Periodontal Disease and Diabetes— Not a “Sweet” Combination!

Eating too much sugary food is bad for your teeth and your body, especially for people who have diabetes. Combining diabetes and periodontal disease is double trouble. Both must be properly managed for good overall health.

What is diabetes, what is periodontal disease—and what do they have to do with one another? Diabetes is a chronic disease that inhibits the body from producing or properly utilizing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and is the means by which sugar, to be used for fuel, gets into the body’s cells.

The causes of diabetes continue to be a mystery and modern medical science has believed that the disease has no cure. However, we do know that periodontal disease—a serious infection of the gums and sometimes, jawbone—can contribute to poor insulin control. Most importantly, we know from sound scientific research that good dental health can help reduce diabetes and diabetic complications.

Is there a relationship between diabetes and poor oral health? Yes. Periodontal problems can double the incidence of diabetes. In turn, diabetes can double the severity of periodontal problems. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can lead to breakdown of the gum tissue and jawbone and a decreased ability of the body to defend itself against harmful oral bacteria. Additionally, periodontal disease contributes to poor blood sugar control by increasing insulin resistance, thus creating a vicious cycle of disease and destruction.

The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes is one of the strongest of all connections between oral disease and total body disease. On average, people with periodontal disease have a 50 percent greater chance of becoming diabetic. Periodontal disease also puts patients at greater risk for diabetic complications and even death.

“In the mouth, the most aggressive bacteria in the body live in intimate contact with the most delicate tissue in the body,” says Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS of Port Warwick Dental Arts. “Periodontal disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease that is so highly contagious that if one member of a family is diagnosed, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that the entire family be evaluated. Without question, by controlling periodontal disease—a dangerous infection—we can decrease insulin needs and help stabilize blood sugar. In fact, as we treat periodontal and other oral diseases, it is necessary for the patient to be watchful of their decreasing blood sugar levels in case their medications need to be reduced.”

How prevalent is diabetes? The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that diabetes is the planet’s fastest growing disease, affecting about 347 million people worldwide. It is expected that by the year 2030, at least 30% of the American population will be diabetic. Pre-diabetes affects approximately 79 million people in the US, the equivalent to the entire population of 30 states, according to David Armstrong, Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. And worst of all, it takes an average of 8-10 years before a diabetic patient is diagnosed with their disease! Right now, a full 25% of the US population has diabetes and is unaware of their problem.

Is there any good news? Yes. Early treatment of periodontal disease reduces medical costs for those with diabetes, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Continued dental treatments result in a 10-40 percent savings in medical costs for individuals with diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Hospitalizations decreased by 33 percent and physician visits decreased by 13 percent in diabetics who were treated for their periodontal disease.

Periodontal surgery and loss of teeth is avoidable if caught in time. In the past, scalpel/suture surgery was the typical treatment for periodontal disease, but today there are many other options. Because periodontal disease is so complex, its management requires a multi-faceted approach. There are many steps you can take to avoid gum surgery, loss of teeth and complications in the rest of the body, as long as you are under a watchful, professional eye.

Is it time for your next dental visit? Your health—and even your life—may depend on it. If you are overdue for a dental visit, don’t pass up an opportunity to keep your smile bright—and your body healthy. Call today for a periodontal screening and consultation.

Posted in Dental Health

Is a Dental Visit Really Critical to Your Health?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a common and challenging bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It can also contribute to strikingly dangerous conditions in the rest of the body. And sadly, periodontal disease can have serious consequences even before we have any idea our mouth has been invaded by its dangerous bacteria.

Bad breath and bleeding, swollen and/ or recessed gums can be some of the first signs of periodontal disease, but are usually not found until the middle to late stages of the disease. A professional examination is needed to detect this complex disease.

If periodontal disease is left untreated, bone loss, more serious gum abscesses (“gum boils”) may occur and teeth loosen. The loss of the teeth themselves can be the tragic outcome. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease that can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, brain abscesses, lunch abscesses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease and pregnancy complications.

“I want all of you to know that it was a blessing to meet all of you and I am so glad I found you. The first time I walked through your doors I knew it was the right choice. I felt like I was walking into a spa atmosphere. It was so calming and tranquil and your staff so kind. And Dr. Samaha, I cannot sing your praises enough. You are so devoted and dedicated and truly have a passion for what you do. Thank you for all the time you have spent with me.” – Debbie Fearing Retired Heart Specialist Yorktown, VA

Posted in Periodontal Treatment

Put Your Fear to Rest with Fountain of Youth™

Are you unhappy the way you look in your dentures? Do they move or make a clicking sound while you are eating or speaking? Maybe it’s time to consider The Denture Fountain of Youth®. When Port Warwick Dental Arts creates The Denture Fountain of Youth® for you, you will look years younger, much like you have discovered the Fountain of Youth. You’ll look much younger—without needing any facial surgery!

Read this from one of our happy patients:

“Let me first start by saying that it was hard for me to embark on the journey of seeking out the dental care that I so needed. Then I was finally at a place in my life where something had to be done. The fear I had within me was overwhelming. It took me weeks of researching the internet to get to where I needed to be. Upon entering her office I knew I was exactly where I supposed to be and that my prayers had been answered. The peace and tranquility that I found there – in the setting, her staff and Dr. Samaha – enveloped me, and all my fears were put to rest.

“In no time at all, my journey of transformation began. My surgery and reconstruction was scheduled right away. Sadly, I was going to lose many teeth and advanced procedures were necessary to save what could be saved. Dr. Samaha has such gentle hands that I thought she had only removed one tooth when in fact she had skillfully finished the entire full mouth surgery AND I left with my brand new smile!! I was in awe. But there I was with new teeth in place of the old.

“The first thing I did was take a picture of myself with my cell phone and send it to my children. They couldn’t believe it either. All of them commented on how beautiful I was. My boyfriend was amazed and actually jealous at how white my new smile was. Soon he became my husband – and a happy patient of Dr. Samaha’s, too! Now I face the world with a smile that shines – one that will NEVER be hidden again! It is such a wonderful and transforming feeling. No longer am I the embarrassed girl with the hidden smile.” Billie Jo Grandy Chesapeake, Va

Posted in After Fountain of Youth™

Are Six Month Smile™ Braces for You?

Have you ever wanted a straight, beautiful smile but were concerned about some of the issues associated with traditional metal braces?

Traditional metal braces can be painful, unattractive and seem to take a long time to give you the smile you want. For many years, traditional braces were all that was offered. Now, there is a new and quicker adult orthodontics, Six Month Smiles.

They are designed specifically for those age 18 and over, and used most successfully to:

• Correct crowding

• Round out dental arches

• Close spaces between teeth

• Straighten teeth that are tilted or flared

• Level and align dental arches

Schedule a consultation to see if they are right for you!

Posted in Six Month Smiles

It’s Never Too Late to Get That Renewing Night’s Sleep

Feel tired all the time? If you get a full night’s sleep and still feel tired, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Read about one of our patients who got help for her snoring and sleep apnea.

“I always thought I was a sound sleeper, until my daughter was visiting me and told me I was snoring. I was shocked! Then, soon

“Then, soon afterward while at my dental appointment, my dentist mentioned that she was treating snoring and sleep apnea. She said that if I snore, I have a 40-50% chance of having sleep apnea, (that I might stop breathing in my sleep), a condition which affects the whole body in dangerous ways. It can contribute significantly to heart attack and stroke, even Alzheimer’s disease. High blood pressure and diabetes are made significantly worse by sleep apnea so I was especially concerned, as both conditions run in my family. I told my dentist about my snoring. She performed a very easy exam and expressed concern about what she saw. She said, ‘Let’s screen you to make sure you are only snoring. We can have you do a simple,

“I told my dentist about my snoring. She performed a very easy exam and expressed concern about what she saw. She said, ‘Let’s screen you to make sure you are only snoring. We can have you do a simple, FDA-approved home sleep study with our monitor tonight. We will collaborate with a Board Certified Sleep Physician to get a diagnosis and referral.’ I was happy to do the test because I wanted her to help me stop snoring and because I have great respect for

“I was happy to do the test because I wanted her to help me stop snoring and because I have great respect for Dr Samaha’s expertise. I never imagined I would ever be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Sure enough, the very next day we had the results and the Physician who reviewed my test diagnosed me not only with heavy snoring but moderate to severe sleep apnea! I could not believe it! Typically, sleep apnea is treated with a bulky CPAP (a breathing machine). I have friends who have tried them and didn’t even want to ‘go there’. With a physician referral,

“I could not believe it! Typically, sleep apnea is treated with a bulky CPAP (a breathing machine). I have friends who have tried them and didn’t even want to ‘go there’. With a physician referral, Dr. Samaha was able to fit me for an oral appliance. It was so easy to wear, and after that very first night, I awoke in the morning so refreshed and with so much added energy. I was absolutely thrilled!

“What a difference – and it lasted all day long. Imagine, I thought my afternoon fatigue was ‘just my age.’ At 78, I can’t believe how much renewed energy I have! I have been using my dental appliance nightly, and recently had a follow-up sleep-study which showed my snoring and sleep apnea is resolved! I am so happy and so thankful for my dentist, Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha. She is always on the leading-edge of EVERYthing!”

Posted in Sleep Apnea

No More Receding Gums, No More Gum Grafting: Restore Through a Tiny Pinhole!

If you have sensitive teeth, most likely you have receding gums, and/or periodontal disease. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, (Feb 2003) 88 percent of people in the United States above age 64 have one or more teeth with receding gums. 50 percent of people 18-64 years old have gum tissue recession. The presence and extent of recession increase with age, although it is never considered “normal.”

Left untreated, receding gums not only look unsightly, they can create severe sensitivity because the roots of the teeth become exposed, allowing bacteria to penetrate the teeth and enter the nerves. Gum Recession can even lead to more painful corrective procedures such as root canals, and is evidence of bone loss. Eventually, teeth may become loose and can even be lost. For decades, painful, traditional skin grafting was the only way to repair receded gums.

If you are already seeing signs of gum recession and you’d like to do something about it but are worried that the treatment will be complicated and painful, put your mind—and your gums—at ease.

In the past, the grafting procedure to treat gum tissue recession required cutting a significant piece of skin from the roof of your mouth and grafting it in place with stitches, onto the roots involved. Because this method is invasive, it is typically only performed on a few teeth at once.

With such traditional gum grafting procedures, the recovery is very painful and takes up to three weeks.

So what’s new in the world of receding gums? Fortunately, thanks to a procedure called the Pinhole Surgical Technique™, years of gum recession can now be corrected on several teeth in about one hour. No cutting, no sutures, no grafting of skin from the roof of the mouth, minimal to no discomfort and no swelling.

Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts in Newport News is the first dentist in Virginia and one of the first 100 dentists in the world licensed to perform the Pinhole Technique™ for treating receding gums.

Although against Dr. Samaha’s strict orders, a local Williamsburg physician who is a patient of Dr. Samaha’s said he had been told to have his gums grafted for many years but kept putting it off because he had heard reports of severe pain and long recovery. After having eight teeth grafted in just one hour with the Pinhole Technique™, the patient stated:

“I felt so good [after the procedure] that I went home and ran four miles! The next morning, I raked my leaves! The procedure was very comfortable and easy. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Samaha for always bringing her leading-edge expertise to the table.”

The unique Pinhole Technique™ involves the use of intricately designed and patented instruments that loosen the gum tissue so it can glide gently over the receded part of the tooth where it can re-anchor.

Collagen is used to hold the tissue in its new position. The aesthetic results are instantaneous and recovery time is minimal. In fact, people who have the procedure done in the morning are capable of enjoying pain-free chewing by dinner time, says Dr. John Chao, who developed the revolutionary procedure for dentistry, and personally trained Dr. Samaha.

Dr. Samaha applauds Dr. Chao for his 20 years of research and development. “The procedure is truly revolutionary and Dr. Chao is a true gift to dentistry. I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to provide a service to my patients that replaces traditional gum grafting procedures–a process that now seems crude, in comparison,” says Samaha.

Dr. Chao has perfected the procedure for over 20 years and in 2013 began training their doctors. Revolutionary and effective, the technique was published in 2012 in the prestigious International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, showing an identical level of success when compared to the very best of traditional gum grafting techniques. The Pinhole Technique™ has been featured on dozens of prime news shows, including “The Doctors” in January 2014.

Dr. Chao, impressed with Dr. Samaha’s skill and dedication has personally asked Dr. Samaha to officially share her expertise in teaching other dentists with her success in the Pinhole Surgical Technique™.

“I am so honored to be one of the small number of dentists certified to perform this procedure and I’m very excited to be able to offer it to the people of Hampton Roads,” says Dr. Samaha. “The fact that the process is so gentle yet so effective is going to help ease people’s fear of having treatment for their often unsightly and uncomfortable receding gums, ultimately leading to better tooth and gum health for all of them. Eating a relaxing dinner can even be part of the agenda the night of the procedure. It’s back to work, fun or whatever your pleasure, the very next day. The receded gums are repaired, the roots covered immediately and everything looks beautiful right away. With the older technique, it might be days before a meal can be enjoyed.”

The best part of the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ is that the effects are predictable, comfortable and long-lasting. With proper care and regular dental checkups, patients who have had the procedure are maintaining healthy gums for years.

Protect your teeth and gums and keep your smile beautiful. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this procedure can be done and even more astonished by how it can improve your dental health and overall appearance.

Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha, a general dentist, is nationally recognized as a leader in comprehensive, cosmetic, periodontal and reconstructive dental care.


Posted in Pinhole Surgical Technique™

Smile Confidently

At Port Warwick Dental Arts in Newport News, Virginia, we offer many cosmetic dental procedures to help create the smile you deserve. For example, professional teeth whitening can help your smile sparkle by removing stains and discolorations and custom porcelain veneers can hide gaps and misshapen teeth.

“My experience with Dr. Samaha and her staff has been amazing. It’s obvious that they truly care for and about their patients, and Dr. Samaha’s passion for her work is apparent. It is this passion, combined with her artistic drive, that makes Dr. Samaha’s care so incredible.

“My smile had been bothering me for some time. It wasn’t white enough. The shape of my teeth didn’t seem right. I didn’t want to share my smile because I felt so unsure of it.

“When I first visited Dr. Samaha, I told her my concerns and she said she had a vision for my mouth immediately! I had believed in her abilities already, from everything I had heard and read. But when we talked, I was totally convinced that she was the best! I put myself in Dr. Samaha’s excellent care and trusted in her judgment completely. I could not have ever made a wiser decision. Just like everyone had said, she knew just what to do!” – Erika Chesson Business Executive Zuni, Va

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

The Teeth Whitening Process

Using only safe and advanced tooth whitening agents, our Hampton Roads dental practice provides “power tooth whitening”—brightening smiles in the office in two appointments of less than two hours each.

After that, maintaining your shining smile can be as simple as a quick “touch up” that can be done with a few hours of an occasional “at home” touch up with the specially patented Kör™ whitening trays we will provide for you.

And the great thing about teeth whitening is nearly everyone’s a candidate. So long as your teeth and gums are healthy and free of disease prior to whitening, most can receive this safe, effective treatment to lighten the shade of your teeth for a natural-looking, brighter, whiter smile.

Everyone can benefit from brighter, more youthful looking teeth…so why not start on a whiter smile today? Call our Newport News, Virginia office now at 757-320-1669. Our professional teeth whitening can bring a sparkle to your smile.

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Short Term… Lasting Results

Six Month Smiles™ short term orthodontic treatment is a modern twist on tried-andtrue orthodontics. There is little debate within the orthodontic community that braces are the most widely used and most effective method to give patients straight, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Six Month Smile™ has taken the best aspects of braces and modified the treatment and the materials to give adults a common-sense, safe, cosmetic solution that fits your

Here is what makes Six Month Smile™ so innovative …

  • Average treatment times of only six months
  • Six Month Smile Lucid-Lok® clear brackets and tooth-colored wires are barely visible
  • Use of Six Month Smile™ braces has shown to provide the most conservative and  predictable final result
  • The Six Month Smile™ process ensures that your appointments are fast and  comfortable
  • Low forces and short overall orthodontic treatment times increase comfort, safety, and hygiene
  • Six Month Smile™ is typically less expensive than traditional braces, aligner therapy, or veneers

Six Months Smiles is created specifically for late teens and adults and isn’t appropriate for all types of orthodontic issues. If you have serious bite problems or other concerns, Six Months Smiles may not be for you. However, Dr. Samaha is happy to discuss all the possibilities with you. She and her caring, well-trained team are committed to giving you the loveliest, healthiest smile possible. Call today!

Posted in Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles Are Effective and Gentle

Six Month Smile ™ Braces Effective, Gentle and FAST! Specially designed, nearly invisible, Six Month Smile™ Braces gently reposition teeth for a straighter, more attractive smile. Six Month Smile™ does not correct major bite issues, so they use less force than traditional braces, and cause minimal, if any, discomfort! These barely visible braces are safe, they straighten teeth quickly and help to prevent and resolve periodontal problems encouraged by crowding. And straighter teeth can mean a healthier mouth! Call today and schedule your consultation! Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS Creating Beautiful, Healthy Smiles in Hampton Roads since 1982.

It’s summer and you want straight teeth by Christmas? Straight teeth for your winter wedding? Believe it. Adults, no need to worry about sporting that teen metal-mouth look for years. With Six Month Smiles®, Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts in Newport News is able to straighten your teeth in a matter of months, with nearly invisible braces.

“You’ll be done in three to nine months with most patients finishing treatment in six months,” she says. Samaha is a general dentist and one of only about 1,000 dentists nationwide who are specially trained in the process of Six Month Smiles®.

Six Month Smiles®, Samaha says, cannot replace traditional braces for some. It is designed specifically for those age 18 and over, and is used most successfully to:

• Correct crowding

• Round out dental arches

• Close spaces between teeth

• Straighten teeth that are tilted or flared

• Level and align dental arches

For adults whose bite and jaws don’t need to be re-aligned, Six Month Smiles® is a great option for fast track results – and a more appealing smile before your next dental checkup. Six Month Smiles®, using special tooth-colored nickel titanium wires and clear brackets, features a conservative treatment designed to safely and gently straighten your teeth–primarily those that show when you smile, Samaha says.

The focus is on those who desire cosmetic improvement, as opposed to a major jaw and bite realignment, she says. Good news: teeth are rarely extracted, there’s little trauma to the mouth, and minimal, if any discomfort. This is because Six Month Smiles® uses light forces over a short period of time.

More good news: because the clear braces are bonded to your teeth, your compliance, and therefore, your success, is automatic, unlike the “clear align” removable orthodontic trays which are totally dependent upon you wearing them almost 24/7, for up to 2 years. And even more good news: the Six Month Smiles® method is typically less costly than other types of orthodontics. So, how will it go? Simple. Once your braces are placed (about a two hour appointment), you’ll see Samaha every month at Port Warwick Dental Arts so she can check progress, make minor adjustments and refresh your braces.

But these aren’t your teenager’s braces. You won’t have to suffer the ‘metal mouth’ look while you watch for the results. “You have to be closer than two feet away to really notice them,” Samaha says. What’s even more exciting, you could have your new smile completed by the time of your next general dental checkup.

If you are wondering if the Six Month Smiles® orthodontic method is like the “clear align” type of removable orthodontic trays that come in and out of your mouth, the answer is “yes and no”.

“Dentists who have used the ‘clear align’ method in the past are particularly attracted to Six Month Smiles® because the doctor has more control in moving the teeth and also because of the fine detail that can be achieved with the Six Month Smiles® method,” she says. “You can see a need and adjust for it immediately. With clear aligners, it’s sometimes challenging to predict treatment time and the fine tuning is often unable to be accomplished as carefully and efficiently as with Six Month Smiles®.”

Samaha says, “Oftentimes, people look at investing in porcelain veneers in order to have straighter smiles.” As a cosmetically trained dentist, Samaha has been creating beautiful smiles with porcelain veneers for almost 28 years. “Although I still use porcelain veneers frequently, Six Month Smiles® are one-fifth to one-third the cost of using porcelain veneers to straighten teeth, and require minimal, if any reduction of tooth structure. With Six Month Smiles® being typically less expensive than traditional orthodontic methods, the concept is a win-win,” Samaha says.

“Six Month Smiles® uses tried and tested orthodontic materials and principles in an innovative manner,” Samaha says. “This method makes our dentistry even more well-rounded because it opens up new cosmetic treatment planning possibilities for our adult patients that never existed before.”

After your treatment is complete, you’ll wear a retainer to help keep your teeth in place. The retainer can be removable or conservatively bonded to the inside of your teeth where it cannot be seen. Most prefer the latter.

At Port Warwick Dental Arts, where healthy, great looking smiles are created every day, results extend beyond straighter teeth. Samaha says, once your case is finished, she provides her patients with complimentary, custom-fitted whitening trays to brighten their smile for cases begun in 2010.

As an added bonus for those who think braces are only equated with vanity, straighter teeth mean a healthier mouth. “Crooked teeth can cause periodontal swelling and inflammation because the gum tissue is crowded out,” Samaha says, “and because it’s difficult to properly clean teeth when they are overlapping.” So, not only do Six Month Smiles® allow an adult to enjoy a healthy, more youthful smile, they also help to resolve and prevent the periodontal problems encouraged by crowded teeth. Hands down, Six Month Smiles® can be the perfect “quick-turn-around” option for a straighter, healthier and more attractive smile.

Posted in Six Month Smiles
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Port Warwick Dental Arts - Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha
Newport News, Hampton Roads, Virginia Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha Cosmetic Dentistry Dental Implants Restorative Dentistry Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha offers comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry including leading edge protocol for diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease for which she is nationally recognized. If you're looking for a trusted dentist in the Newport News or Hampton Roads area, give Port Warwick Dental Arts a call today!
251 Nat Turner Blvd S
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 223-9270757-320-2749

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