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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.

Pocket Depth and Periodontal Disease: What’s the Connection?

May 22, 2014

Many people know that gum disease can cause a wide variety
of undesirable issues, including everything from bad breath and bleeding gums
to eventual tooth loss when the condition is left untreated. However, the
majority of individuals – even those who suffer from periodontal disease – don’t
understand this condition and how it affects your health. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA, Dr. Vinita John
Folck and Dr. Stephanie L. Santos
offer a comprehensive menu of preventive
and general dentistry services, including periodontal
What is Pocket Depth?

Ideally, the tissue of your gums should fit snugly around
the base of your teeth, but periodontal
changes this. Instead, pockets form along the gum line, creating
the perfect place for bacteria to hide. Over time, this accumulation of
bacteria can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which further increases
the size of the pocket. This cycle continues as the gum recedes and the infection
spreads. Advanced periodontal disease
can lead to complications with pregnancy, coronary artery disease, diabetes,
and more.
Benefits of
Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal therapy
addresses the infection that causes inflammation and increased pocket depth, reducing the amount of
room bacteria have to thrive in your gums. As with treatment for any other type
of disease, gum disease is most
effectively treated when diagnosed early.
Schedule Your Visit

Gum disease affects
approximately three out of every four American adults; are you one of them?
Because the early stages of periodontal
don’t always present the patient with noticeable symptoms, it is
important to see our doctors twice per year for routine exams and cleanings. Contact our office
today to schedule your appointment with our experienced, caring team. Our
practice proudly serves patients from throughout Virginia Beach, Sandbridge, Fort Story, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and

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.

Contemporary Periodontal Therapy for Virginia Beach and Beyond

October 18, 2013

Why does our team at Smile
by Design
encourage you to come in for checkups twice a year? Because
regular care will help us protect you from a common oral health condition like periodontal disease. Caused by a
buildup of plaque and bacteria, periodontal
can lead to red or swollen gums, plus bleeding, and in more
advanced cases, tooth loss.
Other symptoms of periodontal
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together
  • Pockets between your teeth and gums
Through regular visits with Dr. Stephanie
and Dr.
Virginia Folck
, our Virginia Beach
dental team can help you monitor your smile for any of these symptoms.
Sometimes periodontal disease can
slip by unnoticed in its earliest stages. It takes a trained eye to spot these
symptoms early on.
If we find any signs of periodontal disease during your
appointment, we’re happy to recommend a treatment plan with root planing and
scaling. This deep cleaning approach is a very effective way of treating periodontal disease before it becomes
too severe.

But of course, our real goal at Smile by Design is preventing the need for periodontal therapy altogether. To schedule a checkup and cleaning
with our Virginia Beach office, give us a call today.
 We’re happy to serve patients from Fort Story, Sandbridge, and beyond.

Periodontal Therapy for Virginia Beach and Beyond

July 23, 2013

Periodontal therapy is treatment for periodontal disease, aka gum disease. How serious is gum disease? According to some estimates, a majority of the adult population has some form of it. What’s more, though gum disease starts out mild, if left untreated it can lead to serious oral health problems. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss. All of which means that periodontal therapy is important for anyone with even mild symptoms.

How can you know if you have gum disease? Consider these symptoms:

  • Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed after you brush or floss
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Deep pockets between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
Are you experiencing one or more of these symptoms? Contact Smile by Design in Virginia Beach for an appointment with Dr. Santos or Dr. Folck. During your appointment, we can talk to you about our approach to periodontal therapy, which involves scaling and root planing. Even though gum disease isn’t fully curable, the symptoms can be treated and its progress can be halted. 
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning method that lets us remove bacteria and plaque from deep below the gumline. Following your advanced care, regular brushing and flossing, plus twice yearly dental appointment, are important for helping your smile stay healthy.

Call us to set up an appointment. We can put together a periodontal therapy plan designed around your specific needs so that you can return to good oral health and find relief from your symptoms. Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck provide effective periodontal therapy to patients from Virginia Beach, Fort Story, and Northeast Virginia Beach.