Category Archives: Dental Tips

How is Deep Cleaning in Scottsdale Different from Regular Teeth Cleaning?

How is Deep Cleaning in Scottsdale Different From Regular Teeth Cleaning?Deep Cleaning in Scottsdale | My Scottsdale Dentist

If you have regularly scheduled teeth cleaning performed to maintain your best dental health, you may still be told you need a special, deep cleaning in Scottsdale. The need for deep teeth cleaning, also called scaling and root planing, may be especially important for those who do not have regular teeth cleanings, or who have a pre-disposition for periodontal disease.

Deep cleaning goes between the teeth and gums to clean down to the roots, and is an effective treatment for gum disease. What is the difference between regular teeth cleaning and deep cleaning, and when is it needed?

 Regular Teeth Cleaning

Plaque is a clear, sticky film that builds up on teeth and contains bacteria. Most of this film is removed by brushing, but the toothbrush cannot get to all the plaque along the gum line. Plaque that is not removed eventually hardens and becomes tartar, also called calculus.

During a regular cleaning visit, the hygienist removes plaque, tartar and other debris from above and below the gum line. The outer surfaces of the teeth are polished help reduce future plaque buildup. The depths of gum pockets are also checked because these measurements help to show the health of the gums, and indicates whether deep cleaning may be needed.

 Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)

Generally, deep gum pockets of around 5mm or greater in depth are a sign bacteria under the gums have developed to unhealthy levels. This leads to periodontitis, bone loss, and ultimately the loss of teeth. Scaling and root planing are used to correct this problem, and is often the first step in treating periodontal disease.

  •  Scaling is a special procedure to remove plaque, tartar (or calculus), and toxins from deep below the gum line.
  •  Root Planing is the smoothing of rough surfaces on the roots of the teeth, and the removal of any root structure that is infected.

After deep cleaning has been performed and gum tissue starts to heal, gum pockets should begin to shrink. You may feel some discomfort during the healing process. Your teeth may be sensitive to temperatures, and you may experience some bleeding for a while. Special medicated mouth rinses, medications and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help healing.

If the gum pockets do not shrink and heal after deep cleaning, periodontal surgery by Dr. Steven Poulos or Dr. Sid Stevens may be necessary to reduce pocket depth and make teeth cleaning easier.

Contact us at My Scottsdale Dentist to schedule an appointment to protect the health of your teeth.

Junk Food and Oral Health

Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease

The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Poor oral hygiene and excess sugar consumption can lead to periodontal disease where the supporting bone around the teeth is destroyed. It is thought that chronic infection from gum disease can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to heart disease through a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Despite convincing evidence linking poor oral health to premature heart disease, the most recent UK national guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: “As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD.” He added: “Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals.”

The authors refer to the well-publicized New York ‘soda ban’ controversy which has brought the issue to the attention of many. Yet, they point out, in the UK fizzy drinks remain commonly available in public areas ranging from hospitals to schools. Dr Rashid said: “The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”

Facts on Periodontal Disease | My Scottsdale Dentist

What is Periodontal Disease? 

Periodontal Disease is the more advanced stages of gingivitis or gum disease.Periodontal Disease My Scottsdale Dentist

Gingivitis is caused by bacteria in plaque build-up. The bacterium causes the gums to become inflamed and bleed during tooth brushing. During this phase, the gums may bleed but the teeth themselves are not affected and no serious irreversible bone damage has been done.

If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease. When the disease get’s to this point, the inner layers of the gum and bones begin to separate from the connective tissue that secures the teeth in place leaving small pockets. These small spaces collect debris and become infected. The body will fight the infection as the plaque spreads below the gum line.

Toxins or poisons — produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body’s “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections — start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. These include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body’s ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.
  • Medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardia and Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Dr. Steve Poulos of My Scottsdale Family Dentist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

How Does My Scottsdale Dentist Diagnose Gum Disease?

During a dental exam, Dr. Steve Poulos typically checks for these things:

  • Gum bleeding, swelling, firmness, and pocket depth (the space between the gum and tooth; the larger and deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease)
  • Teeth movement and sensitivity and proper teeth alignment
  • Your jawbone, to help detect the breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated? 

The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection; and to stop disease progression. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues. A full description of the various treatment options is provided in Gum Disease Treatments.

How Can Periodontal Disease Be Prevented?

Gum disease can be reversed in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced. Proper plaque control consists of professional cleanings at least twice a year and daily brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached; flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

Other health and lifestyle changes that will decrease the risk, severity, and speed of gum disease development include:

  • Stop smoking. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for development of periodontitis. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
  • Reduce stress . Stress may make it difficult for your body’s immune system to fight off infection.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition helps your immune system fight infection. Eating foods with antioxidant properties — for example, those containing vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables) and vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes) — can help your body repair damaged tissue.
  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth. These actions may put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.

Despite following good oral hygiene practices and making other healthy lifestyle choices, the American Academy of Periodontology says that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. And those who are genetically predisposed may be up to six times more likely to develop some form of gum disease. If anyone in your family has gum disease, it may mean that you are at greater risk, as well. If you are more susceptible to gum disease, Dr. Steve Poulos of My Scottsdale Dentist may recommend more frequent check-ups, cleanings, and treatments to better manage the condition.

Flossing

Many people don’t realize the importance of flossing. Flossing in between your teeth is essential for avoiding periodontal disease as well as preventing tooth decay. Periodontal disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and can be easily prevented by flossing. Studies have even shown that flossing can also help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Tooth decay is caused by plaque, which is the sticky substance that forms on and in between the teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed, it combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat to produce an acid that attacks tooth enamel. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, but only flossing can remove plaque that accumulates in between the teeth.

Plaque can also irritate the gums. When the gums are irritated, they bleed easily and become red and tender. If the plaque is not removed from in between the teeth with dental floss, the gums can eventually start to pull away from the teeth. When this happens, bacteria and pus-filled pockets can form and the bone that supports the teeth can be destroyed. Once the bone is destroyed, the teeth will loosen or have to be removed. Flossing your teeth is essential in preventing gum disease.

Adult Dental Care

Adult Dental Care

Adult dental health take care of your teeth as you age

Gum disease and not the aging process is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? Good oral health habits and a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your Adult Dental Caregums healthy and your smile bright for a lifetime. Developing a simple daily routine of brushing, flossing and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is just as important for older adults as it is for younger adults. Here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy and strong as you get older:

Brush at least twice a day

  • Brushing your teeth regularly is important in all stages of life. Brushing helps to remove the thin film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth each day and contributes to tooth decay. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you can brush your teeth after every meal, that’s even better.
  • When you brush, you should keep the bristles angled against the gumline and brush along the gumline and the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth. You should finish by brushing your tongue, which helps remove bacteria from your mouth.
  • Special concerns as you age: Although decay may occur in any area of the tooth, as you age decay is more likely to develop around old fillings or in the softer root of the tooth that is exposed as gums recede. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can keep an eye on these vulnerable areas.

Floss daily

Flossing your teeth can help keep your gums strong and prevent plaque from building up between teeth. Make sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to clean the places where a toothbrush can’t reach.
How important is flossing? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, flossing is the only activity that can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begin.
Special concerns as you age: Most people don’t realize how important it is to take care of their gums as well as their teeth. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Most adults show some signs of gum disease.
In addition, recent research has shown that the health of your gums may have a connection to some chronic diseases. Having periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to and may be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or diabetes. Experts are studying how inflammation in the mouth caused by gum disease may influence other areas of the body (brain, heart and pancreas), causing disease in those areas. Although the exact connection between gum disease and some other chronic diseases is not known, this connection between medical and dental conditions highlights the importance of maintaining good oral health to achieve good overall health.

Eat nutritious food

What you eat can help you keep your teeth. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.
Some foods may actually help defend against tooth decay in special ways. For instance, recent studies have indicated that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque. Other foods that have beneficial effects on oral health include:
  • Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products, which are rich in calcium and vitamin D, help promote healthy teeth and bones, and reduce the risk for tooth loss.
  • Cheese, which unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.
  • Crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery, which help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Special concerns as you age: Experiencing tooth pain or other oral problems may affect your ability to eat nutritious food. You should visit My Scottsdale Dentist right away if you are experiencing any tooth pain, jaw pain, mouth sores or other oral discomfort that interferes with your ability to eat.

Keep up with dentist appointments

My Scottsdale Dentist can diagnose and treat dental health problems before they become serious. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are an important part of maintaining good dental health as you age.
New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems. So, seeing a dentist regularly not only helps to keep your mouth in top shape, but also allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues.
Special concerns as you age: As you age, you become more vulnerable to developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. Researchers believe that symptoms of these diseases can manifest themselves in the mouth, making your dentist key in diagnosing the diseases. In fact, your dentist may be the first health professional to notice a problem.
In addition, it is important to visit your dentist regularly because some oral problems, for instance root decay, can only be detected in its early stages by x-ray examination.

If you smoke, quit

In addition to increasing your risk of many health conditions, smoking can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers, according to two 30-year studies at Tufts University that investigated the relationship between smoking and tooth loss. Another study cited in the Journal of Dental Research shows that cigarette smokers are nearly twice as likely as non-smokers to need root canal treatment.
While most people are aware of the impact tobacco use has on their overall health, some might not consider its effects on oral health. Smoking increases risk of mouth pain, cavities, gum recession, gum (periodontal) disease and tooth loss. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of adults who smoke have gum disease.
The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking. To help you kick the habit, your dentist may prescribe a variety of nicotine replacement therapies, such as a transdermal nicotine patch (worn for 24 hours over several weeks with a dissipating flow of nicotine) or chewing gum (which is slowly chewed every one to two hours and then discarded).
Special concerns as you age: In addition to increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth loss, smoking increases your risk for oral cancer. Although oral cancer can occur in any age group, it most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See Dr. Yoon immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums, tongue or other oral tissues, and watch for sores that fail to heal within two weeks. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured more easily. Your dentist should perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer at your regular checkups.

What do your teeth say about your health?

What do your teeth say about your health?

We know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to indicate signs of health issues in the body. Recently, we found a helpful article that outlined seven warning signs that indicate it might be time to check in with My Scottsdale Dentist.

Flat, worn teeth plus headache (sign of stress)

Grind, grind, grind ¦. grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, you are probably familiar with this unpleasant sound. Emotional or psychological stress can definitely contribute to teeth grinding. In addition, headaches, which are caused by spasms in the muscles, can radiate from the mouth and head down to the neck and upper back. Night guards, which we proudly provide at (Insert Name of Practice), may relieve the symptoms, as well as protect your teeth. Speak to your dentist at My Scottsdale Dentist for more details.

Cracking, crumbling teeth (sign of Gastroesophageal reflux disease)

As we age we may notice that the enamel on our teeth starts to chip at the edges of our front teeth or form hollowed out wells on the surface of our molars. These symptoms may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid—and occasionally, bile—flows back into your food pipe. Other signs and symptoms of GERD include acid reflux, dry mouth and heartburn.

Sores that won’t go away (sign of oral cancer)

More than 21,000 men and 9,000 women are diagnosed with oral cancer annually, according to the National Cancer Institute. Those most affected include the elderly (most are over the age of 60) and smokers. The survival rate for oral cancer is 35 percent. When an open sore in the mouth doesn’t go away within a week or two, or when you experience unexplained bleeding or numbness, it’s always a good idea to visit our office so that we may rule out oral cancer. A lot of sores and ulcers may lurk underneath your tongue, where they are difficult to find. Schedule an appointment with My Scottsdale Dentist and ask for an Oral Cancer Screening.

Gums growing over teeth (sign of medication problems)

If you notice your gum growing over your tooth, and you are taking a prescribed or other medication, please give us a call as soon as possible. Certain medications may cause the gums to overgrow; the dosage will need to be adjusted, but it’s important we take a look.

White webbing inside cheeks (sign of Lichen planus)

Lichen planus, whose cause is unknown, is an inflammatory skin disease that usually affects the skin, mouth, or both, according to the Mayo Clinic. On the skin it manifests with small purplish bumps while in the mouth it takes the appearance of a whitish, lacy pattern on the insides of the cheeks. The disease can’t be passed from one person to another. Lichen planus may require relatively simple at-home care or no treatment.

Crusting dentures (sign of pneumonia)

Older folks are known to inhale debris around the teeth and dentures, and inadvertently breathe in other materials into the lungs and airway, causing dangerous (even fatal) inflammation. Be sure to remove and wash dentures on a regular basis.

How to improve taste for people who wear dentures

How to improve taste for people who wear dentures

Taste (gustation) is defined as the ability to detect flavors from food, minerals and poisons. Taste is one of the five senses and is a basic function of life.
Taste helps to improve the quality of life and detects poisons to protect you.
There are around 10,000 taste buds in the mouth. Each taste bud has between 15 and 150 receptor cells that derives a specific flavor such as salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (savory). That equates to 150,000 to 1.5 million receptor cells. These cells turn over every two weeks. If you are wearing an upper denture (maxillary complete denture), the roof of the mouth (palate) is most likely covered with acrylic or metal. There are receptors for taste located all over the soft palate. Covering the roof of the mouth with a removable complete denture reduces the ability to taste foods. The technical term for reduced taste is hypogeusia. Upper complete dentures cause hypogeusia.
If you are wearing an upper complete denture (people also refer to these as plates), you may be experiencing decreased taste. Foods lose their sharpness. Food and drink may become bland. The joy of eating for pleasure gets diminished. But there is a way to improve your taste:

THE PALATE ON THE UPPER DENTURE CAN BE REMOVED

In the construction of an upper denture, the dentist covers the palate (roof of the mouth) to improve suction. This allows the upper denture to have better retention and increases the chance the denture will stay in place during eating.

Your upper denture can be fixed with dental implants.

The dental implants prevent the need for suction of the denture. Without the need for suction, the dentist can remove the palate on the denture. This opens up the ability to increase taste and feel temperature from food and drink. Your quality of life can significantly improve!

Dental implants = improved taste = improved quality of life

After treating thousands of patients, I have never met a patient that loved having the roof of his or her mouth covered with either metal or plastic. They all mentioned the decreased ability to feel temperatures and taste foods. They are frequently seeking methods to improve taste. Dental implants are the way.
If you are wearing an upper denture, 2-4 dental implants can be used to fix the upper teeth and prevent them from sliding around or falling down during eating. Placing dental implants to fix your denture can increase the pleasure from eating, improve digestion and improve speech.

My Scottsdale Dentist

My Scottsdale Dentist

Suffering from a tooth ache or just looking for a checkup to ensure prolonged oral health? Are you in need of an affordable dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona? My Scottsdale Dentist provides unprecedented dental services for the whole family at an affordable price. You will not have to break the bank for your dental needs when you come to My Scottsdale Dentist.

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My Scottsdale Dentist offers full service dentistry ranging from general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and implants. The experts at My Scottsdale Dentist make this possible by having a team of specialists at the office. As a result, the quality of dental care you receive from the affordable dentist in My Scottsdale Dentist is the very best.

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Finding high quality affordable dentist in Scottsdale is difficult but My Scottsdale Dentist has eliminated this problem by providing the highest of quality dental care at an affordable price for the whole family under one roof.