Dr. Rebecca Blum was born and raised in Louisiana. She grew up in Houma, Louisiana, a small city southeast of New Orleans. Dr. Blum moved to New Orleans for her undergraduate education, where she attended University of New Orleans to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. Following U.N.O., Dr. Blum attended Louisiana State University School of Dentistry where she received her license to practice dentistry.
After graduation from dental school, Dr. Blum was fortunate enough to work as an associate in a high volume state of the art dental practice in Slidell. She was able to integrate what she had learned in dental school into an office setting with the guidance of a knowledgeable senior doctor.
Now Dr. Blum owns and runs her own practice - NOLA Dental Studio. She uses the latest modern dental technology to diagnose and treat her patients in a state of the art office in Kenner, Louisiana. She practices dentistry that is nearly pain-free and believes patients should no longer carry the anxiety once associated with visits to a dentist.
She also believes that a healthy mouth and beautiful smile are just a part of one's self esteem. That is why she also administers dermal injectables and fillers.
Dr. Blum is a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, New Orleans Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry.
Visiting the dentist isn’t the way it used to be...
"Changes in dental technology have opened the door to procedures with less pain and less anxiety. My goal is to make your visit as quick, pleasant, and pain-free as possible.
You deserve a healthy smile and to feel good about the way you look overall. That is why we also offer a complete line of general and cosmetic dental procedures to help you obtain and maintain a beautiful smile.
Take advantage of the latest technology, our professional staff, and my commitment to your health and well being. Let NOLA Dental Studio work with you to achieve all of your dental and cosmetic goals."
- Dr. Blum
Gum Disease is Destroying Your Body
While I'm sure that you have heard something in the news about how the health of your gums might affect your body, you might not realize just how serious it is. Let me tell, you. It is nothing to mince words about: If your gums are sick your whole body is very likely going to be sick too.
Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the gums and bone that begins when plaque builds up on your teeth and isn't properly removed. Plaque is a sticky film of mucus and bacteria that daily life – eating, drinking breathing – deposits on your teeth. This film, long known to encourage the development of dental caries, or cavities, will also finds its way into your body through your blood stream and your lungs every time you chew or breathe. Once in your body, it weakens your immune system and has been connected to a major list of health problems including:
Cancers including Pancreatic, Blood Cancers, Kidney Cancer and Tongue Cancer
One of the main problems is that you may have periodontal disease and not even know it. There often are no symptoms. It's just another reason I encourage people to be sure to keep their regularly scheduled exams and cleanings!
Heart Disease and Strokes
Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. One theory is that oral bacteria can affect the heart when they enter the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) and contributing to clot formation. Coronary artery disease is characterized by a thickening of the walls of the coronary arteries due to the buildup of fatty proteins. Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks.
Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque builds up, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries.
Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy
Gingivitis occurs in 60% to 75% of pregnant women. Expectant mothers (and women who take some oral contraceptives) experience-elevated levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, this causes the gums to react differently to the bacteria found in plaque, and in many cases can cause a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”. 65 to 70% of all pregnant women developed gingivitis during this time! Symptoms include:
- Swollen, red gums
- Bleeding of the gums when you brush
Pregnancy gingivitis usually starts around the second month of pregnancy and decreases during the ninth month. If you already have gingivitis, it will most likely get worse during pregnancy especially without treatment. Only half of most pregnancy women go to receive dental care. Remember that the bacteria in plaque (not hormones) are the cause gingivitis and it is an infection of the gum tissue.
Gums infected with periodontal disease are toxic reservoirs of disease causing bacteria. The toxins produced by the bacteria attack the gums, ligaments, and bone surrounding the teeth to produce infected pockets that are similar to large infected wounds in your mouth. The infected pockets provide access the bloodstream allowing bacteria to travel throughout your body.
Your body reacts to the infections in your gums by producing prostaglandins, a natural fatty acid that's involved with inflammation control an smooth muscle contraction. During your pregnancy the level of prostaglandins gradually increases, peaking when you go into labor. One theory is that, if extra prostaglandins are produced as a reaction to the bacterial infection in your gums, your body may interpret it as a signal to go into labor and your baby can be born to early or too small.
Periodontal Disease and COPD
Bacterial respiratory infections are thought to be acquired through aspiration (inhaling) of fine droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. These droplets contain germs that can breed and multiply within the lungs to cause damage. Recent research suggests that bacteria found in the throat, as well as bacteria found in the mouth, can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract. This can cause infections or worsen existing lung conditions. People with respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, typically suffer from reduced protective systems, making it difficult to eliminate bacteria from the lungs.
Scientists have found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lung to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. This discovery leads researchers to believe that these respiratory bacteria can travel from the oral cavity into the lungs to cause infection.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) cause persistent obstruction of the airways. The main cause of this disease is thought to be long-term smoking. Chemicals from smoke or air pollution irritate the airways to cause obstruction. Further damage to the tissue and working function of the lungs can be prevented, but already damaged tissue cannot be restored - untreated or undetected COPD can result in irreversible damage. Scientists believe that through the aspiration process, bacteria can cause recurring bouts of infection in patients with COPD. Studies are now in progress to learn to what extent oral hygiene and periodontal disease may be associated with more frequents bouts of respiratory disease in COPD patients.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes. Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that poorly controlled type 2 diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than well-controlled diabetics are.
Research has emerged that suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways - periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.
This recommendation is supported by a study reported in the Journal of Periodontology in 1997. The study found that when their periodontal infections were treated, the management of their diabetes markedly improved.
Dental Health Articles
recommended by Dr. Blum
NOLA Dental Studio | Rebecca Blum, D.D.S.| 3645 Williams Blvd.#103, Kenner, LA 70065 | (504) 443-5882