Preventive Dentistry

Your Smile, Your Life ™

"As always, I was treated with the warm courtesy which is constant in this office. My cleaning and other dental issues were attended to immediately and professionally. . . . and I might add painlessly. Visiting the dentist used to be a dread. The care and attention I receive here has always been outstanding. It is now a pleasure to go."


Preventative CareWe strongly believe in preventive dentistry as the best possible means of maintaining optimum oral health. Preventive dental care helps you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile by safeguarding against oral disease. We can prevent these diseases from happening in the first place or catch problems in their early stages when they are easier and less expensive to treat.

Our approach to preventive dental care includes routine cleanings and checkups as well as education and advice that can help you practice good oral hygiene at home.

At Rye Smiles for Life, we are dedicated to helping our patients live life to the fullest. Therefore, we are concerned not only with dental health but with the relationship of dental health to the overall health and well-being of our patients.

Many people do not know that the health of their teeth and gums can affect their overall health. Not only is periodontal (gum) disease a risk factor for many common health conditions, but those with poor general health tend to have more dental problems as well. Patients from McLean and throughout Fairfax County, Virginia, can trust in the skill of our cosmetic dentist, D. Gordon Rye, to determine if implant dentistry, periodontal care, or other dental procedures can help them achieve optimum health.

Modern medicine has demonstrated the connection between dental health and overall health, and with the knowledge and technology at our fingertips today dentists are capable of doing more than improving smiles; they can assist in improvements to overall health of their patients. Dr. Rye and his highly trained hygiene department have extensive knowledge and resources at their fingertips to ensure the best diagnostics and treatment to ensure optimal oral health, which we know has a strong connection to overall health.


What are the risk factors for periodontal disease?

Proper oral care is very important to prevent cavities and gum disease, but sometimes even those who practice good oral care can develop unhealthy gums. About 30% of the population are genetically susceptible to gum disease. Other risk factors are health conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases (Lupus, Crohn’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis), obesity, osteoporosis, or immunocompromising viruses (HIV, herpes). Pregnancy, poor diet, and certain medications, may also put you at risk for gum disease.

Can good oral hygiene save your life?

Preventative CareAbsolutely! Poor oral health can be the root cause of serious health problem, not the least of which is heart disease. So forgetting to brush and floss and avoiding the dentist until there is a problem could have serious consequences.

Even a health mouth is home to bacteria, and bacteria love to colonize on plaque, which builds up on teeth and gums quickly in the absence of brushing and flossing. Plaque that remains untreated absorbs hardening minerals from saliva and develops into cement-like calcified tartar, removable only with a dental tool. If the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth and gums, the bacteria continue to multiply between the teeth and at the gum line, causing gingivitis, and eventually swelling and bleeding of gums, and left too long, can inflame the gums to such a degree that the bone is compromised, causing tooth loss.

Meanwhile, while you tooth structure is damaged by gum disease, your body’s immune system has to respond to the bacterial infection in your mouth. Left untreated, the oral infection will challenge your immune system, and bacteria from the mouth can leak into the bloodstream, causing or aggravating some common chronic diseases.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer usually starts as a tiny white or red spot in the mouth, on lips, gums, cheks, tongue or palate. Often it goes unnoticed. Seeing a dentist every six months for a thorough exam and oral cancer screening is crucial to early diagnosis and treatment.

Why do I have bad breath?

I have bad breath, what can I do?

The clinical word for bad breath is Halitosis, and almost all cases of halitosis are directly related to poor oral hygiene. In some instances, halitosis may be caused by tobacco use, consumption of certain foods or alcohol, or xerostomia (dry mouth).

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Replace your toothbrush every three months, sooner if the bristles become worn. It’s also wise to replace your toothbrush following a cold or other bacterial infection.

How often should I see a dentist?

Most people can maintain oral health with visits to the dentist once every six months. Some people with special conditions may need to visit their dentist more often. Your dentist can tell you what is best for you.

Why do my gums bleed and how can I get it to stop?

How to handle bleeding gums

Bleeding when you brush or floss indicates inflammation of the gums
caused by the presence of bacteria. The best solution is to brush and
floss regularly. Although plaque between the teeth may be difficult to
remove, but best practice is to continue flossing gently. Over a
period of time, the bleeding should cease.

Do smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of oral or throat cancer?

Smoking and Drinking and Throat Cancer

Yes, if you smoke or drink alcohol, you increase your risk of oral or
throat cancer. If you smoke and drink, you have a significantly higher
risk of oral or throat cancer.

Case Studies

In Depth

Rye Smiles for Life Coordinating Care with Physicians

“Dr. Rye & his team are amazing! I recently had reconstruction work done on my 4 front teeth–2 implants and 2 crowns. Dr. Rye spent a lot of time researching my case before recommending the course of treatment. He was able to find and eventually use state of the art implants that worked perfectly. The end result is beautiful and I would highly recommend Dr. Rye and his team.”J. ClayCurrent

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Oral Health Linked to Overall Health

“I was more than pleased with my visit and meeting Dr. Rye and his office staff. The office procedure was very smooth and Dr. Rye took his time in his examination and was very thorough in same. I look forward to my next visit in 2 weeks for a treatment analysis.”Mary CRecent studies show a link between the health of teeth and gums and overall health. The following are some

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Keeping the Mouth Healthy

“I recently took my 85 year old mother for her dental appointment. She has dementia and I was concerned about how she would react to returning to Rye Smiles after a 2+ year absence. She did amazing well and I attribute it to the staff, who treated her with kindness, understanding and patience. She was greeted by name as soon as we walked in and the staff was genuinely happy

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bookRecent reviews for Rye Smiles for Life