Can You Actually “Catch” Cavities?

Can You Actually "Catch" Cavities?

We've all been told how important preventative dental care is. Regular check ups, brushing and flossing are things our parents instilled in us from the time we were young.

We've also been told over and over again how to keep our teeth healthy. You've probably been told that you shouldn't eat sugary things too often because it's bad for your teeth. Maybe you've cut down on soda, hard candies, or your favorite chocolate bar to save yourself from cavities. However, did you know that you can actually "catch" cavities from someone else's mouth? wrote an article about how contagious cavities actually are. You might be surprised to find out that the bacteria that cause cavities can transfer from mouth to mouth. This can happen via kissing, sharing food, or even feeding your little ones after you've tasted a bite to make sure it's not too hot. Not only do you have to watch your own oral hygiene, but you also have to watch the hygiene of those around you. If not, you could end up with cavities when you have worked so hard to fend them off. Preventative Dental care is not just about your own dental health.

The good news is that by practicing good preventative dental care with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist, you can keep your teeth in excellent health. Dr. Steven Poulos and Dr. Sid Stevens will work with you to make sure your smile is exactly what you want it to be. Whether that means regular dental checkups, veneers, or teeth whitening, My Scottsdale Dentist wants to help you have the best smile and the healthiest teeth.

If you are looking for a new family dentist, or for Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We are a full service family dental practice working with patients of all ages. We look forward to seeing you.

Post Date: July 13, 2015

When is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for You? Finding a Dentist in Scottsdale, AZ

There is a common misconception that cosmetic dentistry in Scottsdale is only considered for aesthetic reasons, but there are a number of circumstances that make cosmetic dentistry beneficial for everyone's overall health. In fact studies have shown that straighter teeth leads to healthier teeth for many reasons. At My Scottsdale Dentist, Dr. Steven Poulos and Dr. Sid Stevens are committed to educating people on what cosmetic dentistry in Scottsdale would provide for a lifetime of healthier, whiter, and overall better teeth.  Three additional benefits to cosmetic dentistry include avoiding tooth decay, better gum health and benefits for digestion!

1.  Avoid Tooth Decay

Cavities and tooth decay are caused from bacteria in the mouth that eventually causes damage to the structure of the actual tooth. Spaces and gaps between the teeth can lead to more food trapped in the teeth, which runs the risk of unnecessary decay. With the assistance of braces or retainers, teeth can be made straighter which means they are easier to clean, and as a by-product, will be healthier.

2.  Healthier Gums

Any plaque build up can cause tooth decay and damage the gums.  This can lead to gum loss that causes a recession of tissue along the gum line. In some cases teeth bonding, veneers or gum grafts might be beneficial to conserve the health of the entire mouth by preventing further recession or damage to the gum line.

3. Improved Digestion

According to Total Health Magazine, the nutrition value in the food you eat, as well as how effective the food is chewed, has a large effect on how the body is able to digest it.  By having misaligned teeth or even a toothache, proper chewing might have an impact on how well the food can be processed.  By addressing issues that are causing the teeth discomfort, the possibility of poorly processed food can be avoided.

Therefore, to obtain a healthier (and happier) smile in the this year contact My Scottsdale Dentist based in Scottsdale, AZ.

Post Date: May 22, 2015

Children’s Dental Hygiene

Children's dental hygiene is a concern from the moment a child's first teeth come in, but treatment doesn't necessarily start right away. Says Cindy, dental hygienist at My Scottsdale Dentist, It's more monitoring and education than strictly treatment until they are about a year old, usually. We don't want to leave a bad impression with kids.

Some kids open right up, said Cindy of kids willingness to begin hygienic maintenance. Other kids, we don't push into it. We are more concerned with making them comfortable than getting them in the chair right away.

Early maintenance is important, however: without proper care, children's teeth can become infected or abscessed, causing intense pain. Some primary molars, located near the back of the mouth, aren't replaced until ages 10 to 14. Those teeth have to last until they are naturally replaced -- losing them early due to neglect or poor hygiene can cause problems that extend beyond a child's chompers later in life.

Steven H. Poulos, doctor at My Scottsdale Dentist in Scottsdale, AZ, is familiar with some of those problems -- and they are not always strictly physical. Lack of proper dental hygiene can lead to bad breath, which lowers a child's self-confidence during an important time in the development of their social skills, said Dr. Poulos.

Many bad habits are also unrelated to brushing and flossing, warned Steven Poulos DDS. Digit sucking and protracted pacifier use can lead to palate complications and a malformed bite.

There are a few distinct aspects that separate kids dentistry from adults. Length of appointments, types of treatment and their frequency make every visit unique -- just like the smiles that they are meant to keep healthy.

We usually to concentrate more on education with kids than adults, though we try to educate anyone who comes in about how to brush properly, about eating good foods, et cetera, said Poulos. Kids also always get fluoride treatment, where an adult might only receive it based on their history of cavities.

Another facet of kids dental care is one that's widely feared by most: braces. Not all kids need or get them -- Dr. Poulos said that the need is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by around age six -- and their necessity can be dictated by a few factors like genetics and certain puerile habits. That digit-sucking Steven Poulos mentioned? It forces the teeth into an unnatural shape and can lead to a misshapen bite and teeth that don't come in as they should.

At that point, braces might be the best bet at wrangling in the displaced rogue teeth.

Kids have heard from their parents -- and parents, from their dentists -- that candy, sugary drinks like soda and even pacifiers can cause dental issues down the road. But there are a couple of less-obvious practices that even parents might not suspect for the degradation of their child's dental health.

Poulos's chosen culprit? Sports drinks in older kids, Doc said, âcan be as bad for the teeth as any soda. Another dentally-dangerous habit, according to Dr. Poulos, is putting kids to sleep with bottled milk as opposed to water due to the concentration of sugar in the former. Everyone notices a nice smile, just like how everyone notices a bad one. There are many principles and practices that can help ensure the health of a child's smile, but the most important tenet is education. Parents know that children can be obstinate about avoiding bad foods, limiting sugary drinks and actually brushing their teeth twice a day, but a pea-sized lesson every day can save you and your kid time, money and grief down the road.

Kids have age on their side, said Dr. Stevens. There's time for them to begin practicing healthy habits that adults don't have. That gives them all the more reason to pay attention and start developing those healthy habits early.

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Post Date: February 5, 2015

Gum Health May Have Gotten Worse as Time Passed

Ancient Romans knew how to take care of their gums.

Researchers from King's College London determined that only 5 percent of Romans suffered from gum disease while 30 percent of people today encounter that problem. Based on archaeological studies, the researchers concluded that the Roman lifestyle led to much healthier gums.

Dental issues, however, were still a problem during this time period. Abscesses and infections were quite common.

Today, smoking, type 2 diabetes and the food and drinks people consume lead to a higher risk of gum disease.

To reach the conclusion, researchers studied 300 skulls that were from 200 to 400 AD. The skulls were from people who were estimated to be 20 to 40 years old.

In the world today, one of three people will show signs of major gum disease, which is much higher than it was for the ancient Romans. The result of the study was surprising based on the abundance of dental infections and abscesses those people dealt with.

Post Date: November 10, 2014

Venus Whitening in Scottsdale, AZ May Be Right For You

Venus Whitening in Scottsdale, AZ May Be Right For You

When it comes to a perfect smile, it's not complete without pretty, white teeth. No matter how straight your teeth are or how good you look otherwise, discolored teeth take away from your overall appearance but fortunately, with Venus Teeth Whitening in Scottsdale, AZ you can have the look you've always wanted and it's possible with a Venus Smile.

Dr. Steven Poulos and Dr. Sid Stevens at My Scottsdale Dentist offer the Venus Smile Makeover. The Venus Teeth Whitening in Scottsdale, AZ is ensuring that you have the smile you've always wanted and it's not just for discolored teeth. It can be tooth colored fillings, teeth whitening, dentures, veneers, or crowns - whatever you need to look your best and have a better outlook on life because being happy with your appearance is integral.

Even if you need a tooth repair or don't want teeth that are too white for what you're used to, Dr. Poulos can match the repair to your existing teeth for a natural look; only you will know that a repair was even made. The doctors at My Scottsdale Dentist can give you options for chipped, too small or too large, and discolored teeth and replace those unsightly fillings.

No matter what it is that you need to transform your look and make your smile brighter and more pleasant, Venus Teeth Whitening in Scottsdale, AZ at My Scottsdale Dentist can help. If you want to learn more about how to help create a smile that you love, contact us so we can help. We can schedule a consultation and let you see all of the options that are available.

Post Date: October 13, 2014

Excessive use of mouthwash could increase risk of oral cancer

BREMEN, Germany: Smoking and excessive drinking have been associated with the development of oral cancer by numerous studies. Now, a pan-European collaborative research project has revealed that poor oral health and failure to have regular dental check-ups could increase the risk of the disease too. The researchers also found that using mouthwash more than three times a day may contribute to the development of this particular type of cancer.

In order to assess the association of oral health, dental health and mouthwash with cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx and oesophagus, researchers at 13 centres across nine European countries interviewed 1,963 oral cancer patients and 1,993 controls about their oral care behavior, as well as their smoking, drinking and eating habits.

Overall, oral health and dental care were identified as independent risk factors of oral cancer. The researchers found that the incidence of oral cancer was higher in participants with dentures and persistent gum bleeding and patients who hardly ever or never brushed their teeth or visited the dentist.

Although the researchers also found that frequent use of mouthwash was associated with an elevated risk of developing mouth or throat cancer, this relationship still needs to be clarified, the researchers said. They suggested that mouthwash is used excessively by smokers and heavy drinkers in particular in an attempt to mask their breath.

The study, titled Oral health, dental care and mouthwash associated with upper aerodigestive tract cancer risk in Europe: The ARCAGE study, was published online on 27 March in the Oral Oncology journal ahead of print. Under the supervision of the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, the study was conducted at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology in Bremen in collaboration with medical institutions in Estonia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Ireland, France, the Czech Republic, the UK and the US.

Post Date: October 1, 2014

Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale, AZ Includes Dentures to Make Your Smile More Beautiful

Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale, AZ Includes Dentures to Make Your Smile More Beautiful

When you think of dentures, you may think of the ads on television with elderly people talking about how they don't fit right or become loose and need products to help them stay in place. While it's true that some older people do have dentures, not all dentures are created alike. With Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ you get dentures that are fitted right the first time and you have choices in how you get the right fit.

Dr. Steven Poulos and Dr. Sid Stevens at My Scottsdale Dentist can help you choose which type of dentures is right for you. There are partial dentures if you are only missing a few teeth or full sets for those that either are missing many teeth or need their teeth extracted due to periodontal disease or damage. You can even get dentures that are implant supported so you don't have to worry about them becoming loose while eating, talking, or enjoying life.

Dentures today are more natural looking and are made to fit your facial features and current look so no one even has to know that you don't have your natural teeth. My Scottsdale Dentist offers a wide range of choices: complete dentures, upper dentures, over dentures, and immediate dentures as well as those that are implant supported.

If you need help making your smile look better and think you made need dentures of some kind, simply contact us and we can help evaluate what is best for you and your smile.


Post Date: October 1, 2014

Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ

If you are not very happy with the appearance of your teeth, you are not alone. However, you may have no idea of what services and products are available

today to improve the appearance of the teeth, the smile, and even the face.


Today, most children and adolescents have their teeth straightened as a matter of course. Not long ago, however, this was not quite so routine. Many adults have unattractively crooked teeth. With tools such as Invisilign and tooth-colored braces it is possible for adults to straighten their teeth without having to go around sporting obvious metal braces.


White teeth are a big part of Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ. Teeth get stained and discolored as we pass through life. Dr. Poulos can offer effective bleaching treatments to restore teeth to their former lack of color.

Inlays, overlays and crowns

These assorted items are made out of ceramics or composite materials. They are custom-made for your teeth and then cemented into place. A crown completely covers a tooth. Crowns are often used for non-cosmetic procedures, but they are also ideal for covering up a particularly unsightly tooth. Inlays and overlays are used to cover up or repair parts of teeth and can restore a tooth to a more natural appearance and color.

Composite bonding

Composite bonding acts functionally much as inlays and overlays do, but instead of being prepared off-site in a laboratory it is created in the My Scottsdale Dentist office. Dr. Poulos will apply a soft material to your tooth and sculpt it into place, restoring the appearance of the tooth. The material is then hardened with a special light.

Dental veneers

Dental veneers are sort of in-between a full crown and an overlay. They are custom-made out of ceramics or composite materials off-site for your teeth. They are then bonded to the teeth. They cover up just the visible front portion of the tooth. Veneers can be applied to just one or two particularly unsightly teeth, or they can be applied to the entire mouth to create a lovely fresh, uniform look.

Dental implants

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. They are implanted during a surgical procedure into the bone of the jaw. After the base of the implant heals, a permanent crown is constructed and attached to the base, replacing the missing tooth. Replacing missing teeth with implants not only improves the look of the teeth, it can improve the look of the face. Missing teeth can result in bone loss and collapse of the facial structure.

Often, in order to achieve the desired look, multiple procedures are necessary. For example, one person may need straightening, whitening, and a crown applied. Another person may need straightening and veneers. Some individuals may need the entire set of teeth replaced with implants (see our 4 in 1 services) in order to achieve the desired look. It depends on what cosmetic problems you have to start with.

If you're not happy with your smile, make an appointment with us for an evaluation and suggestions. Contact us today.

Post Date: September 12, 2014

Deep cleaning in Scottsdale: steps to prevent gum disease

According to the Center for Disease Control, over half of all American adults suffer from periodontal disease. If you are one of these people, you should know two very important facts: the first is that you're not alone. Periodontal disease is very common, but that doesn't make it something you should tolerate because it can have a drastic effect on your overall health. The second thing you should know is how to treat it. If you have gum disease, you should look into deep cleaning in Scottsdale at My Scottsdale Dentist to help correct the symptoms. Because there is no cure for periodontal disease, regular visits to the dentist are very important.

Recognizing the signs

One of the best things you can do to take care of your teeth, whether or not you have gum disease, is make regular appointments with your dentist and practice a good dental care regimen at home. If you notice early warning signs for gum disease, you'll want to make an appointment for deep cleaning at My Scottsdale Dentist in Scottsdale as soon as possible. Early warning signs for periodontal disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Home care for healthy dental health

Brush your teeth. When we talk about brushing teeth, we don't mean smear some toothpaste on your teeth with a toothbrush and rinse it off. We mean scrubbing for at least three minutes first thing in the morning, after meals, and before you go to bed at night.

Floss. Floss will help remove bacteria that a toothbrush can't reach because it's located in between the teeth or just under the gum line.

Use mouth rinse. Some mouth rinses are more effective than others. Please discuss with your dentist the most effective toothpaste and mouth rinse for your dental care. When you use mouth rinse, allow it to contact all your teeth and gums for at least thirty seconds. Mouth rinse will help kill harmful mouth bacteria.

Watch what you eat and drink. Food that lingers on teeth can lead to cavities by attracting harmful bacteria. Sugary beverages, especially dark sodas, can damage or discolor teeth. If you do drink sugary beverages drink water afterward to wash the sugar off your teeth.

Advanced treatment for periodontal disease

If you have advanced gum disease, you'll want to begin taking care of the symptoms by making regular appointments for deep cleaning in Scottsdale. Depending on your particular circumstances, this could mean deep cleaning every three to six months and root planing and scaling in Scottsdale every six months. Deep cleaning will help get rid of bacteria below the gum line, which assists gum health, allowing them to support your teeth better. Root planing smooths away rough surfaces on the root surface. A rough surface allows bacteria to adhere better deep under the gums and can affect long-term tooth health.

In addition to regular dental visits, follow your dentist's recommendations for home care. For more information about deep cleaning or root planing and scaling in Scottsdale, including the exact procedure, how long it will take and the duration of the recovery period (usually after the anesthetic wears off you're back to normal with possible pain medication but should avoid certain foods until your gums fully recover), please contact us.


Post Date: July 4, 2014

Study shows a link may exist between poor oral hygiene and dementia

Study shows a link may exist between poor oral hygiene and dementia

If you're like most adults, you've heard since you were a kid that oral hygiene is important. The message probably started with your parent and was reinforced by school teachers and dentists like Dr. Poulos at My Scottsdale Dentist.

Now as an adult you likely realize that oral hygiene is a critical component of healthy teeth and gums, fewer cavities, and overall mouth health. A study has shown, however, that there may be reasons you didn't know about as a kid to make regular visits to your dentist. This study shows that there is a strong correlation between people with poor oral hygiene and dementia. It might be time to schedule an appointment with My Scottsdale Dentist to review your dental hygiene.

Correlation doesn't show causation, but in this case there's more than just a simple coincidence of effect. You might guess that someone with dementia is likely to not take very good care of their teeth. That's true and previous studies have shown that very fact. This study, however, has located a specific gum-disease-causing bacteria in the brain of some patients. The name of the bacteria is called Porphyromonas gingivalis and of the ten people with dementia assessed in this study, four of them had this bacteria in their brain as well. Other studies have already found correlations between inflammation in periodontal disease caused by Porphyromonas gingivalis and conditions like Alzheimer's.

According to The University of Central Lancashire, Sim Singhrao, a senior research fellow for this project, made the following statement:

"We are working on the theory that when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria and/or debris from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss."

From WebMD, St John Crean, dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry made the following comment:

"[...] it remains to be proven whether poor dental hygiene can lead to dementia in healthy people. It is also likely that these bacteria could make the existing disease condition worse."

Ten people is not a large number, but forty percent is, so before any further conclusions can be drawn, this study will need to be repeated with a larger sample size. Given that infections in the mouth can pass to the brain, as has been seen with abscessed root canals, it's not difficult to imagine that an insult to the gums or teeth can provide a passageway for a blood-borne pathogen to mobilize from the mouth, a few inches away to the brain.

Whether or not Alzheimer's or other dementia-related neurological disorders are caused or worsened by bacteria, the correlation and consistent finding of periodontal bacteria in the brain makes the point, at least for us, that regular visits to the dentist do more than improve dental health they also seem to statistically improve mental health. For more information about the ways regular dental care can improve your overall health, please contact My Scottsdale Dentist and make an appointment today.

Post Date: June 27, 2014