Local Cosmetic Dentistry Practice Now Offers Comprehensive General Dentistry Services

Below is an article written by “Living Lake Houston” magazine in their March 2017 edition about Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics.  You can find this article at this link: Living Lake Houston — March 2017 or here for a plain text version: Living Lake Houston – Text Version

This article features the new Humble dentist and the new dental services the dental office now offers. It has been Dr. Gregory’s vision to build a dentist office in Humble Tx that offers all the dentist services a family would need in one office. This article by Clare Heekin Lynch outlines Dr. Gregory’s vision and how it has finally come to fruition. Now her office offers pediatric dentistry, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, Invisalign, dental implant and denture services with the added benefit that there are very few things that a patient would need to be referred out to a dental specialist for outside work. With all dental services offered in one location, patients are able to save time and money in their dental treatment.

Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics
Clare Heekin Lynch

Local cosmetic dentistry practice now offers comprehensive general dentistry services

By combining proven technologies and techniques with a gentle and caring approach, Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics brings you the high-tech benefits that comes with big city dentistry, combined with the warm, personal feeling you’d find in a small town. The doctors and staff will work hard to make you feel more comfortable and at ease during your treatment.

Meet the Doctors

Holly Gregory, DDS, MS specializes in oral surgery, the placement of dental implants, and the treatment of gum infection (periodontal disease). Through her practice, she offers start-to-finish dental implant care and implant maintenance work. Her practice also includes procedures like tooth extraction, gum recontouring, grafting, and non-invasive laser treatment of oral infections.

Dr. Gregory, a native Texan, graduated with a 4.0 from Texas A&M in the department of Biochemistry/ Biophysics and went on to be first in her class at Baylor College of Dentistry. She trained at one of the top residency programs in the country and is known for her strong and precise surgical skills as well as her gentle and calming demeanor. Dr. Gregory is committed to providing the kind of care to her patients that she would provide for her own family.

In an effort to expand her practice to help even more patients, Dr. Gregory is excited to finally announce the addition of Alisha Paal, DDS to her dental team. “Having Dr. Paal join our team allows us now to offer all-in-one services,” shared Dr. Gregory. “In addition to the cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery services that my staff and I were already providing, we will now offer orthodontics and general dentistry care as well.”

Dr. Paal earned her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and her Doctor of Dental Surgery graduate degree at the University of Michigan. After completing dental school, she pursued a highly competitive general practice residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “This residency enabled me to further refine my knowledge of complex surgical and aesthetic cases,” Dr. Paal said. In addition to her extensive educational background Dr. Paal is personally invested in global oral health, having traveled to both Guatemala and Kenya to promote oral health awareness and to research the barriers of access to care.

“Dr. Paal has a knack of connecting with her patients and putting them at ease. Her approach is comprehensive and patient tailored, and she works to make them comfortable by getting to know them,” continued Dr. Gregory. Dr. Paal agreed. “My favorite part of dentistry is building relationships with my patients and following them as they grow. I take pride in being very detail oriented as I take an aesthetic approach in my care through patience, time and the use of X-rays and photos so that you can easily see the difference in before and after treatment.”

State-of-the Art Technology and Caring Staff

Dr. Gregory is proud of the practice she has built and continues to grow. “My knowledgeable and warm staff sets patients at ease. We utilize techniques and procedures that make patients’ appointments stress free and their healing process rapid, successful, and comfortable,” the board-certified surgeon shared. The staff also advocates for patients with their insurance companies so that you don’t have to do the often-frustrating legwork.

Dr. Gregory utilizes magnification, lasers and 3D images to be able to place dental implants without any incisions, leading to rapid and very comfortable healing. Robotics procedures and imaging further allows her to give patients their new teeth the same day as their extractions are done in many cases. “We can talk to patients about our high-tech equipment, our lasers, and our robotics surgeries but, at the end of the day, the patient wants to know that they are getting the best quality care at the best price and that their healing isn’t going to be difficult. And that’s what they can expect to get here.”

A Variety of Services for Every Need

Sometimes a check-up and cleaning are all you need, but sometimes additional dental work is required, too. “Unlike most other dentistry practices in the area, we offer complete oral care from the surgical placement of an implant to teeth cleaning,” Dr. Gregory explained. This results in seamless patient care and optimal results. “A multi specialty practice gives our patients access to the best dentists in one convenient location and it allows Dr. Paal and me to concentrate on our individual specialties, while still working together as a team for excellent patient outcomes,” the doctor continued.

As an added convenience to their patients, Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics also boasts an in office lab technician who makes all implant and crown parts right there on the premises, and an in-house anesthesiologist. “We want to provide a positive lifelong relationship because it enhances the overall results of the care we offer. It’s a huge compliment to have our patients come back time and time again and refer family and friends. That is the reason we do what we do.”

From general dentistry and traditional orthodontics, to cosmetic periodontal surgery and “New Teeth in a Day” implants, the doctors will work together to help you achieve excellent oral health and a beautiful smile you will love. “We are confident that by providing an exceptional patient experience through top-quality dental care and comfort in a relaxing, low stress environment you will feel right at home,” said Dr. Gregory.

19502 McKay Boulevard, Suite 202
Humble, Texas 77338
(281) 446-9157
NEHoustonImplants.com

Humble Dentist Reveals 5 Dirty Little Secrets About Your Dental Insurance and What You Can Do About It!

So What’s the Deal With Dental Insurance?

Humble Tx dental insuranceAs a dentist in Humble, Tx, you would expect the first thing someone would ask us is, “What kinds of dental treatment do you offer?” or maybe, “When is your first available appointment?” However, more often than not, the first question we get asked by new patients is, “Do you take my insurance?” Dental insurance, like medical insurance, is complicated and can be a stressful matter for patients who have a hard time sifting through the fine print on their policies and getting straight answers from their insurance companies by phone. For this reason, our staff is here to help you answer questions and to get you the most cost effective dental care possible.

I put together the following article to help clear up a lot of the confusion regarding dental insurance. Share with family and friends and let’s work together to make dental insurance less confusing!

Answering Your Questions on a Complicated Topic

Those of us with dental insurance coverage are instructed to seek out “dentists who take the insurance plan” to receive the least expensive dental care possible.  It’s smart to save money where we can and it’s smart to try to utilize dental insurance that we pay yearly premiums for.  There’s a lot about dental insurance companies, however, that we as patients are unaware of.  Every insurance plan is different and we are happy to answer questions regarding your particular plan.  The following are generalities that will hold true for many dental insurances.  Here’s some information you may not have heard before:

I.  HMO versus PPO:

Insurance plans are divided into either dental HMOs or dental PPOs.  Discount plans aren’t true “insurance” and offer blanket discount on services for dentists who sign up, like honoring a coupon.  If you have a DHMO plan, your insurance will only pay for a selected dentist to perform services.  These dentists typically get reimbursed yearly for every patient that is assigned to them (For instance, the DHMO dentist has 4,000 patients on their list and gets paid so many dollars a year for each of those patients regardless of how much or how little work that dentist does for those people).  This is a financial incentive for these dentists to do as little work as possible for each one of these patients.  This doesn’t mean these dentists are necessarily bad dentists, just that the less work they do per patient, the more money they make.  If this makes you, as a patient, uncomfortable, then you are not alone.

Dental PPOs (or DPPOs) work differently.  Dentists are divided into two main categories, “in-network” and “out-of-network”.  Patients have a choice who to see.  Dental patients are urged to see “in-network” dentists to get the least expensive dental care possible.  Dentists who sign up with DPPOs are contracted with those insurance companies to only charge a certain fee for each service they offer.  Dentists who are “out-of-network” can choose what they charge for a service. 

“In-network” dentists are listed online and in patient insurance manuals and receive “free advertising” for new patients.  In exchange for that free advertising, these “in-network” dentists get paid less than market value for the services they provide.  In many cases, the amount that “in-network” dentists get paid by the insurance companies is less than half of market value and isn’t enough to even cover the cost of materials that are ideal in providing that dental service (for example, an “in-network” dentist may get paid $300 for an anterior crown when the lab fee alone to make that crown may cost $500, resulting in the dentist not getting paid anything for their time or office overhead and the dentist actually paying out of pocket $200 to get the patient the quality of crown they should have).  This would have the effect of forcing your Humble Tx dentist, in this example, to seek out less expensive (cheaper) materials that are not necessarily long-lasting, aesthetic, or cleansable as they would have hoped to provide if they were not an “in-network” dentist.  Many patients don’t realize that their choosing an “in-network” dental provider may mean they are getting cheap dentistry done.

II.  “In-network” versus “Out-of-network

In many cases, the money patients receive as payment for services from insurance companies is the same for “out-of-network” dentists as it is for “in-network” dentists.  For instance, if your insurance plan has a $1000/year benefit, you will likely get a $1000 benefits whether you use an “in-network” or “out-of-network” dentist.  “Out-of-network” dentists are free to use the materials and dental labs that are ideal for each service without being constrained by contract terms with dental insurance companies. 

III.  Doesn’t my dental insurance cover what I need?

Help to understand your dental insuranceEach plan will have a listed set of procedures that are either “possibly covered” or “never covered”.  (Note: Dental Insurance calls “possibly covered” procedures “covered” but we know better.)  If your dentist diagnoses a need for a service that is “never covered”, your insurance company will not even consider whether or not they think you need the service; they will always deny it.  In other words, if you grind your teeth and need a retainer at night to keep you from breaking teeth in your sleep, and your insurance lists retainers as “never covered”, they don’t care whether you need it or not.  They won’t pay for it.  Procedures that are “possibly covered” are usually listed in insurance manuals as “covered procedures”.  More aptly named “possibly covered”, these are services that your insurance will review according to their regulations and decide whether they want to cover it or not. 

For instance, let’s say you need a filling done for a cavity, and your insurance lists fillings as “covered” (or more accurately, “possibly covered”).  Insurance has the right to say that they will pay for part of that filling but that they mandate it has to be a silver filling even though it’s going on your front tooth.  (Yes, this happens.)  Tooth-colored fillings are more expensive and if you opt not to have a silver front tooth, then your insurance may not cover that at all.  Do you have hereditary bone loss and need cleanings four times a year instead of twice to prevent teeth from falling out?  Unless you have had gum surgery in the last year (and it’s a goal not to have it more than once in a lifetime) then your insurance may not cover more than two cleanings a year.  You get the idea.  (By the way, there aren’t any “always covered” procedures.  Sadly.)

IV.  My dental insurance doesn’t pay 100% of my covered procedures?

PPO insurances almost always pay only a percentage of each covered procedure.  Let’s walk through a scenario for a patient who has a dental PPO and needs a crown on a tooth that is broken.  Once the tooth is repaired with a crown (and not beforehand), your Humble Tx dentist can submit a claim to the insurance company that says, “I did this crown to splint the tooth because the tooth was broken.”  The dentist sends documentation in the form of clinical notes, x-rays, pictures, measurements.  The insurance company reviews this information and accepts this as a covered benefit for the patient.  That means the patient doesn’t owe anything for that crown, right?  Nope. 

The crown is covered at 80%.  So that means that the crown that cost $1000 is now only $200 for the patient, right?  Nope.  This insurance only reimburses for the least expensive solution which is a metal crown which costs $500, of which they will pay 80%, or $400.  The patient got a porcelain tooth-colored crown, which most of us would want.  So that means that the patient will pay the residual $600 of the $1000 charge for a porcelain crown.  Feeling discouraged?  Your doctor deals with this nightmare daily to get you the best coverage they can and there’s not a thing your doctor or you can do about it. 

V.  Shouldn’t my doctor have known beforehand that my insurance wouldn’t pay for this procedure?

Most insurance companies provide limited information to dentists before claims are made.  All the dentist knows in most cases is what category the treatment falls into (either “possibly covered” or “never covered”).  Even when dentists send a document to insurance companies before any treatment is rendered (called a “Predetermination of Benefits”), this document is no guarantee that insurance will accept the treatment (and even states so on the document itself, rendering it a veritable total waste of time unless it’s a required hoop to jump through for your policy in order to get claims through). 

Just to determine what category your treatment falls into (“possibly covered” versus “never covered”) your dentist’s staff has to wait nearly an hour in many cases on hold on the phone with a representative.  This process is done before your dental appointment so know that when you arrive for your new patient visit, we are excited to see you and have already spent the time to verify your potential benefits so you can make an informed choice in your dental care (or as informed as is possible based on limited information released by insurance companies). 

IN SUMMARY:

What’s the bottom line? PPO or HMO or no insurance? “In-network” or “out-of-network”?

Unless you are comfortable with your providers being selected for you, stay away from dental HMO plans.  If your company offers a dental PPO plan at a yearly premium that is far less than your annual benefits, that policy might be a good option (i.e. don’t buy a plan for $900/year that only has $800/year in benefits.  Yes, this happens.). 

Be aware that “in-network” providers will be working with a limited reimbursement rate and that may risk the quality of care you receive. 

“Out-of-network” providers are able to provide services at reimbursement rates that they feel comfortable can cover quality materials and patients who seek care from “out-of-network” providers usually receive the same yearly benefits as if they were seeing “in-network providers”.  In other words, if you get $1000/year in benefits, you get that $1000/year no matter whether you see a “preferred provider” or not. 

What can I expect with Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics in Humble, Tx?

Humble Tx DentistAfter years of working as an “in-network” or “preferred provider” for dental PPO plans, I grew frustrated in general with how it threatened to compromise the materials and quality of care I was offering.  For instance, my payment from the insurance companies for a bone graft before placing implants became so low it didn’t even cover the cost of bone grafting material.  Instead of going the direction of many providers and offering ground glass or other “filler” materials which are less effective and less expensive, I opted to become an “out-of-network” provider instead. 

In my personal experience, because of this, I was able to maintain my integrity as a Humble Tx dental services provider and my enthusiasm for doing the best work I could.  If I can’t treat every patient like I would treat my own family, then I don’t find a reason to get out of bed every morning and come to work.

To help make this as easy as possible for my patients, I do the following:  

  • I honor discounts for patients to make my costs for services competitive with “in-network” or “preferred providers” or “discount plan providers” while still offering the highest quality of care that is available in dentistry today. 
  • I file patient’s claims for them, manage communication, and fight for reimbursement for the patient just like I did when I was a “preferred provider”. 
  • And in most cases I gain reimbursement for patients that are just as much as the patient would have gotten if I were “in-network”. 

Most of my patients have dental insurance plans and most of my patients receive their full benefits from those plans while still getting the care they deserve.  Make sure you let me know if you have questions. Give me a call or click the “Make An Appointment” button on the right side of the page.  I am Dr. Holly Gregory, the owner of Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics and I can’t wait to meet you! 

The dentist at Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Periodontics now services dental patients in Humble, Atascocita and Kingwood Tx for an expanded range of dental services. These services now include cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, family dentistry, oral surgery and root canals.  The addition of these services makes it so that almost any dental procedure you need can be done in one office, often in one day, without the need to be referred to another Humble dentist. Being referred to another dentist to have your dental work completed often increases your cost and always increases the time spent getting your dental issue resolved. 

Humble Tx Dentist Changes The Way To Get Dental Work Done Forever!

Dr. Holly Gregory, DDS,  MS, a Humble Tx dentist, has changed the way dental patients in Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita go to the dentist. Until this year, Dr. Gregory’s dental practice was one of those that other dentist in the area would refer their patients to for special situations. Dr Gregory is a periodontist and oral surgeon that would take patients referred to her by a Humble dentist doing a crown or bridge that needed a root canal or impacted wisdom teeth removed before the crown was placed. Many times she would be called on by referring dentist to treat and cure a gum disease issue before cosmetic dentistry procedures were done. 

What this meant to those patients was that they would go to one Humble dentist to start treatment for their particular dental issue or procedure but have to put that on hold while an appointment was made to see a different dentist in Humble. Depending on openings in dentist’s schedule and the patient’s availability, this might drag the whole process on for weeks if not months.

Humble Tx DentistIn January of 2017 however, Dr Gregory added experienced and highly qualified dentist to her dental practice so that now her office is one of a handful in the entire Houston metro area that can handle almost every dental procedure for every person from toddlers to seasoned citizen. What this means to her patients is that no matter what kind of dental procedure they need for themselves or their children, except for very rare occasions, they can have it all done in one office. The best part of this however is that in most cases, what would normally take days or weeks and many trips, can all be done in one day and one visit!

Here is the new list of the procedures now done in our dental office:  Sedation for Relaxation is offered for all dental procedures.

  • Dental Implants 
  • “New Teeth In One Day” Dentures 
    • Implant Overdentures 
    • Implant Supported Bridges & Over-dentures

  • Treatment of Periodontal Disease 
    • Laser Treatments for Gum Disease
    • Periodontal Scaling
  • Gum Grafting 
    • Gummy Smile Correction
    • Aesthetic Crown Lengthening
    • Functional Crown Lengthening
    • Reconstruction/Replacement of diseased gum tissue

  • Family Dentistry
    • Tooth Extraction 
    • Fillings 
    • Tooth Colored Fillings
    • Yearly Dental Exam 
    • Routine Dental Cleaning 
  • Pediatric Dentistry

  • Cosmetic Dentistry  
    • Aesthetic Dentistry Proceedures
    • Cosmetic Smile Makeover – including
    • Veneers
    • Teeth Whitening
    • Crowns
    • Invisalign™ Clear Orthodontics
    • Bridges
    • Dentures (Traditional)
    • Partial Dentures

  • Oral Surgical Procedures
    • Mucogingival Surgery
    • Bone Grafting
    • Ridge Augmentation
    • Open and Closed Sinus Augmentation
    • Exposure of Impacted teeth for Orthodontics
    • Placement of Temporary Anchorage Devices for Orthodontics

  • Low Radiation Three Dimensional Imaging

If you have a dental issue that you would like to have handled simply, efficiently and for less cost and time off work or other duties, give us a call or click on the link on this page to set your first appointment today.

Board Certified Specialist vs General Dentist Treatment

Dr. Gregory receives inquiries every week from people who have had “issues” with their implants that were placed by general dentist (non-specialist). Correctly placing implants is not the kind of thing that can be learned in weekend classes or surgical videos. Many general dentist are licensed to conduct implant surgery but that does not mean that they should be conducting it.

 

Dr. Gregory and her team of cosmetic dentists work to transform appearances in adolescents and adults. For more information about cosmetic periodontal surgery or to schedule a consultation appointment call our office at (281) 816-4707.

Dental Association memberships

Member of American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

Gum Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease May Be Linked

People with poor oral hygiene or gum disease may be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent studies published online. (See the full article on Dentistry IQ)

Is there a link between gum disease and Alzheimer's?All countries are experiencing an increase in the number of people over the age of 65. In the US, changing demographics suggest a much higher number of elderly in the population. Periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are chronic conditions that commonly affect the elderly. Numerous cross sectional studies address the oral health status of individuals with AD and dementia. 

Overall, evidence indicates that Alzheimer’s patients exhibit poor oral health, including increased plaque, bleeding, and calculus than age- and gender-matched controls.  While it is true that Alzheimer’s patients may be unable to adequately perform oral hygiene measures, thereby facilitating the development of periodontal disease,  a potential exists for a bi-directional relationship.  Researchers are now investigating the role of poor oral health and periodontal disease in the development of AD.  

Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through everyday activities such as eating, chewing and tooth brushing. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can be carried to other parts of the body. Could oral pathogens also infect the brain with subsequent neuropathological consequences?  Additionally, could the bacteremia responsible for this neuropathology be the result of chronic periodontal disease?

The researchers hypothesized that when the bacteria reach the brain, they may trigger an immune response (like they do in the mouth), which in turn results in the killing of brain cells. This immune response could be the catalyst that leads to changes in the brain, which is typical in Alzheimer’s disease. It could play a role in causing symptoms such as confusion and deterioration of memory. This new research indicates a possible link between gum disease and those who display the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of dementia. 

Recently much research has examined potential associations between oral and systemic diseases, but few studies have investigated a potential link between oral disease and AD or dementia. AD is a significant health problem that will likely become even greater as the population ages. It is established that AD contributes to deterioration in oral health.  Some studies suggest that oral disease contributes to AD or cognitive impairment.   However, data supporting a bi-directional association is limited, and it is currently unclear which occurs first, oral disease or AD. It is possible that the lines are blurred and that each disease contributes to the other.

What this means is that the current research on this matter indicates that while all AD victims don’t have periodontal disease, some AD victims may have gum disease to blame for their condition or have had their condition sped along it’s way because of it.

Today, gum disease can be routed by laser periodontal treatment or LANAP which is relatively painless because it involves no cutting of gum tissue and no recovery time. You should become aware of the symptoms of periodontitis and make sure that your gums are checked every time you go for a dental exam or cleaning. Catching it early, before permanent damage is done or complications elsewhere in your body, is done is very important.

If you have not had an exam for periodontal disease done recently, give us a call and schedule an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you.

 

Gum Disease Bacteria Linked To Esophageal Cancer

Here is an article I found in Medical News Today about a recent study that shows a disturbing relationship between gum disease and death due to esophageal cancer. Many people do not realize the importance of the relationship between the health of their teeth and gums and their overall health or their ability to fight off other serious diseases.  Dr. Gregory

In a new study, researchers propose for the first time that Porphyromonas gingivalis – the bacterium behind gum disease – could be a risk factor for esophageal cancer.

The researchers found levels of P. gingivalis were significantly higher in the cancerous tissue of ESCC patients than in surrounding tissue or tissue of normal controls.

The researchers, from the University of Louisville (UofL), KY, and Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang, China, report their findings in the journal Infectious Agents and Cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, around 15,000 people in the US are diagnosed with esophageal cancer – a cancer that starts in the esophagus or gullet, the muscular tube that moves food from the throat into the stomach.

Link between P. gingivilis and esophagus cancer

The researchers found levels of P. gingivalis were significantly higher in the cancerous tissue of ESCC patients than in surrounding tissue or the tissue of normal controls.

The lining of the esophagus is made of two kinds of cell, which is why there are two main types of esophageal cancer: esophageal adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). ESCC is more common in developing countries.

Known risk factors for esophageal cancer include chemical exposure, diet, heredity and age – all factors already common to many other cancers.

The cancer is hard to diagnose in the early stages. For many patients, the cancer develops rapidly after diagnosis and the prognosis is not good.

For their study, the team tested tissue from 100 patients with ESCC and 30 patients who did not have the disease (the controls).

They tested samples taken from three types of esophageal tissue: cancerous tissue, non-cancerous tissue adjacent to cancerous tissue and normal tissue from the controls.

Bacterium present in 61% of cancerous tissue samples

The team found P. gingivalis was present in 61% of cancerous tissue samples and only 12% of adjacent tissue samples. They found none in the normal tissue samples.

Fast facts about esophageal cancer

  • The risk for developing esophageal cancer increases with age
  • Less than 15% of cases are in people younger than 55
  • The disease is three to four times more common in men than women.

Learn more about esophageal cancer

Co-senior author Huizhi Wang, assistant professor of oral immunology and infectious diseases at the UofL School of Dentistry, says:

“These findings provide the first direct evidence that infection could be a novel risk factor for ESCC, and may also serve as a prognostic biomarker for this type of cancer.”

He notes that if these findings are confirmed, then it could mean that eradication of a common oral bacterium could help reduce the significant number of people who develop ESCC.

To detect P. gingivalis in the tissue samples, the researchers measured expression of lysine-gingipain, an enzyme unique to the bacterium. They also looked for DNA traces of the bacterial cell.

They found levels of both the enzyme and the bacterial DNA were significantly higher in the cancerous tissue of ESCC patients than in surrounding tissue or tissue of normal controls.

The team found that levels of P. gingivalis measures were in line with levels of other measures, such as extent of cancer cell differentiation, metastasis (extent of spread) and overall survival rate.

Speculating on possible explanations, Prof. Wang offers two. Either ESCC cells are a “preferred niche” for the bacterium to thrive in, or infection with the bacterium somehow spurs the development of the cancer.

If the reason is that the cancer cells offer the bacterium a niche, then simple antibiotics could be a way forward for treatment. Another approach could be to use genetic technology to target the bacterium and ultimately eliminate the cancer cells.

Prof. Wang says should further studies actually prove that P. gingivalis causes ESCC, then the implication would be enormous, and:

“It would suggest that improving oral hygiene may reduce ESCC risk; screening for P. gingivalis in dental plaque may identify susceptible subjects; and using antibiotics or other antibacterial strategies may prevent ESCC progression.”

Meanwhile, Medical News Today recently learned about another study that shows patients with chronic kidney disease who also have severe gum disease have a higher risk of death than chronic kidney disease patients with healthy gums.

Today, gum disease can be routed by laser periodontal treatment or LANAP which is relatively painless because it involves no cutting of gum tissue and no recovery time. You should become aware of the symptoms of periodontitis and make sure that your gums are checked every time you go for a dental exam or cleaning. Catching it early, before permanent damage is done or complications elsewhere in your body, is done is very important.

If you have not had an exam for periodontal disease done recently, give us a call and schedule an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you.

Link Between Gum Disease & Higher Breast Cancer Risk

Many people don’t realize the connection between oral health (especially gum disease) and serious potentially life threatening diseases. Here is an article I found that talks about studies done in terms of risk of breast cancer.  This article was found at:  https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/gum-disease-may-be-linked-to-higher-risk   Published on January 5, 2016 at 7:20 AM

Title:  Postmenopausal Women With Gum Disease Seem to Have Higher Breast Cancer Risk

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can range from simple inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis by dentists, to periodontitis, when the gums pull away from the teeth leaving open spaces that become infected. The bacteria causing the infection and the body’s response to the infection can break down the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place. If periodontitis isn’t treated, the teeth may become loose and have to be removed.

Gum disease can be prevented by regular tooth brushing and flossing.

Gum disease has been associated with several other diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Past research has found links between gum disease and oral, esophageal, head and neck, pancreatic, and lung cancer, so researchers wondered if there were any links between gum disease and breast cancer.

A study has found that postmenopausal women with gum disease were more likely to develop breast cancer than postmenopausal women who didn’t have gum disease. If the women had a history of smoking, the risk of breast cancer was even higher.

The study was published online on Dec. 21, 2015 by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Read the abstract of “Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer: Prospective Cohort Study of Postmenopausal Women.”

The research is part of the very large Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, commonly called the WHI. The WHI is looking for links between health, diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors and health problems, such as cancer.

In this study, the researchers monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women in the WHI who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 26% of the women told the researchers they had gum disease.

After about 6.5 years, 2,124 women had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Overall, the risk of breast cancer was 14% higher in women who had gum disease compared to women who didn’t have gum disease. So if average breast cancer risk is about 12%, a woman with gum disease had about a 13.5% risk of breast cancer.

“We thought that periodontal bacteria — either the bacteria themselves or the inflammation that’s part of having periodontal disease — has an effect on other parts of the body, including breast tissue. We know there are bacteria in breast tissue and we know there are bacteria in mother’s milk. Women who had periodontal disease had a small increase in the risk of breast cancer overall,” said Jo Freudenheim, Ph.D., distinguished professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Buffalo and lead author of the study.

Because earlier studies have shown that the effects of gum disease can be more severe if a person smokes, the researchers also grouped the women by smoking history:

  • Among women who had quit smoking within the last 20 years, women with gum disease had a 36% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.
  • Among women who had never smoked, women with gum disease had a 6% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.
  • Among women who had quit smoking more than 20 years ago, women with gum disease had an 8% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.

“There’s been an explosion of information recently that makes it clear that many different parts of the body that were thought to be sterile contain bacteria and other microbes,” Dr. Freudenheim said. “These bacteria may influence diseases that were previously thought to have no infectious component.”

The researchers said there are several possible reasons for the association between gum disease and breast cancer:

  • Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream through tooth brushing, flossing, and chewing. Even though the bacteria are cleared out of the body quickly, the cumulative exposure to tissues can be considerable. It could be that these bacteria affect breast cancer.
  • Inflammation in one part of the body, such as the gums, may have an impact on other diseases.
  • There may be other factors that increase the risk of both gum disease and breast cancer.

“This is a new area, so we have to be careful in how we interpret our findings,” said Dr. Freudenheim. “We can’t say, ‘if you treat periodontal disease it will reduce cancer risk.’ There are new methodologies that allow us to measure things we weren’t able to before. We are now beginning to understand how much the interaction of the microbiome affects our health both in terms of acute infections and chronic diseases.”

Doing all that you can do to keep your breast cancer risk as low as it can be makes good sense. Besides exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, avoiding alcohol, and taking good care of your teeth and gums are steps you can take to control several risk factors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, gum disease can be kept in check by:

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth every day to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease.
  • Seeing a dentist at least once a year for a checkup, or more frequently if you have any of the warning signs of gum disease:
    • red/swollen gums
    • tender/bleeding gums
    • loose teeth
    • bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go way
    • gums that have pulled away from your teeth
    • sensitive teeth

Today, gum disease can be routed by laser periodontal treatment or LANAP which is relatively painless because it involves no cutting of gum tissue and no recovery time. You should become aware of the symptoms of periodontitis and make sure that your gums are checked every time you go for a dental exam or cleaning. Catching it early, before permanent damage is done or complications elsewhere in your body, is done is very important.

If you have not had an exam for periodontal disease done recently, give us a call and schedule an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you.

For more information on breast cancer risk and other steps you can take to minimize your risk, visit the Breastcancer.org Lower Your Risk section.

Patients Are Raving About Dr. Gregory

Dr. Gregory was featured in the “Super Docs” issue (March 2016) of “Living Magazine. ”  Here is the article from pages 26-27.  Read the actual magazine article here!

Houston Dental Implants Oral Surgery & Periodontics
DR. HOLLY GREGORY

Dr. Holly Gregory, Dental Implants, Periodontology in Houston TxFacing the reality of losing all your teeth at once certainly conjures a plethora of not-so good emotions. But at Houston Dental Implants, Holly J. Gregory, DDS, MS puts every patient at ease with her calming demeanor and honest commitment to providing the best possible care. For patients losing their teeth and for those who no longer wish to deal with the difficulties of dentures, Dr. Gregory offers the advanced “Teeth in a Day” procedure, where patients can come in and leave with a bright, new smile—one they are proud to show off.

These implant-supported teeth, unlike dentures, are not removable at home. They look, feel and chew like natural teeth. “This is our WOW surgery that patients get really excited about,” said Dr. Gregory. The periodontist—who grew up in Texas and graduated top of her class from Texas A&M and first in her class at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, has reason to be enthusiastic. “It’s literally new teeth in one day; they’re strong, healthy and predictable,” Dr. Gregory said.

After this procedure, during which four implants are surgically placed and serve as highly secure anchors for bridges, patients will have the freedom to eat whatever they want—even apples and carrots. There is no embarrassing recovery period without teeth, no loose dentures at social functions and no bad odor or taste from infected natural teeth. 

At Houston Dental Implants, which serves Spring and Champions, Kingwood, Humble, and Atascocita areas, Dr. Gregory offers only the best when it comes to the “New Teeth in a Day” procedure. Many practices only offer one set of all-plastic (acrylic) teeth, but this is unacceptable to Dr. Gregory because plastic teeth are porous and can grow bacteria and fungus. “My patients all receive two complete sets of teeth. When one set needs to be cleaned or rejuvenated, the patient wears their other set and never has to go without their teeth,” she explained.

“It’s so rewarding to rebuild a patient’s smile when they have been struggling with infected and unappealing natural teeth or old-fashioned dentures for years,” Dr. Gregory added. Some patients even bring in pictures of when they were younger so that Dr. Gregory can replicate that youthful smile for her patients.

New teeth in One Day ResultsOnce the decisions about the appearance of the teeth have been made, she creates the final structures using only top-of-the-line materials and three-dimensional imaging technology so that her patients can achieve exactly the smile they deserve with incredible, long-lasting results. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know that it’s absolutely worthwhile to use nothing but the finest implants, grafting materials and bridge materials,” Dr. Gregory—who’s been in practice for 10 years—said. “This should last them for the rest of their lives.”

Unlike most oral surgeons, Dr. Gregory sees her patients once a year following surgery and takes co-ownership of work accomplished. “It’s one of my favorite things about my practice, the relationships I forge with patients over the years and the joy we share in keeping them healthy and smiling.”

In addition to the “Teeth in a Day” procedure, Dr. Gregory, who is a board-certified official Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology, is passionate about being one of the first in the area to offer state-of-the-art, non-invasive laser treatments for gum disease around teeth and dental implants. One in three adults has genetic gum infection, also called periodontal disease, and laser treatment replaces the old “cut-and-sew” technique for treating this condition. Laser treatment requires no incisions or stitches and patients can typically return to work the very same day. “It’s more comfortable than older surgery techniques, it’s less invasive, and it works. I love seeing the relief on patient’s faces when they know they don’t have to go through surgery.”

Meet The Dentist
As a child, Dr. Gregory dressed up as the Tooth Fairy for Halloween. Becoming a dentist was something she knew she wanted to do even at such a tender age. “I’ve always liked teeth,” she said. “It’s been a life-long love kind of thing.”

Dr. Gregory graduated with a 4.0 in Genetics at the Department of Biochemistry/ Biophysics at Texas A&M University before attending Baylor College of Dentistry. She expanded on her training at the University of Texas of Health Science Center in San Antonio, which offers one of the best periodontal programs in the country. After all her schooling, she practiced for a time in San Antonio before returning to the Houston area with her husband and three small children to be close to family.

Dr. Gregory’s professional approach is simple: she spends time getting to know her patients and helping them overcome any fears they might have. She understands how important it is to make good decisions for those in her care and she strives to bolster confidence in patients who’ve previously had bad experiences at dentists. Additionally, she’s proud to have her own outpatient facility. Some surgeons can only do their surgeries at hospitals, which drives up the cost of treatment. “Patients pay less when they come to see me because they don’t have hospital fees,” she said.

Dr. Gregory sees patients of all ages in addition to her surgery practice for yearly dental examinations and cleanings. She is proud to work with the most talented family dentists and orthodontists in the area. When asked what is the greatest compliment she’s ever received from a patient, Dr. Gregory said simply, “When people come in and then bring back their children or another loved one as patients, that is the greatest compliment to me. It means they trust me enough to refer people they love to my practice. That means everything.”

If you are struggling with your teeth and seek specialist state-of-the-art care, please call 281-446-9157 and set up an appointment today. Let Dr. Gregory and her caring staff put you at ease and help you achieve the smile of a lifetime.

Gum Disease Associated With Kidney Disease Deaths

Here is an article I found that will help you understand the relationship between oral health and your general well being. This is something that most people don’t realize. To say the least, it is something that the general public should be made aware of because gum disease can affect you, your spouse or your children in ways that can be life changing. 

Dr. Gregory

Written by: Catharine Paddock PhD 
Published: Thursday 18 February 2016 at: Medical News Today

New research reveals that patients with chronic kidney disease who also have severe gum disease or periodontitis have a higher risk of death than chronic kidney disease patients with healthy gums.

The study – led by the University of Birmingham in the UK and published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology – provides further evidence of a link between oral health and chronic diseases, say the authors.

Senior author Iain Chapple, a professor in periodontology, says we should be aware that oral health is not just about teeth, and:  “The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums.”

He and his colleagues analyzed data from 13,734 people living in the US who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

They found 861 (6%) of the participants in the sample had chronic kidney disease, and they were typically followed for 14.3 years.

Comparable to the effect of diabetes

The researchers then assessed links between periodontitis and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease and compared them with the link between mortality and other risk factors in people with chronic kidney disease, such as diabetes.

After adjusting for the effect of other potential influencing factors, the team found that over 10 years, the rate of death due to any cause among survey participants with chronic kidney disease without periodontitis was 32%, while with periodontitis it was 41%.

 

Gum Disease facts that you should know.This is comparable to the effect of diabetes. The 10-year mortality in participants with chronic kidney disease without periodontitis rose from 32% in non-diabetics to 43% in diabetics, note the authors.

Periodontitis is a serious, chronic, non-communicable gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that supports the teeth. It is the sixth most common human disease and affects around 11.2% of the world’s population.

The researchers note that kidney disease and other non-communicable disease are becoming more common – partly because the world’s population is getting older, lifestyles are becoming less physically active and diets more refined.

The increase in these diseases is adding to global disease burden and health care costs: evidence suggests 92% of older adults now have at least one chronic disease.

Prof. Chapple explains that many people who have gum disease do not realize they have it. Perhaps they notice a bit of blood in their spit when they brush their teeth. However, if they don’t have this checked out, they could inadvertently be raising disease risk for the rest of the body.

The team is now looking more closely at the link between gum disease and kidney disease, to see if the link is a coincidence or if gum disease causes kidney disease.

If they establish a causal connection, then they want to address the question of whether treating gum disease and increasing oral health improves prospects for kidney disease patients.

Prof. Chapple concludes:  “It may be that the diagnosis of gum disease can provide an opportunity for early detection of other problems, whereby dental professionals could adopt a targeted, risk-based approach to screening for other chronic diseases.”

Cosmetic Dentist Near Kingwood Tx

A Cosmetic Dentist Near Kingwood Tx

There are several types of cosmetic dental procedures Dr. Gregory performs at her office. Some, but not all, require a periodontic specialization to perform. The most common cosmetic dentistry procedures for Kingwood Tx residents she performs are gummy smile correction, gum grafting, Canine exposure and teeth whitening. Of course, these are the things more often thought of as “Cosmetic Dentistry” but also included in that list would be dental implants, New Teeth In One Day Dentures and All On 6 Dentures.Good looking smile, Whiten Teeth

Dr. Gregory often treats patients before they receive cosmetic dentistry in Humble Tx by your regular dentist for veneers or invisalign or crowns. The reason is that for all cosmetic dentistry, your teeth are the foundation on which it is built. If you have gum disease and proceed with your cosmetic dental work without treatment, you could loose  the very teeth that you just had “fixed” to gum disease. Many times local cosmetic dentist in Humble refer their patients to Dr. Gregory before they make the investment in cosmetic procedures.

Teeth whitening is one cosmetic dental procedure that many of her patients have done after having surgery for some of the other cosmetic procedures she performs. Procedures such as raising the gum line or gum grafting in order to correct for gums that cover too much of the teeth (gummy smile) or have receded and leave tooth roots exposed are often followed by a teeth whitening procedure. 

Teeth stains are a fact of life due to the variety of foods and drinks we consume on a daily basis. Modern methods of teeth whitening help dentists to whiten teeth without adversely affecting the tooth. This is an important consideration when you consider getting your teeth whitened. Not all teeth whitening products are actually “good” for your teeth!

Almost all whitening methods are similar in concept, but some are much more effective because of the way the whitening material is delivered to the teeth. Another contributing factor is the concentration of the material, which is why less potent over-the-counter whitening systems usually don’t give patients the results they are hoping for.

The are several very effect methods of professional whitening which can be done in the office, at home or a combination of the two. In-office whitening is the most efficient means of whitening. You can have your teeth whitened in one session and achieve significant results. Dr. Gregory can give you more detailed information and help you decide which method is more suitable for you and your teeth.

If you have any questions about teeth whitening and ask a cosmetic dentist in the Kingwood Tx area, fill out the form below or just give us a call today!

Dr. Holly Gregory is a periodontist and cosmetic dentist near Kingwood Tx, Atascocita Tx, Humble Tx, Spring Tx, The Woodlands Tx and Houston Tx.