Begin Warmer Weather Outings With A Fabulous Smile!

It’s the middle of March and the weather is still chilly. With today’s temperature and cold rain, it’s hard to imagine the warm weather that’s right around the corner. And, fortunately, it is!

We residents of Wilmington and surrounding areas love how the climate complements outdoor gatherings. With school breaks, graduations, weddings, and coming holidays, we have many outside opportunities to enjoy friends and family before us.

Does having your picture made at these gatherings remind you that the appearance of your smile is less-than-sparking? For people who have stained, missing, chipped, broken or crooked teeth, it’s not unusual to feel awkward having photos made when everyone else is saying “Cheese!”

For people with smile flaws, many tend to ‘hold back’ when smiling. Some smile with lips only or conceal their smile with a hand. Having the confidence to smile broadly and joyfully, we believe, should be the best part of every smile.

To correct problems that distract from the smile you want, consider scheduling a free consultation. During this time, we can discuss options that can recreate your smile into one you’ll be proud to share. Some options are:

• Porcelain Crowns or Veneers: Porcelain provides a beautiful opalescence with the look and feel of natural teeth. Porcelain also has the best durability of all materials used in esthetic dentistry and is more resistant to staining. The process is generally completed in just two visits.

• Inlays & Onlays: When a tooth requires a filling, porcelain inlays and onlays offer a more natural look versus tooth-colored fillings. These are ideal for teeth that do not require a full crown (‘cap’) but need a durable, natural-looking option for repair.

• Bonding: This is a process that ‘paints’ a material onto the surface of teeth. It can be shaped to filled in gaps, chips and other flaws. It is shade-matched to the teeth involved in treatment and then polished to provide a natural sheen. Although bonding provides a less-costly option than porcelain, it does not have the durability and longevity of porcelain.

• Invisalign: When teeth are crooked to the extent that it causes bite misalignment, you can avoid the discomfort and awkwardness of brackets and wires. Invisalign uses clear molds that gentle guide teeth into their proper positions. They are comfortable and can be removed when eating or brushing. And, they are virtually ‘invisible’ in a smile!

• Teeth Whitening: A white, bright smile provides a number of advantages. It tends to provide a more-youthful appearance, camouflages some flaws, and alludes to having a healthy mouth of clean teeth. Whitening is very affordable and, when provided by a dental office, is longer lasting than drug store whitening kits. Dental office whiteners also provide a higher degree of whitening, in most cases.

If you’ve delayed having cosmetic dentistry due to fear associated with dental procedures, ask about comfort options. In addition to the gentle touch we are known for, we offer several relaxation features. I’ll be happy to explain those and discuss the one(s) appropriate for you during a no cost consultation.

If the cost of treatment has prevented you from achieving the smile you desire, ask about easy payment options. Some are interest-free with no down payment required. These break treatment costs into monthly payments that fit most budgets.

Why begin warm weather fun without the smile you’ve always wanted? Call 910-254-4555 to request a private, no charge, no obligation consultation. I’ll be happy to make recommendations and answer your questions.

Posted in Beautiful Smiles, Bonding, cavities, Cavity repair, Cosmetic Dentistry, crooked teeth, crowded, Crowns, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Fear, Financial Plans, Gentle Dentist, New patients, Opalescence Go Whitening, Payment Plans, Porcelain Veneers, Sedation Dentistry, Smile Makeovers, Tooth Repair, Tooth Whitening, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Begin Warmer Weather Outings With A Fabulous Smile!

Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body

Could having good ORAL health give you a ‘leg up’ on having better OVERALL health?

I’d like to share some findings that reinforce the need to maintain a healthy mouth. First, allow me to explain why your oral health is now known as a major player in your overall health.

In your mouth, there are millions of bacteria, which are micro-organisms that are taken in via the food we eat, the utensils we use and even our toothbrushes. During a given day, ka-zillions of bacteria enter the mouth. Through saliva flow, a large number of these are moved out of the mouth.

However, saliva is unable to efficiently manage the bacteria reproduction that occurs from today’s normal lifestyle. Most Americans not only eat three meals a day, most of us have a snack (or two) as well. Additionally, our diets are laden with sugar and carbs. These tend to ramp up the reproductive ability of oral bacteria.

Thus, saliva is only able to remove just so much bacteria from the mouth. This is where twice daily brushing and daily flossing come in. When you brush thoroughly (at least two minutes per time) and floss to remove food particles caught between teeth, you help your mouth to more efficiently manage bacteria in the mouth.

As diligent as we try to be when it comes to our oral hygiene routines, very few of us have an ideal regimen. And, add in the many agents in our lives that contribute to oral dryness (such as many medications, caffeine, and a number of health conditions) and you have an environment that breeds oral bacteria beyond what we are typically able to combat.

Your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings are designed to help remove oral bacteria buildup that has hardened into tartar (or calculus). This is what your hygienist is scraping off teeth during cleanings. Typically, the gums in areas where it exists are especially tender. This is because a buildup of oral bacteria creates inflammation on surrounding gum tissues. So, just as a cut on your finger that turns red is sore, so are the gum tissues under attack from an overload of bacteria.

When the inflammation in your mouth becomes full-blown gum disease, the tissues are weakened. Your overall health takes a hit when the oral bacteria of advanced periodontal disease enters the bloodstream through tears in inflamed gum tissue. Once bloodborne, it can travel throughout the body.

What researchers have found is how the inflammatory nature of gum disease bacteria can trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Systemic inflammation is a term used often these days, which describes an immune system that has gone haywire. It is a constant simmering that leads to a long list of health problems.

Thus far, oral bacteria from advanced periodontal disease has been correlated to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, some cancers (including prostrate and pancreatic), Alzheimers disease, preterm babies, erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotency.

For example, the American Diabetes Association shared a review that focused specifically on the relationship between oral pathogens and diabetes, which included the statement: “Many studies conducted during the past decade have focused on a change in approach to studying periodontal infection and its relationship to systemic health and disease. Periodontal diseases are recognized as infectious processes that require bacterial presence and a host response. Risk factors in conjunction with bacteria and the host response can affect the severity of disease, patterns of destruction, and response to therapy.” (

Additionally, a study in Medscape reinforced the association between gum disease and the risk for stroke. One of the authors of the study stated, “results show that individuals who regularly attend the dentist had half the stroke risk of those who do not receive regular dental care.” (

And the findings go on and on.

Yet, gum disease is actually easy to prevent. And, when caught early, treatment needs are minimal. All it takes is a commitment on the part of an individual, which includes staying involved with your dentist. Those six-month check ups are structured to help you care for your smile between visits and to provide tips on maintaining proper care at home.

Over 47 percent of American adults have some level of gum disease. I suspect the reason for such an alarming static lies in the fact that gum disease often exists silently. An individual may not have initial symptoms, and then once they emerge, such as tender gums that bleed when brushing, are often ignored if “nothing hurts.”

While many people pay the most attention to the teeth seen in their smile in a mirror, the visual of “everything’s okay” is misleading. It’s what’s occurring underneath the gums that effects the health of teeth and, as research shows, your entire body.

Let us help you enjoy a healthy, confident smile while giving your overall health a leg up! Begin with a thorough examination. Or, call 910-254-4555 for a free consultation to discuss any concerns you have, such as dental fears or time constraints. We are here to help you achieve a healthy mouth – for life!

Posted in Arthritis, Bleeding Gums, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Fear, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, Diabetes, dry mouth, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, Heart Disease, mouth sore, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Sore, Systemic Inflammation, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body

Simple Ways To Avoid Bad Breath.

Although the title of this blog begins with the word ‘simple,’ for people who struggle with bad breath, there is nothing simple about it. Persistent bad breath is a real problem for some people – once they realize they have it. When they do, it becomes not only worrisome, it is downright embarrassing.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant odor that emanates from the mouth. There is no mystery there. For many who struggle with bad breath on a regular basis, the mystery is often in where it is coming from.

There are many sources of bad breath. When we first wake up, after a morning of coffee, having a hot dog with onions for lunch, or battling a sinus infection – having bad breath can be bothersome although these are essentially temporary problems.

The most common cause of persistent bad breath, however, is periodontal (gum) disease. This is an overload of oral bacteria in the mouth that are attacking gum tissues. Their accumulation eventually leads to an infection in the mouth where gum tissues are being destroyed.

According to a report submitted by the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention, over 47 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have some level of gum disease. ( I believe the reason for this prevalence is in gum disease’s ability to exist without obvious symptoms. Too, gum disease symptoms are often easily ignored or assumed ‘normal,’ such as seeing blood in the sink while brushing teeth.

Below are some sources of bad breath and how to ‘freshen up’ once the source is found.

• Periodontal disease: Some symptoms of gum disease include swollen, tender gums; gums that turn darker in color (verses a healthy pink); and gums that bleed easily when brushing. However, gum disease also begins silently and you may not notice any symptoms until it is advanced. Having regular dental checkups is the best way to ensure your gums are in good shape.

• Dry mouth: The term for persistent oral dryness is Xerostomia. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are unable to keep the mouth ‘rinsed’ of oral bacteria. Thus, oral bacteria are able to accumulate in your mouth, which is a warm, moist and dark environment – an ideal breeding ground for oral bacteria. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), aging, mouth breathing, and some diseases. The Mayo Clinic has an excellent explanation of dry mouth and its causes. ( Also, read on to learn more about dietary contributors to oral dryness.

• Certain foods and beverages: If you indulge in morning coffee and perhaps a cola in the afternoon, you may be surprised to know that caffeinated beverages have a drying effect on oral tissues. This also applies to tea, chocolate and spicy foods. And, when you add sugar to your coffee or tea, you rev up the reproduction of oral bacteria by providing them with their ‘super food.’ Are we suggesting you give up your morning coffee or iced tea with lunch? No! However, knowing these are contributing factors to oral dryness should prompt you to follow each cup of coffee or can of cola with a glass of pure, filtered water. This will help to hydrate your whole body as well as your mouth.

• Snoring and mouth breathing: We all wake up with not-so-fresh breath. This is because oral bacteria accumulate in our mouths throughout the night. However, add the drying effects of mouth breathing or snoring and bacterial levels are even higher. This means that all those tiny organisms eating and breeding in your mouth have an ideal setting for thriving – and they thrive on your gum tissues.

• Some diseases: Certain health problems can make bad breath a regular occurrence. GERD is one as well as sinus infections and diabetes, all of which can also leave you more vulnerable to frequent bad breath. Some treatments for certain diseases, such as cancer, also make you more susceptible to oral challenges.

• Smoking: If you smoke, you’re likely aware of having a higher risk for many cancers, heart disease and stroke. Yet, many people ignore the fact that the mouth, with its moist, absorbent tissues, is the entry point for tobacco smoke and its many toxins. The poisonous fumes from this smoke are drying to oral tissues. Your risk for gum disease is higher, which includes a higher risk for persistent bad breath along with stained teeth. You are also at greater risk for oral cancer, which has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers.

The key to having fresh breath is keeping oral bacteria levels to a minimum. It’s ‘simple’ to do, as twice-daily brushing and flossing are tried-&-true ways to have a healthier mouth. Consider using a tongue scraper to remove oral bacteria embedded in the tongue. Also, drink plenty of unsweetened water throughout the day.

Combine this routine with dental exams and cleanings every six months and you’ll likely avoid the repercussions of gum disease and the embarrassment of being the one with bad breath.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with gum disease, call 910-254-4555 to schedule an exam. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment and can lead to tooth loss. You are also welcome to begin with a free consultation to discuss your oral health or goals for an attractive, confident smile.


Posted in Bad Breath, Bleeding Gums, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, Diabetes, dry mouth, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, Heart Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Cancer, Oral Health & Wellness, Smoking Cessation, Sore, Tooth Loss, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Simple Ways To Avoid Bad Breath.

Why Replace Missing Teeth? And How You Can.

Too many adults in our nation assume that losing a natural tooth is normal. Yes, accidents contribute to some tooth loss but the number one reason for losing adult teeth is periodontal (gum) disease. And, gum disease, although too prevalent among adults, is anything but ‘normal.’

Unfortunately, gum disease exists in an estimated 47 percent of American adults. This is an astronomical figure considering the level of advanced healthcare in this country. Although an adult mouth is designed to contain 32 teeth (wisdom teeth excluded), adults ages 20 to 64 have about 25 remaining teeth. (

By the age of 50, an American adult has lost 12 teeth, on average. For adults 65 to 74, 26 percent have lost all their teeth.

The need to replace missing teeth is great. Even a tooth that’s not visible in a smile should be replaced promptly at the time of removal or loss. Why?

Each tooth is designed to serve as a part of a whole. Tooth roots not only provide stimulation and nourishment to the jaw bones that hold them, they help to keep neighboring teeth in proper alignment.

For example, a missing lower tooth allows the teeth on both sides to tilt out of their proper positions. The tooth above will grow longer since it doesn’t have a match below to keep it in place. This leads to misalignment.

When misalignment occurs, a number of problems can occur, including teeth that chip, crack or break. Additionally, bite misalignment can lead to night-time clenching or grinding and jaw joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ disorder can result in frequent headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, difficulty opening the mouth fully, dizziness, ear ringing and jaw popping.

The best time to replace a tooth is at the time of removal. We advise dental implants since they restore a dependable foundation for biting and chewing. Implants also help to preserve the bone that supports them and gum tissues surrounding them.

The options for tooth replacement are below. The one best for your needs and preferences can be discussed during a private, no cost consultation.

Dental Implants – As mentioned above, dental implants provide a sturdy, stable option for replacing teeth since they are held by the jaw bone. And, since they recreate stimulation to the jaw bone, they halt the rate of bone loss that occurs when natural tooth roots are no longer present in the bone. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime as well, making them an excellent investment.

Crown & Bridge – Crown and bridge combinations work when one, two or several teeth are missing in one area (as long as a natural tooth borders it on each side). This tooth replacement option involves the crowning of natural teeth on each side. A ‘bridge’ of one or several replacement teeth is placed, which includes the two crowns.

Partials – A partial denture is designed to replace several teeth when natural teeth are still remaining. The partial attaches to existing natural teeth using clasps that are generally undetectable in a smile. Partials help to restore the look of real teeth and preserve the ability to chew and speak.

Full Dentures – When an individual loses all upper or lower teeth, some prefer the option of a full denture. This is a gum-colored base that holds an entire ‘arch’ of replacement teeth. When dentures are first made, they are typically comfortable (once the individual becomes accustomed to eating and speaking with it in place). However, the pressure of a denture on the ridge that supports it contributes to bone loss. This is why a denture can begin to slip or cause uncomfortable rubbing after several years.

When we discuss tooth replacement options with our patients, we want them to understand the advantages and challenges associated with each. For dental implants, the only ‘challenge,’ for some, is the higher expense since implant costs are all ‘up front.’

However, in the long-term, implants provide a much wiser investment. In addition to their ‘for a lifetime’ longevity, they help to protect the health of other teeth along with the bone structures that support teeth.

Dental implants also allow you to eat a healthy diet of foods you love. By eating a nutritious diet and chewing foods properly, you support your overall health. And, people who have no worries about embarrassing slips or clicks are more socially active. Staying involved with others has proven to be a bonus to our overall health. (

We respect the choices our patients make when it comes to replacing teeth and want you to fully understand each option to help you determine which is best for you.

Call 910-254-4555 to schedule your free consultation.


Posted in clenching & grinding teeth, Cosmetic Dentures, Crown & Bridge, Crowns, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Implants, Full Dentures, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, headaches, migraines, New patients, Oral Health & Wellness, Partials, TMJ & Bite Realignment, Tooth Loss, Tooth Replacement, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Why Replace Missing Teeth? And How You Can.

The Oral Health – Whole Body Health Connection

It wasn’t all that long ago when people believed their brains were dormant during sleep. We now know that our brains are busy throughout the night doing housekeeping that fine-tunes it’s ability to serve as an efficient central control system.

The body is a remarkable structure. For it to function at its best, we’ve learned that we have to eat a healthy diet, get ample sleep, avoid polluting it with toxins from cigarettes and drug use, and to keep it reasonably active.

Yet, an emerging factor in having good overall health is how significantly our oral health impacts it. For years, researchers have tracked the close connection between oral bacteria of periodontal (gum) disease with serious health problems far beyond the mouth.

While early research showed a correlation between certain strains of gum disease bacteria and diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, they are now able to zero in on what triggers it.

Rather than go into ‘microbiomes’ and other complicated details, remember this: The health of your mouth influences the health of your body. As a dentist, this makes perfect sense.

Realize that your mouth is mostly made up of soft, absorbent tissues. Your teeth are actually a small part of the ‘oral cavity,’ although that’s what is most visible when we look in the mirror. These tissues are the first point of contact for most anything that enters the body.

Unlike the nose, which can filter out a certain amount of pollutants, the mouth takes a direct hit from whatever enters it. For example, while people assume the lungs get the brunt of cigarette smoke toxins, it is the mouth that gets the initial dose.

The mouth does a pretty good job of combating problems. But, like anything, it does have its limits. For all the bacteria that accumulates in the mouth, we must remove a certain amount each day for it to manage bacteria levels effectively.

When oral bacteria overload occurs, however, the oral tissues become inflamed. This inflammation is a normal reaction of the immune system, with the white blood cells crying out, “We’ve done all we can! Every man for himself!”

Oral bacteria causes periodontal disease and leads to cavities. However, when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream (through tears in gum tissues), the potential for problems elsewhere may lead to far worse than a cavity.

To give an example, a study of people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed that tissue samples taken from arthritic joints had an almost identical makeup to tissues of gum disease. And, to emphasize the connection further, it was found that successful treatment of gum disease could improve symptoms experienced by arthritis sufferers. (

Every week, I read about new findings that connect oral health to our overall health. As a matter of fact, many cardiologists now advise patients to have thorough periodontal exams and necessary treatment prior to surgical procedures. Ob-Gyns are also advising their pregnant patients to tend to their periodontal health based upon links that indicate risks for preterm, low birth weight deliveries. (

In the U.S., about a third of adults do not brush their teeth every day or ever floss. These actions require about 5 minutes of one’s time on a daily basis. Having twice-a-year dental checkups and cleanings provides a ‘clean slate’ of sorts, making it easier to manage oral bacteria levels between visits. Yet, some adults assume these visits are optional and only go when something hurts.

Your commitment to oral health could be one of the best ways to avoid other serious problems from developing in the first place. Reconsider your at-home oral hygiene routine and ask us how you can optimize your time at the sink. The pay-off may be bigger than you realize!

If you’ve delayed regular dental visits, we want you to experience the comfortable, respectful environment we provide to our patients. We’ll make sure you enjoy a positive experience while learning easy ways to achieve and maintain a healthy, confident smile.

Call 910-254-4555 to schedule.

Posted in Arthritis, cavities, Cavity repair, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, Diabetes, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, Heart Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Systemic Inflammation, tooth ache, Tooth Loss, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on The Oral Health – Whole Body Health Connection

Go Ahead – Indulge In A Little Chocolate!

It’s Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d address something that many Americans think of when it comes to this day — chocolate!

Over the years, chocolate has been an indulgent temptress. For those who count their calories and fat grams, savoring chocolate has been a guilty pleasure albeit one worth the occasional bite (or two, or three…)!

Like red wine, chocolate has become less of a bad guy based on findings that have shown its antioxidant qualities (when consumed in moderation). When chocolate’s health benefits were brought to light, the general public celebrated with a little less guilt.

Although anything that contains sugar isn’t “good” for your oral health, according to the Cleveland Clinic, chocolate is an indulgence that can be enjoyed from time to time with less regret than many other sweets. ( Here’s why…

Chocolate comes from a cocoa bean, a plant that contains flavonoids.
Flavonoids are also found in other fruits and vegetables and protect and repair the plant from environmental toxins. This gives these plants antioxidant qualities.

When humans consume plants with antioxidants, the body also benefits.
Antioxidants help to filter out pollutants in the air and repair cell damage.

The flavonoids in the cocoa bean are largely of a particular type, known as flavanols. Flavanols are at the top of their game when it comes to antioxidant qualities. In addition to the cocoa bean, flavanols are found in red wine, cranberries, peanuts, apples and tea.

Not only do flavonoids have antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols are a benefit to vascular health by helping to lower blood pressure, maintain proper blood flow to the heart and brain, and regulating the clotting process.

However, not all chocolate flavanols are alike. When cocoa is processed from the bean and into the form we love, certain steps can greatly reduce the amount of flavanols.

While dark chocolate was once lauded as being chocked full of flavanols, it is now known that it is the processing from bean to truffle that most affects flavonoid content rather than the level of darkness.

Still, dark chocolate is recommended over milk chocolate as milk chocolate tends to have more fat and sugar. You should also consider the form of your chocolate. When a dark chocolate outer shell is filled with sugary, gooey caramel, the advantages of the flavanols are pretty much cancelled out.

Too, a chocolate ‘kiss’ is fine but ten, not so much. An overload of sugar and fats isn’t good for you in any form. Remember to see chocolate as an occasional pleasure rather than as a health benefit. Because, essentially, it is not.

Remember, your mouth is the first part of your body to endure the bombardment of sugar. Oral bacteria react gleefully when sweets (or carbs) are consumed because sugar provides a ‘super food’ they thrive on. And, no one should give these little critters a boost on growth and accumulation.

While there are no lectures here, especially on Valentine’s Day, we do want you to remember your smile. Know your smile is special to not only you, but others! It deserves your very best, every day!

May this day be filled with many smiles!


Posted in cavities, Cavity repair, Dental Care in Wilmington, Gentle Dentist, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Go Ahead – Indulge In A Little Chocolate!

‘Rocky’ Dentures? Here’s Why.

Denture wearers typically experience the same thing at one time or another. They notice their once-snug denture doesn’t fit quite as well. This may first be evident while eating, which tends to prompt more frequent application of denture adhesive.

When it comes to a denture that moves, the problem doesn’t lie with the denture. It exists with the ‘ridge’ that the denture sits on.

A denture is designed to replace the presence of teeth above the gum line. Yet, what occurs beneath the gums has far more to do with how well a denture fits and functions.

Let’s go back to when your natural teeth were still present. Their roots were held by the upper and lower jaw bones. Not only did the tooth roots provide nourishment to the bone, they stimulated it. This interaction helped the jaw to maintain a healthy mass.

When your teeth were removed, the presence of their roots were lost, too. This left the jaw bone without the nourishment and stimulation that enabled the bone to thrive. Without this, the bone began to shrink.

This ‘melting away’ process of the jaw bone is known as resorption. The process of resorption begins slowly. However, with each passing year, it continues at a more accelerated pace.

While missing tooth roots cause the jaw bone to shrink, the pressure from wearing dentures or partials speeds the process more. For those who sleep in their dentures, the continual pressure on the ‘ridge’ accelerates it at an even greater pace.

When a denture is first made, it is custom-contoured to fit the unique shape of your upper or lower gum ridge. Once you became accustomed to having something ‘foreign’ in your mouth, your ability to eat and speak probably became more comfortable.

Yet, when a decline in bone mass changes the shape of the ridge, a denture has less of a foundation to hug. This is when slips occur while eating or you experience uncomfortable rubbing when chewing.

Once these problems begin, they continue until relines are done. A reline reshapes the inside of a denture’s gum base so it fits the current contours of the ridge, which is now flatter.

A reline only solves the problem temporarily, however. Because the bone still lacks stimulation, it will continue to shrink. And eventually, you’re back to square one… a wobbly denture, another reline and so on. It’s a vicious cycle.

This is why so many adults are choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth. Because the implanted portion is positioned in the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots, it restores stimulation to the bone. This halts the process of bone loss.

Additionally, dental implants restore biting and chewing stability. Because implants have the same foundation that natural tooth roots once had, they provide a secure, sturdy bedrock so you can eat the foods you love again without discomfort or worry.

No more sore spots. No more embarrassing slips. No more avoiding certain foods.

Think about it this way. Let’s say you build a home that sits on the ground without a foundation. Although the land was leveled out when the home was first built, over time the ground erodes. So each time it rains or varmints burrow under the home, the groundwork changes a bit.

You can imagine how uncertain this can be to the sound structure of a home. It’s the same in your mouth. The foundation of your teeth must be stable and dependable to avoid problems in the future.

This is also why dental implants are such a practical investment. Dental implants are like real teeth because they are supported just like real teeth. Too, implants will not cause problems to the gums nor limit you on what you can comfortably bite and chew.

An added bonus of dental implants is their longevity. With proper placement and maintenance, your dental implants should last your lifetime. In today’s world, that’s an investment that’s hard to beat!

Dental implants come in many shapes and sizes, each designed to accommodate specific needs. As a dentist who has decades of experience and advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of all types, I’ll be happy to discuss your individual situation and make recommendations.

Call 910-254-4555 and ask for a no-charge consultation. During this time, I can also introduce you to our Financial Coordinator. She will explain easy payment options that break treatment fees into affordable monthly payments.

If your denture is ‘rocky’ now, it’s instability will only continue. Let’s help you achieve a confident smile that you’ll enjoy all day, every day!



Posted in Cosmetic Dentures, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Implants, Financial Plans, Full Dentures, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, mouth sore, New patients, Oral Health & Wellness, Partials, Payment Plans, Sore, Tooth Loss, Tooth Replacement, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on ‘Rocky’ Dentures? Here’s Why.

Headaches, Migraines, Clenching, Dizziness Could Be From TMJ

The reason we have periodic checks on the alignment and air pressure of our vehicle’s tires is to maintain proper balance. When a wheel is off kilter, it not only wears down the tire more rapidly than normal, it affects the other tires .

Think of the balance in your jaw joints as similar to this. When one or both TMJ (temporo-mandibular) joints is not properly balanced, the disparity can extend to seemingly unrelated areas. Yet, the relationship is there if you understand the inter-workings. I’ll explain.

The jaw joints are located on each side of the head just in front of the ears. They connect your lower jaw to the skull via sockets that rotate within these hinges. When the joints are in balance and moving properly, there is minimal stress on the joints. When an imbalance occurs, however, the potential problems can be far reaching.

Think about how often these joints are in motion. Every time you eat, drink, speak, or even lick your lips, these joints are moving.

TMJ disorder typically originates because of a misaligned bite. When the upper and lower teeth do not fit together harmoniously, the strain is transferred to the jaw joints. Bite alignment is the reason for worn or chipped teeth and the trigger for night-time clenching and grinding.

Worn Teeth Are A Common Symptom Of A Misaligned Bite And TMJ Disorder

Common symptoms of TMJ disorders are frequent headaches, migraines, jaw joint tenderness or pain, difficulty opening the mouth fully, ear ringing, dizziness, and jaw popping.

During sleep, the jaw tends to search for balance. In doing so, it can prompt the action of clenching and grinding. This can damage teeth and also cause strain to head and neck muscles, which can trigger headaches and migraines.

Chipped and broken teeth commonly result from teeth that do not meet correctly. In chewing, for example, the grinding motion relies on the unified interaction of the upper teeth and lower teeth. When one or more teeth are not meeting others harmoniously, they ‘hit wrong.’ Some ‘hits’ are such that teeth can break or chip.

In our office, we are trained to note signs of abnormal wear and tear on teeth and check jaw joint function to gauge harmony. However, many people do not associate some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder with bite misalignment (such as headaches or dizziness) and fail to mention them.

If you are experiencing headaches, feel you are clenching at night, or have any other problems mentioned above, please alert us. We’ll conduct a thorough, painless examination to check for signs of TMJ disorder. If TMJ disorder does exist, we will discuss treatment recommendations to resolve the problem in the most conservative manner possible.

In some cases, a small oral appliance worn during sleep can resolve the problem. Other cases may involve the reshaping of certain teeth or even the placement of crowns to adjust tooth height. Realigning teeth may be necessary for more complex needs, through orthodontics. For these cases, we will discuss the ease and comfort of realignment through Invisalign.

The balance in your mouth reminds me of a song many of us learned as children… “Your head bone’s connected to your neck bone and your neck bone’s connected to your shoulder bone and your…” Throughout the body, proper function depends on proper balance. Let’s protect your smile and everything it’s connected to with the balance it needs!

Call 910-254-4555 to begin with a no-charge consultation appointment.

Posted in clenching & grinding teeth, crooked teeth, Crowns, Dental Care in Wilmington, Gentle Dentist, headaches, Invisalign, migraines, New patients, Oral Health & Wellness, TMJ & Bite Realignment, Tooth Repair, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Headaches, Migraines, Clenching, Dizziness Could Be From TMJ

Is Oil Pulling A Fad To Ignore Or A Beneficial Practice?

I occasionally run across fads and trends on the internet related to dental care, some of them very concerning. I remember seeing a number of posts from people promoting the use of baking soda and peroxide as a DIY whitener for teeth. YIKES!

The abrasiveness of baking soda should NEVER be used on teeth since it can wear down protective tooth enamel. This leaves teeth vulnerable to oral bacteria and cavities.

Too, the scrubbing action of a tooth brush combined with harsh abrasives can also wear away gum tissue that tightly ‘wraps’ each tooth. This gum tissue helps to protect tooth roots and keep oral bacteria from penetrating below the gum line.

As a dentist, I understand that some ‘home remedies’ are how some people save money and feel more in control of certain parts of their oral care. I get that. However, when it comes to certain at-home practices, I also have a firsthand view of the damage that can occur.

A recent trend is oil pulling. Some on-line contributors even state how they use oil pulling instead of brushing and flossing. This is concerning, especially since the American Dental Association (ADA) has carefully evaluated oil pulling and issued the following: “scientific studies have not provided the necessary clinical evidence to demonstrate that oil pulling reduces the incidence of dental caries, whitens teeth or improves oral health and well-being.”

The ADA feels that past studies failed to include sufficient sampling and blind testing with a lack of demographic information. But, is oil pulling harmful? Not that I can find IF, however, it is an adjunct to the ‘gold standard’ in dentistry of twice daily brushing and daily flossing. (

If you’re not clear on what oil pulling is, it is a holistic medicine practice that supposedly balances the body’s doshas, said to be the biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. Oil pulling claims to balance these doshas and susceptibility to disease.

Here’s how oil pulling is done: For 5 to 15 minutes, coconut oil (the most common oil used) is swished in the mouth. This is intended to pull impurities from the mouth, eliminating toxins and bacteria from the body. Other oils used are sesame, olive or palm oil.

Online there are claims that oil pulling can also prevent bleeding gums, decay, dryness of throat, oral malodor, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.” (

Coconut, olive and sesame oils are gaining deserved popularity in the kitchen. Their health benefits far outweigh those of highly processed vegetable oils and trans fat oils. However, relying on cooking oils, even the good ones, to replace the tried-&-true measures of brushing and flossing is, in my opinion, risky and without merit.

I feel oil pulling as a part of your traditional oral hygiene routine at home is fine. Anything that cleanly moisturizes the gum tissues can’t hurt (although drinking filtered water is the ideal way to keep a hydrated mouth).

Think of oil pulling as an addition to your current oral care and 6-month dental checkups. During these visits, we can catch potential problems early and determine how you can alter your at-home regimen to avoid continued susceptibility.

I remember reading about a young celebrity who revealed that she swished with Listerine rather than brush or floss. I cringed at how her statement may have influenced readers, especially those who follow these ‘stars’ so intently. As far as oil pulling, use it in conjunction with a thorough oral regimen and know your smile is getting sound care.


Posted in Bad Breath, Beautiful Smiles, Bleeding Gums, cavities, Cavity repair, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, dry mouth, Gentle Dentist, Gum Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, tooth ache, Tooth Whitening, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Is Oil Pulling A Fad To Ignore Or A Beneficial Practice?

Enjoy Exceptional Dentistry With Easy Payment Options

A friend wanted to have an eyelid lift (also known as blepharoplasty) to get rid of heavy bags under her eyes and sagging skin drooping down on the lower lids. Her goal in having the lift was to achieve a more youthful appearance.

She counseled with several plastic surgeons but settled on the one offering the lowest price. In the end, she was ‘okay’ with the results but not really pleased. You could see obvious lines from the surgery and the skin around one eye didn’t really match up to the other.

Although she did get a lower price, she still invested a healthy sum – only to be less than thrilled with the results. This reminds me of how the results of dental treatment can be disappointing when someone opts for ‘bargain rate’ dentistry.

Like anything, there is a reason that some procedures are priced different in one office than another. For one, the skills and experience of the dentist are factored in to any procedure.

A dentist who is proficient in cosmetic dentistry, for example, will likely be associated with professional esthetic organizations. He or she will also pursue continuing education to stay updated on advancements in the field.

While these can have a significant difference in providing excellent skills and techniques, the selection of materials can also affect cost. Cheaper materials, cheaper labs, cheaper methods all culminate into a compromise of the look, feel and function of dentistry.

For instance, in dental implants, some systems are designed so each implant can accommodate several teeth. Too many teeth on an implant-supported bridge can increase the risks for necessary repairs to the replacement teeth as well as to the potential for implant failure.

Because implant treatment fees are largely based on the number of implants placed, using too few may be cheaper, but potential future costs could easily negate any savings AND flush the investment already made down the toilet.

We know that dentistry is not inexpensive and good dentistry typically costs more (although not always). We want our patients to be able to enjoy exceptional care for reasonable fees and we work hard to keep our fees as low as possible.

For people who desire optimal care and fabulous results but feel the exceptional treatment they want is beyond their budget, we offer appealing financial options. One payment option can break treatment fees into easy monthly payments with no interest charged or down payment required.

Rather than feel a beautiful, confident smile is out of reach, arrange a free consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss cost estimates and the various ways we can help you enjoy the smile you desire while making affordable payments.

Call 910-254-4555 to schedule.



Posted in Beautiful Smiles, Cosmetic Dentistry, Crown & Bridge, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Implants, Financial Plans, Gentle Dentist, New patients, Payment Plans, Smile Makeovers, Tooth Repair, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Enjoy Exceptional Dentistry With Easy Payment Options

Afraid Of Going To The Dentist? We Can Help.

I remember watching an episode of “The Three Stooges,” where Curly Joe was the unfortunate ‘patient’ of Moe. Using large, toolbox pliers, Moe was using all his might to uproot the tooth, twisting and turning the pliers. And, as you can image, Curly Joe was hooting and hollering all the while.

Although this was hilarious to watch, the thoughts of someone experiencing pain in our dental chairs is anything but. At Riverside Dental Arts, our entire team is especially committed to ensuring each patient has a comfortable, pleasant experience at every visit – from start to finish.

One of the reasons I begin with each new patient in a consultation is so the patient can get to know my commitment to their unique needs. It also gives the patient a quiet opportunity – out of a dental chair – to discuss their goals and concerns.

It is often that during these conversations the issue of dental fear or anxiety arises. “I’ve always been afraid at the dentist.” “I’ve avoided care for years because I’m terrified of having work done in my mouth.” “I know I’m a grown adult but I’m always so nervous at the dentist, even during cleanings.”

We get this. Quite frankly, laying on your back on a narrow chair with your mouth open – and NOT knowing what is taking place – unnerves a lot of people. The ‘not knowing,’ however, is only part of the issue.

For many people, it’s the anticipation of pain that causes the biggest challenge. And, for some, when pain is perceived it can be as real as actual pain. This is especially true for people who have had uncomfortable experiences in a dental office in the past. The feeling of helplessness, not knowing what is taking place or how long they’ll be ‘trapped’ can cause traumatic feelings that embed in one’s subconscious.

This means that every time they think about having dental work performed, those feelings and fears hover in the back of their minds, forewarning of experiencing the same trauma.

It’s a complicated ordeal. Some people are able to achieve the dental care they need with the aid of nitrous oxide (also known as ‘laughing gas’) or relaxation medications that help them to zone out and release anxiety and fear.

In our office, we also feel it’s an issue of having the patient trust us to NOT hurt them. This, of course, takes time. We try to pace the care of fearful patients so they feel in control. During appointments, we also encourage them to let us know if they feel anything. We also tell them what we are doing in their mouths so their subconscious is less likely to send a ‘fight or flight’ signal.

One of the greatest joys the Riverside team experiences is having a patient who was “scared to death” when they first arrived become a patient who is all smiles from the time they walk in our door to the time they say “See you in six months!”

If you have dental fear, we want this to be you. Don’t let your fears hold you back from having a healthy, confident smile. Let’s begin with a private conversation to discuss the options available. If, after this conversation, you decide you are comfortable proceeding, we’ll develop a treatment plan to help you achieve the smile you desire at a pace that is right for you.

Call 910-254-4555 to arrange your no-charge consultation.

Posted in Beautiful Smiles, Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Fear, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, Gentle Dentist, New patients, Sedation Dentistry, tooth ache, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Afraid Of Going To The Dentist? We Can Help.

Quit Smoking For Dental Implant Success

Dental Implants are the most successful tooth replacement option available, having up to a 98% success rate. Today, there are over forty implant systems, each designed to accommodate various needs and preferences. Dental Implants come in many types, each designed to accommodate various needs and preferences.

Although Dental Implants are designed to last a lifetime, there is a potential for failure.

Contrary to what some may assume, age is not a factor in the success of Dental Implants. Studies have shown that all ages can enjoy a successful and lasting result with Dental Implants. Studies have shown elderly patients have treatment results comparable to those in younger age groups. (See one study published by Science Direct –

Regardless of age, the factors that influence the potential for a successful outcome to the greatest degree are gum health and available bone mass. Being committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental exams has far more to do with one’s potential for success than age.

For individuals who smoke, however, the potential for implant failure is a much greater risk factor. Studies have shown that implant patients who smoke have higher levels of calculus (also known as tartar) than non-smokers. (

Calculus is a hardened form of plaque, which is the sticky film you feel on teeth at the end of the day before brushing. Calculus is actually a cement-hard colony of oral bacteria that attaches to tooth surfaces. These masses of oral bacteria eat away at healthy tooth enamel and gum tissues.

When gums are fighting inflammation caused by accumulated oral bacteria, the chances of successful integration of Dental Implants are decreased. As a matter of fact, studies show that smokers are 3 – 6 times more likely to have gum diseases than non-smokers.

Higher levels of plaque in smokers occurs, in part, due to oral dryness. Smoking is drying to oral tissues and decreases saliva flow. When saliva production is insufficient to help cleanse the mouth, oral bacteria amass more rapidly. And, because blood flow in smokers is more constricted, the healing process is compromised. The longer it takes an implant to heal, the greater the potential for bacterial complications.

Researchers who have studied how tobacco smoke affects oral tissues explain that it interferes with the body’s natural ability to fight disease and promote healing. Due to the chemicals in tobacco that interfere with blood flow to the gums, smoking impacts how the gums respond to any treatment that involves gum tissues.

The same problems exist for pipe and cigar smokers as well as ‘chew’ (smokeless tobacco). These users have an equal risk for Dental Implant complications as those who smoke cigarettes.

A study at Temple University showed that 18 percent of former cigar or pipe smokers had moderate to severe periodontal (gum) disease, which is three times that of non-smokers. Pipe smokers were shown to experience tooth loss at rates equal to that of cigarette smokers. (

If your 2018 resolution includes “cutting back” rather than quitting, this can help. One study included those who smoke over a pack and a half a day and compared them to those who smoke less than a half pack daily. Those who smoked heavily had more than 6 times the risk of developing gum disease than nonsmokers. There was only 3 times the risk for lighter smokers.

We want all patients to have a successful outcome for every dental treatment we provide. We feel those who smoke should be made aware of the risks for implant failure so they can be more proactive in their care.

If you do smoke, we recommend beginning with a thorough evaluation of your gums and available bone to support Dental Implants. From there, we can discuss the best way to help you enjoy the advantages of Dental Implants with the greatest potential for success.

Call (910) 254-4555 to arrange a free consultation.

Posted in Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, Dental Implants, dry mouth, Gum Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Smoking Cessation, Tooth Loss, Tooth Replacement, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Quit Smoking For Dental Implant Success

Hairy Tongue Condition Can Be Resolved Easily In Most Cases.

Hairy Tongue – sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it? It’s actually a medical condition that sounds worse than it really is.

A Hairy Tongue occurs when the surface of the tongue becomes discolored and appears furry. In addition to an odd appearance, Hairy Tongue may cause symptoms that include:
• burning sensation on the tongue
• tickling to the roof of the mouth when swallowing
• metallic taste
• gagging sensation
• bad breath

The furry look and feel of Hairy Tongue is not hair, but a buildup of filiform papillae on the tongue’s surface. To understand how Hairy Tongue develops, let’s begin by looking at the makeup of the tongue’s surface.

The upper layer of the tongue is rough in texture because of papillae, which are miniscule protrusions. Papillae come in several types, most being filiform papillae. These are shaped so they help the tongue to grip food as we eat.

Similar to our skin cells, papillae are periodically replaced as new ones take their place. When filiform papillae are not exfoliated on a regular basis, the result can be a buildup of a certain protein known as keratin.

Without a normal shedding process, the continued buildup of keratin in filiform papillae begin to resemble hair-like protrusions. As food, bacteria, or yeast accumulate, discoloration also sets in.

The color of Hairy Tongue can vary depending on specific triggers that cause it to develop in the first place. For example, a black hairy tongue is typically associated with tobacco use and coffee or tea consumption.

The American Academy of Oral Medicine reports that Hairy Tongue affects approximately 13 percent of the population. ( However, the condition is more prevalent in some groups than others, such as those addicted to certain drugs.

Factors that may lead to the development of Hairy Tongue include:
• Tobacco and/or excessive consumption of alcohol, coffee or tea.
• A diet that is soft: Without stimulation and abrasion to the tongue, papillae may not shed at a sufficient rate. This can lead to abnormal buildup.
• Insufficient oral hygiene: When oral bacteria accumulate, it can lead to Hairy Tongue.
• Dry mouth: When there is not enough moisture in the mouth for an extended period of time, it can ripen conditions for developing a Hairy Tongue. In addition to some illnesses and as a side effect of many medications, dry mouth occurs as part of the aging process.
• Medications: Certain medications can contribute to conditions that can trigger a Hairy Tongue, with those that treat acid reflux at the top of the list as well as some mouth washes that contain peroxide. Excessive use of antibiotics also heigthens the potential to develop Hairy Tongue.

Typically, medical treatment is not needed to remedy Hairy Tongue. If you develop the condition, begin by having a dental examination and discussing a renewed, thorough commitment to good oral hygiene.

In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily, brush your tongue with your tooth brush each day. If this causes a tendency to gag, use a smaller brush and gradually work your way towards the back. Tongue scrapers are also available, which are easy and comfortable to use.

Also, try to eat a low-sugar diet that mostly includes fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help aid saliva flow that keeps the mouth clean.

If these changes are unable to resolve the Hairy Tongue condition, a more involved treatment may be needed. This may require an antibiotic or anti-fungal medication to control bacteria or yeast in the mouth.

Although a Hairy Tongue may feel strange and cause embarrassment, most cases are harmless. However, Hairy Tongue should be a warning sign that there is an imbalance in the health of your mouth. The simple measures recommended above should help restore your smiling confidence and prevent re-occurrence.

Posted in Dental Care in Wilmington, Dental Hygiene Cleanings & Check-Ups, dry mouth, Gum Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Smoking Cessation, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Hairy Tongue Condition Can Be Resolved Easily In Most Cases.

Crown Lengthening Made Simple.

For most who are familiar with crown lengthening, the procedure is associated with one that improves the appearance of a smile. For esthetic reasons, crown lengthening is typically done to realign or remove gum tissue to even out the ‘smile line.’ This is the framework of gum tissues that arch over each tooth.

For the teeth most visible in a smile, having an uneven smile line distracts from a smile’s appearance with an ‘up & down’ variation of gum tissue. When the amount of gum tissue over each tooth is at a different height than that of adjacent teeth (even when teeth are straight), the disproportionate levels of gum tissues create a jumbled look.

The crown lengthening procedure is known as a gingivectomy. The procedure is performed while patients relax under oral sedation. Although there may be tenderness for several days, most patients do fine with over-the-counter medications although prescription medications are available, if needed. Within several days, most patients resume normally and feel back to normal within a week or two.Crown Lengthening

A gingivectomy is also performed to repair a ‘gummy smile.’ This is when too much gum tissue is visible over the front teeth in a full smile. Katie Couric is an example of this trait. In mild cases, crowning the teeth may not be needed with minor gum tissue removal. However, crowns are typically advised when the gum tissues are adjusted to a level that complements that of neighboring teeth and gums.

Crown lengthening may also be performed to improve the health of a tooth. For example, a gingivectomy may be advised to help seal the gum tissues surrounding a tooth. It can also be used when a tooth has broken close to the gum line.

When a tooth breaks below the gum line, it typically requires removal. However, removing some of the gum tissue at the base may expose more of the tooth’s structure so a crown can be placed. In these cases, crown lengthening can help save a tooth that would otherwise require removal.

Crown lengthening can also help to seal out bacteria and prevent infection. For example, a tooth relies on the tissues surrounding it to seal out bacteria that can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. When a crown is placed, crown lengthening securely attaches the gums to the crown without delay, helping to block oral bacteria.

Crowns are a tremendous advantage in helping to protect teeth, prevent tooth removal or to enhance a smile’s appearance. However, the involvement of the gums with either natural teeth or crowns is paramount in helping you enjoy a more AND healthy beautiful smile.

If crown lengthening could create a more appealing smile or help you have a healthier smile, I’m happy to explain the procedure during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Call 910-254-4555 to schedule a time.

Posted in Beautiful Smiles, Cavity repair, Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns, Dental Care in Wilmington, Gum Disease, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Sedation Dentistry, Smile Makeovers, Tooth Loss, Tooth Repair, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Crown Lengthening Made Simple.

Headaches? Chipped Or Worn Teeth? Bite Alignment Is The Likely Culprit.

It’s amazing how even minor disparities can have a significant impact. For example, when sitting at a wobbly table in a restaurant, using just a sugar packet under one leg can solve the problem. Or, simple filing to the rough edge of a fingernail can put a halt to potentially snagging fabrics or hosiery.

Such small things – yet, they can cause problems that are pretty frustrating. But what happens when these things lead to problems that are anything but small?

When your teeth are misaligned, it’s not always obvious since it occurs at a gradual pace. As teeth move, they may shift and crowd neighboring teeth. This, in turn, can cause adjacent teeth to move, which creates a domino effect where teeth bunch up. This means that tight angles can form, which allows oral bacteria to easily accumulate.

Not only do these angles provide incubation sites for bacteria growth, the crowding can lead to disruption of bite alignment. When lower teeth, for example, are crowded and crooked, they fail to meet upper teeth harmoniously. This can lead to a number of problems, including chipped, worn, broken and fractured teeth. And, the problem can contribute to seemingly unrelated problems.

Misaligned teeth can place strain on the TMJ, or jaw joints. These joints are located in front of the ears and hold sockets that hinge the lower jaw to the skull. When these joints are moving properly, you can speak, laugh, yawn and eat without the joints experiencing stress or strain.

However, bite misalignment can lead to issues that undo the balance that is supposed to exist. TMJ disorder can lead to headaches, migraines, night-time clenching and grinding, dizziness and ear ringing. Additional problems can include sore facial, shoulder or neck muscles; difficulty opening the mouth fully; tender jaw joints; and jaw popping.

While misaligned teeth are at higher risk for cavities and gum disease, their potential to cause problems can also lead to tooth removal. For instance, when upper teeth and lower teeth do not meet correctly they can ‘hit’ incorrectly, often while eating. When a tooth breaks below the gum line, a crown can no longer save the tooth. Once a tooth is removed, it leads to decisions in replacement, treatment costs and time for repairs.

Treating bite misalignment may be as simple as the reshaping of selected teeth. Some cases may involve crowning certain teeth to restore proper height. Other cases may require orthodontic treatment to fully resolve alignment problems. This can be done through traditional orthodontics (braces) or, in our office, through Invisalign.Invisalign Mold

Invisalign is an ‘invisible’ alternative to braces that doesn’t need wires or brackets to perform realignment. Using clear molds, Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces and virtually undetectable in a smile. This means you’ll feel less awkward during treatment and can avoid tears to tender tissues in the mouth or lips.

Another bonus of Invisalign is the ease of eating and brushing. Invisalign molds are removable, so you can eat and brush your teeth without either being an ordeal. Invisalign also moves teeth at a pace that’s similar to traditional braces and, in some cases, even faster.

Misaligned teeth are never going to improve without correction. At the very least, they’ll increase your odds for developing cavities or gum disease. At the worst, they’ll create TMJ problems that lead to migraines, dizziness, broken teeth or ear ringing. Some people never associate certain symptoms with the TMJ and search for years for a solution, going from doctor to doctor and trying medication after medication.

Don’t let crowded, crooked teeth lead to other problems. Realigning your teeth will enhance the appearance of a smile, provide a healthier foundation for your teeth and gums, and help you avoid the many problems associated with the TMJ.

If you’re experiencing any of the problems mentioned above, call 910-254-4555 to arrange a free consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss ways to evaluate your bite and determine if it is the true source of your symptoms. If so, we can develop a treatment plan to help you overcome the problems in the most conservative way possible.


Posted in Beautiful Smiles, cavities, Cavity repair, clenching & grinding teeth, Cosmetic Dentistry, crooked teeth, crowded, Crowns, Dental Care in Wilmington, Gum Disease, headaches, Invisalign, migraines, mouth sore, New patients, Oral Bacteria, Oral Health & Wellness, Sore, TMJ & Bite Realignment, Tooth Loss, Tooth Repair, Tooth Replacement, Wilmington Dentist | Comments Off on Headaches? Chipped Or Worn Teeth? Bite Alignment Is The Likely Culprit.