Facts on Periodontal Disease | My Scottsdale Dentist

Facts on Periodontal Disease | My Scottsdale Dentist

What is Periodontal Disease? 

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

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.

Post Date: January 20, 2014

Cosmetic Dentist Scottsdale

It used to be that if you considered cosmetic dentistry, you were looking at braces and caps for your teeth. With all the advances in cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale, the days of limited improvement with maximum cost are gone. Now, while your cosmetic dental treatment plane may well include braces, they could very likely be invisible and removable and cost a great deal less. The Old Days In the early days of cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale dentistry, dentures used to be carved out of wood and teeth were whitened with nitric acid! Thankfully, around the middle the last century, we saw dental techniques start to improve. Dentists began using porcelain materials to cap teeth and fill in gaps, and metal braces to straighten teeth. New Methods Today, cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale has truly grown into a practice that features high tech and well developed procedures. Metal braces may still be used to straighten teeth but they are getting more and more uncommon. Orthodontics has shifted to the point that most cases are done using clear, plastic aligners that are worn in stages, with each stage straightening your teeth just a little more until the desired result is finally reached. The new plastic aligners are removable so that patients can remove them when they eat, brush their teeth and other activities. The best part is that treatment typically only lasts for about a year to achieve the results metal braces delivered after 3-4 years. Cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale uses Porcelain to cap teeth and fill gaps, but the techniques and bonding agent's uses are highly advanced making the process easier and longer lasting. While dentures, are still regularly used (and made out of acrylic, not wood), they are starting to be replaced with dental implants, which are basically prosthetic teeth that eventually bond naturally to the gums. Cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale Whitening procedures are much safer for the teeth, and there are a variety of them to choose from. My Scottsdale Dentist and Dr. Steve Poulos offer great cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale treatments to meet your every need. Give us a call to set up an appointment to discuss your smile makeover needs at (480) 614-1122.

Post Date: February 25, 2013

Deciding on Veneers Scottsdale

What are Veneers Scottsdale (h2) Sometimes when a person in Scottsdale has teeth are chipped and/or damaged, a dentist has options to help make that smile whole again. The same applies if you have small, unsightly gaps between your teeth, or if your teeth are severely stained or discolored. These options include veneers Scottsdale. Many people have decided on this option with much satisfaction. My Scottsdale Dentist and Dr. Steve Poulos are experts at cosmetic dentistry including the use of veneers. Dental veneers Scottsdale are actually caps or covers that fit over your regular teeth. Some are made of dental porcelain and others are made from natural colored composite material. They are thin and can be fitted over broken or damaged teeth to recreate a beautiful smile. They are put in place with a very strong glue-like resin. They look and act like regular teeth. Veneers Scottsdale can help rectify many different issues that people have with their smiles. Not only can they help restore the look of broken and chipped teeth, they can also help with unsightly gaps between teeth. This can eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment. In addition, getting veneers can help you if you have severe discoloration of your teeth. In most cases, teeth bleaching may be recommended. However, in severe cases of discoloration, veneers may be your better option. Sometimes there are other options available to you besides veneers. Crowns are often placed over teeth to help restore the tooth to its natural state. However, crowns are most often used to repair damage incurred due to dental fillings and root canals. Veneers are a more popular choice when it comes to repairing multiple front teeth. While veneers Scottsdale are a great solution to many different dental problems, they have to be cared for as diligently as your regular teeth. If veneers break or chip, they can be quickly repaired or replaced by your dentist. He will tell you how long you can expect your veneers to last. Contact My Scottsdale Dentist today at 480-614-1122 to schedule a consultation to learn if Veneers are a good option for you. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Post Date: January 24, 2013

Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale

Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale

A radiant, healthy smile is something to be proud of.  Cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth, mouth and smile. In the recent past there has been a dramatic increase in cosmetic dentistry and thanks to advances in the field Dr. Poulos is committed to assist patients in achieving the confidence and happiness of a beautiful smile.

Cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale treatments can:

  • Alter the size, shape and alignment of certain teeth
  • Close gaps between teeth
  • Correct or improve bite problems
  • Change the color of teeth to a more desirable shade
  • Restore decayed, broken, cracked or chipped teeth
  • Replace missing teeth.
  • Replace old, unsightly dental treatments with more aesthetically pleasing ones

Cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale treatments and services at My Scottsdale Dentist include:


Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth-shaped porcelain custom made by a professional dental laboratory. They are securely affixed to the front of your teeth, leaving the underlying structure of your teeth intact. The end result is a tooth that is restored to its natural shape, size and function, but indistinguishable from other teeth.

Porcelain veneers are safe, effective solutions used to resolve a number of cosmetic issues including: Crooked teeth, Misshaped teeth, Discolored or stained teeth, Teeth that are too large or too small, Uneven gaps between teeth, Worn or chipped teeth

Dental Implants

For a complete Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale smile makeover, dental implants are an option. A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.


Dentures are artificial replacements for your natural teeth and gums. If an accident, a disease or poor oral health care has left you with only a few healthy teeth or none at all, your dentist might suggest dentures to replace your missing teeth. There are 2 types of dentures: partial and complete. For both types of dentures your dentist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions. The models are used to custom-make your dentures.

Teeth Whitening

One of the fastest Cosmetic Dentistry Scottsdale treatments is teeth whitening. Whitening of the teeth is performed for patients who desire a brighter smile. Available in a variety of forms, professional teeth whitening procedures offer patients many options to address their unique needs and preferences. The most popular treatment is in-office whitening followed by take-home bleaching trays. Tooth whitening is not a permanent solution, and the more you smoke and drink coffee, tea or wine, the more touchups you may need.

Invisalign and Orthodontics 

Today's braces are smaller and less noticeable. Besides the traditional metal braces, there are tooth-colored ceramic braces that are less noticeable. Braces and elastics can also be multi-colored. Invisalign is a system of clear aligners as an alternative to traditional braces.  We will help you make a choice.

At My Scottsdale Dentist - We Love to make you Smile.  We will show you how cosmetic dentistry can change your life for the better!


Post Date: January 11, 2013

Sedation Dentist Scottsdale

Sedation Dentist Scottsdale

One of the most frightening thing to kids and adults alike is a trip to the dentist but dentistry is not what it used to be. If you suffer from dental fears, you should look for a sedation dentist Scottsdale.

Dr. Steve Poulos of My Scottsdale Dentist sees patients on a daily basis with a wide array of fears. Some go way back from childhood and include memories of bad dental treatments.

It's estimated that upwards of 15% of the US population suffer from dental fears of some kind and for many that fall into this category, their fear is so intense that they just don't go the dentist ever.

Patients who avoid dental treatments all together due to anxiety and fear end up with serious dental health issues. Finding a sedation dentist Scottsdale, like Dr. Steve Poulos at My Scottsdale Dentist is the key to overcoming dental fears and restoring dental health.

A sedation dentist Scottsdale is trained in the various ways to use sedatives and other medical ways to ease a patient's emotional discomfort. Some of the options include:

Oral Sedatives:

A sedation dentist Scottsdale will use a variety of sedation medications such as tranquillizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications, laughing gas, etc. This has become the most commonly used form of sedation for patient s with sever dental phobias.

Oral sedation relaxes the patent allowing them to be more comfortable yet still awake and aware during the dental procedures. They take the edge of the patient making the overall experience less stressful.

IV Sedation:

In some extremely severe cases, a sedation dentist Scottsdale will use IV sedation.This type of sedation is not only safe but also very effective but it must be administered by a trained medical professional. IV sedation puts the dental patient into a state of deep relaxation.IV sedation produces either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time that the patient is under.

For patients suffering from dental phobias, finding a sedation dentist Scottsdale is a life changing experience. My Scottsdale Dentist offers complete sedation dentistry services.

If you have been avoiding a trip to the dentist out of fear, give My Scottsdale Dentist a call and schedule a consultation to discuss how a sedation dentist Scottsdale can help you regain your dental health.

Post Date: December 11, 2012

Basic Dental Hygiene

Basic Dental Hygiene

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your health is to take care of your teeth. You may not realize it but basic dental hygiene has a direct effect on your bodies overall health.

Dr. Steve Poulos and My Scottsdale Dentist in North Scottsdale make an effort to educate all their patients on the importance of good daily dental hygiene that includes brushing and flossing twice daily and getting regular checkups that include basic cleanings.

The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Basic dental hygiene is the basis for good dental care.

Researchers have been studying the relationship between oral health, inflammation, and disease. Inflammation, which is the body's response to infection, seems to play a key role in many health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and gum disease, also called periodontal disease.

This is important research because about 30% to 50% of American adults have mild to moderate gum disease. Another 5% to 15% have more severe disease, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. And although genetics may increase your risk for gum disease, most cases can be controlled by brushing and flossing regularly.

Connections between basic dental hygiene  and overall health

The Oral Health-Heart Connection: Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease

The connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is well established in the medical literature. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease according to the American Academy of Periodontology. And a 2008 analysis published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that periodontal disease was a risk factor for heart disease separate from other risk factors, such as smoking. Other studies have shown that having gum disease increases the risk for stroke. Basic dental hygiene can help reduce these risks.

My Scottsdale Dentist understands this. Their practice is focused on preventative dentistry first and foremost. Their goal is to only see their patients twice per year for checkups and cleanings unless they are looking for a cosmetic dental treatment.

If you are looking for a great dentist who understands the need for dental hygiene, My Scottsdale Dentist is it! Call today to schedule an appointment at 480-614-1122.

Post Date: November 12, 2012

Emergency Dental Care Scottsdale

Emergency Dental Care Scottsdale

It may take months or years neglecting your dental health for cavities and gum disease to develop but there are times when pain or sensitivity in your teeth can come on suddenly requiring immediate emergency dental care in Scottsdale.

Most people are unsure when a dental problem is an emergency and what action to take. In fact, most Americans are unprepared to handle a dental health emergency, according to a survey of 1,000 participants.

Do you need Emergency Dental Care Scottsdale?

This article offers some great information on what to do when you need emergency dental care in Scottsdale.

Lip or tongue bite with excessive bleeding. If you accidentally bite your lip, tongue, or other soft tissue in your mouth, clean the area and apply a cold compress to decrease swelling. If the bleeding is severe, or will not stop, go to the emergency room.

Broken or cracked tooth. In the case of a broken or cracked tooth, call My Scottsdale Dentist and Dr. Steve Poulos immediately. Until you can get My Scottsdale Dentist, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress outside the affected area. A cracked or broken tooth can be series and requires emergency dental care in Scottsdale.

Damaged braces. If your braces become damaged, call My Scottsdale Dentist right away. Some instances of damaged braces need to be fixed immediately; others can wait until your next appointment.

Injury to your jaw. This sort of injury requires emergency dental care in Scottsdale. If you suspect you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold compress to the area and immediately go call My Scottsdale Dentist. They will advise you whether to come to the office or go to the emergency room.

Loose tooth. You will definitely need emergency dental care in Scottsdale if one of your teeth is partially dislodged. Call Dr. Steve Poulos at My Scottsdale Dentist right away. There is a chance that your tooth can be saved so time is of the essence here. Until you can get to My Scottsdale Dentist, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and apply a cold compress to the affected area to relieve pain.

Tooth that has been knocked out. Without a doubt, this sort of injury will require emergency dental care in Scottsdale. Grasp your lost tooth by the crown and rinse its root if it is dirty, avoiding scrubbing the tooth or removing pieces of tissue that may be attached. You can attempt to reinsert the tooth into its socket in your mouth, but if that doesn't work, you'll need to see see Dr. Steve Poulos of My Scottsdale Dentist in Scottsdale.. The American Dental Association recommends placing the tooth in milk, which acts as a preservative until you can get to a professional.

Lost filling or crown. When one of your fillings or crowns falls out, put the filling or crown in a safe place and call My Scottsdale Dentist to make an appointment. Applying clove oil to the sensitive areas in your mouth and dental cement from the drug store on your tooth's surface can help decrease sensitivity, but check with your dentist before doing these things.

Object lodged between your teeth. If something gets stuck between your teeth, try to gently remove it with dental floss. If the object still won't come out, call My Scottsdale Dentsit. Depending on the situation, Dr. Poulos may want to see you right away.

Painful swelling. Call My Scottsdale Dentist for emergency dental care in Scottsdale and schedule an appointment if you have painful swelling in your mouth, as you may have an abscess, an infected pocket of pus that can lead to a serious systemic infection. Until you can see Dr. Poulos, try rinsing your mouth with saltwater to relieve the pain and pressure.

Pericoronitis. This is an infection that occurs when your wisdom teeth don't come into your mouth properly. If you experience symptoms of pericoronitis, which may include swollen and irritated gums, a bad taste in your mouth, or bad breath, or you are not able to fully open your mouth, see Dr. Steve Poulos as soon as you can.

Sudden or severe toothache. If your tooth is aching, rinse out your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth to make sure there is nothing lodged between your teeth. Call you are my Scottsdale Dentist if your toothache does not go away.

Some dental emergencies in Scottsdale can lead to life-threatening infections or permanent damage if not treated rapidly, so if you're in doubt, always call you are My Scottsdale Dentist at 480-614-1122. The earlier you seek treatment for a dental problem, the better your chances are for a full recovery and continued dental health.

Post Date: November 7, 2012

Dental Tips for Halloween from My Scottsdale Dentist

It's almost Halloween! Costume stores are springing up, yards are decorated with ghoulish décor, and our day of sweet indulgence without guilt is almost here. Everywhere you look, there's your favorite candy or chocolate wrapped in scary yet appealing packaging. What! It's Halloween. Well, to all the sweet tooth Halloween lovers -both adults and kids- here are some practical tips from My Scottsdale Dentist who shares your love for all things sweet.
  1. Sort the candy. When you are raiding your five-year-old's candy bag at 2 in the morning, separate the stack into two parts. Place the taffy, the caramels, the gummy bears, anything that is sticky, chewy or sour into the first pile. All of the other candy goes into the second pile.
  2. Avoid the first pile. Dental cavities have a proven cause-and-effect relationship with extended exposure to sugary or sour substances. Oral bacteria thrives in this environment and converts these substances to acid that can, in turn, lead to cavities.
  3. Watch your family's consumption of these sweet treats during this season. A great tip is to leave the candy wrappers in a visible area so that you remember how many of these ghoulish confections you've eaten.
  4. Chew sugar-free gum to help you ration your sweet intake. Ingredients like Xylitol and Sorbitol, low calorie sweeteners found in some gum, can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Research has shown that these sweeteners starve destructive bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish minerals to your teeth. Get advice from your Dentist on the frequency and amount recommended.
  5. Dr. Steve Poulos recommends talking to your kids about oral health. This is a great time to reinforce the twice-a-day brushing routine and the daily 'oh-so-dreaded flossing' regime. Always remember, children will mostly do as they see. The most ideal scenario would be to brush after the consumption of candy. If that's not possible, then encourage your child to eat the candy within a few minutes instead of snacking throughout the day, and then wash away some of the sugar by drinking a glass of water. And remember, Halloween is a great time to call My Scottsdale Dentist at 480-614-1122 and get the family scheduled for a check-up!
In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, "There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner; that in the dinner, the sweets come last." Enjoy the sweets in moderation and have fun this Halloween!

Post Date: October 15, 2012


One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your smile is through veneers. My Scottsdale Dentist specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry using veneers as a way to correct minor flaws in your teeth including the shape and color. A veneer is an ultra thin piece of porcelain that is created from a mold of your teeth and are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth's color, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure. They are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed. What happens during the procedure? Patients may need up to three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation and bonding. It's critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the planning of your new smile with Dr. Poulos of My Scottsdale Dentist. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. To prepare the teeth for the veneers, Dr. Poulos will lightly buff your teeth to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material onto your teeth. For ceramic veneers, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This may take several days. If the teeth are too unsightly, a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost. When your ceramic veneers are ready, Dr. Poulos of My Scottsdale Dentist will  place each veneer on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the results, and pay particular attention to the color. At this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam hardens the cement. For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your "new" teeth that have changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily. After one or two weeks, Dr. Poulos will ask you to return for a follow-up appointment. For more information and to get started with your new smile, call us today at My Scottsdale Dentist at 480-614-1122.

Post Date: October 12, 2012