Recent Posts



Is Your Potential For Tooth Loss High?

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The latest (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that adult tooth loss in the U.S. has decreased from the early 1970s. Yet, percentages remain high and vary according to age range, race and sex.

For example, adults between ages 20 – 64 have an average of 24.92 remaining teeth rather than 32 in a normal adult mouth. Nearly 4% of adults in this same age group have no remaining teeth. For adults ages 65 – 74, both male and female averaged approximately 19 remaining teeth.

Older adults, Black and Hispanic adults, current smokers, and those with lower incomes were shown to have higher percentages for being totally edentulous (no remaining teeth).

Males showed slightly higher averages in tooth loss than females while current smokers averaged having only 23.47 teeth. Non-smokers (never smoked) had nearly 26 remaining teeth. Nearly half of smokers ages 65 – 74 had lost all teeth versus about 22% of the same age group who had never smoked.

Your teeth are much more than mere components of a smile. While teeth can be replaced with dentures, partials, crown-&-bridge combinations and Dental Implants, there is nothing as dependable as healthy, natural teeth. Your teeth affect your appearance, self-confidence and self-esteem. They are also an important part of the digestive process and help to maintain a healthy jaw bone mass.

Renew your commitment to have a healthy smile and keep your teeth for a lifetime. Arrange for a thorough periodontal examination so you can begin with a sound foundation of healthy gums. Brush and floss twice daily and be diligent about keeping your 6-month check-ups.

If you’ve avoided dental care due to fear or other concerns, call to arrange a Consultation. We are experienced at helping fearful patients and are a ‘lecture-free’ practice. You’ll be warmly welcomed and respected by each member of our team.

Don’t be one of the statistics of tooth loss. Call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation soon!

Sleep Apnea? Heavy Snoring? Jaw Joint May Be The Culprit.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Sleep Apnea has become more familiar to the American population as the reason they endure daytime sleepiness, are more accident prone, gain weight and have a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, depression and high blood pressure. However, few people associate the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ or jaw joint) with breathing problems during sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway is restricted or blocked. Apnea, the Greek word for ‘without breath,’ is when a sleeping individual stops breathing, some for up to one minute. This can occur hundreds of times per night.

When the jaw joint is not working properly, during sleep the tongue can collapse and block or reduce a natural intake of oxygen. Heavy snoring, which is often a precursor to Sleep Apnea, can occur for this same reason.

The lack of adequate air during sleep forces the body to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Thus, Sleep Apnea sufferers fail to reach the deep sleep stage necessary for the body to rejuvenate itself. The common fatigue and lack of energy that adults with Sleep Apnea have can also be accompanied by headaches, migraines, clenching, grinding and worn teeth, which are also indications of TMJ Disorder.

If you have – or suspect you have – Sleep Apnea, having your jaw joint examined may reveal an important component to resolving this sometimes deadly problem. As a Periodontal Specialist, I work with many Orthodontists and General Dentists who are highly skilled in resolving TMJ Disorder. Call (828) 274-9440 for a recommendation of a doctor near you.

Travel Abroad To Save On Dental Implants Not Quite The Bargain You May Think

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

In a recent issue of AARP’s monthly magazine, I came across cost comparisons of various medical and dental procedures that have lured Americans out of the country for ‘bargains.’

Although there was a significant savings in procedures like heart bypass and hip replacement, I was not surprised to see that Dental Implants in the U.S. are rather competitive and even less expensive than averages in many countries.

For example, the average Dental Implant cost in the U.S. is approximately $1200 (depending on type and location of placement). In Costa Rica, they average $900 and $950 in Mexico. However, implants are a whopping $2636 in Malaysia, $1600 in the U.K. and $1500 in Singapore. Average costs in India are $1100 but the lowest price we found was Hungary at an average of $650.

After you factor in air fare, hotel costs, ground transportation and travel insurance, you must also calculate the potential risks. For example, once back in the States, an infection or unusual pain indicates a problem, which typically requires immediate attention. Unless you’re willing to pick up the tab to repeat the trip (and absorb the travel costs again), a local doctor will need to be seen.

All in all, Dental Implants in the U.S. are a bargain. The training and safety standards for dentists in America are very high and our sterilization measures are essentially unsurpassed.

Your ultimate ‘deal’ when it comes to Dental Implants is having placement done right the first time. If complications do arise, which are rare, they can be dealt with promptly and effectively without a major travel ordeal required.

Why take a risk? Having Dental Implants placed in America gives you convenience, safety and a tremendous bargain. Let’s discuss your individual needs and options in a private Consultation. Call (828) 274-9440 for an appointment.

The Hazards Of Sleeping In Your Dentures.

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

A recent study has found that elderly patients who wear dentures while they sleep have a higher risk of developing pneumonia. The study included over 450 denture wearers and tracked their oral health and hygiene as well as medical status. Nearly 41% of the participants reported that they slept in their dentures.

The three-year study found that those who wore their dentures while sleeping had a higher risk for pneumonia than those who slept without their dentures. Additionally, this group was more likely to have gum inflammation, plaque buildup on the tongue and denture and be more prone to other oral health issues.

When dentures are worn 24/7, oral bacteria reproduce on a continual basis. In addition to an increased risk of pneumonia, this can lead to other problems, including:

Halitosis – Bad breath is a common problem for denture wearers. The material that forms the gum portion of dentures is porous and provides a dark, warm and moist breeding ground for bacteria. Oral bacteria growth leads to the formation of plaque and frequent bad breath.

Mouth Irritation – Loose dentures can move while eating and create sore spots on tender gum tissue.

Burning Mouth Syndrome – Dentures can place stress on facial muscles and oral tissues. This can lead to pain and soreness in the mouth that tends to worsen throughout the day. It also causes an increase in thirst and loss of taste.

Oral Thrush – The fungus Candida albicans can overgrow in the mouth, creating lesions on the tongue and cheeks.

Bone Loss –  Wearing dentures places pressure on the upper and lower jaw (the gum ridge that supports your denture), which causes the bone to shrink. Wearing dentures all day and all night creates continual pressure, which accelerates the rate of bone loss.

Although many people are committed to wearing dentures or partials, we in the dental field typically recommend Dental Implants for a number of reasons. If your denture is uncomfortable or you are concerned about associated health risks, call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation to discuss your potential for Dental Implants.