Gum health is important for good oral health

Gum health is important for good oral health

Healthy gums are the foundation for dental health and also play a role in overall well being. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of systemic and cardiovascular health issues, including diabetes and stroke.

Gum disease is one of the most common dental health issues today, with over 75% of adults having some form of the disease at some point in their lives.

Known as the “silent disease, many do not realize that they have gum disease until they visit Woodbridge dentist Dr. Cavallo for a regular visit or come in for an emergency visit due to a more serious problem. In advanced stages, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease and when it is the most treatable. Gingivitis may be characterized by sensitive or bleeding gums because the soft tissue has become somewhat inflamed due to the presence of harmful bacteria.

Periodontitis: the later form of gum disease, periodontitis develops when gum disease has advanced enough to cause substantial irritation and swelling, creating pockets around the teeth where bacteria can get in and affect the tooth structure, often leading to loose or lost teeth.

Dr. Cavallo offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease and restore oral health. For patients with gingivitis, or the earliest signs of gum disease, a thorough cleaning may be sufficient. In some cases a procedure called scaling and root planing, an intense cleaning and scraping of the deeper recesses of the gums, is required to remove plaque and prevent further damage.

For patients who have more advanced gum disease such as periodontitis, Dr. Cavallo may recommend a more complex procedure such as surgery on the affected tissue.

Restoring gum health is important in order to keep the teeth strong and healthy- maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home is also an part of keeping gum disease from developing or returning.

Restore your dental health with sedation dentistry

Restore your dental health with sedation dentistry

Many people avoid the dentist for a variety of reasons, and those who do frequently develop dental health problems that begin to affect daily quality of life. Avoiding the dentist can also compromise overall health as studies have shown the connection between poor oral health and an increased risk of cardiovascular and systemic disease. In those more prone to these health concerns, poor oral health can also increase the severity of disease.

Northern Virginia dentist Dr. Cavallo offers sedation dentistry to help those who struggle with dental anxiety to restore and maintain their dental health. Dr. Cavallo and his staff understand the wide range of fears and concerns patients may have and they take the time to discuss patients’ concerns when it comes to dentistry. For many, gaining a better understanding of a dental treatment or procedure can put their fears to rest and enable them to receive the dental care they need.

Dr. Cavallo offers sedation options including oral sedation, in the form of a pill, and nitrous oxide sedation in his Woodbridge dentist office. Both are non needle sedation options that allow a patient to be in control their bodily functions and responsive, but fully relaxed during treatment. In most cases, they have no memory of the procedure. The use of sedation dentistry can often enable patients with dental anxiety to receive several dental treatments during one visit!

Watch this short ADA video for a better understanding of how nitrous oxide works and what to expect at your visit with Dr. Cavallo:

If you have been avoiding the dentist, we want to welcome you back and work with you to ensure your comfort while restoring your oral health. Dr. Cavallo can discuss the benefits of sedation dentistry and help you decide if it is right for you.

Treating worn teeth can restore your oral health

Treating worn teeth can restore your oral health

There are many factors that affect the integrity of the natural teeth, sometimes causing them to appear worn or begin to crack and chip: dental problems, diet, lifestyle habits, genetics, accidents. If untreated, worn and/or damaged teeth can become lost teeth.

Northern Virginia cosmetic dentist Dr. Cavallo has extensive training and experience in the treatment of complex dental problems and seeks to identify the underlying cause to ensure that any dentistry provides lasting results. Restoring balance to the bite with restorative and cosmetic dental procedures is as important as addressing the appearance of the teeth and the key to avoiding the development of similar or additional dental problems later on.

In other words, if a patient has damaged teeth that are the result of teeth grinding and TMJ, it is necessary to diagnose and treat the cause of the TMJ in conjunction with any treatment designed to restore the damaged teeth or that same patient may return years later with the same problem! Dr. Cavallo will take the time to evaluate your entire occlusal system during a consultation and exam, offering a comprehensive approach and treatment plan that will both enhance your smile and your dental health!

Treatment options for worn teeth:

Dental crowns: crowns serve as a “cap” for a damaged or filled tooth, strengthening it and avoiding tooth loss
Dental fillings: cosmetic fillings can be recommended to brighten the smile and/or fix old, leaky fillings
Porcelain veneers: dental veneers can be used to cover damaged teeth in the “smile zone”, also covering stains and imperfections
Tooth bonding: Dr. Cavallo may use tooth bonding to address cracks, chips or to realign the bite by reshaping the tooth surface

It is important to remember that teeth do not grow back! If your teeth have become worn, schedule a visit with Dr. Cavallo in Woodbridge and begin the process of restoring your dental health and improving your smile!

TMJ Headache

Could your headache be a dental health issue?

87345175Frequent headaches, jaw pain, ear pain and a popping jaw that can make chewing difficult are all possible symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), usually referred to as TMJ.

Patients who suffer from any or all of the above symptoms may not realize that they have a bite disorder until they visit with Dr. Cavallo in Woodbridge. Dr. Cavallo takes a comprehensive approach to all patients, seeking to understand the underlying cause of any dental health problems before recommending a treatment plan to address symptoms. Dr. Cavallo, a restorative and cosmetic dentist serving the Northern Virginia area, has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of bite disorders such as TMJ.

Dr. Cavallo offers several TMJ therapy treatment options for patients diagnosed with TMJ, including splint therapy and oral appliance therapy. In many cases, these conservative treatments can address symptoms and help to restore balance in the bite by preventing teeth grinding and jaw clenching- often the underlying cause of recurring headaches and jaw pain in many patients.

For patients who have sustained damage to the teeth due to the effects of TMJ, Dr. Cavallo may recommend a restorative treatment to realign the bite by adjusting the surface of the teeth or repairing damaged teeth. This could be accomplished with tooth bonding, dental crowns, veneers or other restorative procedures.

The goal of TMJ therapy is to restore balance to a patient’s bite, thus alleviating pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and relieving the associated symptoms. This is important for maintaining optimal dental health and avoiding further dental health issues which can arise when TMJ is left untreated.

If you have been suffering with any of the above mentioned symptoms, contact Dr. Cavallo in his Woodbridge dentist office and begin to restore your oral health!

Portrait of mature couple at autumn park woodbridge cosmetic dentist

Dental implants can reduce bone loss.

Missing teeth replacement has been an emphasis of modern dentistry and the focus of both restorative and cosmetic dentistry as new options have become available that are both highly functional and natural looking. One of the problems associated with tooth loss is the subsequent loss of bone in the jaw where the natural tooth root used to be, causing additional dental health issues and bite problems. In addition, bone loss and subsequent jaw shrinkage can lend a more aged appearance to the face.

Dental implants address this issue, offering patients who have lost a tooth a “replacement in kind”: a prosthetic tooth that is anchored into the jaw bone with a tiny titanium post that mimics the tooth root. The tiny post implanted acts much like a natural tooth root, which helps to generate natural bone growth to support the tooth structure. A dental implant not only provides patients with a secure, natural looking and functioning tooth, but it can also help to reduce further bone loss and support long term dental health.470909639

Dental implants can also be used to secure dentures when a patient has either multiple missing teeth to replace or wishes to fix the problem of ill fitting dentures. Strategically placed implants will serve to support the denture and also help to maintain sufficient bone retention and growth for better long term oral health.

Woodbridge restorative and cosmetic dentist Dr. Cavallo offers implant dentistry and will create a customized treatment plan to suit a patient’s dental health needs and budget. One of the first area dentists to offer full services for dental implants, Dr. Cavallo uses some of the latest dental technologies in order to provide accurate diagnoses and results that blend with a patient’s natural smile.

If you have a damaged tooth, missing tooth, or slipping dentures contact Dr. Cavallo to schedule a consultation: your oral health is an important part of overall health and well being!

your mouth is at risk if you are living with diabetes

Living With Diabetes? Your Mouth is at Risk

National Diabetes MonthNovember is dedicated to bringing awareness to a disease that affects nearly 30 million Americans – diabetes. Diabetes may cause problems throughout your entire body from your eyes, nerves, and kidneys, to your heart and even your mouth. My dental practice in Woodbridge wants to increase awareness of how diabetes can contribute to oral health concerns.

One of the most dangerous oral health issues associated with diabetes is the development of gum disease. Those battling diabetes are at increased risk for gum disease since they’re more susceptible to bacteria and have a limited ability to fight off this bacteria. This is especially true when a diabetic’s blood sugar is difficult to control. When diabetes is not monitored and controlled, the glucose level in saliva increases, helping bacteria in the mouth multiply and thrive. This makes keeping up with your appointments with your Woodbridge dentist and brushing and flossing everyday extremely important.

Like diabetes, gum disease may cause concerns and serious whole-body issues. Gum disease can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and many other problems. Gum disease can make diabetes even more difficult to control since it affects blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes, maintaining proper oral hygiene is not only important for a healthy mouth, but for a healthy body as well.

There are several levels of severity to gum disease. The earlier stage is known as gingivitis which may be treated, thereby reducing risk for other problems, if caught early. However, if gum disease is left to fester, periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, can develop.

If a patient develops periodontitis, the gums actually pull away from the teeth creating pockets. Bacteria collect and fester in these pockets. The longer the bacteria is in the pockets, the deeper they become and infection can set in, causing more serious problems. This infection will eat away at the bone that holds your teeth in place and can result in loose teeth, teeth that shift, or even lost teeth.

Gum disease is only one of the oral health concerns associated with diabetes. While it may be one of the most serious issues, the other problems are just as severe and are well worth noting. Some of the other issues linked to diabetes include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Fungal Infections
  • Taste Impairment

Infection and Delayed HealingOne of the best ways to ensure that your diabetes isn’t negatively affecting your oral health is to control your blood sugar. It won’t hurt to keep your regularly scheduled appointments at my Woodbridge dental office where we can help catch any problems in your mouth before they become big issues. Preventive, at-home care is also extremely important, so make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Finally, remember to mention any changes in your condition or medication to us at your appointments. The more we know, the more we can help keep your mouth and your whole body healthy.

Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas. Give us a call at [new_patient_phone], or request an appointment online today.

Reshape Your Vampire Fangs With Tooth Recontouring

Reshape Your “Vampire” Fangs With Tooth Recontouring

Woodbridge Cosmetic Dentist OfficeWhile having extra-pointy canine teeth, sometimes called vampire teeth, isn’t dangerous to your health, it’s not uncommon for patients of my dental office in Woodbridge to express concern, or even embarrassment, about their sharp, spiked teeth. But we’ve got an easy solution that can transform your smile quickly – tooth recontouring.

Why are Canine Teeth Pointy in the First Place?

Canine teeth are the four teeth (two on top and two on bottom) that are pointy and slightly resemble dogs’ teeth. The canines’ purpose is mainly to help us eat, as they serve to help us hold and tear food. While all canine teeth are pointy in nature because of this purpose, some people have canines that appear much pointier. Nothing about having sharp canines is dangerous, however some people can be uncomfortable with the appearance of their superior spikiness.

What is Tooth Recontouring?

Tooth recontouring, also known as tooth reshaping, is a cosmetic dentistry solution that shows instant results. This procedure is often used to change the shape, length, or surface appearance of teeth and can be helpful in fixing crooked teeth, chipped teeth, and yes, “vampire” teeth.

The procedure can typically be completed in one to three visits, depending on your individual needs, and without any pain. Basically, your dentist in Woodbridge will use his artistic eye to sand away any extra enamel that is contributing your specific problem. With just millimeters of enamel removed, your tooth will be transformed immediately. This treatment can also be paired with bonding, which uses tooth-colored material to sculpt and reshape a tooth.

What Are the Benefits of Tooth Recontouring?

Besides helping with your cosmetic concerns, there are a variety of benefits of tooth recontouring. Tooth recontouring is a conservative cosmetic dentistry treatment and a cost-efficient way to easily transform your smile.The treatment is generally painless, and often times, no anesthesia is necessary since only surface enamel is being removed. But tooth recontouring can not only improve your appearance, it can also improve your oral health. By removing areas such as overlaps and imperfections where bacteria and tartar can build up, you’re greatly reducing your chances for decay and gum disease.

If you have extra-pointy canines or other cosmetic concerns, give my Woodbridge dental office a call today. We’ll talk about your concerns, what your smile goals are, and the best treatments for you. We’re sure to get you happy about showing off your pearly whites!

Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas.

Woodbridge Virginia dentist oral health tips

Woodbridge Dentist Names Best Foods for Oral Health

Woodbridge VA Dentist Oral Health TipsOne of the best ways you can get, and keep, your mouth healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet and choose smile-healthy foods. At my dental office in Woodbridge, we’d like to educate you about how the foods you eat can contribute to great oral health and your overall well being.

When you eat, your mouth goes through changes, starting the minute you take that first bite. While you’re eating, bacteria convert sugars and carbs into acids. It’s these acids that can cause some serious tooth damage. Acids attack the enamel and can lead to cavities. Not only that, the more often you snack throughout the day, the more acid is produced and the more your mouth is exposed to the danger of further decay.

Eat This for Dental Health

Some of the best foods for your mouth are the same ones that are good for your body. The basic food pyramid can give you some great guidelines to follow to ensure you’re getting the right amount of dairy, protein, and vegetables everyday for your overall wellness. However, when thinking about smile-friendly foods, there are few your dentist in Woodbridge would like to highlight.

The rules of foods for a healthy mouth are easy to follow and are pretty straightforward. Some of the best food choices include cheese, chicken or other lean meats, and nuts. High in calcium and phosphorus, these foods can both protect tooth enamel and give teeth what they need to remineralize and become stronger.

Additional food choices that are great for your mouth are crunchy fruits and vegetables. Celery, apples, and pears, for example, have high water content and can stimulate the flow of saliva. Foods containing a lot of water tend to lessen the effects of sugars and carbs in the mouth, and the production of saliva helps wash away particles and fight against acid – both useful in protecting teeth against decay.

Avoid These Foods for Dental Health

Eating acidic food like citrus fruit, tomatoes, and lemons can add to the damage-causing acid. While you don’t have to avoid these tart favorites, they should be enjoyed as part of a larger meal as opposed to being consumed alone. Pairing acidic foods with larger meals helps minimize the amount of acid that actually reaches your teeth and can decrease the damage that acid causes.

Other poor food choices include the obvious culprits like candy, cookies, cakes, pies, pretzels, and dried fruits. With large amounts of sugar, these foods can fuel bacteria which will lead to tooth decay.

What Else Can You Do?

In addition to following a diet of smile-friendly foods, regular visits to my Woodbridge dental office can not only help keep your mouth healthy, they can help keep your whole body healthy too. With more and more systemic health problems like diabetes and heart disease being linked to oral health, keeping your regularly scheduled appointments is even more important. At these checkups, we’ll not only make sure your mouth is healthy, we’ll also make sure your body isn’t in any danger from oral health problems.

Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas.

How to Pick a Northern Virginia Dentist

A Guide to Finding the Right Dentist in Woodbridge

How to Pick a Northern Virginia DentistFinding the right dentist can be a difficult process. With so many practices in your neighborhood, all offering similar services, how do you know which dentist to choose? At my Woodbridge dental practice, we’d like to help make your search a little easier by providing you with a guide on how to find the best dentist in Woodbridge for you.

Ask Friends for a Dentist Referral

When starting your search for the right dentist, begin by asking around. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers are great resources to refer to. Find out what they like about their dentists, what type of dentistry the doctors do, and whether or not they’re located conveniently to home or work. Utilizing your acquaintances is great first step in making a list of dental offices you want to look into further.

Call Local Dentist Offices

Once you have your list of prospective dentists, get on the phone and start making some calls. During conversations with each practice, you’ll want to ask certain questions to give you some insight into the practice philosophy, treatment offered, and overall feel of the office. Some of the basic questions you’ll want to ask are:

“What is the dentist’s level of training?”
“What type of amenities does the practice offer to make treatment more comfortable?”
“What should I expect during my first visit?”

Schedule Visit with a Woodbridge Dentist

Your phone calls should give you a thorough understanding of each practice’s personality, level of training, and whether they are a good fit for you. The calls should also help you whittle down your list. Once you have an idea which office is right for you, it’s wise to schedule a consultation. During your visit, note things like cleanliness, friendliness, time-sensitivity, and thoroughness. After these consultations, you should be ready to officially select your dentist, or know that you need to keep looking.

If you’re in need of a new dentist, I invite you to call my dental office in Woodbridge. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide you with any information that will help make your decision easier. Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas.

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