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Virginia Beach gum disease therapy treats periodontitis, commonly linked to heart disease

October 26, 2015

periodontitis patients

Gum disease therapy in Virginia Beach helps patients retain their natural teeth and experience less tenderness, bleeding, bad breath, gum and bone recession and infection common to plaque accumulation beneath the gums. While Stephanie L. Santos DDS and Vinita John Folck DDS, Virginia Beach dentists at Smile by Design, advocate disciplined dental hygiene at home and in the dental chair, they understand some people are more prone to periodontitis than others.

Tooth Loss: Common Causes from Virginia Beach Dentist

September 24, 2015

Father and daughter smiling with missing teeth. Get tooth loss facts from your Virginia Beach Dentist.However it happens, losing teeth is always a traumatizing experience. Gaps in your smile negatively affect more than your confidence — they can also interfere with the way you speak, eat and chew. The key to avoiding tooth loss is knowing why it happens, and what you can do to stop it. Keep reading to learn about the top four causes of tooth loss from the Virginia Beach dentist you trust at Smile By Design.

The Importance of Maintaining Good Dental Habits from Your Virginia Beach Dental Office

July 24, 2015

surprised beautiful young woman talking on the phone

About 100 years ago, almost no one brushed their teeth. When men in the US were drafted for WWI, poor oral hygiene was considered a risk to national security, and during WWII, more recruits received medical rejection from military services because they didn’t have enough teeth than for any other medical condition.  Maybe this seems like the distant past, but today, more people own smartphones than own toothbrushes and periodontal disease effects nearly 80% of US adults easily qualifying as an epidemic. Oral health has a long history of neglect. Despite the best efforts of dental professionals, most people don’t spend enough time caring for their smiles, but in the past 30 years, a significant shift has occurred in dentistry to help improve dental health. Previously, dentists focused on treatment and replacement. Today, we focus on prevention and restoration. At Smile by Design, we don’t treat your dental issues after they arise we prevent them, and if our preventive measures fail, we don’t extract and replace your teeth, we always try to restore them. It’s a whole new dental world, but without your commitment to oral health between visits, your teeth remain at risk. Call the Virginia Beach, VA dental practice of Drs. Stephanie L. Santos and Vinita John Folck to find out more about oral health or schedule an appointment today.

Essential Family Dentistry Virginia Beach Relies On

In order to maintain optimal oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that, at minimum, people brush their teeth for 2 minutes 2 times a day, floss between teeth and below the gum line at least once per day, and receive a regular dental examination and cleaning every six months. That’s the foundation for a lifetime of oral health, but many patients are surprised to hear that their oral health is closely related to their overall physical wellbeing. Remember that 80% of US adults suffer from some form of periodontal (gum) disease? Gum disease has been linked to numerous systemic and chronic illnesses including:

Cardiovascular disease – Oral bacteria causes infection and inflammation in the mouth. This infection and inflammation can spread throughout your body in your bloodstream. Fatty plaque deposits or other blood cell irregularities make it difficult for your heart to pump blood into the rest of your body which can lead to blood clots, stroke, and atrial fibrillation.

Infection of heart, lungs and liver – Endocarditis, walking pneumonia, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have all been linked to gum disease as a possible source or at the very least an indicator. While research hasn’t discovered a causal connection, the likelihood that patients with one of these illnesses will also suffer from gum disease is more than 50%.

Immunodeficiency – Patients with diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other diseases that affect the immune system are extremely susceptible to gum disease.

Low weight and pre-term birth – A study of periodontitis (severe gum disease) developed from “pregnancy gingivitis” (common form of mild gum disease in pregnant women), has linked periodontal disease to low weight and pre-term birth. Women with periodontitis are 50% more likely to deliver early or underdeveloped babies.

Contact Your Family Dentist, Virginia Beach

There’s no need to dread your next dental checkup. You should look forward to the opportunity to improve your oral health, and overall wellbeing. Drs. Santos and Folck and the entire Smile by Design team are dedicated to making you feel right at home because we do! Our staff loves coming to work every day, and our patients know it. Happiness is contagious, and we guarantee you’ll smile through your entire appointment. Call to schedule a checkup or teeth cleaning today. Our convenient, Virginia Beach, VA office welcomes patients from surrounding areas Virginia Beach, Northeast Virginia Beach, Fort Story, Sand Bridge and beyond.

E-Cigs and Your Smile: How Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth?

June 13, 2014

As many cigarette smokers turn to electronic cigarettes to
get their nicotine fix, the topic of how these popular products affect oral
health inevitably comes up again and again. While it is common knowledge that
smoking cigarettes can cause a variety of oral health problems – including oral
cancer, periodontal disease, and substantially stained teeth – not much is yet
known about how e-cigs impact a person’s smile. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA,
our doctors are happy to share valuable oral health information with our
patients, including how the mouth is affected by smoking vs. vaping
Being an Informed

Though research is still ongoing regarding how e-cigs affect oral health, there are a
few things that medical studies have been able to tell us so far. One of these
factors involves the manner in which vaping dehydrates the mouth. A dry mouth
is an excellent environment for bacterial imbalance and the development of periodontal
disease. Patients who experience chronic dry mouth – whether it is caused by
using electronic cigarettes or not –
should contact our office for a consultation to determine the underlying issue,
as well as to seek treatment.
Other concerns regarding e-cigs and oral health revolve around the ingredients used to
create the liquid, or “juice,” these products use to deliver nicotine. More
research is needed to determine how these ingredients, including propylene
glycol and the flavorings used, impact the teeth and soft tissues of the gums,
cheek lining, and tongue.
Schedule Your
Appointment Today

Whether you are currently a smoker, an e-cig user, or simply
someone who would like to learn more about how these behaviors affect your oral
health, we are here to help. Our doctors and caring, compassionate staff are
always happy to share vital oral health information with our patients because
we want you to have the happiest, healthiest smile possible. Contact our office
today to schedule a visit to our Virginia
office and discover the difference that our patient-centric approach
can make in your life. We also happily serve patients in Norfolk, Sandbridge, Fort Story, Portsmouth, and beyond. 

What is Periodontitis?

April 16, 2014

When most people think of gum disease, the first images that
come to mind typically include swollen gum tissue and bleeding gums when the
teeth are brushed or flossed. While these are certainly common symptoms
associated with periodontal disease, the consequences of leaving this condition
untreated can actually be far worse. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA, Dr. Vinita John
Folck and Dr. Stephanie L. Santos
offer comprehensive periodontal
to treat gum disease before it results in more severe
Gum Disease and the

Periodontitis is
a severe infection of the gums and the gingival tissues that hold the teeth in
their proper places. When these tissues become inflamed and infected, the
structural integrity of the jaw and teeth is compromised. In addition to
causing gum sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding, periodontitis can eventually lead to loose teeth and even teeth
that fall out.
Other complications that arise from untreated gum disease include an increased risk
for heart disease, stroke, respiratory infections, dementia, and low birth
weight in infants of mothers with the condition. With periodontal therapy from the team at Smile by Design, we’ll develop a treatment plan that suits your
individual situation. Our primary goal is to help you achieve and maintain a
smile that is as healthy as it is beautiful.
Schedule Your

If you suspect that you or anyone in your family may be
suffering from any level of gum disease
even if it consists of occasional bleeding when you brush or floss – contact our office in
Virginia Beach, VA today. Our
doctors and caring staff look forward to helping you stop periodontitis in its tracks, giving you the healthy, gorgeous smile
you want and deserve. Our family-friendly office gladly welcomes patients from throughout
Virginia Beach and the surrounding
communities, including the cities of Norfolk,
Portsmouth, Fort Story, Sandbridge,
and beyond.

Periodontal Therapy for Virginia Beach

February 14, 2014

In our last post, we talked
about the connection between oral health and overall wellbeing. Today we’d like
to talk a little more about gum disease,
its symptoms, and how it can be treated.
The symptoms of gum
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Pockets between the teeth and gums
Regular checkups at Smile
by Design
are important because they give Dr. Santos and
Dr. Folck a
chance to look for symptoms like these. Regular appointments are also important
because not every patient who struggles with gum disease will exhibit all of them.
If our Virginia Beach
team finds anything, we can put together a treatment plan designed around your
specific needs. One of the most common treatments for gum disease is scaling and
root planing
. Using a combination of scaling
and root planing
plus extra homecare, Dr.
and Dr. Santos can help
you gain control over your symptoms and enjoy better oral health and overall

Are you struggling with gum
? Data indicates that a majority of American adults will at some
point. Call Smile by Design today to schedule an
appointment. Dr. Folck and Dr. Santos are happy to serve patients
from Virginia Beach, Fort Story, Sandbridge, and surrounding areas.

Oral Health and the Health of Your Heart

February 11, 2014

In just a few days, couples across the country will be
celebrating Valentine’s Day. Given
how much the heart figures into Valentine’s cards, candy and decorations, now
seems like a good time to make you aware of the connection between your oral
health—and specifically gum disease—and
your overall health. Are you surprised to hear that there’s a connection at
all? Many people don’t realize that one exists, but according to recent data,
it does.
Gum disease
starts with the accumulation of bacteria and plaque around the gum line. Over
time, as these two irritate the mouth’s soft tissues, an infection will develop,
resulting in symptoms like bleeding, sensitivity, swelling and more. Given enough
time, gum disease creates pockets
between the teeth and gum line. From these pockets bacteria and plaque can gain
access to the body’s bloodstream, traveling to, among other places, the heart,
where they can contribute to clotting and even heart attacks.
Gum disease has
also been linked to other
kinds of health problems
, including:
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Stroke
  • Pre-term birth
  • Diabetes
  • Pneumonia
How can you prevent health problems related to gum disease? By following a few simple
First, make sure you’re following a good brushing and
flossing regimen. Brushing twice a day—or after every meal, if you can—will help
you keep bacteria and plaque from building up around your teeth, while flossing
once a day will help you clean between your teeth. You can also add an
antibacterial mouthwash to your routine to make it more effective.
The next step you can take is to see Dr. Folck or Dr. Santos on
a regular basis for checkups and cleanings. Checkups will help us spot gum disease before it develops into a
serious problem; cleanings give us a chance to remove bacteria and plaque you
couldn’t get by yourself at home.
Do you have questions about the oral health-heart health
connection? Is it time for your next checkup and cleaning? Call Smile by Design today for an
appointment. We serve patients from Virginia
, Fort Story, Sandbridge, and beyond.