Recent Posts



Straight Teeth Easier To Keep Clean

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The best way to prevent gum disease and cavities is to keep bacteria in the mouth to a minimum. Of course, brushing and flossing are important. But, many people do not realize how crowded and crooked teeth can contribute to the growth of oral bacteria.

When teeth are jammed against one another, they create crooks and crevices that are ideal hiding spots for bacteria. These areas are typically more difficult to clean and provide a haven for the accumulation and reproduction of bacteria.

As a Periodontist, I work in unison with a number of Orthodontists. As the Orthodontist straightens teeth, I tend to gum health to help the patient achieve and maintain a healthy smile.

If you have crowded and/or crooked teeth, use extra measures during brushing and flossing to ensure optimal cleaning in those areas. Ideally, you will want to consult with an Orthodontist to determine what is needed to realign your teeth for an attractive, healthy, natural smile.

Call (828) 274-9440 to learn more about maintaining healthy gums while in orthodontic treatment.

A Smile-Friendly Sugar!

Posted on Mar 23, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontist, I see the destruction that sugar can do to teeth and gum tissues. Most any form of sugar is an ideal food for oral bacteria. Yet, a sugar alcohol named Xylitol actually inhibits bacteria growth that can contribute to cavities.  It is primarily used as a sweetener in chewing gum, mouthwash and some toothpastes.

An added benefit of chewing gum with Xylitol is its ability to increase saliva flow. Saliva is the mouth’s cleansing agent when brushing isn’t possible. Its flow helps to move oral bacteria out of the mouth, which can lower the bacteria that attack teeth and oral tissues.

The goal is to keep oral bacteria at a minimal level. When brushing after meals isn’t possible, chewing gum or rinsing with products containing Xylitol is a wise alternative.

How Dentures Compromise Digestive Process

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The most common complaint I hear from denture wearers is their frustration when eating. Food is such a centerpiece of gatherings. From family dinners during the holidays to wedding receptions to lunch out with friends, we tend to ‘gather together’ with food front and center.

When dentures do not fit properly, the pleasure of savoring foods you love is often accompanied by the fear of embarrassing slips or clicks. Yet, another repercussion of poor fitting dentures exists – a compromised digestive system.

Grade school science taught us that digestion begins in the mouth. Proper chewing coupled with sufficient saliva help to break down foods so its continued journey can be efficiently performed. Problem dentures typically result in a reduction in chewing and saliva flow, which in turn reduces the absorption and metabolism of key nutrients.

Because chewing efficiency and strength are greatly decreased by dentures, this often leads to a diet of softer foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. Unfortunately, these choices can be high in fats, sugar and calories. Additionally, less fiber intake from a diet low in fruits and vegetables leads to constipation and a reduced intake of vitamins and minerals.

Another problem associated with denture wear is aerophagia. This is excessive swallowing of air that can lead to a severely distended stomach, pain and poor digestion.

For those who prefer dentures, it’s important to maintain the most secure fitting denture possible. However, Dental Implants are rapidly becoming the tooth replacement option of choice for many adults. Implants can secure a denture by using the jaw bone as the foundation, just as natural teeth have. This restores biting strength and chewing stability. And, no more rubbing or slips!

Adults who switch to Dental Implants are pleased that they can resume eating the foods they love again. They can chew comfortably and laugh with friends without worry.

If your denture is compromising your ability to eat, it’s likely having negative effects on your digestive system as well. Protect your health and resume eating pleasure. Call (828) 274-9440 for a Consultation to discuss options best for your needs.

Catch Gum Disease Early & Save Time & Money!

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

While your six-month cleanings and exams remove plaque and tartar, many people fail to have an effective routine at home. When a thorough regimen of oral hygiene at home twice daily is not followed, the potential to develop early stage gum disease increases greatly. This can result in symptoms of gum disease before the next visit rolls around.

Gingivitis is the first level of gum disease. This is when bacterial accumulation develops to the point of showing obvious signs of damage to oral tissues. These signs include frequent bad breath, tender gums and gums that bleed easily when brushing. As oral bacteria reproduce, gingivitis will develop into periodontal disease. This occurs when oral bacteria are reproducing at a rampant rate and damaging gum tissues at a more destructive level.

The good news, however, is you CAN reverse the progress of gingivitis before it moves to a deeper level that is more time-consuming and expensive to treat. As soon as you notice signs (as mentioned above), begin a twice-a-day regimen of brushing your teeth a minimum of two minutes, flossing daily, swishing after brushing with an oral rinse and either using a tongue scraper or brushing the tongue to remove embedded bacteria.

Additionally, increase your water intake. A moist mouth supports the cleansing effects of saliva. Avoid or greatly limit between-meal snacking and minimize your intake of sugary foods and beverages.

With proper measures, you should begin to see symptoms subside in a few days. However, that doesn’t mean you should back off! Continue this regimen to maintain a healthy mouth and control bacterial buildup. And be sure to keep your regular hygiene appointments. Those visits will help you have a ‘clean slate’ twice a year so you can avoid problems in the first place.

Once you are in the routine of this oral hygiene commitment, you’ll find it takes very little time and the payoff is well worth it! If you haven’t had regular dental check-ups and feel your gum health needs more than what home care can provide, call us at (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. Gum disease only worsens without treatment and early treatment can save you time and money.