Category Archives: Gum Disease

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.

Gum Disease Dangers

Gum Disease Dangers

Here at the office of My Scottsdale Dentist we know the benefits of having healthy teeth and do all the right things to keep our patients teeth & gums in great shape, unfortunatelyGum Disease | My Scottsdale Dentis there are those who feel, hey, they’re only teeth.What these people don’t realize is that studies find that periodontal (gum) disease may contribute to the development of heart disease, which is the nation’s number one killer. Untreated periodontal disease may lower birthrates of newborns and gum infections pose a serious threat to anyone whose health is already compromised from diabetes.

Gum Disease and Artery Health

Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without it and that diseased gums released significantly higher levels of bacterial inflammatory components, such as endotoxins into the bloodstream of patients with severe periodontal disease compared to healthy patients. Circulating bacteria can also impact on coronary artery disease. The walls of the coronary arteries can thicken due to the build up of fatty proteins. Often blood clots form in these narrowed coronary arteries and normal blood flow activity is obstructed. This depletes the heart of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to function properly. Scientist now believe that bacteria found in the oral cavity can attach these fatty plaques once they enter the bloodstream. Clinging to the heart walls, these bacteria may contribute to clot formation.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

When it comes to diabetes, gum disease cannot be ignored. The link between the two has been well documented. We have always known that diabetics are prone to more infections and heal slowly. Now studies find that periodontal disease may make a pre-existing diabetic condition worse. It has been shown that diabetics require less insulin once their gum condition has been treated. Since periodontal disease is a risk factor for the progression of diabetes, physicians should consider the periodontal status of their diabetic patients who have difficulty with glycemic control. Please stop by anytime to meet Dr. Poulos and his team of professionals here in North Scottsdale, AZ. To schedule an appointment or consultation call us at 1-800-651-8640 Today!

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.