(602) 995-5045

Twice the Risk of Heart Disease If You Have Periodontal Disease

Most people realize that gingivitis is an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition, causing problems like persistent bad breath, gum recession, and even tooth loss. However, more and more studies have tied periodontal disease with serious systemic illnesses, which is why every patient should understand their risk and meet with their periodontist in Phoenix at least once a year for a comprehensive periodontal exam.

Periodontal Disease is Tied To Heart Disease

Young woman suffering from toothache

Although scientists have long suspected the link between periodontal disease and heart problems, a new study conducted by the Department of Periodontology at the University of Amsterdam found a significant link between advanced cardiovascular diseases and periodontists. In the study, 95% of the patients with periodontists also suffered from some kind of advanced cardiovascular illness, regardless of their age, gender, and socio-economic status.

These conclusive results show just how powerful the oral bacteria that colonize in your mouth can be. When plaque and tartar are allowed to sit on the teeth, they provide a readily accessible food source for bacteria, which create toxins as they grow and multiply. Over time, these bacteria invade deeper under the gum tissue, eventually leaching into the bloodstream and traveling throughout the body. Periodontal disease is linked with inflammation, which can also contribute to cardiovascular illnesses like heart attacks and strokes.   

Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Fortunately, every stage of periodontal disease is treatable, even if you have already lost teeth or suffered from bone loss. The first step in treating periodontal disease is eradicating oral bacteria from the mouth and within the gingival pockets. To do this, your Phoenix Periodontist will start by talking with you about your oral hygiene routine, and how to clean your teeth more effectively. Early gingivitis can usually be completely reversed by making changes at home.

If you have moderate to severe periodontal disease, your condition can be treated by pocket reduction surgery, scaling and planing, or LANAP. LANAP, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is a cutting-edge, minimally invasive gum disease treatment that helps to remove oral bacteria from the gingival pockets. The procedure uses a small periodontal probe that emits pulses of light that kill bacteria, while leaving healthy tissues intact—and helping the area to heal.

Make An Appointment Today

If your gums are swollen, red, tend to bleed easily, or you suffer from bad breath, make an appointment with Dr. Trujillo today. With great new technologies and years of experience, this dedicated periodontist can help you to restore your smile.

Merry Christmas from the Arizona Periodontal Group

Christmas Eve SceneThe holidays are one of our favorite times of the year here at Arizona Periodontal Group, and we want to take this opportunity to thank our incredible staff and loyal patients. We wouldn’t be the Phoenix periodontal practice that we are today without all of the love and support the community has offered us over the years.

We want to wish all of our treasured clients and employees a very Merry Christmas. We hope that you will be able to spend time with your family, enjoy a little extra sleep, and share fun surprises with the people you love.

Preventing Gum Disease this Holiday Season

Christmas is notorious for yummy treats and candies galore, which is why we also want to encourage all our patients to look after your oral health this holiday season. Gum disease is a very real problem that affects over half of all adults in the United States, and new research has even tied periodontal disease to other serious illnesses.

Fortunately, you can avoid gum disease and keep your teeth comfortable and healthy by doing what you can to follow these holiday dental health tips:

Start with a Periodontal Exam

To avoid dental emergencies during the holidays, begin your vacation with a periodontal exam. Comprehensive Periodontal Exams, also known as CPE’s, are recommended once a year to keep the teeth and gums free of disease. During these routine exams, Dr. Trujillo or Dr. Sanders will examine your teeth and gums for signs of gum disease, prior decay, and infections so we can treat the problems proactively.

Don’t Snack Between Meals

When you eat, the simple sugars in your meal feed the oral bacteria that live in your mouth, prompting them to produce acids. These “acid attacks” occur for as long as 20 minutes after you eat, which is why snacking between meals is so damaging to your smile–it’s a whole extra 20-minute acid exposure session every time you munch. To prevent problems, focus on eating at mealtimes, swishing your mouth with water after meals to dilute acids, and then avoiding the urge to snack.

Avoid Hard or Heavily Pigmented Foods

Try to avoid hard foods that could damage prior dental work, or pigmented foods that could leave behind unsightly staining. If possible, stay away from nuts in the shell, punch, pomegranate seeds, and unpopped popcorn kernels.

If you do encounter any kind of dental or periodontal emergency over the holidays, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll do everything we can to get you the help that you need as soon as possible.

Merry Christmas!

Dr. Ariel Trujillo
Dr. Stuart Sanders

Periodontal Disease and Bruxism

Your mouth, just like the rest of your body, is comprised of several interconnected systems. When one component of your oral health suffers, the other systems are likely to fall under siege. This interconnected relationship is especially true with periodontal disease and bruxism. If you suffer from either or both of these conditions, it is important to visit Dr. Trujillo, your periodontist in Phoenix.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection in the structures that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is common but serious; if left untreated it can lead to tooth loss and serious health problems. Periodontal disease requires professional treatment, especially after the infection has created deep pockets below the gum line.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the involuntary grinding, clenching, or gnashing of teeth which may occur unconsciously during the day or while you’re asleep. Bruxism results in weakened and worn down teeth, tired and sore jaws, and increased tooth sensitivity. Although bruxism may be a result of a number or different conditions, stress is the most common cause.

How are bruxism and periodontal disease related?

Bruxism can seriously exacerbate existing periodontal disease, making the gums more vulnerable to attack. The force from clenching and grinding can damage the teeth’s supporting tissues, deepening periodontal pockets and loosening teeth. A patient without gum disease is at greater risk of developing it, and a patient with gum disease will see the infection spread more quickly than average.

Treatment

If you experience either bruxism or periodontal disease, it is important to seek professional help quickly, as both conditions cause more damage the longer they’re allowed to continue. A common treatment for bruxism is a mouth guard, which is designed to stop nighttime teeth grinding. Periodontal disease can be treated with scaling and root planing or laser gum surgery.

Taking care of both your teeth and gums is essential for total oral wellness. Come to the Arizona Periodontal Group and let us show you how periodontal care can improve your overall smile. Make an appointment today!

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.

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.