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Happy Thanksgiving from AZ Perio Group!

iStock_000021905716_XXXLarge compressedAs the leaves fall and the frost begins to bite, we at Arizona Periodontal Group want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! This is a time for celebration, for gratitude, for family—and of course, for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

This Thanksgiving, please remember to be thankful for your beautiful and healthy teeth, and show that gratitude by taking care of them. As you feast on turkey, sweet potatoes, and stuffing, remember that the bacteria in your mouth will be having a Thanksgiving feast of their own. The extra sugar in that pie and cranberry sauce can increase bacterial growth and put your teeth at a heightened risk of decay. It’s important to remember to brush and floss, even in the midst of a busy holiday; dental plaque left in place becomes dental tartar, which you will need professional help to remove. You should especially be on the lookout for possible staining, as wine and after-dinner coffee can put dark spots on your enamel. If you do notice any problems with your teeth, our office will reopen after the holiday to help return your smile to its full health and beauty.

Let this Thanksgiving be a perfect start to the upcoming holiday season. We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and a year full of beautiful smiles! And if you need us, please call or request an appointment online.

Sincerely,

Your friends at Arizona Periodontal Group

 

 

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy Is Very Concerning

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, your attention might turn to your ever-expanding waistline and your unfinished extra bedroom. However, pregnancy can affect more than just your pant size and your stress level; it can also affect your teeth.

Pregnancy Can Be Hard On Your Smile

When you are pregnant, your hormonal levels change significantly. Increased levels of progesterone can make it easier for oral bacteria levels to get out of control, as well as exaggerate your body’s natural response to the toxins that those bacteria can produce. This hormone influx creates the perfect storm for inflammation and dental decay, which is why an estimated 40% of all women develop gingivitis or periodontal disease during some part of their pregnancy.

How Periodontal Disease Could Affect Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related gingivitis can do more than stink up your breath and exacerbate oral decay. Gingivitis and periodontal disease during pregnancy can also cause:

  • Oral Tumors: The extra inflammation that gingivitis can create can sometimes spark tissue growths under the gum line in some pregnant women. These tumors can make it uncomfortable to eat and talk, and they can even bleed or crust over.
  • Low Birth Weight Babies: Research has also shown that women with periodontal disease are more prone to delivering low-birth weight babies. A lower birth weight has also been tied to developmental issues such as learning disabilities and delayed motor skills.
  • Pre-Term Delivery: Women with gingivitis or periodontal disease are also more likely to deliver their babies prematurely. In fact, mothers with extreme periodontal disease were more likely to deliver as early as 32 weeks; two full months ahead of schedule.

Prevent Dental Problems During Pregnancy

To protect your baby, take your dental health seriously. Schedule a checkup with Dr. Trujillo as soon as you find out that you are expecting. Talk with your doctor if you notice any dental changes, such as red, swollen gums or bad breath. Focus on preventative care such as proper brushing and flossing. Try to address dental health problems early, before they have time to grow into larger problems.

If you have questions about how to care for your teeth during your pregnancy, make an appointment to talk with Dr. Trujillo. We would be more than happy to evaluate your smile, make suggestions, and help you to track your oral health.

Ginvigitis, A Precursor to Periodontal Disease

Young woman suffering from toothacheAlthough you might be tempted to ignore dental issues, a little negligence could lead to gingivitis, which can turn into periodontal disease. In addition to making your teeth fall out, periodontal disease has been linked to other dangerous medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Fortunately, you might be able to fend off serious ailments by focusing on eliminating gingivitis. Here are a few symptoms of gingivitis, so that you know what to look out for:

Symptoms of Gingivitis

  • Red, Inflamed Gums: While healthy gums are light pink and pretty, gums infected with gingivitis are red, inflamed, and bleed easily. Pay attention to how your gums look and react when you floss. If you notice extra bleeding, ask your doctor about gingivitis.
  • Bad Breath: Gingivitis creates pockets of infection underneath your gum line along your teeth. Unfortunately, these areas collect bacteria rapidly, leaving you with terrible breath.
  • A Receding Gum Line: Unhappy, inflamed gums can even recede from your teeth, exposing sensitive dental roots.

If red, inflamed gums and terrible breath don’t sound like symptoms you want to cope with, here are some suggestions to avoid developing gingivitis.

How to Avoid Gingivitis

  • Don’t Skip Regular Dental Checkups: Don’t skip the chance to talk with a professional about your overall dental health. Visit your dentist twice a year, or as often as your dental insurance will allow.
  • Focus Oral Hygiene: To keep your smile pristine, brush twice a day and floss before you go to bed. Consider flossing after you brush but before you rinse, so that you can work toothpaste between your teeth.
  • Avoid Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco can be hard on your oral tissues, which can make it hard for teeth and gums to heal. If you smoke or chew, talk with your family doctor about helping you to quit. Today, there are effective medications that can take the edge off of tobacco cravings—which might improve your chances of quitting.
  • Know Your Family History: If your parents suffer from gum disease, you might be susceptible to the condition as well. Talk with your parents and grandparents to see if gum disease runs in your family.

Do you suspect that you have a problem with gingivitis? Make an appointment with Dr. Trujillo today. He will carefully evaluate your oral health and take the necessary steps to ward off gum disease. Call us or request an appointment online.

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.

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.