(602) 995-5045

5 Ways to Tell if you Might Have Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It is a disease that is usually painless, but is a major cause of tooth loss. It is also referred to as periodontal disease, and is caused by plaque (the sticky film of bacteria on your teeth).

Some factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease:

  1. Smoking/chewing tobacco
  2. Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  3. Genetics
  4. Poor oral hygiene
  5. Pregnancy
  6. Diabetes
  7. Certain medications – steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives

What are the stages of gum disease?

Gingivitis – The first stage

This is inflammation of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque at the gum line. If it is not removed properly on a daily basis, it can produce toxins that irritate the gum tissue, then leads to gingivitis

Periodontitis – The second stage

Periodontitis is when the supporting fibers and bone that keep your teeth in place, have been irreversibly damaged.

Advanced periodontitis – The last stage

Advanced periodontitis is when the bone and fibers supporting your teeth have been destroyed. As a result, your teeth will begin to loosen and shift. If aggressive treatment isn’t taken, your teeth may be damaged beyond repair.

What are 5 signs of gum disease?

If gum disease is detected early, the damage can be reversed. For this reason, it is crucial that you make an appointment with Dr. Trujillo if you have any of these symptoms:

  1. You consistently have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
  2. When flossing or brushing, your gums begin bleeding
  3. Your gums are swollen, tender, puffy, or red
  4. Your teeth fit differently when you bite
  5. You observe pockets in your mouth due to gum recession

How does Dr. Trujillo treat gum disease?

Prevention is the best method, which consists of regular cleanings and check-ups. The earlier that gum disease is detected, the better the chances are that it will be treatable before it’s too serious. Some treatment options include: a professional cleaning, root planning, and more extreme treatments such as skin grafts and regenerations. But this is something to be discussed during your exam.

If you are suffering from these symptoms, or someone else in your family is, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll get you set up with an appointment with Dr. Trujillo to address all of your needs.

Laser Assisted Gum Disease Surgery

agingIf you are like most people, you probably don’t worry much about periodontal disease, however, gum disease affects about half of all adults in the United States. As soon as plaque and tartar take hold, gum disease might only be a few years away. Here are a few things you should know about gum disease, and how Dr. Trujillo can help you to correct long term damage.

How Periodontal Disease Affects Your Teeth and Gums

Have you ever wondered why your teeth move slightly when you push on them? Although most people figure that teeth are embedded firmly into your jawbone, they are actually held in place by strong ligaments. Unfortunately, periodontal disease can inflame your gums and cause infections that can damage these ligaments, causing tooth loss. However, you don’t have to let a little gum disease destroy your smile. Periodontists can actually use a procedure called LANAP, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, to remove diseased gum tissue and reattach ligaments. Here are a few benefits of LANAP over traditional gum surgery:

Benefits of LANAP

  • No Stitches: Unlike traditional gum surgery, which involves cutting into the gums, moving things around, and stitching up the area, LANAP is a stitch-free procedure. This means that you won’t have to worry about breaking incisions open, or visiting our office again to have stitches removed.
  • No Bleeding: LANAP is performed using powerful, yet gentle, lasers. These lasers cauterize the area while they cut, which means that patients don’t have to deal with any bleeding.
  • Less Infection Risk: LANAP lasers also disinfect while they cut, which reduces the chances of infection.
  • Quicker Recovery Time: Because patients won’t have to worry about bleeding, stitches, or infections, recovery time is significantly less with LANAP over traditional gum surgery.

What To Expect During LANAP

Before your gum surgery, your periodontist will numb the area to minimize discomfort. After you are numb, the doctor will start working on your teeth and gums. LANAP surgery is typically performed in two separate two-hour sessions. The procedure takes a long time because your doctor will be carefully reattaching ligaments and dissecting away diseased tissue. Although it might sound intimidating, most patients report that the procedure is painless.

If you think that you could benefit from laser assisted gum surgery, contact our office to make an appointment with Dr. Trujillo today.

Arizona Oral Health Resources

There’s a lot to know and remember when it comes to oral health. You have to understand and practice basic health habits such as brushing, flossing and taking regular trips to the dentist for cleanings and inspections. You have to know what kinds of foods can damage or stain your teeth, what kinds of foods can help them stay healthy, and how fluoride can help your teeth remain strong. You have to know what kinds of treatments are available for the various conditions that can develop and how to catch those conditions before they become serious. Fortunately, there are quite a few good resources out there to help you know everything you need to maintain good dental health.

DENTAL HEALTH INFORMATIONAL SITEScontact

Including our own website, another good place for information as well as links to other informative sites is the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Oral Health page at http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/owch/oral-health/. There you can find tips on good preventive care and information on risks to infants’ and children’s health. The site also has facts about various dental programs, water fluoridation and the importance of dental health. Not only does this site have excellent information, but it also links to dozens of other sites that deal with more specific questions. There are also other websites which are dedicated to providing information about various aspects of dental health.

ASK DR. TRUJILLO

One of the best ways to get information on all aspects of dental health is to ask your dentist. Not only does Dr. Trujillo probably know all the information you can find about dental health issues elsewhere, but because he or she knows you and your medical history can give you answers specifically tailored to your needs. Our own Arizona Periodontal Group website has an information section that can help you recognize the signs of dental health problems and help you find solutions. Additionally, we provide good preventive care tips. If you want to ask Dr. Trujillo questions about hygiene, problems or treatments in person, contact us today for an appointment so that we can see to your personal needs.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

PeriodontalGum_EngPeriodontal scaling and root planning are techniques used to clean the teeth, gums and roots of the teeth of the plaque and tartar that cover them and cause gum disease. Plaque is a film of bacteria and bacterial waste that forms after meals as the bacteria consume the remains of food in the mouth. Tartar is a hard, mineralized substance that results from the interaction between plaque and minerals in the saliva. Plaque can be removed by simple brushing and flossing, but once tartar develops it can only be removed by scraping it off the teeth.

Periodontal Scaling

When you visit Arizona Periodontal Group, Dr. Trujillo will clean your teeth using a scraper to remove plaque and tartar. This is periodontal scaling, and cleans the teeth more effectively than simple brushing or flossing. This periodontal scaling gives special attention to the area where teeth and gums meet, as this is where the bacteria in the plaque can cause the gums to swell and recede – the first stage of gum disease.

Root Planing

As gum disease develops, the gums swell and pull away from the teeth. This allows plaque and tartar to form in that gap, which causes further gum loss. If this continues untreated, the bones that secure the teeth in place will begin to decay and recede as well, ultimately resulting in tooth loss. When gum disease has progressed to this point, periodontal scaling is not enough, as that only removes plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Root planning is the technique through which plaque and tartar are removed from below the gum line along the roots of the affected teeth. This can either be done with a traditional scraping tool, or can be done with electric instruments that break up the harmful materials through sonic vibrations. Antibacterial materials can be put in the freshly cleaned gaps to prevent further infection while the gums heal.

Your Best Treatment Options

Contact Arizona Periodontal Group today to meet with Dr. Trujillo for a teeth cleaning! Root planing can treat gum disease, but prevention is the best treatment, and regular visits to the dentist for teeth cleanings can keep gum disease from ever occurring. If you do have gum disease, come and discuss your treatment options with Dr. Trujillo, who has almost two decades worth of experience, and who can help make your mouth as good as new! Contact us today.

Four Reasons Regular Dental Checkups Are Crucial

iStock_000017075835X compressedAs you plan your week, you might be more worried about getting in your workouts and making time for your friends than you are about visiting the dentist. Unfortunately, putting off those semi-annual visits might cause problems in the long run. Here are four reasons regular dental checkups are crucial, and how they can help you to keep your teeth healthy, comfortable, and beautiful for many years to come:

1: Set A Good Example

Have you ever noticed that your children watch your every move? One of the most important reasons to make regular dental appointments is to encourage the rest of your family to do the same thing. When your children can see that you take your dental health seriously, they might make their oral health a priority too. Also, when kids can see that visiting the dentist isn’t difficult or scary, they might not have as much anxiety when they have to have a cavity filled or undergo their regular dental cleanings.

2: Spotting Problems Early Can Help You To Save Money

Do you love spending money at the dentist’s office? If you would rather sink a little cash into your home, wardrobe, or vacation account, you should make visiting the dentist a priority. When you meet with the dentist regularly, he can inspect your teeth to track existing damage and to treat new problems. Small fractures can be repaired and tiny cavities can be filled easily.

However, if you simply make appointments whenever your teeth hurt, you might have to endure extensive repairs. You might have to undergo root canals, intense scaling procedures to remove plaque and tartar accumulation, or take courses of antibiotics to get rid of painful dental infections. Also, since more extensive repairs tend to be more costly, visiting Dr. Trujillo regularly might help you to protect your financial picture.

3: Helps You To Identify Bad Oral Care Decisions

Each and every day, you make decisions that affect your teeth. You might choose to go to bed without brushing, or to buy a new type of oral floss picks that you haven’t used before. But what if one of those decisions harms your teeth? If you don’t meet with your dentist regularly, you might unintentionally damage your teeth for months or years.

Though he primarily offers periodontal services, visiting with Dr. Trujillo regularly gives you the chance to chat with him about your daily routine. If he spots issues that might be preventable, he can teach you new ways to fend off future problems.

4: Keeps Your Teeth Attractive

Last but not least, meeting with your dentist regularly might help you to keep your teeth white and attractive. In addition to keeping your teeth healthy, your dentist might suggest cosmetic improvements, such as whitening, bonding, and dental implants. If you invest a little time and effort into dental upgrades as you go along, you might be able to enjoy a sparkling white smile for years to come.

If you have questions or concerns about your teeth, contact our office today. Our periodontal team can evaluate the health of your teeth and gums, correct any issues, and teach you how to avoid problems in the future.

Start your day with a beautiful smile.

When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.