Posts for: January, 2015

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
January 29, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Lots of people collect Beatles memorabilia, but one Canadian dentist took this hobby to new heights recently when he paid $31,200 for John Lennon's molar at auction. According to published reports, Lennon had given the extracted tooth to his housekeeper as a souvenir in the 1960s after coming home from the dentist's office. The molar was discolored and had a cavity, according to the dentist who purchased it after the housekeeper's family put it up for bids. “For the cavity to be this large he probably wasn't seeing a dentist that regularly,” the dentist said. His brushing and flossing routine may not have been that conscientious either!

For healthy teeth, it's important to have a good daily oral hygiene routine at home and regular professional cleanings here at the office. Our hygienist will scale your teeth to remove hard deposits (tartar), and polish them to remove stains for a wonderful, extra-clean feeling.

Dental hygienists are trained to do lots of other things to promote your oral health besides cleaning your teeth. They can check the skin in and around your mouth looking for any suspicious bumps, sores, etc., that may need further evaluation. They will also evaluate your periodontal health (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), checking for signs of gum inflammation and bleeding (gingivitis). And they monitor teeth for signs of decay, which is actually the world's most widespread disease.

Cavities, or dental caries as it is also known, are the most notable consequences of tooth decay. Left untreated, caries can lead to pain and tooth loss. John Lennon's dentist must have believed there was nothing more to be done for the badly decayed molar that later went on to fetch such a high price.

Unless you're a rock star, your teeth are worth a lot more in a healthy and functioning state — inside your mouth! So if it's been a while since your last appointment, please come in and see us. Remember: Good dental health is priceless.

If you would like more information on tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article, “Tooth Decay.” Dear Doctor also has more on the “Dental Hygiene Visit.”


The “wear and tear” nature of gingival (gum) tissue enables it to readily handle the chewing and biting actions of eating and still perform its most important function: protecting the roots of your teeth from decay and environmental exposure. But while they're resilient, they're not invincible: it's quite possible for them to lose their attachment to a tooth and begin to recede, leaving the root surfaces exposed.

Gum recession can occur for a number of reasons: poor oral hygiene; over brushing and flossing; malocclusion (a poor bite); personal habits, like biting down on hard foreign objects; or poorly fitted dentures or other appliances. From a genetic point of view, people with thinner gingival tissues are more prone to gum recession than those with thicker tissues. Whatever the cause, the result is the same — the exposed tooth becomes more sensitive to environmental factors (such as heat, cold, abrasion or erosion). More importantly, it now has a higher susceptibility to decay and disease, leading to its possible demise.

But there may be a solution. Although the original tissue may be lost, periodontal plastic surgery can restore a protective layer of tissue to the tooth, and at the same time give you back the smile you once had.

From the Greek word “plastik” for sculpting or modeling clay, plastic surgery procedures restore both form and function to a bodily structure. While the term “plastic surgery” can apply to other procedures in medicine such as rhinoplasty or face lifts, the periodontal procedure particularly involves grafting similar tissue to an area of recession, and then “shaping” it into a natural, life-like form.

To graft means to remove tissue from a donor site and attach it to a recipient site. In the case of periodontal tissue, the recipient patient can also be the donor with the tissue coming from some other area of the same mouth (the graft can also come from another human or an animal). Using advanced techniques and a touch of artistry, the surgeon positions and sutures the graft in place.

The result: not only a new protective covering for your tooth, but a more pleasing appearance when you smile.

If you would like more information on periodontal plastic surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Plastic Surgery.”

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
January 06, 2015
Category: Oral Health

You may have heard that after 30, your body begins to fall apart. While hopefully we all still have plenty of life left in us, the truth is that your oral health needs likely aren't the same after 30 as they were when you were younger. You start to see your Lexington family dentist at Thompson Lee & Chalothorn for different issues. Here are four common tooth problems you just might experience once you pass 30.

1. Periodontal Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all Americans over 30 have periodontal disease. Periodontal Teeth Sensativitydisease can be moderate or severe, and it can result in symptoms as minor as mild inflammation or as severe as tooth loss. If you suspect you may have periodontal disease, a visit to your Lexington family dentist at Thompson Lee & Chalothorn can let you know for sure.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity may not seem like a serious issue, but for many Americans, extreme tooth sensitivity can significantly impact their quality of life. If hot chocolate makes you wince and you can't handle ice cream at all, a trip to Thompson Lee & Chalothorn may be in order. Whether your tooth is chipped or your roots are exposed, your Lexington family dentist can help you get the treatment you need.

3. Dry Mouth

Chronic dry mouth is often caused by certain medications, though it can be caused by an underlying disease or condition as well. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, you will want to visit Lexington family dentist at Thompson Lee & Chalothorn to find the cause in case your dry mouth is a symptom of a more serious issue.

4. Missing Teeth

If you knew how many people around you had missing teeth, you would likely be very surprised. Thanks to modern day dental procedures such as dentures, implants and bridges, it is very possible to restore your beautiful smile so no one ever has to know your teeth were missing. If a beautiful smile sounds great to you, call Lexington family dentist at Thompson Lee & Chalothorn to ask about your treatment options today!

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