Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hormones and Oral Health

We are focusing on women's oral health issues this week and it seems just when you think you've got things figured out, life throws you another hormonal curve ball.  Can hormones affect your overall dental health?  You bet they can!

WebMD has a great article on Hormones and Oral Health.  Take a few minutes to read this insightful article.  It sheds light on five situations in a woman's life where hormonal fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems.

Women may be more susceptible to oral health problems because of the unique hormonal changes they experience. Hormones not only affect the blood supply to the gum tissue, but also the body's response to the toxins (poisons) that result from plaque buildup. As a result of these changes, women are more prone to the development of periodontal disease at certain stages of their lives, as well as to other oral health problems.

When Are Women More at Risk for Oral Health Problems?

There are five situations in a women's life during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems – during puberty, at certain points in the monthly menstrual cycle, when using birth control pills, during pregnancy, and at menopause.
The surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque, causing the gum tissue to become red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.
The monthly menstrual cycle
Due to the hormonal changes (particularly the increase in progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle, some women experience oral changes that can include bright red swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores, or bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.
Use of birth control pills
Women who take certain birth control pills that contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body, may experience inflamed gum tissues due to the body's exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque. Tell your dentist if you are taking an oral contraceptive.
Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone, in particular, can cause gum disease any time during the second to eighth month of pregnancy – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant.
Numerous oral changes can occur as a consequence of advanced age, the medications taken to combat diseases, and hormonal changes due to menopause. These oral changes can include altered taste, burning sensations in the mouth, greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, and decreased salivary flow that can result in dry mouth.
Dry mouth, in turn, can result in the development of tooth decay and gum disease, because saliva is not available to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque. Dry mouth can also result from many prescription and over-the-counter medications that are commonly prescribed to older adults.
The decline in estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts women at greater risk for loss of bone density. Loss of bone, specifically in the jaw, can lead to tooth loss. Receding gums can be a sign of bone loss in the jawbone. Receding gums also expose more of the tooth surface to potential tooth decay.
Tips to Prevent Oral Health Problems
Some tips for preventing oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay include:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Floss at least once a day.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional oral examination and cleaning.
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • Avoid sugary or starchy snacks.
  • Ask your dentist if he or she thinks you should use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
  • If you have dry mouth, ask your dentist about treatments for this condition, such as artificial saliva. Biotene is one such product and is available over the counter.

If you find yourself suffering from any of these issues, please feel free to call our office to schedule a free exam.  We can discuss the concerns you might have and set you on a path of health and wellness through some of the tough transitions in life. We will show you products that we have found very successful in the treatment of many oral health problems.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Call today to schedule your FREE EXAM!

(541) 451- 1440 or simply

 click here to fill out an Appointment request form.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Say Cheese! had a very fun article entitled, 15 Fascinating Facts About Smiling.  Your smile says so much about yourself.  They say the eyes are the windows to your soul, and we feel that your smile opens the door to your greatness.  If you find that you are hesitant to share your smile, please do not wait any longer to receive help!
Everyone loves the quote “laughter is the best medicine,” and as a nurse, I have experienced the benefits of smiling and laughter with my patients. In fact, smiling can boost your mood and even your immune system. Keep reading for more fascinating facts about our smiles.
  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
  2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  3. Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
  4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
  5. It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
  6. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
  7. We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
  8. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
  9. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
  10. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
  11. Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
  12. Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile less than girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
  13. Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  14. There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
  15. Babies start smiling as newborns: Most doctors believe that real smiles occur when babies are awake at the age of four-to-six weeks, but babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born
We are here to help you receive 
the smile of your dreams!  

Call today to schedule your FREE EXAM!

(541) 451- 1440 or simply

 click here to fill out an Appointment request form.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Preparing Your Child for a Dental Exam

This week we have been focusing on the importance to starting the school year off right with a dental check up for your children.  Children's oral health has a huge impact on our education systems across the nation.  

Did you know:

  • Dental disease is more common in U.S. children than any other chronic disease.
  • Nearly 60% of U.S. children have tooth decay.
  • Oral health problems can have negative effects on a child's general health and development.
  • School absences from dental disease result in school funding losses.
  • Children between the ages of 5-17 miss two or more days of school for dental problems.
  • Significant consequences of tooth decay including pain, chewing difficulties, and lack of sleep can impact learning and growth.
So what can you do as a parent to prepare your child for a successful dental visit?  Here are some great tips from the Mayo Clinic.

To help prepare your child for a dental exam:
  • Carefully time your child's visit. Schedule dental exams for your child at a time of day when he or she is well rested and most likely to be cooperative.
  • Be positive. When talking to your child about his or her dental exam, avoid using words such as "pain" or "hurt." Instead, tell your child that the dentist will use special tools to make sure your child's teeth are healthy. Remind your child that you visit the dentist, too — but don't talk about any negative dental experiences you might have had.
  • Listen to your child. Encourage your child to share any fears he or she might have about visiting the dentist or having a dental exam.
  • Toddlers, school-age children and adolescents
    During each regular checkup, the dentist or hygienist will continue to evaluate your child's oral hygiene and overall health, drinking and eating habits, and his or her risk of tooth decay. In addition to cleaning your child's teeth, the dentist or hygienist might:
    • Take dental X-rays or, if necessary, do other diagnostic procedures
    • Apply sealants — thin, protective plastic coatings — to permanent molars and other back teeth susceptible to decay
    • Repair any cavities or tooth defects
    • Look for any problems in the way your child's upper and lower teeth fit together
    • Counsel your child about the impact of thumb sucking, jaw clenching or nail biting
    • Recommend pre-orthodontic treatment, such as a special mouthpiece, or orthodontics, such as braces, to straighten your child's teeth or adjust your child's bite
    As your child gets older, dental exams might also include counseling about the oral health risks associated with:
    • Drinking sugary beverages
    • Smoking
    • Chewing tobacco
    • Eating disorders
    • Oral piercings
    • Not wearing a mouth guard during contact sports
    The dentist or hygienist might also discuss the possible removal of your child's wisdom teeth (third molars).
    Dental X-ray
    A dental X-ray allows the dentist to see detailed images of specific sections of your child's mouth. Traditional X-ray film is developed in a darkroom, but a newer technique allows X-ray images to be sent to a computer and viewed on a screen. Various types of oral X-rays are available, including:
    • Bitewing. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the crowns of the upper and lower teeth. During a bitewing X-ray, your child will bite down on the X-ray film holder while the X-ray images are being taken.
    • Periapical. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the entire tooth and the surrounding bone.
    • Occlusal. This type of X-ray allows the dentist to see the way the upper teeth and corresponding lower teeth fit together when the jaw is closed.
    • Panoramic. This type of X-ray gives the dentist a broad view of the entire mouth.
    X-rays aren't typically needed at every dental visit. Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is low — but talk to the dentist if you're concerned about the radiation exposure.
There is a lot you can do to assure your child has a great start to a new school year.  If you have any particular concerns that we can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask. Sometimes having things explained by an adult other than yourself can reinforce ideas that are important to you.  

We are here to help!

Call today to schedule your FREE EXAM!
(541) 451- 1440 or simply
 click here to fill out an Appointment request form.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great Resources Abound!

The American Dental Association has introduced a new consumer website called  We think this is a great resource and tool to help you get answers to some common questions you may have.  We hope you utilize this great resource!, the ADA’s new website for consumers, has information you need to take better care of your mouth today so it will take care of you for life.
Visit your life stage and find healthy habits, top concerns, nutrition and fact or fiction information:
Explore ADA Seal of Acceptance Products to help you decide which dental product is right for you and your family.
Search A-Z topics and the Top Ten Dental Symptom slideshow to learn about different dental issues and discover how you can prevent and/or treat these issues.
For Kids! has activities and games to help kids learn the importance of good oral health care – all while having fun.

Visit and Be Mouth Healthy for Life

Remember about our Limited Time Offer for a 
FREE Dental Exam with X-Rays.  

Call today to schedule your FREE EXAM!
(541) 451- 1440 or simply
 click here to fill out an Appointment request form..

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dr. Clark Pleads for Your Teeth!

Are you tired of fighting tooth decay with unsuccessful results?  Would you like to keep your kids cavity free?  Dr. Clark now has a GREAT SOLUTION!

Medical (Chemical) Management of tooth decay.  For those of you who we find have active cavities, we recommend this new 5 visit in-office program.  I recently became aware of a low cost preventive procedure which can stop or slow the progression of tooth decay and buy you time until your finances can handle a more permanent solution. No drilling or shots are needed and the procedure can be done by any staff member in only minutes!

At each visit we apply a cavity killing liquid to the cavities and then coat all your teeth in a protective fluoride varnish shield.  The multi-flavored varnish sticks to your teeth much longer than the previous fluoride treatments we used to.  

I sincerely hope we can work together to keep your teeth as healthy as possible during these hard economic times.  

Doctor Clark

Click here to Like us on facebook for a chance to win a 
Braun-Oral B Electric toothbrush.  

Please call us to schedule an appointment
to take advantage of this great offer!

(541) 451-1440 or TEXT us at 541.6DC.DDS2