Treating Gum Disease In Newport News
While your smile is an outward expression of your inner value, the health of your smile is also related to your overall health.
Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, can result in adult tooth loss, inflamed, receding or bleeding gums and bad breath. It is also linked to serious medical conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, heart attack, lung and kidney disease, diabetes, multiple cancers, infertility and complications in pregnancy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Samaha’s innovative periodontal treatment program incorporates a unique, simple home care regimen, non-surgical treatments, laser therapy, and targeted nutritional supplementation to help you get healthy, stay healthy and enjoy a naturally beautiful smile. Periodontal disease is a contagious disease passed along within families and loved ones. In her June 2011 article from Peninsula Women’s Magazine, Dr. Samaha lets you know what it takes to be “Certified Kissable.” Read it here.
Bleeding Gums & Periodontal Disease
Periodontal gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Although periodontal disease might initially appear as bad breath and bleeding, swollen and/or recessed gums, it is often silent until its later stages. If left untreated, it can lead to bone loss, teeth loosening, and the loss of teeth themselves. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease, and although anyone can get it, certain people are at greater risk than others.
Since 1982, Dr. Samaha has spent nearly all of her career researching and developing the minimally invasive, most effective methods for treating periodontal disease. Through her ongoing clinical evaluations and the continuous review of vast amounts of scientific research, Dr. Samaha has developed a protocol that addresses the link between gum disease and whole body health, including the following:
- DNA testing to assess a patient’s genetic susceptibility.
- DNA bacterial testing to determine the exact type and concentration of periodontal bacteria to specifically target your periodontal infection.
- Blood testing evaluations, in conjunction with her patient’s physicians, for total body wellness.
- Targeted pharmaceutical-grade nutrients to support the periodontal tissues.
- Ozone therapy.
- Xylitol therapy.
- Dental laser therapy to detoxify, disinfect, decontaminate, and destroy diseased tissue.
Our gentle CO2 laser protocol typically requires no anesthesia because it creates little or no discomfort for patients—a welcome change from the traditional scalpel, surgical treatment. However, our protocol does not always replace other traditional methods of periodontal treatment, which Dr. Samaha’s skills based on decades of advanced training also allow us to provide, when necessary.
How Do You Know If You Have Gum Disease?
So how do you know if you have periodontal disease? The American Academy of Periodontology suggests you answer the following questions in order to find out:
- Do you have persistent bad breath?
- Do you ever have pain in your mouth?
- Do your gums ever bleed when you brush or floss your teeth or when you eat hard food?
- Have you noticed spaces developing between your teeth?
- Do your gums ever feel swollen or tender?
- Have you noticed that your gums are receding (pulling back form your teeth) or that your teeth appear longer than before?
- Have you noticed pus between your teeth and gums?
- Have you noticed any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite?
- Do you ever develop sores in your mouth?
- Have you noticed your teeth moving or flaring?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please contact us right away. It is likely you have periodontal disease—a disease which can have life-threatening consequences especially in those with heart disease and diabetes.
What are the Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease?
The American Academy of Periodontology cites the following causes and risk factors of periodontal disease:
- Tobacco use may be responsible for more than half the cases of periodontal disease among adults in the U.S. Smokers have a four fold increase in advanced cases of gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 41.3% of daily smokers over the age of 65 are toothless.
- If you have a family member with periodontal disease, please seek evaluation for every member of the family. The bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through the saliva and contaminate those in close contact with one another.
- Genetics plays a significant role in periodontal disease, with up to 30% of the population genetically susceptible to gum disease. Those with the genetic marker may be up to 60% more susceptible.
- Between ages 55-90, 47% of whites have the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. 59% of Mexican Americans and 70% of African Americans in the same age group have periodontitis. People of Chinese heritage also have a high susceptibility. It is estimated that during their lifetime, at least 75% of the population will have periodontal disease.
- Pregnancy and other times of hormonal change in a woman increase susceptibility to gum disease.
- Emotional stress, distress, and depression increases the chances of periodontal disease as they compromise the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
- Medications, especially oral contraceptives, anti-depressives, and certain seizure and heart medications can contribute to a greater chance of getting gum disease.
- Diabetes increases the risk for any infection, including periodontal disease.
- Poor nutrition is especially risky for the periodontal tissues as they typically require a level of support beyond that of the rest of the body.
- Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are twice are likely to have periodontal disease with moderate to severe jawbone loss.
- Other systemic conditions that interfere with the body’s immune system may worsen the condition of the gums—especially gut imbalances.
If I Have Periodontal Disease, Can it be Treated?
The good news is that we can combat the onset of periodontal disease through the following methods:
- Simple, proper bacterial evaluation, which is a straight forward in-office protocol.
- Directed home care consisting of diligent brushing, flossing, or tooth picking, using all-natural toothpaste and mouthwash that specifically combat anaerobic bacteria and sulfur compounds.
- Improved nutrition along with targeted nutritional supplements.
- Regular visits to your dentist for preventative care will support your dental health and allow you to know if you are at additional risk.
Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha is nationally recognized through her teaching and research institute, Perio Arts Institute, as one of the nation’s premier experts on the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. Additionally, she has developed an innovative, effective and gentle periodontal treatment program. Please contact Dr. Samaha today.