Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life Gets Sweeter With Age!

50 on the beachIs it true that life gets sweeter with age?  Many of you may disagree.  It seems like every day we wake up with new aches or pains.  We aren't sure which body part will function or not.  Best Dentist shares some great tips and explanations of things to watch for as we age.

Quality of life is the key to staying on top of your game once you’re over the hill… and a few miles down the path.

Oral health plays a big role in overall health, and overall health contributes to good quality of life. So, taking care of your mouth is important. The dentist can help keep your smile pearly white, super clean, and functioning comfortably, so you can retain your natural teeth long into your golden years, if not forever. (A dentist can even help with sleep disorders, chronic headaches, and TMJ pain!)
People over 50 should watch out for these common oral health hiccups:

Bruxism – Teeth Grinding
  • One study shows that 8% of adults suffer from bruxism
  • Estimates show that 3.6 million oral splints are produced annually
People who are stressed are more likely to grind their teeth. Improperly aligned jaw joints (TMJ disorder) can also contribute to this destructive habit. In many situations, “bruxers” don’t know they grind their teeth. A husband or wife usually notices the problem while the bruxer is sleeping. The dentist can look at your teeth and determine if they’re worn and damaged from bruxing. Wear a custom-made nightguard, you’ll grind no more. Learn more about bruxism at the AGD’s Know Your Teeth website for dental patients.

Tooth Decay – Cavities – Dental Caries
  • Between 29% and 59% of adults over the age of 50 experience caries
  • 90% of adults have experienced dental caries
While a cavity can develop on any tooth, any time, for grownups, cavities tend to show up near former cavities, where dental work begins to deteriorate. Without treatment, tooth decay can lead to internal infection or tooth loss. You’ve heard it your entire life, but maybe your memory ain’t quite what she used to be: Brush twice a day, floss once a day, visit your dentist and hygienist twice a year, and promptly follow through with restorative treatment. Read what the ADA has to say to patients regarding dental caries prevention.

Periodontal/Gum Disease
  • While the statistics for Gum Disease are staggering, Dr. Clark has seen wonderful progress and healing through LANAP or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.  Click here for a brief description of this breakthrough technology.

Oral Cancer
  • Approx. 30,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with oral cancer
  • Approx. 8000 Americans die each year from oral cancer
  • Oral cancer rates increase after 50 years of age and peaking between 60 and 70
Risk factors for oral cancer include using tobacco and drinking alcohol, but anyone can develop the condition. As with many health concerns, older patients are more prone to the disease – particularly current or former smokers. Fortunately, early detection at dental checkups can allow for early intervention, which could literally save your life. Modern dental technology has given us ViziLite, VELscope, and Identafi, systems that allow us to see potentially cancerous cells before they reach the surface of the mouth and cause visible lesions. Visit the Oral Cancer Foundation online for more info.

Dry Mouth – Xerostemia
  • Normal saliva production is 4-6 cups a day for an adult
  • Dry mouth can contribute to oral pain, bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay
Truth is, with every birthday, you produce less saliva. Maybe it’s the increasing number of candles you have to extinguish each year. Just kidding. Declining saliva flow is a normal part of aging. Some medications also reduce saliva production, as do radiation treatment and diabetes. While spit may seem gross, it’s nature’s industrial oral cleanser. Without sufficient saliva, your mouth will feel like a desert. You’ll also be more prone to gum disease and cavities because bacteria aren’t washed out of your mouth with your spit. If you have “cottonmouth,” stop sucking on mints and talk with the dentist or your physician.

After reviewing all of that it's easy to concur that life is not sweeter with age, but we want our patients to know that their oral health can be great if they stay up to date on their dental exams and cleanings.  By keeping these regular appointments we are able to detect and prevent many issues before they get out of control or cause permanent damage.

If it has been a while since you have seen Dr. Clark, please call us today.  If you would like to refer us to a friend or family member, we would be honored to help them however we can.  Together we can make a difference!

Call today to schedule your appointment!
(541) 451- 1440

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

You're Not a Procrastinator - Are You?

One certain consequence of procrastinating dental work is that conditions will only become worse and be more expensive.  Thanks to technology today many dental problems can be diagnosed early and when taken care of immediately a lot of time, money and even pain can be saved.

Best Dentist has a great article about putting off the "grown up things" and the consequences that follow:

Ideally, you’d never procrastinate in doing responsible, grown-up things.
But we’re all guilty of it. For some, it’s finances: “I’ll do my taxes next week!”  Or housework: “Those dirty dishes can soak in the sink for a while.”  Or even shopping: “I’ll just take a package of ramen noodles to work for lunch…”

All kinds of things get pushed aside on our daily to-do lists because we’d rather not tackle them now. But when it comes to your dental healthcare, procrastinating is ill advised. Sure, your time is precious, but your health is irreplaceable. And though many people don’t realize there are benefits to their wallet associated with dental visits, there are many. Yes, dental treatment can help your family budget’s bottom line!

How is that possible, you ask? How can spending money actually save you money? Well, consider preventive maintenance on your teeth like the regular tune-ups and oil changes you get for your car. You rotate the tires so they wear evenly, and replace the air filter when it gets grungy. All so your transportation keeps transporting you where you need to go, and you don’t have to pay big bucks to replace a part that could have been protected with preventive measures.

You know where this logic leads, and why it’s even more important to pay attention to your smile than your car. Your teeth need that same attention to keep doing what they do so well. Without it, the chances of developing a serious problem are much higher. Gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer are all conditions your family’s dentist will check for during a routine exam. If you’re not keeping appointments on a regular basis, a problem could be developing and you’d never know. At least, not until you experience a symptom that signals there’s a problem—and by then, the issue has progressed far beyond what your dentist or hygienist could catch in a simple exam.

A cavity or signs of disease are much easier and cost effective to treat in the early stages, so don’t delay your dental visit any longer. Put off shopping for a bathing suit, but don’t put off caring for your smile!

Tackling what seems to be a never ending list of dental needs in a family can really be broken down into easy to follow and finance plans.  Our staff is more than willing to discuss your options and help you schedule the needed work to fit not only in your schedule but also in your budget.

So what are you waiting for?  

Don't put off your dental work needs any longer.
Call us today for a FREE Consultation and we'll get you started on a plan of health and happiness!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Can We All Just Get Along?

tooth-heartIs there a correlation of heart disease and gum disease? Best Dentist recently published an article on Gum Disease and Hearth Health.  We would like to share this information with you today.

Nearly 80% of American adults suffer from gum disease! Gum disease can devastate your oral health, causing serious dental problems. In fact, the number one reason for adult tooth loss in the United States is untreated gum disease. Worse, though, is the effect that gum disease can have on your heart health.
Research conducted recently found that patients who had suffered heart attacks also suffered from poor oral health, too. And the American Academy of Periodontology notes that people diagnosed with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.
How do you know if you have gum disease? You may have periodontal infection if your gums:
  1. Bleed during or after brushing your teeth
  2. Feel tender, swollen, or sore
  3. Look red or discolored
  4. Form pockets around your teeth
One of the simplest ways to ensure good gum health is to brush twice, floss once, and use a fluoridated oral rinse every day. Getting regular check-ups at least twice a year gives your dentists the opportunity to check your gums—and keep you on track to periodontal health.

According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, patients who were treated for periodontitis showed improvements in endothelial (cells that line blood vessels) function. So, getting your oral health in order can also improve your overall health, too!

Dr. Clark has a revolutionary tool at his disposal called LANAP - Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure that allows him to successfully treat and restore bone loss due to gum disease.  He has been so pleased with the results of this technology that offers this solution to everyone, even those who are not current patients.  He is a leading expert in LANAP and receives referrals from other colleagues due to the great success of this gentle laser gum therapy.  

Call today to schedule a FREE LANAP Consultation 
 and find out how it can help you receive 
the same amazing results!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blood Pressure Up?

Best Dentist shares a great article on high blood pressure and oral health.  This is a very important topic, one that we all need to pay attention to.

doc & adminHigh blood pressure, also called HBP or hypertension, can affect your ability to receive oral healthcare. Performing dental treatments on patients with hypertension can be detrimental! If your blood pressure is too high, many dentists won’t schedule procedures until you receive a health assessment from your medical doctor.

What is high blood pressure?
The two forces measured for your blood pressure reading are the blood pumping out of your heart and into your arteries (systolic), and the heart resting between beats (diastolic). Normal blood pressure readings for a healthy individuals who are 20 years and older should be below 120 for systolic and below 80 for diastolic. If blood pressure readings are consistently higher than 120/80 then you’re probably suffering from hypertension.
According to, the website of the American Heart Association, “Untreated high blood pressure damages and scars your arteries.” High blood pressure increases risks of blood clots, organ damage, heart attacks, and strokes. High blood pressure also results increased plaque build-up and weakening blood vessels.

How does high blood pressure affect my dental health?
In a white paper released by the American Diagnostic Corporation, it states: “…elevations of blood pressure can increase a patient’s risk of experiencing a stroke or myocardial infarctions in the dental chair.” Patients with hypertension can also be in danger from local anesthetics that use vasoconstrictors, such as epinephrine, which increase blood pressure and heart arrhythmia.
High blood pressure medications can also affect your dental wellbeing. Some prescriptions cause dry mouth and may also alter your sense of taste. Meds with calcium blockers can also create gum overgrowth, which can affect a patient’s ability to chew and may require periodontal surgery to correct.

Will my dentist still treat me if I have high blood pressure?
Most dentists will not treat patients who have high blood pressure, especially if your numbers are in the Stage 1 or higher range for hypertension. (View the chart at the American Heart Association’s website.) If you’re being treated for high blood pressure, it’s important for you to discuss your condition and your medications with your dentist before beginning any treatments. Most patients being treated for high blood pressure can still have dental procedures, take anti-anxiety medications (often used for oral conscious sedation), and safely receive local anesthetics.

Dr. Clark and his team take extra precaution when treating patients with high blood pressure.  Be prepared to answer several questions, providing a complete medical history about your high blood pressure and the measures you are taking to control your symptoms.

If you have any concerns about your blood pressure and how it will affect your dental care, please do not hesitate to call us.  We will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Call today for a FREE Consultation!
(541) 451-1440