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J. Peter St. Clair, DMD Blog

THIS MAY HELP YOU ON JEOPARDY

July 28, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:29 am

Gathered from various sources:

50% consider the smile the first facial feature they notice.

80% are not happy with their smile.

Smile enhanced procedures outnumber eyelid surgeries 5 to 1.

32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.

38.5 total days an average American spends brushing teeth over lifetime.

73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.

60% of people don’t know that a sore jaw, when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack, especially in women.

Dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans.

Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a billion dollars on chewing gum.

The number of cavities in the average mouth is down and people are keeping their teeth longer. People, on average, have healthier mouths than even 10 years ago.

The decline in tooth decay was greatest among kids but holds across every age group.

Only 40% of young people age 6 to 19 have ever had a cavity in their lives.  That’s down from 50% a decade ago.

Over the last ten years the proportion of people age 60 that had lost all their teeth had decreased from 33% to 25%.

Adults with post-high-school degrees had an average of three more teeth than those without a high school diploma.

Smokers remain three times more likely than non-smokers to lose all their teeth.  This figure has not changed from a decade ago.

Socio-economic status plays a definite role in one’s general and dental health.

33% of low-income adults have untreated decay.  This compared with 16% of middle- and higher-income adults.  19% of kids living in poverty have untreated decay compared with 8% of higher-income kids.

More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.

Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different

The average woman smiles about 62 times a day! A man?  Only 8!

Kids laugh around 400 times a day. Grown-ups just 15.

Smilers in school yearbooks are more likely to have successful careers and marriages than their poker-faced peers.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

DO YOU SUFFER FROM DRY MOUTH?

July 26, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:29 am

Most people take saliva for granted, but saliva is necessary for proper digestion of food. Saliva also helps protect the mouth from dental decay, gum diseases and bad breath, because it has the natural ability to stop bacterial growth. Having a dry mouth can lead to a metallic taste in the mouth and the ability to taste food properly decreases. Saliva acts as a major defense mechanism that our bodies need to maintain good oral and systemic health.

Many people don’t realize they have dry mouth, otherwise known as xerostomia, and others find it debilitating. Regardless of whether you feel the effects or not, dry mouth can be very dangerous to your dental health. The most significant issues are rampant dental decay and gum disease.

So, what can cause dry mouth? There are multiple health related conditions and habits that can cause or add to a dry mouth, dry skin and general dryness of the entire body. One cause can be medications. There are over 3,000 prescription and over-the-counter products or medications that can cause dry mouth. You can be on a medication for years before the side effects show up. Dry mouth side effects can also last for a long time after you stop taking a medication.

What else can contribute to dry mouth? Here is a list: hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, anemia, Sjogren’s Syndrome, chemo therapy, alcohol consumption, ineffective salivary glands, stress, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, allergies, vitamin deficiencies, hypertension, radiation therapy, menopause, depression, smoking, and last but not least, aging.

How do you know if you suffer from, or are at risk for dry mouth? Here are some questions to assess your risk: Has your physician or pharmacist shared with you that a medication you are taking can cause dry mouth? Do you find that you wake up in the middle of the night with a cough or have a choking feeling and need a drink of water? We produce at least 50% less saliva at night so the side effects are more intense.

Does your tongue feel rough or do you tend to get mouth sores? Does your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth? Do crunchy foods such as potato chips or crackers “scratch” your mouth? Do you have dry, cracked lips and cracks at the corners of your mouth? Do you have thick and sticky saliva? Are your eyes dry and eyes drops are relatively ineffective? Is your skin still dry after using moisturizing lotion?

If you have a positive response to any of these questions, you are at risk from the damaging effects of dry mouth. The first thing to do is to eliminate any of the things that I mentioned as potential causes that are in your control, such as alcohol consumption and tobacco use. I also recommend that patients stay away from alcohol-based mouth rinses, tartar control and whitening toothpastes.

You should also notify your physician and dentist that you have, or are at risk for, dry mouth. There are many products on the market that can be effective to help with the symptoms, and also help to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, there are other prescription products, such as high-fluoride toothpastes and anti-oxidant hydrating toothpastes, mouthwashes and gels that you can only get from your dentist or physician.

Please take dry mouth seriously. The effects aren’t only annoying, but can also ruin your mouth.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at

ROOT CANAL VS. IMPLANT

July 19, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:50 am

Many patients and dentists face a decision-making process when it comes to keeping a natural tooth with root canal therapy vs. removal of a tooth and replacing it with a dental implant. The introduction of dental implants has proven to be a pivotal technology in dentistry. In a profession that strives to help patients keep their dentition, the point when it becomes necessary to opt for dental implants is a judgment call.

So, is one treatment better than another? There have been many scientific papers written on this subject. In one more recent study published in the Journal of Dental Research the authors noted, “Both options should be seen as complementing each other, not as competing, and should serve the overall goal in dentistry, the long-term health and benefit of the patient, being least invasive and incorporating function, comfort, and esthetics. A tendency exists toward a simplified approach of ‘extraction and implant,’ but this is not always simple or ethical.”

In comparing many of the research studies, there seems to be a difference in what the implant studies define as their “survival” rate vs. “success” rate. Many dentists will tell patients that the survival rate for dental implants is in the 95% range but when looking at the research, the success rates of these same implants falls into the low to mid 70% range. Meanwhile, there are strict guidelines for root canal (endodontic) success.

In another study the authors compared the prognosis for implants and root canal treated teeth, and noted that “natural teeth exceed the life expectancy of implants at 10-year observation points, including root canal treated or periodontally compromised teeth.” Note: Periodontally compromised teeth are those with at least moderate bone loss.

In yet another study that compared root canal treated teeth with single-unit implants, researchers observed a positive outcome in 74% of the implants and 84% of the root canal treated teeth after seven to nine years. They also found significantly higher rates of complications and necessary interventions in the implant group, and patients needed more time to adjust to implant restorations.

Treatment outcomes differ significantly, depending on the experience of the clinician, and it is more significant in implants than in endodontic treatment. In one study, implant specialists achieved a 96% survival rate, while inexperienced practitioners only had a survival rate of 73%.  Meanwhile, researchers observed less of a difference when it came to clinician type and endodontic treatment in a multicenter study with 350 teeth meeting the inclusion criteria: General practitioners had a 90% survival rate, while root canal specialists had a 98% rate.

Now that you are thoroughly confused, how do you make a decision when posed with the question to keep a natural tooth with root canal therapy vs. a dental implant? There are many factors to consider, and each situation is unique. It is important to discuss the pros and cons with your dentist.

While dental implant treatment is absolutely the treatment of choice for many situations, keep in mind that many of the studies comparing the two treatment options suggest that “too many teeth are extracted in favor of dental implants”.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

5 REASONS PEOPLE AVOID THE DENTIST

July 17, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:39 am

There are five major reasons that people do not get the necessary dental care they need; six if you count the recent pandemic. The other five are money, time, lack of concern, fear and trust. Let’s take a quick look at each one and see if any of them fit you, and what dentists often try to do to overcome these obstacles for patients.

Although you may think that money would be the number one reason people avoid ideal dental treatment, it is not. Even in tougher economic times, money, although a significant barrier for many, is still not the number one issue for most. Dental health, and good health in general, always requires some kind of investment.

Lack of dental insurance is a poor excuse for not getting regular dental maintenance. As I have said numerous times, dental insurance in not insurance; it is a benefit. If it were “insurance”, it would cover treatment that patients need. While not bad to have, the advantage is limited, based on insurance company’s unwillingness to raise the bar and change a system that hasn’t changed since the 1970’s.

Unfortunately, as of now, we have to face these facts, and it does not mean avoiding the dentist. Many dentists offer in-office payment plans, as well as plans through third party carriers, so patients can finance needed treatment. Two dental hygiene appointments a year costs way less than many other things people spend money on. If you drive your car for 20,000 miles without maintenance, something is bound to happen. The better you take care of your car, the less problems you’ll have.

Time is another excuse. We all use time as an excuse for many of the things in our lives we want to avoid or procrastinate on. The reality is, however, if we place something high enough in our value system, there is always time for it. In order to move something higher up in our value system, we must be enlightened enough to realize that this particular thing is of benefit to us. This brings me to the most common reason people avoid ideal dental care.

Lack of concern about dental health is prevalent with a large percentage of the population. Absence of pain is the biggest reason for this lack of concern. Other than a severe toothache and need for a root canal or extraction, there are few things that cause enough pain to bring someone to the dental office. Take gum disease; about 75% of the population has some form of this disease, but only 50% of the population goes to the dentist. Why? No pain. Absence of pain is a poor indicator of health.

Some people have fear about going to the dentist….and for good reason, due to bad past experiences or bad information. However, dentistry today should be a comfortable experience most of the time. For those that are still fearful, there are different medications dentists can use to ease the experience.

The last barrier to ideal treatment is trust. For a patient to move forward with treatment, it is essential the patient both like and trust the dentist. Although I am sure that the skills of your dentist are important to you, I am willing to bet that you would not stay with a dentist who you did not like or trust. Find someone you can connect with and build a strong doctor-patient relationship.

I believe that one of the best things a patient can do for their dental health is to find an office they like and trust……and stay there. Continuity of care is in the patient’s best interest. Find your dental home.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

 

GETTING RIPPED OFF? (PART 1)

July 12, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:23 am

If you are an expert in a particular field it tends to mean you know quite a bit about that subject. It doesn’t mean you are always right, but you can usually at least have an intelligent conversation about your field. When a “journalist” writes a story about your area of expertise, I would be willing to bet, the expert (you), often cringes about the content. So goes the latest thing I have seen written about dentists and dentistry.

“Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off?” is the title of an online column that was forwarded to me. One of the best parts of this type of column are the comments to follow from such a wide range of people. Dentists commented, patients commented, hygienists and assistants commented, and many who don’t go to the dentist commented. Over the next few weeks I am going to take little pieces of the column and the comments and discuss them. I think it will make for some interesting discussions that I hope you will weigh in on.

Let’s lay the groundwork with summarizing the column itself. The author describes a “person near and dear” who returned from the dentist and was told they need two crowns for around $3000. The author called some other dentists in the area and found that there was a range of fees. Some of her comments follow:

“When I look at this bill, I wonder why I obsess about the weekly price fluctuations of Cheerios or the shrinking size of a can of tuna. All the economical choices a family makes in a year can be wiped out by a trip to the dentist.” She continues by questioning how there can be such a range in fees.

“So how can the first guy explain why his price is $450 higher? The office assistant told me ‘not all dentists are created equal,’ and of course, this dentist is one of the best in the area, using a great lab. But how can someone who is not a medical professional know if their dentist is worth their fees?”

I think these questions are excellent questions and are things that many people wonder about. Of course, there is no easy explanation. We will get deeper into that in another column. There is no doubt, dentistry can be expensive, but is it relative to everything else in life?

One of the most important suggestions the author had was, “don’t select a dentist on price alone.” While I believe this is true, the next logical question would be – What other factors do you use in selecting a dentist or health care provider? The author provided some other good information.

“Fees are one part of evaluating a dental practice, but you want to have confidence in the office, the people there, how they sterilize instruments, and the training and continuing education of the dentist. Does he or she seem to be looking out for your best interests over the long haul? What’s the dentist’s philosophy for keeping your teeth healthy for a lifetime?”

That is great advice. I would add to that looking at the practice website, reading testimonials of existing patients, and asking to visit the practice and meet the dentist and staff before committing.  That should be done at no charge.

Next week I will discuss some of the comments written after this column. That will be interesting. Looking forward to your comments as well.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at

YES, YOU CAN

June 28, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:28 am

Our lives are a series of choices. If we feel we don’t have a choice in a particular situation, think again. We usually do have a choice because our actions are based on how we think. How we think is a choice. While not necessarily easy, we can choose to think differently. 

I am going to use dental insurance as an example, since this is supposed to be a dental column. Dentists hear all the time, “My insurance only covers ____”, or “My insurance says they don’t cover that”, or “My insurance company says I can only see a dentist on their list”, or “I can’t do that because I don’t have insurance.” The response that most dentists think, but are usually afraid to say is, “Who is in charge of your dental health, you or your insurance company?”

The first thought you may have when you read this is about money. “If my insurance company doesn’t cover it, I guess I can’t do it.” While you may think you cannot “afford” something, it is a choice. There are varying degrees of dental health. Maybe everyone can’t “afford” optimal care; crowns on teeth that need the protection, esthetic enhancements, replacement of missing teeth, etc., but basic dental care to improve your health is available to everyone. If you are committed to better dental health but have not found that to be true, you are not looking in the right place.

The money barrier to getting the care you need evokes emotions. Emotions in and of themselves have no real value; they are neither good nor bad. They are just sirens alerting us to something we should pay attention to. If we learn to listen to them instead of blindly obeying them, they can be very good teachers. If money evokes a negative emotion when it comes to dental care, it is because you know your dental health is important. You need to make the choice for better dental health, and find the place to help you overcome the barrier of money, or anything else that is holding you back.

I am sure you are aware, especially if you have read these columns over the years, that medical insurance and dental insurance are totally different. Both are broken systems, in my opinion. The fact of the matter is, we (who are ultimately responsible for our own health), have to see it like it is now. We can’t “afford” to wait for politicians and insurance bureaucrats to “figure it out.” Dental insurance has continued to get worse since its inception over 40 years ago. What are we waiting for?

I certainly do not have the answers to fix the problem.  While we wait for everything to miraculously change, you have the freedom to choose what is best for you. It would be nice if you had dental insurance that allowed you to go to whoever you wanted, and get the things done that you need (or want) without asking permission from the insurance company. Can you wait for the system to change? Regardless of insurance, whatever is holding you back, you can change the way you think about dental health.

I am sure this column produces different “emotions” for different people. I would love to hear your comments so I can address them in another column.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

YOU DON’T WANT HALITOSIS

June 21, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:20 am

Bad breath is breath that has an unpleasant odor. It’s also known as halitosis. This odor can occur from time to time, or it can be long lasting, depending on the cause.

Millions of bacteria live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue. In many people, they are the primary causes of bad breath. The mouth’s warm, moist conditions are ideal for the growth of these bacteria. Most bad breath is caused b1y something in the mouth.

Some types of bad breath are considered to be fairly normal. They usually are not health concerns. One example is “morning mouth.” This occurs because of changes in your mouth while you sleep. During the day, saliva washes away decaying food and odors. The body makes less saliva at night. Your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells stick to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. When bacteria use these cells for food, they produce a foul odor.

In addition, bad breath can be caused by the following:

Poor dental hygiene – Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing, allows bits of food that are stuck between the teeth to decay inside the mouth. Poor oral hygiene eventually will lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which also can cause bad breath.

Infections in the mouth – These can be caused by either a cavity in a tooth or by periodontal (gum) disease.

Respiratory tract infections – Throat, sinus or lung infections.

External source – Garlic, onions, coffee, tea, cigarette smoking, and chewing tobacco, all contribute to halitosis.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) – This can be caused by salivary gland problems, medicines or “mouth breathing.” A large number of prescriptions and over the counter medicines cause dry mouth. Xerostomia is a major contributor to bad breath and advanced dental decay.

Illnesses – Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others.

Bad breath caused by dental problems can be prevented easily with proper home and professional care. Your dentist will review your medical history for conditions that can cause bad breath and for medicines that can cause dry mouth.

Your dentist may refer you to your family physician if an illness is the most likely cause. In severe cases of gum disease, your dentist may suggest that you see a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum problems).

If the cause is systemic, you will need diagnostic tests to check for lung infection, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or Sjögren’s syndrome. The type of tests you get depends on the suspected illness. You may get blood tests, urine tests, X-rays of the chest or sinuses, or other tests.

The treatment for bad breath depends on the cause. As with all medical issues, it is best to follow regular professional maintenance appointments.

One of the best things you can do daily is scrape your tongue with a…..you guessed it……tongue scraper. Brushing the tongue is not advised as this pushes bacteria further into the tongue. A tongue scraper is designed to pull and collect millions of bacteria that accumulate on the tongue. If you don’t have one, ask your dentist for one at your next appointment.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

Is Napping Bad for You If You Have Sleep Apnea?

June 17, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 8:50 pm

Man with sleep apnea napping at his deskIf you have sleep apnea, it’s likely that you feel pretty exhausted throughout the day. In fact, daytime sleepiness is one of the most common warning signs of this sleep condition! It may seem pretty tempting to take a nap to catch up on your sleep, but experts say don’t do it! Napping could be problematic for people who are already struggling to get quality sleep at night, and could potentially even make you more tired. Read on as we go over why you may want to consider avoiding naps, especially if you have sleep apnea.

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HI-TECH DENTISTRY

June 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:11 am

I’m sure we all agree that keeping up with technology is not easy. From computers to cell phones to cars, and everything in between, changes take place at lightning speed. No matter what we buy, there is always something right around the corner, or already there, that is better.

I purchased a digital x-ray system back in January of 2008. By June of the same year, the same company came out with a smaller, thinner sensor.  This didn’t make mine obsolete, but made me mad because my $10,000 investment made six months before could now be purchased for half the price.

As with most, if not all industries, technology is sweeping the dental field. We are digitizing everything. Offices that are not already “paperless” are moving in that direction. Automated systems for appointment confirmation via text or email, scheduling appointments, paying bills online, filling out online forms, and digital patient charts have been commonplace in dental offices for a while.

Digital radiology is transforming the way we treatment plan and deliver services such as dental implants. This 3-Dimensional technology allows accurate evaluation of biological structures to provide almost pinpoint placement of dental implants that may not have been able to be done using traditional methods. Notice I said “almost” pinpoint accuracy. It’s still not perfect, but it keeps getting better and better.

You may be aware that some dental offices can make crowns chairside without the use of gooey impression materials or the need of a dental laboratory. This technology has been around for over 25 years. The first generation of this technology was pretty cool back in the day, but delivered less than stellar results. Today, it is safe to say, this technology has greatly improved, continues to get better, and is not going away.

While the technology has gotten significantly better, there are still limitations. Currently, this technology uses a reduction method to fabricate restorations. This means that the restoration is milled from a solid block of material. The material choices are somewhat limited but getting better. What’s next? Maybe 3-D printing of whatever material you would like to use.

I read an article recently about 3-D printing technology where the CEO of this particular company working on dental applications said, “If 3D printing hopes to break out of the prototyping niche it has been trapped in for decades, we need to find a disruptive technology that attacks the problem from a fresh perspective.” I think this technology will be a game-changer.

I have always struggled with when to “jump-in” with certain technologies. It’s not an easy decision. The high cost, the learning curve, and knowing there is always something better right around the corner have been the barriers for me. The more I read about what is on the horizon, the more I want to wait for the “next best thing.”

Dentistry is moving fast forward in technological advances. However, two things come to mind about technology and dentistry. The first, is to keep in mind that sometimes the best option may be an older model. For example, gold is still used in dentistry, and definitely has a place in certain circumstances. The second thing, is that someone has to pay for all this advanced dentistry, and the dental insurance companies haven’t changed their model since the 1970’s. Many insurance companies will pay for more of your filling if get a “silver” one than a tooth-colored one.

We not only need to find “disruptive technology” to help prevent dental disease and treat it earlier and better, we need to have a disruptive revolution of dental insurance.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

DENTURE MAINTENANCE

June 7, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. J. Peter St. Clair, DMD @ 11:15 am

Contrary to what many denture-wearers believe, dentures require regular maintenance, including relines, repairs, and replacement. In fact, the average denture should be relined every two to three years and replaced every five to seven years for the most optimal fitting prosthesis. There are many reasons for this maintenance interval and for regular dental examinations, whether or not the patient perceives any problem.

The first problem has to do with the basic function of the bone surrounding natural teeth. Natural teeth are held in their sockets by thousands of “cables”, called the periodontal ligament that tug and pull on the supporting bone during function. The bone is designed to be strengthened and stimulated in this manner. When the teeth are removed, the bone no longer has appropriate stimulation, and shrinkage occurs unless it is directly loaded again with dental implants. Bone atrophy is accelerated by inappropriate forces caused by loose and ill-fitting dentures.

Relining, or replacing the tissue surface of the denture, helps preserve bone by adapting dentures to the gums as they shrink, but it is only helpful for dentures that are otherwise in good condition, which includes a proper bite relationship. Relining also helps to encourage health of the soft tissues because dentures plastic is porous and becomes heavily laden with bacteria and yeast over time. Relining refreshes the tissue surface of dentures with new acrylic. Sometimes a more advanced type of relining, called rebasing, is the treatment of choice when all of the pink portion of a denture is in poor condition and needs to be replaced.

New dentures should be made when relining or rebasing of dentures can no longer re-establish proper fit and function. Often this is obvious by wear or fracture of the denture teeth. When dentures contribute to headaches or when the patient’s face begins to look “collapsed” or “old”, the need for new dentures is likely.

Lastly, but certainly not of least importance, denture wearers need to stay current with regular dental examinations for inspection of not only the dentures but the tissue for pre-cancerous lesions. Since most people feel they do not need to go to the dentist once they have dentures, many early pre-cancerous lesions are missed.

Everyone is at risk for oral cancer, whether they have teeth or not. In fact, the constant “trauma” and lack of blood circulation caused by chronic denture wear increases the risk for oral cancer development. For this reason alone, annual dental examinations are recommended for denture wearers.

Many patients with older dentures report their dentures fit fine. You can relate this to the fit of shoes. Shoes get broken in over time and seem comfortable. However, the fact is, over time shoes lose their ability to provide proper support. Even though they may be comfortable, they may be causing other problems due to this lack of support.

If you are a denture wearer and have not seen a dentist in a year or more, it’s time to consider a dental visit. Learn about how your dentures are fitting and whether relining or replacing them makes sense. For most, it is also never too late to consider the benefits of dental implants to help preserve bone and secure dentures in place.

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. He has a special interest in treating sleep apnea and TMJ problems. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com

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