our entire team on our commitment to providing effective care with a gentle touch. We add Oral Sedation to treatment when appropriate for patients, whether for fear, anxiety or even to be more comfortable during lengthy appointments.

I also pride myself on working with some of the South’s finest dentists. These men and women have dedicated their careers to providing exceptional dental care and creating positive experiences for patients. Like me, they are appalled when learning of a dentist who hurt a patient yet continued the procedure. These practitioners have no place in today’s dental field.

The good news is — You CAN have gentle dentistry where you feel relaxed before, during and after your visit! Even better, you CAN regain a healthy mouth and confident smile without enduring a white-knuckled experience!

Dental fear is nothing to be ashamed of and can be overcome. There are millions of adults who walk into their 6-month dental visits with a smile, experience no discomfort throughout their exam and cleaning, and walk out feeling positive and pleased at their ‘no problems’ report. You CAN be one of  them, regardless of the level of fear you now have. In the right hands, you will find that dental visits are nothing to dread. And, you’ll regain a healthy, confident smile in the process!

For a friendly discussion in our private Consultation Room that is removed from the clinical side of the office, you can share your concerns and learn about options to help you move at a pace that’s right for you. Call (828) 274-9440.