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What is a Periodontist and when should you see one?

If you’re wondering what a Periodontist is, and what they do, then you’re just like most people. Sometimes our dentists refer us to these specialists like Dr. Trujillo for certain problems or the periodontist might be more suited to your current situation.

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in periodontal disease, oral inflammation, and dental implantsiStock_000019922655Small. They receive an extensive education along with training in these areas including three extra years of education after dental school. Periodontists usually treat more problematic cases like people with severe gum disease or some who have an extensive and complicated medical history. In addition, they offer specific treatments such as root planing and scaling, or root surface debridement.

A dentist can help treat gum disease through routine and deep cleanings, but periodontists are needed for advanced cases of gum disease called Periodontitis which are out of the general dentist’s ballpark.

When to see a periodontist

A periodontist appointment should be scheduled after you get a referral from your primary dentist. There’s a number of reasons why this would happen.

  • Exposed root surfaces
  • Progressive tooth mobility
  • Progressive attachment loss
  • Unresolved inflammation (bleeding upon probing, pus, and/or redness)
  • Pocket depths >5mm
  • Early onset of periodontal diseases (prior to the age of 35)
  • Severe chronic periodontitis
  • Aggressive periodontitis
  • Periodontal abscess and other acute periodontal conditions
  • Significant root surface exposure and/or progressive gingival recession
  • Deep pocket cleanings
  • Bone grafting
  • Soft tissue removal
  • Hard tissue recontouring
  • Crown lengthening

You might also see a periodontist to receive, fix, and/or maintain your dental implants.

Who should see a periodontist?

Patients who would benefit from being referred to a periodontist would be someone with one of the problems listed above and any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Cardiovascular disease

Any patient who is a candidate for the following therapies who might be exposed to risk from periodontal infection, including but not limited to the following treatments:

  • Cancer therapy
  • Joint-replacement surgery
  • Organ transplantation
  • Cardiovascular surgery

Severe cases of periodontitis can lead to some of these health problems, even cancer. Studies have also shown that pregnant women with unhealthy gums and teeth often give birth to babies with a low birth weight.

If you or someone in your family needs periodontal services, Dr. Trujillo at Arizona Periodontal Group can treat all of your concerns. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call, and set up an appointment.

Gum Disease Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona

As a periodontist, Dr. Trujillo’s specialization is unique and makes him more qualified than most dentists in treating gum disease. Sadly, if not treated, even minor issues such as gingivitis can lead to even more serious problems and loss of teeth. It is a rather common but serious condition that can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. Dr. Trujillo can work with you to stop the progression of gum disease in mild and even advanced cases. His goals are to treat a gingivitis infection, save teeth, and restore the natural function and look of your smile.

What is Gum Disease?

There are two types of diseases that need to be understood if you wish to know more about gum disease.  The first is known by many, Gingivitis, and the second is Periodontal Disease.

Gingivitis is a disease that only affects the gums and is typically inflammation of your gums caused by plaque. Plaque is the whitish/yellow, soft, sticky substance that sticks to your teeth.  It is a buildup of bacteria, saliva, and bits of food combined together in your mouth. If you aren’t brushing and flossing daily, gingivitis can form in your mouth. It is one of the most common diseases in the world and if left to fester in your mouth, it can lead to the second form of gum disease, Periodontal Disease.

Periodontal Disease is defined as a progression from gingivitis to an irreversible damaged state. It’s very serious and doesn’t only affect the gums like gingivitis in this state but also affects the ligaments and bones around the tooth.  Once these ligaments and bone are lost, they cannot grow back. Once one tooth is affected, it can grow to other areas of the mouth if left untreated.  The progression of periodontal disease increases if you stop brushing, grind your teeth, use tobacco, or do not have regular dentist visits.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

It’s important to be fully informed when it comes to the affects of gum disease and your overall health. Dr. Trujillo is one of the best dentists to offer gum disease treatment in Phoenix and the surrounding area. It’s okay to feel embarrassed or ashamed if your gums are not Blog Imageat optimal health, there are ways to treat your gums.

Most gum disease is treated with what is called scaling and root planning.  It is more often called a deep cleaning which requires some dental anesthesia and a mechanical process to remove the plaque and tartar surrounding the affected tooth.  This plaque and calcified tartar is almost impossible to remove with normal brushing and flossing at home because it is in such a deep part of the gum pocket.  After the initial deep cleaning, a maintenance schedule is required for you to come see Dr. Trujillo in addition to the standard six month checkup.

Gum Disease needs to be carefully monitored and controlled throughout your life if you want to have a healthy and happy smile. Special precautions and additional checkups will be needed to counteract gum disease that easily can become active again.

Arizona Periodontal Group and Dr. Trujillo are here to help you with treating gum disease or any other dental service that you might need.  Even if it is a standard dental cleaning, we are happy to schedule an appointment with you. Contact us today with any questions.

Arizona Oral Health Resources

All of us at Arizona Periodontal Group want our patients and everyone they know to understand the importance of oral health.  Your overall oral health affects your entire body! Many don’t realize that this is the case at all, but think about it.  All of our nutrition comes from the things that we eat and drink.  That food and liquid travels through our mouth first to get into our system. After they have passed our gums, teeth, and tongue, we start to gain the vital vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our body needs.  Some foods take extra chewing and work to have those important energy sources extracted for our overall health. If we don’t take care of these very important parts of our body, then the rest of our body isn’t going to be taken care of either.

Dental health is what Dr. Trujillo and the rest of us at Arizona Periodontal Group are all about. We wish to provide everyone with the resources that they need to understand and receive the dental care they need. The best way for your dental health and the dental health of your family is through preventative care.  This includes daily brushing, flossing, and six month check-ups with your dentist.

We know that there are many out there that don’t have the ability to get the proper dental care they need.  You’ll be happy to know that there are real resources out there that are provided if you are in a situation that prevents you from being able to afford going to a normal dentist.  One of those resources is the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Arizona Department of Health Services

The state of Arizona has many different resources available to its residents that include dental programs for those in need.  They have a full office and its main priority is to promote the oral health and well-being of all Arizona residents. They have many different initiatives that all are aimed at helping you and your family which include:

Arizona Dental Sealant Program

Fluoride Mouth rinse Program

Dental Trailer Loan Program

Community Oral Health System Development Program

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Families

Healthy Smiles Healthy Bodies Training

One of the greatest services that they offer is providing dental care to those that are in rural areas and don’t have access to a normal dentist.  Here is a great video showing how amazing this service is:

 

This is a great service that the state of Arizona offers, and it sadly is very common that infants and children are faced with tooth decay that if left untreated and lead to even more serious problems.  Keep in mind that even though they are pediatric teeth that will be lost as they continue to grow it is still very important that they are cared for. Like many kids, the daily task of brushing teeth can be skipped and flossing is probably something never even considered.

A child’s mouth can be swarming with bacteria, plaque, and a number of other things that can lead to loss of teeth, swollen painful bleeding gums, and additional health problems that can be serious to their well being and quality of life.

Every member of the Arizona Periodontal Group wish to express our support to Arizona Department of Health Services and their effort in providing real dental care to Arizona residents.  If you, or if you know of anyone that is in need of dental health care that may feel unreachable, please contact us.  We can help you find resources to get the assistance you need for your loved ones.

Why Floss?

There is an age-old saying in the dental field: “You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep.”
What exactly does that mean?
Using only a toothbrush alone, you are cleaning up to 65% of our teeth. That means, unless you floss, you are leaving 35% of your teeth dirty. This plaque, as we call it, is what we remove when brushing and flossing. If it is left on the tooth surface it starts to calcify and form the calculus (build up) which can not be removed with a soft brush or floss. When the calculus sits underneath the gums, it acts just like a rock in your shoe. Calculus irritates the gums and causes them to swell and bleed. Ever wonder what all the scraping is when you get your teeth cleaned? That’s your Hygienist using special instruments to remove the calculus. At Arizona Periodontal Group, our Hygienists are specially trained to target those hard to reach areas along and underneath the gum line. If the calculus is attached to the tooth for too long it can start to damage the area which can lead to tooth loss. We always recommend that our patients have cleanings anywhere from three to six months depending on how quickly their mouths develop calculus.
Dr. Trujillo welcomes all new patients in our office, even if you just need a cleaning. A combination of consistent and adament home care, along with regular cleanings with your Hygienist will give you many more years to enjoy your teeth!

Happy 2013!

We hope everybody had a fun and not-so-stressful Holiday Season! We had the perfect balance of work and family time. At Arizona Periodontal Group, we wrapped up 2012 by hosting a canned food drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix. Our patients were very active in this food drive and helped us provide meals for those in need.
We also strive to help those in need of a new smile as well, which is what Dr. Trujillo excels at. With the use of the All-on-Four Implants mentioned in previous posts, we were able to give this particular patient a beautiful smile to start off his new year! The best part is, everything was done all in one day!

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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.