Gum disease treatment may include ARESTIN + Scaling and root planing (SRP)

Published on September 23, 2015 by


What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It’s the #1 cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

How can gum disease be treated?

Scaling and root planning (SRP)

Scaling removes plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, while planning smoothes out the rough areas of the roots.

Arestin (minocycline HCL) Microspheres, 1 mg

Arestin is a locally administered antibiotic. When indicated, your dental professional places Arestin below your gumline to kill bacteria that (SRP) alone can’t reach.

Good oral hygiene

Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing are essential parts of home care.

See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

The Ugly Truth About Your Toothbrush

Published on August 31, 2015 by

to cap or not to cap

As you reach for your toothbrush each morning, you may not realize what’s hanging out on it’s bristles.

Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth. Not to mention toothbrushes don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may have bacteria right out of the box. Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush surface.

Keep It Clean

You may not give much thought to cleaning your toothbrush, since you’re wetting it every day to brush your teeth. However, it’s important–and easy– to do.

Wash It. Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris. If you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you may want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher. There are many types of toothbrush sanitizers on the market. Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

Store it properly. After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it. Store it upright, in a rack or cup, where it can dry out. Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mold, but isn’t completely sealed. The lack of air can foster bacteria.

When to Call It Quits

How long should you keep a toothbrush to prevent the ick from building up? Here are a few useful tips:

Know when to let go. Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows sign of wear. Frayed bristled will not clean the teeth and gums adequately.

Toss toothbrushes after illness. Throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick. Yes, that means all toothbrushes. Treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old fashion one.

No Sharing

Tempted to lend a toothbrush to a family member? Don’t

Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria — even the kind that causes tooth decay. Tooth decay is considered an infectious disease. One more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush.



Published on August 18, 2015 by


You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet. Decay results when the teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from oral bacteria. Certain foods and food combinations are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Although poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients.

Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increase fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

Mouthguards aren’t just for adults

Published on March 17, 2015 by

custom_mouthguard_large1Remember to add a mouthguard for each child to your list of school supplies. Protecting your child’s head, jaw and teeth, even for seemingly non-contract sports, is very important.

Mouthguards not only protect the teeth. They may also prevent serious injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw and teeth are forced up against the upper teeth and jaw.

Who should wear a mouthguard?

Anyone playing contact sports or engaging in aggressive activities should wear a mouthguard.

Any sport with a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces require mouth protection. Players who participate in basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, squash, racquetball, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating and martial arts, or even recreational sports such as skateboarding and bicycling, should wear mouthguards when practicing or competing.

What are the factors that affect the fit of a mouthguard?

A dentist will consider a number of factors when fitting a patient for a mouthguard- size of mouth, bite, type of sport played and whether or not the patient wears braces or other appliances are all important considerations. Each patient’s very specific needs must be addressed for maximum comfort and protection.

Care for your mouthguard so it cares for you!

Caring for your mouthguard will help it take care of your teeth longer. Take a few moments to:

  • Rinse your mouthguard under cold water after each use and air-dry. Occasionally clean it with mild soap and water or mouthwash.
  • Store your mouthguard in a plastic container when not in use to avoid damage due to excessive heat and cold.
  • Wear your mouthguard properly. Do not cut or alter it and do not chew on it.
  • Check your mouthguard regularly and let your dentist know if it shows any signs of wear, or has any tears or cracks that may weaken it. If the bite has changed and the mouthguard no longer fits well, it can sometimes be adjusted by the dentist.

February is Children’s Dental Health Month

Published on February 12, 2015 by

childrendentalhealthmonthReports show that American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health problems, and students who are absent miss critical instruction time- especially in early grades where reading skills are an important focus and the building blocks of the future learning. Students who have experienced recent oral health pain are four times more likely to have lower grade point averages than their counterparts who have not. That being said, February is the perfect time to help students brush up on good oral health habits.

Vicki Our Newest Employee

Published on February 5, 2015 by


We’d Like To Introduce Our Newest Member!!


Vicki graduated from AB Tech with a degree in Dental Hygiene in 1988. After working several years full-time, she did fill-in at various offices for an additional fourteen years. This is how she met Dr. Martin, Carol, Marlo and Audrey. Vicki has enjoyed working with patients to help maintain and improve their dental health. Vicki is originally from Alabama, but she has lived most her life in Western North Carolina. She is married to Jeff, a native of Asheville. They have two children. Vicki enjoys spending time with her family (both two-legged and four legged).

Carol has retired

Published on January 28, 2015 by

pic_tb_biocarol We wanted to let everyone know after over 37 years of practicing dental hygiene, Carol Lovin has retired! While we will miss seeing her on a daily basis, the “goodbye” isn’t forever since Carol will be filling in for us sometimes. We wish her a happy and fun retirement.

How to Recycle Electric Toothbrushes & Their Batteries

Published on January 27, 2015 by

electrictoothbrushesWhen your electric toothbrush no longer works or you acquire a new one, do you just throw it away? If you do, the toothbrush, its electrical components and batteries will just sit in a landfill. Batteries sent to the landfill may result in burned eyes and skin, polluted lakes and streams, or may leak into the water table and eventually contaminate our food. The best solution is to recycle the electric toothbrush and the battery.

  1. To remove the rechargeable lithium Ion battery you’ll need a flat-head (standard) screwdriver. Observe basic safety precautions when you follow the procedure outlined below. Be sure to protect your eyes, hands, fingers, and the surface on which you work.
  2. Deplete the rechargeable battery of any charge, remove handle from charge base, turn on the brush and let it run until it stops. Repeat this step until you can on longer switch on the base.
  3. Insert the large flat-head screwdriver into any available crevice on the toothbrush’s body and wedge the toothbrush apart. The point is to break the body of the toothbrush open so you can dismantle it. This will enable you to recycle the different components appropriately.
  4. Remove the rechargeable battery. Take the battery to a Call2Recycle drop off location. In the United States, such locations include AT&T, Best Buy, Black & Decker, DeWalt, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Office Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware, Porter-Cable Service Centers, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Ritz Camera, Sears, Staples, Target and US Cellular. Call ahead to ensure that the business will receive the battery.
  5. Separate the metal portions of the toothbrush from the plastic portions of the toothbrush and recycle accordingly.

Weighing Your Toothpaste Options

Published on November 24, 2014 by

toothpasteWhen it comes to dental care products, toothpaste is one of the most important components of proper dental hygiene for kids and adults. It cleans and polishes your teeth and removes bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease, dental decay, and bad breath. Toothpastes contain various ingredients that work in different ways. Detergents produce foaming action to better remove plaque and food partials. Abrasives help remove stains, and fluoride strengthens and protects teeth. The toothpaste you choose should reflect your personal dental care needs. Since there are so many types on the market, narrowing down your options can be difficult. Here is a rundown of the various types of toothpastes available for your consideration.

Toothpaste Types 

  • Whitening toothpastes remove stains with mild abrasives or chemicals.
  • Tartar-control toothpastes can’t remove tartar, but they can prevent it from accumulating.
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth creates a barrier to help prevent irritants from reaching sensitive exposed nerves.
  • Fluoride toothpastes strengthen teeth by remineralizing them to counteract the effects of acid. Most commercial toothpastes contain fluoride, many dentist recommend them for patients without a fluoridated public water supply.
  • Smokers’ toothpaste contain abrasives to remove stains, but they can damage delicate teeth and gums.
  • Natural toothpastes are designed for people who prefer all-natural ingredients to chemicals. They may or may not contain fluoride.
  • Children’s toothpastes make dental hygiene for kids more appealing. They usually feature colorful, kid-friendly themes and mild flavors.

Important Toothpaste Tips

To get the most from your toothpaste, you must use it properly.

  • When you brush, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle tilted towards your gums.
  • Use gentle, circular strokes, and brush for two full minutes.
  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush that wont hurt your gums.

Get a Professional Opinion

If you need help deciding on a toothpaste brand and type, schedule an appointment with our office. Dr. Martin can determine the type of dental care product that will best meet your needs.


How your teeth can help your waistline

Published on November 13, 2014 by

images (13)As winter approaches, a lot of us will head towards days filled with hearty foods and – soon- holiday eating and treats. It’s an easy thing to look forward to, and even easier to fall back into bad eating habits after a summer of relatively light eating.

One of the things people struggle with most is potion control. It can be hard, whether you’re watching the game on a weekend next to a table full of snacks, or heading to family dinners where the meal almost becomes a competitive sport unto itself.

If that describes you, you might want to look to teeth to help keep your portions in control. What do we mean? Put simply: Eat slower.

Many people who struggle with portion control are eating quickly and not taking time to chew and enjoy their food. As a result, their bodies aren’t recognizing that (a) they’re full and (b) food tastes really good and we should take time to enjoy it. When you’re shoveling food into your mouth, you can quickly forget what it actually tastes like, and that triggers impulses in your brain to head back for more.

So here’s what you do next time you find yourself with an opportunity for high-calorie eating or snacking:

  • Avoid distractions. Food is an experience for your sense of taste-don’t deprive it by distracting yourself through one of your other senses (like watching a football game on TV).
  • Start with a smaller portion to begin with. Perhaps use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to serve yourself.
  • Take small bites.
  • Chew slowly and intently. We have to crush our food and make it easier to digest. Do that, and while you do….
  • Consciously enjoy your food. Really taste it. Do you like it? You may be surprised to find some foods you’ve been eating for years aren’t actually all that satisfying.

Enjoy winter, and all the great food it brings!