Scottsdale Dentist: Gluten Sensitivity and Oral Health

A growing concern in health has been the effects of gluten on certain people. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and sometimes oats. It’s estimated that 1 in 133 Americas suffer from Celiac Disease (CD), which is a gluten-related disorder where the body’s immune system works against itself! When a person with CD consumes gluten, their immune system considers the gluten as a threat and attacks it. From this attack, the body’s normal absorption of nutrients is affected, as well as the cilia along your digestive lining, which can lead to a variety of systemic conditions, such as intestinal cancer.

Over time with lack of nutrients, your teeth’s enamel may start to have defects. Dull spots, pitting, or chalky grooves are commonly noticed in this condition, in place of normal shiny surfaces. These spots may be a sign of decalcification, which means you’ve lost surface enamel crystals, the shiny coating on your teeth. Also, people with CD are more susceptible to outbreaks of aphthous ulcers (canker sores).

It’s easy for symptoms of CD to be misdiagnosed or unnoticed, even for years! If you’re on the fence if you have CD, you can get a definitive diagnosis through a blood test for gluten antibodies. After this result, if needed, a biopsy of intestine tissue will confirm diagnosis.

The only recognized treatment for CD is to remove gluten from your diet. Research continues for a medication for treatment. Though removing gluten from your diet sounds easy, its a lot harder to know what you can and can’t eat and constantly looking to food labels. Thankfully with time and increase of CD, food manufacturers are clearly labeling products and offering more gluten free options.

CD is a serious condition that could even become life-threatening. Knowing you or someone in your family has it will help you protect both your overall health and your teeth.

Check out to learn more about gluten and your dental health.

Scottsdale Dentist: 5 Celebrities Who Fought Oral Cancer

  1. Babe Ruth: Just before retirement from the National Baseball League, Babe Ruth was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which is a growth on the upper part of his nose. Heavy tobacco use, geographic location, genetics and environmental factors contributed to Babe’s condition.
  2. Eddie Van Halen: Around 2000, Eddie experienced cancer symptoms in his mouth. 1/3rd of his tongue had to be removed, but as of 2011, he has been cancer free!
  3. Rod Stewart: Despite being in great shape, this famous rock/pop star found a lump in his thyroid gland. Luckily, early detection helped Rod stay cancer free.
  4. Catherine Bell: Actress in well known “Army Wives,” she is a successful cancer survivor. A thyroidectomy saved her from a cancerous lump in her neck. Today, she lands several roles and is cancer free!
  5. Hill Harper: Known for CSI: NY, this star was diagnosed, but tries to make a difference by it. One day, Hill woke with inability to swallow, ultimately having to remove his whole thyroid. Since then, he has become a public advocate for cancer.

Scottsdale Dentist: How To Keep Your Teeth For A Lifetime

How To Keep Your Teeth For A Lifetime – Only 2 Steps!

The first thing you notice about someone is their smile. We all expect that a smile lasts forever – but in order to keep a great smile for a lifetime – you should follow these 2 steps.

1) Commit to your Oral Hygiene.


Some habits are really easy to break – like flossing. To make sure you’re doing the most for your smile, it’s important to commit to a 3 step oral hygiene routine: Atleast 2x a day: floss, brush, rinse.

2) Visit your dentist every 6 months.


Even if you have a stellar oral care routine, it’s essential that you make the visit to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. During your checkups, your dentist may see symptoms that a great daily care routine can actually miss – like signs of gum problems, clenching and grinding, or even signs of cancer. Periodic xrays identify potential problems below the gums over time, such as wisdom teeth problems, bone loss, infection, decay, and more. All of the visibly undetectable problems may cost you your smile if left undiscovered or untreated by your dentist. Getting a professional cleaning ensures that all areas of your teeth are free of bacteria or hardened bacterial buildup, called plaque, in areas that are difficult to reach everyday. Professional cleanings help eliminate the risk of dental problems.

What we covered are two very easy ways to maximize your smile’s health and keep it for a lifetime. If you want more tips, check out the rest of our blog and watch us on our social media profiles @serenityscottsdale.

Scottsdale Dentist: Oral Care for Your Dog

It’s strange to think, but any animal that has teeth could use some oral care tips. Since you probably do not have an alligator at your house – here are a few ways you can help your dog maintain good oral health!

Dogs can gather unhealthy, bad bacteria in their mouths just like we can – so it’s important to keep an eye on your dogs mouth for any warning signs. If a case of poor oral health occurs in your furry friend, the bad bacteria could continue past their mouths into their bloodstream, affecting their heart, liver, or more. According to veterinarians, 85% of dogs over the age of 4 have periodontal disease – a pathological inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support (periodontal tissues) surrounding the teeth – that may lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss.

Luckily, you don’t need to bring your dog to the dentist you go to, but rather the veterinarian for their regular check up. During this routine exam, you should make sure your dog’s teeth are checked and cleaned, just like when you go to the dentist.

Also, experts amongst the dental and veterinary field agree that brushing your dogs teeth is beneficial to their oral health. About 4 times a week is the ideal amount, but this might be a challenge. The more you brush your dogs teeth, however, the more they will enjoy it and the easier it will be for them to receive their dental cleanings at the vet. There are animal safe toothpastes available at most stores that carry pet products. Also, there are a variety of treats and chews available that help clean your pet’s mouth as they enjoy it.

You can read more about what you can do for your dog’s oral health at

Scottsdale Dentist: Wisdom Teeth Coming? Here’s What You Need To Know

By the age of thirteen, most of us have all of our permanent teeth – aside from the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth arrival varies from patient to patient, however, wisdom teeth should be kept under your radar as they may need to be removed before they make their appearance. Surprisingly, you may not have all 4 wisdom teeth – you may only have 1-3! Regardless, wisdom teeth are subject to causing problems with their arrival, so your dentist will provide you safe, painless treatment if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Frequently, wisdom teeth are unable to erupt due to lack of space along your jawbones – this is NORMAL! To avoid pain, swelling, and infection, it is best to remove them before they cause these problems. Even if your wisdom teeth do not erupt, they likely are causing problems underneath the gums. Look to the picture of different wisdom teeth configurations.

If your jawbones do have room to spare for the wisdom teeth, they may not fully erupt or erupt and cause crowding and bite problems with your other teeth. If your wisdom teeth partially erupt, the contact forces to your adjacent teeth may be uneven and cause damage. Also, this area may be hard to effectively clean with brushing and flossing, so infection or periodontitis (gum disease) may occur. If your wisdom teeth erupt fully and apply new forces to your other teeth, damage and misalignment may occur, affecting your teeth’s condition, bite, and esthetics.

Why do we have wisdom teeth if they cause problems? Evolution can explain why we still have wisdom teeth without the room for them. Before our time and many years ago, the human skull looked different and due to prehistoric diets, the human jaw developed differently. Researchers assume that our newer diets have led to our jaws becoming smaller, but the wisdom teeth haven’t caught on to this yet – still developing. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has thousands of human fossil remains that indicate that our mouth’s once chewed different foods, needing the wisdom teeth. Check out their collection at:

Do not fear that your wisdom teeth may have to be removed – it is a normal procedure that our Scottsdale dentists complete almost daily. Because of our dentist’s extensive training and treatment options available, removing your wisdom teeth at Serenity Smiles will be a comfortable experience. At Serenity Smiles, we put your comfort first, consistently ensuring that you are feeling comfortable and do not have any pain. Also, we offer oral and IV sedation, which eases you into a sleep-wake state so that you do not remember your appointment. Contact us today if you are ready to assess your treatment options for your wisdom teeth.


Developing a Dental Strategy that will Save you Money: Scottsdale Dentist

Taking care of your teeth is a commitment you need to make for a lifetime. Similar to any other realm of healthcare, it can get costly — from regular dental visits and cleanings to more expensive treatments and procedures for protecting, preserving, and repairing your teeth.

If you are limited financially, it does not mean that your dental care has to wait or your health has to suffer. If you commit to following an effective strategy for oral care, your dental visits do not have to be expensive in the future. Apart of a good oral health hygiene plan, here are a few key tips:

  1. Practice effective daily oral hygiene. Many of the potential dental problems people experience are the result of not having a consistent, effective oral hygiene habit — which includes daily brushing and flossing along with semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups. The goal of oral hygiene is to remove bacterial plaque effectively, the sticky film that adheres to teeth after we eat, and keep it from building up and causing significant damage over time. Removing plaque reduces your chances of developing the two major dental diseases caused by it, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which could result in additional treatment needs. However, even with excellent oral hygiene you’ll still form tartar (hardened plaque deposits) on your teeth, so professional cleanings from a dental hygienist are necessary.
  2. Take care of your whole health. Your teeth and gums aren’t islands to the rest of your body. In fact, your oral health is heavily influenced by other conditions in the body, especially systemic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. So, be sure you’re following a healthy diet, following an exercise plan and seeing your doctors regularly. Your teeth will benefit from a holistic approach to your health.
  3. Work with your us to make your finances worry-free with treatment plan options. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your teeth and gums won’t need additional treatment and procedures sometime in your life, even with excellent care and attention. If you’re in need of extensive treatment or you feel you need to enhance your smile, talk with us. We’ll be glad to talk through your options, and work out both a treatment and financial plan that fits your best health and financial goals.

Learn more about the cost of dentistry and how to make the best of your budget and health in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Finances and Dental Care.”

Scottsdale Dentist: Can We Save Your Tooth?

An implant is the closest restoration to mimic a natural tooth; however, a natural tooth is the best option if it can be saved. That’s not to say implants are a lowly treatment option – it’s often the best option if a tooth is unable to be repaired sustainably. Before any decisions are made, let’s try to save your natural tooth.

The first step is to evaluate your tooth to understand why it’s condition is poor — which the most common reasons are from tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Although different diagnoses, tooth decay and gum disease begin with bacteria in the mouth and can both lead to tooth loss.

Millions of harmless bacteria are present in your mouth consistently. There are a few strains that live in dental plaque on a thin “biofilm” on your teeth, that can cause disease. As they feed on sugar bound to teeth, they convert the sugar to produce acid, which can erode the protective enamel on teeth. This can cause the formation of cavities, which must be cleaned and filled with safe dental material to fix.

If decay is left untreated, it spreads deep within the pulp and through the root canals. When decay spreads deeper, your tooth is in more danger. Your tooth may be able to be saved with a root canal treatment. In this common procedure, we access the pulp chamber and clean out all the diseased or dead tissue. Then, the empty chamber is filled with sterile dental material and root canals with a gutta percha filling, then sealed. We later cap the tooth with a new crown to further protect it.

Dental plaque triggers chronic inflammation if gum disease is present. The inflammation can cause the gums to weaken and detach from the teeth to form large voids called periodontal pockets, which can fill with infection. This could lead to bone deterioration, causing the tooth to become mobile and loose.

By removing plaque stuck to the surface, we can help fix your tooth. Plaque may be fueling the infection you’re experiencing. We normally do this with special hand instruments, but in special cases, surgical instruments may need to be used. After successfully removing plaque off the teeth surfaces and below the gum line, inflammation should calm, giving the tissues a chance to heal and rebind to teeth. Depending on severity,  we may also need to assist the  tissues to regenerate through gum or bone grafting.

You may be able to save your natural teeth through oral care efforts and treatment options. Saving your natural smile yields the most benefits to your overall dental and bone health, so your Scottsdale Dentist will present you all possible treatment options before removing a tooth. Sometimes, however, it may be the best option to remove a tooth.

We are always willing to help you learn more about your treatment options. You can also learn more about saving teeth vs. placing implants by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

Scottsdale Dentist: The Best Way to get your Vitamins – A Healthy Diet

The food we eat gives us ample energy, as well as all of the vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis. 

For Health, its important to have:

  •  Vitamins
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin B1
    • Vitamin B2
    • Vitamin B3
    • Vitamin B5
    • Vitamin B6
    • Vitamin B7
    • Vitamin B9
    • Vitamin B12
  • Minerals:
    • Chromium
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Potassium and Sodium
    • Magnesium
    • Zinc
    • Sulfur
    • Chloride
  • Nutrients:
    • Carbohydrates
    • Protein
    • Fat
    • Water
    • Omega 3’s

AND MORE! With online research and discussions with medical professionals, you can be guided to what foods are healthiest and optimal for gaining the key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you need. There are even nutrients important for oral health.

Other vitamins and minerals are antioxidants, protecting us against free radicals, which are molecules that can damage cellular DNA (our genetic code) and increase our risk of any type of cancer, including oral. Vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium combat free radicals. Zinc is an excellent mineral to protect DNA from damage.

Primarily, we gain healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the foods we eat. However, for older generations, pregnant women, or individuals with health complications, diet may not be enough to supply your body with what it needs. Any person who cannot satisfy the need for a particular vitamin or mineral should take a supplement in addition to their diet. A doctor can help you choose the right dosage and determine if you need vitamin or mineral supplements.

You may not see benefits from supplemental vitamins and minerals if you do not have a deficiency. In fact, taking in too much of a vitamins, minerals, or even nutrients could harm your health. Studies have shown that ingesting too much supplemental Vitamin E could increase the risks for heart failure or gastrointestinal cancer. Also, with use of supplementary vitamins or minerals, they may interact negatively with other medications, such as blood thinners.

Maintaining a healthy diet is the best way to effectively get the vitamins and minerals your body (including your mouth) needs. Dairy products like fortified milk are a good way to get vitamin D, as well as calcium and phosphorus. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of Vitamin C and Iron. Fluoride from toothpaste or other oral hygiene products can satisfy your need, or you’ll also find it in seafood and tea.

While good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are necessary for optimal dental health, your diet has an impact! Be sure you’re getting all the nutrients your teeth, gums, and whole body need. Vitamins D and K, as well as minerals calcium and phosphorus are essential for strong teeth. Fluoride helps preserve enamel, which deters tooth decay.

If you need guidance in your dental health and diet, please see your Scottdale Dentist for help. For more information beyond this blog, check out the Dear Doctor magazine article “Vitamins & Dietary Supplements.”

Scottsdale Dentist: Science Reveals News About Smile Makeovers

Smile makeovers have increased substantially in popularity over recent years, not only for Hollywood celebrities. Over 70% of all smile makeover consultations come from people in the 31 to 50 year old age group, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). While smile makeovers are completed for self-esteem boosts and appearance, many studies have shown that first impressions are lasting and appearance makes an impact. Now, many business professionals or people with publicity are investing in smile makeovers for not only their appearance, but their success.

The AACD study provided though-provoking statistics that support why a smile makeover is a smart investment that can yield a life-changing return on yourself!

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

Beall Research & Training, Inc., an independent marketing research firm, published a study that used before and after photos of smile makeovers for a survey. It was found in this study that people who have had a smile makeover are viewed by others as more attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, interesting, kind, wealthy, and appealing to the opposite sex. This evidence undoubtedly shows the importance of a first impression, as well as what it can silently express about yourself!

Want to learn more?

See your Havasu dentist for a smile makeover consultation! We will walk you through every step of the way so you achieve the most attractive smile imaginable! The Dear Doctor article, “The Impact Of A Smile Makeover” can provide you with more information on smile makeover’s effect.

Home Whitening Kits Might not be Right for You: Scottsdale Dentist

Home whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a vibrant, healthy shine to discolored teeth. DIY whitening kits are generally safe and tend to live up to their packaging claims.

However, a home whitening kit might not be the best option for your smile. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.

  1. You’re in your teen years or early after them.
    The immature enamel of younger teens’ permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by any whitening treatment. If you are unsure of if your teeth are mature enough for whitening, always ask!
  2. You tend to not follow instructions.
    If you find that it’s difficult for you to follow instructions step-by-step, you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. If the instructions are followed carefully, DIY home whitening kits are safe. If you misuse them or use them excessively, as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could permanently damage and erode your teeth’s protective enamel.
  3. Your teeth need dental work beyond whitening.
    Tooth whitening can’t fix everything about your smile if there is other work that needs to be done. Though whitening is attractive, it is not the only solution for an attractive smile. It’s always better to have issues like gum disease or dental chips or cracks addressed first BEFORE whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration is actually from inside your tooth, a whitening kit will not help the issue — whitening treatment is only meant for the external enamel of teeth. To whiten the inside of a tooth, you’ll need internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining, a special dental procedure.
  4. You want to control the “whiteness” effect.
    Home kits don’t have the varying levels of whiteness and cannot be controlled at home. Only in a clinical setting can you actually choose how white you want your teeth to appear! Receiving whitening treatments from your dentist will help you achieve better results than any DIY kits due to the quality of bleaching agent and the results that can be achieved. Your Scottsdale dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. Plus, fewer treatments are needed to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

If you’re interested in teeth whitening, visit your dentist first before purchasing a DIY kit. You may find that the office has great treatment options for you – or that DIY treatment may hinder your results. Even if you do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as tips for use.

Learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”