General Dentistry

Quality Dentistry for All

At Arizona Associates in Dentistry, we aim to make our care accessible for all. We feel privileged to care for each smile we greet, and we know they’re all unique. We customize care according to each patient’s needs and goals. Whether you’re entrusting us to care for your bundle of joy’s baby teeth, looking to protect a rambunctious teenager’s smile while they play sports, or your grandparent needs a solution for missing teeth, we can make it happen all under the same roof!

Oral Hygiene

A solid flossing and brushing regimen is our best line of defense against potential oral health problems. With due diligence to these practices, we protect our mouths from bacteria that can cause decay and gum disease, as well as deep discoloration and bad breath!

  • Brush at least twice a day. While the assumption is that it’s better to brush after you’ve eaten, the truth is that doing so can damage your enamel. The combination of acidic food and abrasive toothpastes are responsible for this, so we recommend brushing about half an hour before eating.
  • Floss daily. Doing this before brushing can remove plaque that is too stubborn for your toothbrush alone.
  • Rinse with mouthwash after brushing. This may not be the most critical part of your oral hygiene routine, but a good mouthwash can add more kick to your gum disease prevention and give you minty fresh breath!
  • Rinse with water after eating and drinking. Swishing and gargling water throughout your day can help reduce plaque and decay that hangs around because of sugar and acids in your food and beverages.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This is probably the most difficult piece of advice to take, but its importance can’t be overstressed. You might think that a good oral hygiene routine will protect your mouth from decay, but some foods and beverages encourage bad bacteria growth – most notably those that are highly acidic and loaded with sugar. Reducing the consumption of both will make your mouth and body happier.


Gum Disease

Did you know that 50% of the United States population suffers from the leading cause of tooth loss? That leading cause is gum disease (or periodontal disease).

Gum disease can be present without symptoms, but you’ll definitely want to let Dr. Taylor or Dr. Mclaws know if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Bleeding gums – This could be the result of brushing too hard, especially if you’re using a toothbrush with rough bristles. But, if you experience bleeding while using the proper technique and soft bristles, something may be amiss.
  • Bad breath – This is caused by odor producing bacteria that forms from a build-up of plaque.
  • Red and/or swollen gums –  This is a sign of worsening inflammation.
  • Receding gums – Your tooth roots risk exposure as gums start to recede because of the bacteria and inflammation.
  • Sensitivity – Hot and cold sensitivity increases after tooth roots have been exposed.
  • Abscess – When a pocket of bacteria forms within the periodontal pocket, you’ll experience pain, swelling, and the presence of pus.
  • Loose teeth – At this stage in periodontal disease, bone has been lost and teeth may shift or loosen. Biting, teeth grinding, or jaw clenching accelerate this process.

We know this is a lot of information to digest, but we don’t share it to scare you. We share it in the hopes that we can help you prevent these symptoms and the need for invasive treatments.

Gum Disease Infographic
Click to enlarge

Receding Gum Treatment

While the methods of treating gum disease sound less than pleasant, advances made in dentistry make it much more comfortable and successful than ever before. At Arizona Associates in Dentistry, we use lasers to painlessly remove the inflamed gum tissue, expose the root to remove the build-up of calculus and plaque, then smooth the root to prevent bacteria from forming on any rough spots.

Using lasers to treat gum disease has several benefits, such as:

  • No need for general anesthesia
  • Precision targeting of diseased areas
  • Less invasive than other methods, which means less pain, swelling, and bleeding is involved
  • Recovery and healing times are shorter
Receding Gums Illustration

Oral Cancer Screenings

Unfortunately, oral cancer rates are on the rise. As with any form of cancer, the chances of remission are much higher with early detection. We take our role as your oral healthcare provider seriously, and oral cancer screenings are a part of our checkups – one more reason we like to see you at least twice a year. Having an established baseline makes it easier for us to notice differences in your mouth. Our use of the ViziLite® oral cancer screening technology helps us detect abnormalities we might not see with the naked eye alone. Such abnormalities may be present on any surface of the mouth and include:

  • Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
  • Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
  • Inexplicable bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Persistent sores
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, change in voice
  • Ear pain

The latest research finds that the #1 cause for oral cancer is now Human papillomavirus (HPV). We highly recommend the HPV vaccine to lower your risk. Other factors that increase the likelihood of oral cancer include:

  • Cigarette smoking – increases your risk of oral cancer by 6 times
  • Chewing tobacco – other forms of tobacco use increase your risk of oral cancer by 50 times
  • Alcohol – around 70% of oral cancer diagnoses are given to heavy drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive sunlight exposure
Oral Cancer Infographic
Click to enlarge

Mouthguards

Your Maricopa dentists advise wearing a mouthguard during sports play and sleep for the following reasons:

  • Prevention of structural damage to teeth and jaw
  • Safeguard against lacerations to cheeks, tongue, and lips
  • May decrease the risk of concussions
  • To protect from jaw clenching and teeth grinding that can cause TMJ issues
  • Prevention of TMJ issues means minimizing headaches and facial pain

While you can find mouthguards in most sporting goods stores, we recommend having a custom fitted mouthguard made in our office for the best protection and most comfort. The thin plastic we use allows for easy breathing and communication.

Contact Us

We’re here for all of your general dentistry needs! Give us a call today at (520) 213-8459, or schedule an appointment online!
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