Recent Posts



Long, Sensitive Teeth From Gum Recession

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

Gum recession occurs when gum tissues that frame the teeth wear or pull away. This exposes dark areas of the tooth’s root, which tend to be sensitive to hot, cold or brushing. Gum recession also causes “long” teeth, which detracts from one’s smile.

Receded gums are also a sign of gum disease. This occurs from the formation of “pockets” of pus or bacterial buildup between the teeth and gum line. If untreated, the tissues and bone that support the teeth can be damaged and eventually result in tooth loss.

In most cases, gum recession occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity or teeth that seem longer. Although gum disease is the leading cause of recession, there are other factors that can lead to gum recession as well, including:

Being too rigorous in tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth with too much pressure or “scrubbing” teeth with a hard bristle tooth brush can cause the enamel on teeth to wear away and the gums to recede.

Poor dental hygiene: When your brushing and flossing regimen is insufficient, bacterial accumulation results in plaque, which turns into calculus. Plaque (also known as tartar) is a cement-like substance that can only be removed from teeth by a professional.

Smoking: The chemicals in tobacco are drying to oral tissues. This increases your likelihood for the formation of plaque on teeth, which can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and clenching teeth: When you clench or grind your teeth at night, the force this places on teeth can cause the gums to recede.

Female hormonal fluctuations: When hormonal levels change, such as occurs in puberty, pregnancy and menopause, the gums can be more sensitive and more susceptible to gum recession.

Crooked teeth or bite misalignment: When teeth are not in proper alignment, there is added force placed on the gums and supporting bone. This often leads to gum recession.

Exposed areas of teeth can cause sensitivity as well as make you more susceptible to decay or gum disease. Repairing these areas can be performed in our office comfortably and quickly.

The best time to treat gum recession is as soon as it is noticed. Don’t wait until the gums have pulled away to the extent where more involved grafting is required. When caught early, your time and expense in treatment will be minimal. Call (828) 274-9440 for more information.

Keeping Teeth Important As You Age

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

More aging adults are keeping their natural teeth, which is great news. According to the Coalition for the Oral Health for the Aging, the number of older adults with no natural teeth has declined — from 41% in 1986 to 21% in 2004. The importance of proper oral health for the U.S. population will become even more important over the next 20 years as the age group over 65 is expected to grow, from 12% in 2000 to 20% in 2030.

Keeping natural teeth is not the only component for a healthy mouth. Teeth rely on healthy gums and soft tissues of the mouth for a sound foundation. Periodontal (gum) disease, the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss among older adults, is treatable at any age.

The well-being of an aging mouth also correlates to your overall health. There’s evidence of an association between gum inflammation and serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Older adults with periodontal disease even face a 25% higher risk of death from pneumonia.

React quickly to symptoms of gum disease, including sore gums that bleed when brushing, receded gums, persistent bad breath, and gums that are dark red in color rather than a healthy pink. Gum disease does not improve without treatment and the earlier your mouth is restored to a healthy state, the less treatment will be required.

Call (828) 274-9440 to request an examination if you are experiencing any signs of gum disease.

Implants Can Support Dentures For Chewing Stability & Comfort

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Denture wearers often endure embarrassing slips, difficulty chewing and sore gums. While dentures do “replace” the appearance of teeth, their ability to restore stable chewing and security when speaking or laughing is inadequate for many.

Because Dental Implants can be more costly than wearing a denture, denture wearers often feel they cannot afford them. However, in many cases, we are able to attach a full denture to several strategically-placed Dental Implants. Since implant fees are based on the number of implants placed, this typically provides a significant savings. Plus, depending on the condition of the patient’s existing denture, we can occasionally use it, providing a further savings.

When dentures are supported by Dental Implants, biting and chewing stability is restored. This is because implants are anchored in the jaw bone, providing the same foundation as your natural teeth once had. They eliminate embarrassing slips or having to forgo the foods you love.

Another benefit of Dental Implants is their ability to halt bone resorption. Once natural tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw bone, the bone begins to shrink, or ‘resorb.’ The pressure of dentures on the boney ridge beneath the gums adds to this resorption. For those who sleep in their denture, this rate of bone resorption occurs on a 24/7 basis. Dental Implants help to halt bone resorption while restoring a natural look, feel and function.

To discuss implant-supported dentures, call (828) 274-9440 for a Consultation appointment. We hope to have you eating crisp apples and chewing thick steak again soon!

Daily Flossing Equals Time & Money Savings

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

When I see a patient who requires time-consuming and expensive treatment for gum disease, I can’t help but think to myself, “This could have been easily prevented.” Daily flossing is one of the most effective means of avoiding periodontal disease, or greatly lessening its destruction.

Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. It begins with the formation of plaque, which is the accumulation of oral bacteria. As more and more bacteria form without removal, the plaque accumulates and hardens onto tooth surfaces. Plaque is a destructive component of tooth enamel and tender gum tissues.

As plaque continues to build, the bacteria ‘eat’ at gum tissue, leaving them sore, swollen and a deep red rather than a healthy pink. Eventually, tooth enamel is damaged and the bacteria works its way down tooth roots into supporting bone and tissues. Pus pockets form in gums around teeth and persistent bad breath can’t be brushed away.

The 2 minutes required for a thorough daily flossing can help to prevent gum disease since it decreases the amount of oral bacteria in the mouth. This small devotion of time can save you greatly in expenses required for repairs and restoration of a healthy mouth.

For flossing instructions or for a thorough examination of your mouth to determine the presence of gum disease, call (828) 274-9440 to arrange an appointment.