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Periodontal Disease and Laser Gum Therapy

If you have ever visited our Phoenix periodontist office, you have probably seen brochures or pamphlets about gum disease. We do our best to educate our patients about the dangers of gum disease in order to prevent it from occurring. But when our patients begin to see the first signs of gum disease, what should they do about it?

The first thing you should do if you feel you may be at risk of developing gum disease is to make an appointment with the Arizona Periodontal Group. Here, we can examine your gum tissue and note any redness, swelling or bleeding. We will also measure your gum line to look for any pocketing between the teeth and gums. If you are found to be developing gum disease, we may recommend LANAP treatment.

Laser Gum Therapy

LANAP Therapy

Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure is a breakthrough way to treat gum disease. With this proven, FDA-approved technology, we are able to avoid the more invasive surgical techniques that are traditionally used for gum disease treatment in Phoenix. With LANAP you can be treated in as little as two visits, and be rapidly on your way to a healthy recovery.

How Does it Work?

The specialized laser used in LANAP therapy is really quite remarkable. It affects only bacteria and diseased tissue, while leaving healthy tissue untouched. This means that you will experience a faster recovery time since no healthy tissue is damaged in the process. The laser gently removes the harmful bacteria that might be residing in any pockets you have developed, and then encourages the gums to adhere to the teeth where they belong. The procedure is quick and requires only a local anesthetic to help our patients to be totally comfortable.

If you suspect you might be developing gum disease, or if you want to learn more about the procedure, give us a call to schedule a consultation. Dr Trujillo is certified and experienced in LANAP and can help you to decide whether or not it would be in your best interest to receive it. As a premier periodontist in Phoenix, he has the credentials and skills it takes to treat your gums and teeth with all of the efficient care you seek. Make an appointment today!

Periodontal Disease and Age

With over 120 different systemic diseases exhibiting symptoms in your mouth, your periodontal health says a lot about you. Factors like genetics, stress, medications, and personal habits can contribute to the development of periodontal disease, a serious oral health condition that can cause tooth loss and widespread inflammation. However, most people don’t realize that things like hormones and age can play a role in periodontal disease development too. Here is a brief explanation of how your ever-changing body could affect your periodontal health and what you can do to stop decay in its tracks.

Hormonal Changes and Periodontal Disease

Puberty

The increased production of sex hormones during puberty triggers an increase in blood flow to the gum tissues. This increased blood flow is thought to make the gums more sensitive to invaders like plaque, tartar, and bacteria, which is why teens experience higher instances of gingivitis and periodontal disease. A focus on dental hygiene and regular dental visits is crucial for protecting the teeth and gums during this vulnerable stage.

Menstruation

Because the gingival tissues contain more estrogen receptors than other tissues in the body, anyone who is actively menstruating may experience gingivitis related to their period each month. Those with menstruation gingivitis typically experience tender, swollen gums right before their period, and notice full clearing after their period has started. Experts recommend scheduling things like cleanings and other dental work the week after your period, when oral tissues won’t be as sensitive.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes stark hormonal changes, which can increase your chances of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease. In fact, research has shown that gingivitis occurs during a staggering 40% of pregnancies. This stems from increased circulation throughout the body, which makes the oral tissues more sensitive, and increased levels of progesterone, which can make it easier for certain oral bacteria to grow. During pregnancy, make dental exams a priority and focus on proper oral hygiene. Since periodontal disease has also been tied to issues like lower birthweight babies and premature delivery, avoiding periodontal problems is crucial to protecting your unborn little one.  

Menopause

Lower levels of estrogen experienced during menopause can also cause periodontal issues. During menopause, many suffer from dry mouth and menopausal gingivostomatitis, a condition that can make the gums shiny, discolored, and prone to bleeding. Dry mouth can significantly increase your chances of periodontal issues because saliva is needed to rinse away food residues and to neutralize bacterial acids. If you are going through menopause, talk with your Phoenix periodontist to see what you can do to protect your gums.

Old Age and Periodontal Disease

Studies have shown that older individuals experience more trouble with periodontal disease than any other group, with over 70% of Americans over 65 suffering from periodontitis. Aged teeth are also more likely to be brittle, damaged, and roughened due to years of use, which might be why older people tend to have much higher instances of deeply-rooted oral decay.

To avoid age-related periodontal disease, practice careful oral hygiene and visit the Arizona Periodontal Group regularly for a CPE, or Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation. During these exams, Dr. Trujillo and Dr. Sanders will carefully inspect the health of your teeth, gums, and underlying jaw tissues, looking for inflammation, bite problems, and undetected decay. Issues will be addressed as soon as they are discovered, helping you to keep your teeth healthy, comfortable, and intact.

For more information about how age can affect your periodontal health, contact the Arizona Periodontal Group, your Phoenix periodontist.

Periodontal Disease and Eating Disorders

Like all eating disorders, bulimia nervosa can be very damaging to a person’s overall health.  However, noticing these detrimental effects in yourself or in someone you love might be more difficult than you would think. This is because many individuals who struggle with bulimia maintain a normal weight, and the health problems that result from bulimia may not be immediately apparent. It may surprise you to learn that dentists like Phoenix periodontist Dr. Trujillo are sometimes among the first to recognize the signs of bulimia in their patients.

Why? When acid of any kind enters the mouth, it can cause tooth decay, enamel erosion, and cavities. It can also lead to dry mouth, frequent sore throats, mouth sores, and esophageal damage. For those who suffer from bulimia, teeth may be in even greater danger of tooth decay because frequent vomiting causes an abnormally high amount of stomach acid to enter the mouth.

One of the common tooth-related risks of bulimia is periodontal disease. When gum tissue is repeatedly exposed to stomach acid, it can become inflamed, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease. As gingivitis progresses and the gums become more irritated, the gum tissue separates from the teeth, creating “pockets” between the teeth and gums. Unfortunately, these pockets only help gum disease worsen, as they provide great hiding places for bacteria to move in for good, further irritating the gums while simultaneously eroding the tooth below the gum line. At more advanced stages, periodontal disease eats away at the tissue and bone that support the teeth. If periodontal disease isn’t treated, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Dental health problems, like all other health problems caused by eating disorders of any kind, have adverse effects on a person’s quality of life and must be treated. Fortunately, tooth decay and periodontal disease, even if they have progressed to a serious stage, are treatable in many different ways. However, for patients with eating disorders, the underlying cause of the problem needs to be corrected in order for any dental remedy to really be effective. Bulimia is a mental and emotional condition that is difficult to overcome, but with the help of trained professionals, it can be treated. Thousands have overcome bulimia, returning to a state of better physical health and increased confidence.
If your dental health has been damaged by the effects of bulimia and you are ready to get your smile back, Dr. Ariel Trujillo of the Arizona Periodontal Group is ready to help you. Dr. Trujillo is one of the most trusted specialists in periodontal disease and dental implants in Phoenix. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Periodontal Disease and Dry Mouth

At Dr. Trujillo’s office, we encounter many cases of periodontal disease linked to a patient’s dry mouth, or xerostomia. Although dry mouth alone is not a cause of gum disease, its effects can play a major role in the development of gingivitis, an early stage of the disease.  

What role does dry mouth play in the onset of periodontal disease?

Saliva is the body’s natural “mouth rinse” that washes away food and bacteria from the teeth. Without it, bacteria are better able to remain on the teeth and gums, where they cause decay and inflammation. When a patient suffers from dry mouth, their salivary glands are unable to produce enough saliva to keep their mouth moist and their teeth clean. When this happens, gingivitis develops more easily, and may worsen into periodontitis.

How do I reduce my risk of dry mouth and periodontal disease?

Dry mouth can result from a number of causes including the use of prescription drugs, dehydration, nerve damage, medical conditions, smoking, consumption of sugary foods, and more. If you suffer from dry mouth it is important to talk to Dr. Trujillo or your primary care physician about habits that you may need to change as well as further treatment options.

How do I treat my symptoms and gum disease?

Treating dry mouth can be a fairly easy process with immeasurable benefits. Simply limiting sugar and caffeine intake, sleeping with a humidifier, or quitting the use of tobacco may cure the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent the onset of gum disease. If your dry mouth persists, pay extra attention to your daily oral hygiene. In addition, you should talk to Dr. Trujillo, your Phoenix periodontist, about the possible causes of your dry mouth and how to prevent secondary problems like periodontal disease.

If you are already seeing signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, including sore, bleeding, or receding gums, it is even more important to see Dr. Trujillo as soon as possible. Finding the disease early can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money so if you are experiencing bad breath, jaw pain, swollen gums, loose teeth, sensitivity, or bleeding gums, contact our office today.

Periodontal Disease and Hearing Loss

Periodontal infection can cause hearing lossMany people wouldn’t think to associate periodontal disease with hearing loss. However, gum disease has been proven through numerous studies to have a direct impact on your hearing.

What role does gum disease play in hearing?

The inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontitis is essentially the body’s way of fighting back against a buildup of bacteria along the gum line. When that bacteria gets into your gums, it causes inflammation, bleeding, serious infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease poses other risks, though, aside from losing your teeth and dealing with a serious mouth infection. The bacteria that cause your body to react harshly in your mouth can enter your bloodstream. If they do, they can cause inflammation and narrowing of arteries and blood vessels – including the ones involved in hearing.

To understand this, it helps to know exactly how your hearing works. Your outer ear collects and funnels noise through your ear canal and into your inner ear and ear drum. This is where your sensory organs for hearing (and balance) are located. Once vibration reaches that area of your ears, it stimulates thousands of tiny hairs that transmit the movement to your brain, which in turn interprets the messages as sound.

Those tiny hairs are essential in your hearing, and their health can be affected by the flow of blood through vessels in your inner ear. If those vessels become infected by bacteria caused by your gum disease, those tiny hairs will die. Once dead, there’s no way to replace them. It’s a permanent death, and you’ll be stuck with a degree of hearing loss for the rest of your life. If you leave this hearing loss untreated, it can even progress to dementia and memory loss. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your oral health.

Treatment

For gum disease treatment, come to Dr. Trujillo, your local periodontist in Phoenix, as soon as possible. We can help you get ahead of the game when it comes to fighting periodontitis, and can even help you reverse its damaging effects.

Prevent it before it begins

You can prevent gum disease, and the hearing loss it can cause, by the very simple act of following a regular oral health care schedule. Brushing, flossing, avoiding foods high in acids and sugars, and visiting our office at least twice a year will ensure that you have great oral health.

If you feel that you may have early signs of gum disease, please contact us today so we can help.

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.