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Rye Smiles for Life
10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030

Oral Health Linked to Overall Health

Recent studies show a link between the health of teeth and gums and overall health. The following are some of the most common conditions linked to oral health.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Studies show that people with gum disease have a higher risk for other diseases, such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, and cancer. It has also been shown that pregnant women who have gum disease are three to five times more likely to deliver premature. There are also many diseases and health conditions that can make periodontal problems worse. Regular appointments at our Fairfax County practice with cosmetic dentist D. Gordon Rye will help ensure that gums stay healthy. And if signs of gum disease do develop, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, Dr. Rye can make sure that patients receive proper treatment so that further health problems do not develop.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Research shows that people with periodontal disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Periodontal disease has also been shown to make existing heart conditions worse. Some studies indicate that periodontal disease may be a risk factor for stroke, as well.


For people with diabetes, periodontal disease makes it harder to regulate blood sugar levels, and in turn, poorly managed blood sugar levels make periodontal problems worse. For this reason, patients who have diabetes should let Dr. Rye know about any changes in their health at every appointment.

Respiratory Disease

Periodontal disease is a risk factor for respiratory disease, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and those with the condition tend to have diminished oral health.


Cancer treatment can cause oral infections that can lead to other health problems. For patients being treated for cancer, it is important to let Dr. Rye know so that he can provide proper treatment.

It is important to have regular professional cleanings and examinations to protect dental health. If you live in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County and McLean, contact cosmetic dentist D. Gordon Rye to schedule an appointment for your examination.

Diagnosis of Gum Disease using Oral DNA Saliva Test

A simple DNA test can now determine the specific type and quantity of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth! These bacteria, if left untreated, can cause periodontal disease, tooth loss, and also affect your risk for developing other systemic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (among others). This test is for anyone with or without symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease. These symptoms include: bleeding gums, bad breath, red or inflamed gums or loss of bone around your teeth. Other indications for this test would be prior to extensive dental procedures and in some cases, surgical clearance (such as heart surgery or joint replacements).

This gentle oral rinse procedure is performed by swishing a small amount of sterile saline throughout the mouth and can be done in about 30 seconds. The sample is then sent to OralDNA Labs, Inc. for processing. The lab report that we get back will identify the bacteria associated with the gum infection and allow us to develop a far more powerful and effective treatment plan. Through this state-of-the-art technology, we are now able to treat the cause of the infection and not just the symptoms. The goal of therapy then becomes to reduce your overall bacterial risk for disease progression. As with most diseases, earlier treatment and targeted treatment can help stop periodontal disease before irreversible damage occurs.

In addition to this bacterial DNA test, we can also offer you a genetic susceptibility test that will tell us if your genetic makeup puts you at greater risk for developing gum tissue infections (due to an exaggerated immune response). This will further enable us to optimize your therapy and recare program.

If you or a loved one is in need of these tests, please let us know.

Oral HPV Saliva Diagnosis

Early detection of some high risk HPV viruses can lead to early detection of oral cancer. When it comes to cancer, there’s no question that early detection is critical. Most oral HPV infections do not cause cancer, but oral HPV infections, especially those that are high risk types, are cause for concern and need to be monitored. Now there’s an easy way to see whether you have a virus strongly linked to oral and throat cancer that can be performed right in our office. The test is for the oral human papilloma virus, which is sexually transmitted and can cause oral or throat cancer. The test detects one of two particularly dangerous forms of HPV — known as 16 and 18 — long before the virus develops into cancer and creates lesions. The test is safe, easy and painless; the patient gargles a special saltwater solution for 30 seconds, then spits into a tube. The tube and contents are then sent away for testing.

The oral HPV virus does not show any classic signs. Sometimes there will be a papilloma or wart and visual examination does not necessarily show the presence of the virus, sometimes there will be a sore that won’t heal. The risk factors for deciding on an HPV test include smoking and use of tobacco, oral sex practices, and family history of oral cancer.

If you or a loved one is in need of these tests, please let us know.

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Office Hours

  • Monday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM


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Office Hours

  • Monday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Appointment request

New patients are welcome! To request an appointment use our online form or call:

(703) 565-2503

Our Location

Rye Smiles for Life

10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 565-2503