Experience. What’s it worth?

We were marvelling at how well our staff did their jobs and worked together when all of a sudden it struck us that this team has an amazing amount of experience and talent. Including the doctors and 11 staff we have over 200 years of experience in the dental field!! Dr. Knock’s assistant alone has been with him over 36 years – and looks younger every day! Others have experience from 1 to well over 20 years. We are blessed with a loyal staff who really knows their “stuff”. They give 100% to our patients and make our lives much easier. For this we are eternally grateful!

If not for them we would not have the fantastic practice we have. Experience does count and it makes the visits of our patients the best possible!

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and whatever holiday greeting fits best for you!

Worried About Gum Disease? Would You Prefer Cabernet Or Merlot

Worried About Gum Disease? Would You Prefer Cabernet Or Merlot?

For many years now scientists have linked the beneficial positive effects of moderate amounts of red wine consumption with prevention of heart disease and cancer. But now they have also discovered that drinking the fruit of the vine could help with the prevention of gum disease!

The heroes here are compounds called polyphenols (found in grape seeds and red wine) which appear to have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation, it is theorized that polyphenols may limit the amount of inflammation in the gum tissue, helping to prevent the common disease known as gingivitis.

“Our findings demonstrate that red wine polyphenols have potent antioxidant properties,” concluded the study authors from the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, who presented the study at a meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

Eighty percent of Americans have some type of gum disease, and it is estimated that 15 percent of Americans between the age of 21 and 50 suffer from an advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. After age 50, 65 percent of Americans will suffer from this chronic gum disease and the risk is higher in smokers, diabetics and people who take steroids and oral contraceptives.

The author of the study, Dr. Fatiha Chandad, stated that more investigation is needed to determine exactly how effective the beverage will be in fighting gum disease. “Consumption of any fruits or vegetables rich in polyphenols could have beneficial effects on the maintenance of good oral health,” she adds.

So should you drink up now and not worry about proper brushing, flossing, and visits with your dental hygienist? We sure don’t think so! But it is nice to know that red wine enjoyed in moderation could have a positive effect on your dental health.

At Falmouth Dental Arts we take your oral health very seriously and want to make sure that gum disease does not rob you of your teeth as it has done to millions of Americans. We check for this condition every single time we do an examination. If you are due to see us or have any questions about gum disease or any other condition, please give us a call right away at 207-781-5900. We’re here for you!

And remember – along with the possible positive effects of red wine, it can really stain your teeth!! Brush and floss often and don’t forget your professional cleanings!!


Until recently most dentists tell you to floss and brush and your gum health will be ok. We even used to do that! But now the relationship between gum health and systemic disease is becoming a scientifically proven fact. Indeed, the bacteria under your gums are the same ones found in the heart vessels, the pancreas and many other organs. It is now thought that they create inflammation that helps destroy the lining of the blood vessels allowing plaques to collect on them and affect the blood flow. The body’s reaction to this inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many other chronic problems.

How do you find out if you have these bacteria? In our office we use a phase microscope to look for the presence of the bacteria. This shows us what the ecosystem of your plaque is – and whether the good or bad bugs are present. We also use a new test called the BANA which tells us if you have 1 or more of the bad bacteria under your gums. Then, combined with other factors we know whether you should be flossing and or water-picking. Also what type of mouthwash (or medicament) would work best for your situation. Of course, cleaning the bacteria or biofilm off the teeth is also a major piece of the healing process.

And, by the way, you can pass the bacteria back and forth to each other through kissing! There are known cases where a human has actually contracted them from kissing their dog!

Dentistry is becoming more and more a “whole body” profession and we strongly believe in this “gum/heart” connection. If you are not one of our patients, please ask your dentist about these new tests and the microscopic study


Stop Being So Darn Sensitive!!

We’ve all noticed it from time to time – have some ice cream followed by good hot coffee and OUCH! – your tooth is telling you not to do that! But how do you know if your tooth sensitivity is a sign of (pardon the pun) a deep rooted problem?

Let’s start with a little quiz. What is the hardest substance in the human body?
a) Fingernails
b) The thigh bone, also known as the femur
c) Your hard-headed uncle’s skull
d) Tooth enamel

If you guessed tooth enamel, you’re not only on your way to a winning appearance on Jeopardy but you’re ready to understand tooth sensitivity.

The enamel that covers your teeth is an extremely hard substance and acts as a great protectant. Inside the enamel is something called dentin, which is a bit softer and actually has small hollow tubes leading right into the nerve chamber. Irritate that layer and your tooth will let you know! So if the enamel on your teeth is worn away, sensitivity can set in. The roots of your teeth are in a similar situation, and receding gums which cause the roots to be uncovered can cause sensitivity as well. So what can you do?
First of all, be gentle when you brush and always use a soft toothbrush. Lots of pressure and stiff bristles don’t clean your teeth any better and actually can wear away enamel and gums.
Some people find that acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes can cause sensitivity, so avoid those if you are in that category.

Also, there are over-the-counter products, such as special toothpastes and rinses; that can help. Let us know and we’ll be glad to recommend the right one for you.

Unfortunately, many of the causes of tooth sensitivity are also signs of much larger dental problems. Things such as cavities, defective fillings or crowns, receding gums due to gum disease, grinding, and many other conditions can cause sensitivity and all of these things definitely need attention from a dental professional.
At Falmouth Dental Arts (portlandmainedentists.com and knockoutsmiles.com) we want you to be comfortable and have healthy teeth and gums! If tooth sensitivity or any other dental issues are causing you concern, please give us a call at 781-5900 and we will be glad to see how we can help. We want to get you comfortable again!