April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This is a great time to get informed on the causes, signs, and symptoms of oral and oropharyngeal cancer.

  • FACT: Approximately 80% of oral cancer patients use tobacco. Tobacco use, both smoking and smokeless forms, has a well-established link to oral cancer. Be aware of any color or textures changes in the lips, cheek pouch, or side of tongue.
  • FACT: Approximately 70% of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. The combination of drinking and smoking together exponentially increases the chance of oral cancer.
  • FACT: 35% of oral cancers are positive for Human Papilloma Virus 16. This is likely due to an increase in the acceptance of oral sex. These cancers are more typical in the back of the throat and oropharynx. 
  • FACT: Most oral cancers are detected in Stage III or IV, when the 5-year survival rate is 20-50%.

If a self-examination reveals difficulty in swallowing, as well as any lumps, bumps, ulcers, or discolorations of the oral tissues, do not hesitate to get a professional screening. Our oral cancer exam consists of a tactile and visual exam using Oral ID fluorescence technology to aid in the diagnosis of oral lesions. We perform this exam as part of our routine 6-month check-ups and for all new patients. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information. You may also click HERE to visit the American Cancer Society page on oral cancer.

Research has found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. The link between the two is still being studied, but it is a fact that the same bacteria found in the mouth is found in the blood vessels of those who suffer from hardening of the arteries.

Inflammation of the oral tissues breaks down the barrier between the mouth and the underlying connective tissue, releasing bacteria into the blood stream. It is thought that this bacteria adheres to fatty deposits in the blood, contributing to blockages. This initiates an inflammatory response which causes the walls of blood vessels to swell, reducing blood flow. Blood pressure can increase, which can cause clots to form and plaques to break loose from the walls, possibly leading to strokes.

In addition to improving heart health by following a low-fat, high-fiber diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking, your dental health regimen can aid in lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease. We recommend:

  • Having a complete dental cleaning, including a doctor's exam and diagnostic x-rays done at the interval recommended by your dentist. The interval will vary according to your particular need.
  • Brush and floss your teeth adequately in the morning and before bed. We recommend the Oral-B Genius Power Toothbrush, which enables you to access all surfaces of the teeth more efficiently than a traditional toothbrush.
  • Eat foods high in Vitamins A and C which contribute to oral health. These include oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale, among others. These are also rich in antioxidants.

A healthy smile equals a healthy heart. Don't hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you get both! 


Many adults who had orthodontics in their youth have experienced orthodontic relapse, in which the teeth shift back to their original state. The thought of wearing braces again is not appealing to many adults and that's where ClearCorrect aligners can fill the gap. 

The procedure involves impressions of both arches, either with traditional impression material or with our new digital optical scanner. These are uploaded to the ClearCorrect lab, where the teeth are manipulated digitally into the ideal set-up. Using 3D printing technology, a series of firm, plastic aligners are fabricated. Each aligner moves the teeth incrementally until they are ready for the next in the series. This is repeated until the teeth reach their ideal place in the arch.

Treatment generally takes from 3-12 months, depending on the amount of straighening needed. We have been providing orthodontic services for over 16 years. ClearCorrect is another tool in our orthodontic bag that allows us to straighten teeth for adults. This month we are offering complimentary orthodontic assessments. All new cases started in January and February 2018 will receive a $100 Amazon gift card!

By Michael D. Gillespie, DDS
December 27, 2017
Category: Orthodontics
Tags: Untagged

dental implants

A beautiful smile is a social asset as well as a sign of good health. Teeth that are properly positioned are easier to clean and therefore, maintain for a lifetime. At our Waynesville, NC office, Michael D. Gillespie, DDS offers several modes of orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth for children and adults alike.

  • Traditional braces — a rchwires are affixed to small brackets that are bonded to the teeth. Today’s brackets are smaller and move teeth more quickly than in the past.
  • ClearCorrect — a series of clear aligners are worn for two weeks at a time and are virtually invisible. Clear aligners are ideal for minimally crowded and rotated teeth.
  • Inman Aligner — a removable appliance consisting of a spring assembly that provides light forces to each side of the arch, gently straightening the teeth.

Through January and February, we are offering a complimentary assessment to see if we may meet your orthodontic treatment goals. Call our Waynesville, NC office at 828-456-9007 to see if our tooth straightening options are a possibility for you. As an added bonus, each orthodontic case started in January and February will receive a $100 Amazon gift card!

The office of Michael D. Gillespie, DDS is located at 611 S. Haywood Street in Waynesville, NC.

By Michael D. Gillespie, DDS
December 19, 2017
Category: Dentistry

Find out how this long-term tooth replacement could boost your appearance!dental implants

Dental implants are pretty amazing restorations because they are the only ones that actually both look and even act similarly to natural teeth. This is because our Waynesville, NC, dentist Dr. Michael Gillespie places this small, biocompatible titanium post into the jawbone, where it naturally fuses together with the bone and tissue in your mouth so that you can enjoy a permanent and stable base from which to hold a false tooth.

Plus, dental implants offer an array of wonderful benefits for your oral health that you probably didn’t even realize. Here are just some of the ways that getting dental implants in Waynesville, NC, could greatly improve your smile:

They preserve the overall strength and durability of your jawbone and prevent bone loss (one of the most common complications of tooth loss). No other tooth replacement options actually stimulate the jawbone.

Since the implant prevents jawbone deterioration you also won’t have to deal with structural changes in your face that you would have to deal with if your jawbone began to lose density. Those with bone loss will eventually deal with signs of premature aging since the jawbone will start to recede, causing issues like sunken cheeks.

Once an implant is placed this will fill the gap in your smile where your missing tooth used to be. Filling that gap prevents the rest of your teeth from shifting into that open space, which can lead to crooked teeth, gaps between teeth and other misalignments.

Once an implant fuses together with the jawbone you now have a restoration that could last you the rest of your life. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the implant moving or shifting around in your mouth (like you might have to deal with if you have dentures). This means both speech and chewing are fully restored. So go ahead and enjoy all of your favorite foods again!

With a beautiful, full smile again that you can feel confident in you’ll also feel better about the way you look. Perhaps you were canceling social gatherings because you were embarrassed by gaps in your smile. With implants, now you are ready to improve your appearance and your social life!

If you are ready to get dental implants from our Waynesville, NC, dentist then it’s time you gave us a call. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for you.

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Contact Us

Michael D. Gillespie, DDS

(828) 456-9007
611 S Haywood St Waynesville, NC 28786