How are gum disease and heart health linked?

iStock 1168130610 Dr. Joseph Cavallo’s primary goal is to help patients in the Woodbridge, VA area achieve and maintain oral health and wellness. At the same time, by keeping the smile healthy, he is also helping patients prevent concerns such as heart disease which can be directly linked to oral health. 

How are gum disease and heart health linked? 

Many patients do not realize that gum disease, or periodontal disease, is linked with an increased risk of developing heart disease and heart attacks, but it is true! Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA educate patients on how to prevent heart disease by maintaining a healthy oral environment. This is achieved by not only brushing and flossing the teeth after every meal, but visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and examinations. 

Gum disease is an infection that develops in the mouth. It is caused by bacteria that is created when patients fail to care for their smile. This bacteria the builds up in the mouth if patients do not take action in improving their oral health. The bacteria then enters into the bloodstream and is carried to various parts of the body—including the heart—to cause swelling and clotting of the arteries. It also results in inflammation throughout the body that can become difficult to control. With a proper diagnosis of gum disease and an effective treatment plan, patients can control the infection and in turn, reduce their risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease and reduce their risk of heart attacks. 

This connection between the mouth and the body is known as the oral systemic connection, and is vital for patients to understand. With proper care, patients can reduce their risk of not only heart problems, but other coexisting conditions such as diabetes, stroke risks, and pregnancy complications. 

Do you have questions about your oral health and wellness? 

Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA are committed to educating patients on the many ways in which the smile can be maintained to remain healthy and beautiful. Call our practice today at (703) 490-5888 to request a consultation appointment with our dentist. We are open to new and established patients and serve individuals in our practice, conveniently located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive.

What are all-on-four dental implants?

iStock 1172711906 The loss of all the teeth in the dental arch can be extremely problematic, not only for the aesthetics of the smile, but the function. While full dentures are an option for many patients, Dr. Joseph Cavallo finds that others may want a more sturdy, conservative option that doesn’t cover the roof of their mouth. In situations such as this, he may suggest that Woodbridge, VA area patients consider the benefits of the all-on-four dental implants solution. 

What are dental implants? 

Dr. Joseph Cavallo describes the dental implant as a small titanium screw that is placed surgically into the jawbone. The jawbone supports the placement of the implant and grows around it during a process called osseointegration. The dental implant is then stable for placement of an abutment above the gumline, used to anchor restorations such as dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. With all-on-fours, four dental implants are placed strategically along the dental arch and used to attach a conservative bridge-like denture to replace all the teeth in the smile efficiently. 

Who is a candidate for all-on-four dental implants? 

If you believe you are a good candidate for the all-on-four dental implants, it is critical that you schedule a consultation appointment. During this time, our team will take x-rays of the mouth to determine if the jawbone is healthy enough to place implants. During this time, we will speak to you about the expectations of the procedure and final restoration. With the surgical placement of the dental implants, proper sedation and anesthetics are used to ensure patient comfort. Once the implants have been stabilized during the healing process within the jawbone, the prosthetic teeth are created and placed. Patients are educated on how to keep their implant-supported dentures clean and functional to ensure longevity. 

Schedule time to speak to Dr. Joseph Cavallo regarding all-on-four dental implants 

Are you unhappy with full dentures? Consider the benefits of the all-on-four dental implants. These implant-retained dentures have more strength and stability while ensuring confidence in enjoying all your favorite foods! We welcome you to call the office at (703) 490-5888 to schedule an evaluation at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive. We are open to new and returning patients in the area of Woodbridge, VA and beyond! 

The connection between oral health and diabetes

diabetes Did you know that there are many health conditions that can be determined based on your smile? There are over 120 known medical problems that can be detected in the mouth. This includes blood diseases, bulimia, and cancer. But did you know that diabetes can present in the mouth as well? The association between diabetes and periodontal disease is an important one, and is critical to helping patients maintain healthy smiles. Over 30 million American have diabetes, and every year, new cases are continuing to develop. 

What is diabetes? 

Diabetes is an often chronic condition that is caused by the body’s inability to create its own insulin to regular blood sugar levels. Some diabetics have low blood sugar concerns, while others may have high blood sugar concerns. Diabetes is known for making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections of the body, which in turn makes diabetics more at risk of developing infections in the mouth that can lead to periodontal disease. 

How periodontal disease can be impacted by diabetes 

Patients with diabetes have a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease. This is because it is an inflammatory disease. It can make it difficult for the body to properly manage healthy blood sugar levels, thus making it more difficult to manage diabetes. Alternatively, if you are not properly managing your diabetes and keeping your blood sugar levels in the healthier ranges, it can make healing from periodontal disease much more difficult. 

Patients who have periodontal disease may find that they have other conditions and medical problems, such as increased risks of strokes and heart disease. This is because the infection in the mouth can spread through the bloodstream, resulting in concerns regarding the oral systemic connection. 

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? 

If your primary care physician has given you a diagnosis of diabetes and you are interested in learning the impact it can have on your oral health, contact Dr. Joseph Cavallo today to discuss ways to maintain a healthy smile. Call the office at (703) 490-5888 to request a visit at 12505-A Lake Ridge Drive. Our team of professionals are ready and willing to help new and established patients and families with their oral healthcare needs at our advanced dental facility in Woodbridge, VA.

Five foods to avoid when you have dental crowns and other restorations

istock 1035136344 1 2 Dental crowns and other restorations, such as porcelain veneers, inlays, onlays, and even dental bridges, provide patients with the replacement or repair of a natural tooth. Crowns are made to act as another layer of protection against damage to the natural tooth. However, patients who do not properly care for these restorations may find themselves in situations where they need to have them replaced because they become broken or damaged due to foods they’ve eaten. When you’ve made an investment in your smile with Dr. Joseph Cavallo, it is vital that you take care of these restorations to help them last. This includes avoiding certain foods that may damage them. Below are a list of some foods to avoid as they can cause significant damage to these repairs: 

  • Raw fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables can be tough on dental restorations, including apples or carrots. Be sure to cut these foods into slices or smaller pieces for protection.

  • Sticky foods. Candies such as caramel and taffy are a no-go for patients with dental restorations. They can dislodge a dental crown or even pull one off of a tooth.

  • Hard snacks. Thick, crusty breads and hard pretzels can chip a tooth or crack dental restorations when biting down. It’s a good idea to stick to softer foods to prevent this from happening.

  • Popcorn. Popcorn is known for causing two common problems. In additional to breaking a tooth or restoration when chewing on a hard kernel, shells can also become stuck underneath dental crowns and bridges and cause pain or infection.

  • Ice cubes. As refreshing and satisfying as an ice cube can be on a hot summer day, it’s a horrible idea to chew them as they risk cracking, chipping, and fracturing natural teeth and dental restorations. 

Do you have questions about tooth restoration? 

If you are in need of dental restorations, or have them and want more information on the best ways to care for them, book an appointment with Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, Virginia. His facility, located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Road, offers services to new and established patients who call the office at (703) 490-5888. 

Tips for dealing with dry mouth

istock 949507928 1 Approximately one in five seniors deal with dry mouth, though many more patients are complaining of poor salivary flow due to “mask mouth” from the pandemic. Regardless of how it emerges, dry mouth needs to be taken care of as it can have a negative effect on overall oral health. Saliva is necessary as it moisturizes the mouth and also protects it from becoming dry enough to lead to cavities, gum disease, and oral infections.

What is the cause of dry mouth?

There are many reasons why a patient might be dealing with a condition such as dry mouth. These include: 

  • Wearing masks for COVID-19 protection for work and social activities
  • Taking a medication that has a known side effect of dry mouth
  • Undergoing radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Dehydration

What are signs of dry mouth?

Symptoms of dry mouth may include: 

  • Thick saliva
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen, red gum tissues
  • Poor denture fit and function
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Cracked tongue surface or lips

What are some tips for dealing with dry mouth?

Patients who have been diagnosed with dry mouth by Dr. Joseph Cavallo will want to speak to him about ways to deal with this condition and protect their smile from damage. Below are some recommendations: 

  • Brush the teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day
  • Utilize a toothpaste with fluoride when brushing
  • Floss or use interdental cleaners at least once a day
  • Avoid mouthwash that has alcohol in it
  • Use dry mouth products available over-the-counter or by prescription
  • Keep the mouth moist during the day by sipping water
  • Increase salvia flow with saliva substitute or sugar-free lozenges

Are you concerned about dry mouth?

 Dry mouth can significantly impact your oral health and wellness, so it is important that you not only get it diagnosed, but then work with your dentist to keep the saliva flow increased. Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA are here to help! Call (703) 490-5888 to request a consultation visit at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and get started learning more about maintaining your smile’s beauty and health.

How does a dental hygienist deep clean your teeth?

istock 1034931478 Dental professionals have access to specialized tools and techniques that allow them to successfully and thoroughly clean the teeth and gums during a patient’s routine evaluations. This is why it is important that patients see their dentist regularly, even if they brush and floss each day without fail. Sometimes, patients may need to have a deep cleaning performed, especially if it has been a while since they’ve visited the dentist or if they have certain conditions that have developed such as gum disease. Traditional deep cleanings and periodontal cleanings are two different types of treatments available with Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA.

Periodontal cleanings vs. regular deep cleanings

  • Regular deep cleanings – regular deep cleanings are performed every six months during a routine dental examination. The dental hygienist uses tools to remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth and gums. During the cleaning, the hygienist can look for any unusual signs of problems such as periodontal disease or tooth decay and bring them to the attention of Dr. Joseph Cavallo during his physical evaluation. These cleanings may be done in conjunction with x-rays to monitor overall oral health and wellness.
  • Periodontal cleaning – patients who have been diagnosed with conditions such as periodontal disease will need a much deeper cleaning than those who have not. These cleanings, sometimes referred to as “scaling and root planing,” help in cleaning the teeth more thoroughly, such as the roots of the teeth. This is a more invasive cleaning, but needs to be done to return the smile to its original health and wellness quickly and easily. These cleanings are often done in conjunction with antibiotic therapy to control the infection and help heal the smile and restore its health.

Schedule your time with Dr. Joseph Cavallo today

Woodbridge, VA area patients who are in need of a deep cleaning of the teeth are welcome to book their first appointment and examination with our team of professionals. Call (703) 490-5888 to request a visit at our facility, located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive. We are open to new and established patients and families in the community and surrounding areas who are interested in the best care in the area.

What is implant dentistry?

istock 1089292068 Dr. Joseph Cavallo has a high standard of care when it comes to helping patients replace missing teeth. One of the most popular treatment options for missing teeth is the placement of dental implants. This is done under implant dentistry at the facility located in Woodbridge, VA.

The goal of tooth replacement is to restore the smile’s function and aesthetics from before the tooth loss occurred. Dental implants are a highly desirable option because of the way in which they work. The implant is a surgical fixture that the dentist implants into the bone of the jaw. It fuses to the bone over several months, becoming a permanent replacement in the mouth. The portion of the dental implant above the gumline, called the abutment, is then restored using different types of restorations available, depending on how many teeth are being replaced. Common restorations include:

  • Dental crowns
  • Full dentures
  • Dental bridges

This allows patients to replace one, several, or all the teeth in the dental arch depending on their unique needs. Because these titanium posts are fused with the natural bone, they are a solid foundation for any restoration. The material of dental implants also means that the body will not reject them as they may other common metals.

What are the benefits of implant dentistry?

The primary benefit of implants is that they are strong and stable because of how they are placed in the bone. They also maintain natural bone, eliminating bone resorption while ensuring patients don’t experience the appearance of a sunken-in jaw that commonly occurs to denture-wearers over time. Dental implants look and function much more like natural teeth when compared with alternative options such as bridges and dentures, and they require no extra maintenance or attention outside of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly.

Are you interested in dental implants?

The popularity of dental implants is for good reason, thanks to their function and versatility. Dr.  Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA are available to help patients find out if they are viable candidates for implants or other tooth replacement options available. Discuss implant dentistry with us by calling (703) 490-5888 and visiting at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive.

Importance of honesty to determine your smile makeover needs

istock 1129156404 1 While brushing and flossing is the best way to maintain one’s oral hygiene, some patients require more assistance outside of just preventative care. This may mean requiring restorative services to repair broken, diseased, or decayed teeth. In some instances, patients may have several areas of the smile they want to restore, which might make them a viable candidate for a treatment known as the smile makeover. Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, Virginia is a cosmetic dentist who can both restore and rejuvenate the smile with dental services. Patients who have imperfections and problems within their smile should be honest with their dentist so they can restore their smile effectively.

Even with diligent home hygiene habits, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other dental problems may still arise. When you open up to Dr. Joseph Cavallo about your desires and goals for your smile, you will be able to learn about the many solutions available to achieve a healthier, more functional and beautiful smile!

Restorative services available in Woodbridge, VA

There are many ways in which Dr. Joseph Cavallo can help restore a patient’s smile during a smile makeover. This includes:

  • Dental fillings – areas of decay are often treated with fillings. At our practice, we use composite resin fillings which are natural-looking and safer than alternatives such as silver amalgam or metal.
  • Dental crowns – teeth that have serious breakage or damage may require the placement of a dental crown over the top. This restoration is made with porcelain and covers the entire exposed part of the tooth for protection and strength.
  • Tooth replacement options – Dr. Joseph Cavallo can replace missing or extracted teeth with a range of services including dentures, bridges, and dental implants.
  • Porcelain veneers – chipped, cracked, or permanently stained teeth near the front of the mouth can be easily disguised using porcelain veneers, thin ceramic facings that are bonded onto teeth for a dramatic improvement.

Restoring your smile with a Woodbridge, VA area dentist

If you have questions about repairing your smile or obtaining a complete smile makeover, we strongly encourage you to call (703) 490-5888 to connect with Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team. His facility is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Road and accepts new patients considering cosmetic restoration of the smile using today’s advanced cosmetic dentistry solutions.

Why it’s important to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth

istock 1152179371 1 Brushing the teeth and gums each day will ensure a healthy smile, but are you aware that the tongue should also receive special care? The tongue in the mouth has a rough surface that can be the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and grow. This bacteria can spread and contribute to the potential for periodontal disease and tooth decay. Also, this bacteria on the tongue can cause patients to experience halitosis, or chronic bad breath. At the practice of Dr. Joseph Cavallo, patients will learn the importance of brushing the tongue with the teeth and gums!

Why should I brush my tongue?

Brushing the tongue is an effective way to remove sugars, acids, and food debris that may stick to the tongue due to its rough surface. It should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Patients  should start on the back of the tongue and work their way forward, ensuring they get the sides of the tongue as well.

How often should I brush my tongue?

Another question patients ask about brushing the tongue is how often it should be done. Our team recommends brushing the tongue every time you brush and floss your teeth. It should become part of one’s oral health routine between dental visits. Patients who brush their tongue and still deal with problems such as halitosis may want to ask their dentist about the use of specialized mouthwashes or the use of tongue scrapers. These are tools that may help reduce bad breath while keeping the smile healthy.

What if I still deal with halitosis?

Patients with chronic bad breath may have another underlying condition that requires further evaluation. If you struggle with halitosis even after brushing your tongue and improving your oral hygiene routine, talk to your dentist about alternative solutions.

Call Dr. Joseph Cavallo today!

Woodbridge, VA area patients who are interested in learning more about ways of caring for the smile are welcome to call the practice of Dr. Joseph Cavallo to request a consultation appointment. The practice is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and can be reached by calling (703) 490-5888. Our facility is always accepting new patients into the facility for comprehensive dental care.

What to expect when undergoing sedation dentistry

istock 1158808108 1 Dr. Joseph Cavallo is a dentist in the area of Woodbridge, VA who understands the importance of comfort when undergoing dental procedures. In addition to providing necessary anesthetics, he also offers sedation for patients undergoing long or extensive procedures. Sedation is a method of relaxing a patient and controlling anxiety levels, while ensures patients are relaxed throughout their treatment. At our practice, we proudly offer IV sedation administered and monitored by our board-certified anesthesiologist for safety and effectiveness.

What can I expect from IV sedation?

When patients are having dental procedures performed and are going to be going under with IV sedation, our board-certified anesthesiologist arrives at the practice to prepare the patient for their procedure. Patients are advised as to what they can expect with IV sedation. Patients will fall into a deep sleep during their treatment, allowing Dr. Joseph Cavallo to perform several treatments at once or successfully perform oral surgery.

  • Before – before the procedure is performed, patients are educated on how IV sedation works. They may have to follow certain instructions prior to their procedure, such as stopping certain medications or habits (smoking or alcohol drinking) before they can have their treatment done. Patients will also want to stop eating or drinking past a certain time the night before to ensure they have an empty stomach for their sedation.
  • During – during sedation, patients often fall asleep during their dental appointment, allowing Dr. Joseph Cavallo to get to work providing the necessary treatments discussed.
  • After – when the IV sedation is stopped, patients will awaken in our recovery room. Patients will then be given after-care instructions and will be sent home with the individual they arranged for transportation to and from their visit. A follow-up appointment may be made before patients leave the office.

Are you interested in learning more about IV sedation?

If you have an upcoming surgical procedure, or want to relax while your dentist completes several dental services at once, we strongly encourage you to learn more about the advantages of IV sedation with Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team. He is conveniently located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and can be reached for an appointment by calling (703) 490-5888. Our professionals are dedicated to ensuring patients have access to the best possible care in our state-of-the-art dental facility serving patients in the area of Woodbridge, VA and the surrounding communities.

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