North Scottsdale Dental Studio

Practice News

Stress During Pregnancy May Increase Your Child’s Risk for Cavities


It’s no secret that chronic stress during pregnancy can have a number of negative effects on the child, some of which may include a low birthweight as well as a heightened risk of developing asthma and certain allergies. According to a new study, another potential condition can be added to that list: cavities.

While poor dental hygiene habits and frequent consumption of sugar-rich foods and drinks certainly play a significant role in the cause of cavities in children, the new study – conducted by Dr. Wael Sabbah and several of his colleagues – suggests that the amount and degree of stress a mother experiences during her pregnancy is also influential in the development of these dental conditions. Using the data of 716 women and their children collected as part of the 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers assessed biological markers of persistent stress throughout each mother’s pregnancy while also recording the number of cavities her child(ren) developed. Other factors that were also taken into account includued each mom’s socioeconomic status, how often the child visited the dentist, whether the mother breastfed, and more.

The findings showed that children of mothers who had two or more chronic stress markers were far more likely to develop cavities than children of mothers who had no signs of chronic stress. In addition, researchers discovered that the development of cavities among children who were not breastfed tended to be higher, and a reduced occurrence of breastfeeding was found among mothers with lower incomes. These women were also less likely to have taken their kids in for a dental visit during the year previous to the survey, as well as less likely to have their children eat breakfast each morning in comparison to women with higher incomes.

Ultimately, the researchers acknowledge that the study does not necessarily prove a mother’s chronic stress during pregnancy directly causes her children to develop cavities, though the evidence found suggests that stress does play a significant role. As a result, they recommend making every effort to limit stressors as much as possible throughout pregnancy, as well as to adopt healthy habits like brushing your child’s teeth, providing them with nutritious meals, and scheduling regular pediatric dental care visits once their teeth start to emerge.

Todd Mabry, DDS and Jeff Styskal, DDS

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If you have any questions about cavities, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today.

What Is Gingivitis?

shutterstock_270020102Gingivitis is a term meaning inflammation of the gums. Characterized by red, puffy gums, this condition is a non-destructive form of periodontal (gum) disease, though if left untreated, it can often develop into a more serious concern known as periodontitis. Should it reach this stage, issues such as gum recession and tooth loss may occur.

The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis can include:


  • Bright red and/or purple gums
  • Gums that are tender or even painful
  • Bleeding of the gums during brushing and/or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • Puffy, swollen gums
  • Recession of the gum line

In both children and adults, gingivitis is most frequently caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque in between and/or around the teeth. This plaque accumulation often stimulates an immune system response, which eventually may lead to the destruction of gum tissues and additional complications. Another common cause of gingivitis is dental plaque, which is a naturally accumulating biofilm that typically forms when bacteria are trying to stick to the surface of the teeth. Although many dental professionals believe dental plaque might actually help protect against the colonization of detrimental microorganisms, it is also known to cause tooth decay and can lead to gingivitis. Other potential causes of gingivitis may include hormonal changes, particular medications, smoking, genetics, and certain diseases.

The good news is, gingivitis can often be easily prevented and/or treated before it progresses into periodontitis. In addition to receiving professional teeth cleanings two times a year, correctly brushing and flossing at least twice a day can be an excellent way to discourage the buildup of harmful plaque on the teeth. Should gingivitis still develop, advanced periodontal treatments such as laser gum treatment and deep scaling/root planing are generally able to help remove detrimental bacteria and limit further harm to both the teeth and gums.

Dr. Todd Mabry and Dr. Jeff Styskal

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For more information about preventing and/or treating gingivitis, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at our practice, please contact us today.

New Evidence in Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

shutterstock_324577472Atherosclerosis – a term for the hardening and/or thickening of arteries – occurs when cholesterol, fats, and other substances build up to form plaque along the walls of arteries. Depending on their size, these plaques can partially or fully block blood flow in the artery. When this blockage occurs in coronary arteries, it could eventually result in a heart attack.

It’s long been established that gum disease and heart disease have a common link. Past research has proved that Porphyromonas gingivalis (a bacterium involved in the development of gum disease) is present in the coronary artery plaques of individuals who have suffered a heart attack. In addition, previous studies also found that this particular bacterium not only triggers but accelerates atherosclerosis in coronary arteries, including the aorta – the main artery responsible for delivering blood from the heart to the rest of the body. What hasn’t been entirely clear all this time, however, is the microbiology underlying the connection between gum disease and heart disease. That is, until now.

According to a new study conducted at Orebro University in Sweden, Porphyromonas gingivalis is responsible for boosting inflammation and atherosclerosis in coronary arteries. When researchers injected Porphyromonas gingivalis into samples of smooth muscle cells (the types of muscle cells found in the aorta), they discovered that the bacterium secreted particular enzymes that changed the ratio between two proteins, one of which is pro-inflammatory and the other anti-inflammatory. This change in ratio led to a boost in inflammation, which is believed to play a significant role in atherosclerosis.

Ultimately, research is continuously being conducted to learn as much as possible about the correlation between gum disease and heart disease, and though we currently don’t know everything about the relationship of the two diseases, one thing is clear: they are linked strongly by the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis. To help reduce your risk of developing gum disease by limiting the development and/or presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in your mouth, it’s imperative that you brush and floss at least twice daily, as well as be sure to schedule professional dental cleanings two times a year. Remember, being proactive about your oral health can often be the best form of treatment.

Dr. Todd Mabry and Dr. Jeff Styskal

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To learn more, or if you wish to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact North Scottsdale Dental Studio today.

3 Non-Oral Health Issues Linked to Poor Dental Hygiene

shutterstock_298902431Most people know that maintaining poor dental hygiene habits can cause a number of oral concerns, including bad breath, tooth decay, and even gum (periodontal) disease. What many people don’t know, however, is that aside from these conditions, failing to regularly brush and floss may eventually lead to other serious, potentially life-threatening issues. These illnesses and their potential links to dental hygiene are highlighted below.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease – In a 20-year-long study involving 152 men and women, researchers at New York University found a strong correlation between the presence of gum disease and decreased cognitive function. In fact, participants of the study who had gum inflammation were nine times more likely to score in the lower cognitive test range. Building on these findings, University of Central Lancashire researchers compared 10 brain samples of Alzheimer’s patients with 10 brain samples of non-Alzheimer’s patients, ultimately discovering that Porphyromonas gingivalis – a bacterium typically associated with gum disease – was present in the Alzheimer’s samples but absent in the non-Alzheimer’s samples.
  • Pancreatic Cancer – Analyzing a Health Professionals Follow-Up Study on gum disease that involved over 51,000 men, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that there was a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men who had a history of gum disease compared to men who did not. Though further studies have failed to prove whether the gum disease-related bacteria are a cause or a result of pancreatic cancer, researchers have verified the two are undoubtedly linked in some way.
  • Heart Disease – A joint team of researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons (Dublin) and the University of Bristol (UK) have concluded that individuals who have bleeding gums resulting from poor dental hygiene may be at an increased risk of heart disease. Research suggests that when the gums are bleeding, bacteria from the mouth can easily enter the bloodstream, potentially sticking to platelets and causing blood clots to form. Should this occur, blood flow to the heart can be disrupted, possibly leading to a heart attack in some instances.

Ultimately, none of this is to say poor dental hygiene habits will definitely cause Alzheimer’s, pancreatic cancer, and/or heart disease. However, these studies certainly present a strong case for a link between one’s oral and overall health, making it all the more important to brush, floss, and receive routine hygiene visits on a regular basis. For most patients, I recommend brushing (for two minutes) and flossing at least twice a day, as well as scheduling a professional teeth cleaning and oral exam twice a year.

Todd Mabry, DDS and Jeff Styskal, DDS

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For more information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at North Scottsdale Dental Studio, please feel free to contact us today.

Dr. Mabry Helps Restore Smile for Reformed Inmate

Smiles Beyond The Bars (SBTB) is a Christian-based organization devoted to helping restore beautiful smiles for reformed inmates in need of dental care following their release from prison. Through a variety of oral services, the goal is for these former detainees to gain the confidence they need in their smile to become successful and productive members of society. As a dental dignitary and board member of the SBTB organization, Dr. Mabry had the opportunity to utilize his skill and expertise in a unique and rewarding case.

According to an article in Inscriptions – an Arizona Dental Association (AzDA) online publication – Dr. Mabry had the privilege of helping a woman by the name of Cynthia, whose teeth had been knocked out over a decade ago. In collaboration with a local periodontist, Dr. Mabry was able to extract Cynthia’s remaining damaged teeth and insert dental implants into her jawbone, effectively enabling brand-new sets of upper and lower implant-supported dentures to fit comfortably and securely in her mouth.

Only Cynthia herself could sum the results up best: “I have been hiding my smile behind my hands and my hair for so many years. Now I look normal. I feel like I can now go out and get a good job as a professional. Now I have the confidence to do it.”

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For more information about Dr. Mabry’s work with Smiles Beyond The Bars, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.

Introducing Our New Practice Name – North Scottsdale Dental Studio

toddmabrydds_LogoDesign_RGBDr. Todd Mabry, Dr. Jeff Styskal, and our entire team are thrilled to announce the change of our practice’s name to North Scottsdale Dental Studio! With this new title, our current and prospective patients can expect the same level of top-notch care we have always provided, along with the luxury and comfort of three new treatment rooms that make our office as perfect as ever for state-of-the-art dental services and procedures.

Despite the name change and addition of more office space, Dr. Mabry is committed to ensuring North Scottsdale Dental Studio remains a patient-centric practice where every individual is valued and treated like family, making them feel at home when they come in for a visit. In fact, all modifications were planned and executed to benefit our patients with improvements such as flexible office hours, same day treatments, increased emergency coverage, and more!

Ultimately, Drs. Mabry and Styskal are pleased to have the opportunity to not only maintain, but also enhance the quality of care our patients receive, and they look forward to our exciting future as North Scottsdale Dental Studio.

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If you are interested in scheduling a dental appointment with one of our highly experienced and compassionate dentists, please do not hesitate to contact North Scottsdale Dental Studio today.

What Causes Bad Breath and How Can It Be Treated?

shutterstock_240243799 (1)Are you concerned about bad breath on a frequent basis? You’re not alone. Medically known as halitosis, bad breath is an issue that affects millions of people each and every day – and that’s just in the United States. Apart from poor oral hygiene, some of the most common causes of this concern can include the particular food you eat, gum disease, perpetual dry mouth, smoking and/or tobacco use, and even certain medical conditions.

When treating halitosis, determining its root cause is an integral part of effectively resolving the issue. At North Scottsdale Dental Studio, we know how important a role fresh breath can play in a variety of social and intimate settings, which is why we offer a unique Fresh Breath Program that can help us identify and treat the specific source of your halitosis.

To begin the Fresh Breath Program, Dr. Todd Mabry or Dr. Jeff Styskal will employ an innovative technology known as the Halimeter® to test your breath. Using a special gas sensor, this advanced system can detect the particular bacteria in your mouth that may be causing bad breath, cavities, or even gum disease. Based on this precise analysis, our dentists can then devise a customized program consisting of proper oral hygiene instructions, tobacco and nutritional counseling, and several dental products and treatments that are available at our practice.

Ultimately, with a Fresh Breath Program personalized just for you, we can help you attain optimal oral health with little to no signs of halitosis.

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If you are interested in our Fresh Breath Program and would like to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact us today.

How Much Sugar is in Your Favorite Drink?

Be it naturally-occurring or artificially-sweetened, almost every delicious beverage contains sugar. The question is, just how much sugar is in some of our favorite drinks? Here are some interesting (and a little disturbing) sugar counts in popular beverages available on the grocery store shelves:

  • A 12 oz can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar
  • A 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew contains 77 grams of sugar
  • An 8.3 oz can of Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar
  • A 20 oz bottle of Minute Maid Lemonade contains 67 grams of sugar
  • An 8 oz glass of Minute Maid Premium Original Orange Juice contains 23 grams of sugar
  • A pouch of Pacific Cooler Capri Sun contains 18 grams of sugar
  • An 8 oz glass of Nesquik Chocolate Milk contains 29 grams of sugar
  • An 11.2 oz bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade contains 30 grams of sugar

What Do These Numbers Mean?

To put this into perspective, picture a teaspoon of granulated sugar. Now picture this: one teaspoon of granulated sugar is equal to four grams of sugar in your drink! Let’s do the math. That last can of Coke you drank contained the equivalent of 9.75 teaspoons of sugar; that last glass of orange juice contained the equivalent of 5.75 teaspoons of sugar; that last Capri Sun you gave to your kid contained the equivalent of 4.5 teaspoons of sugar. You get the idea.

What to Do

Am I saying to avoid all the beverages listed above? Absolutely not. However, as a dentist dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy teeth, I would be remiss not to mention the positive correlation between sugar consumption and dental issues. It is well documented that excessive amounts of sugar coming into contact with your teeth on a consistent basis can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

While it is unrealistic to tell you to cut sugar-ladened beverages completely out of your diet, do try to limit the number you and your children consume in order to lower the risk of developing cavities and other dental issues. When you’re thirsty, try drinking water. That’s what your body really needs! Additionally, it is important to receive routine oral exams and hygiene visits to address any plaque buildup missed while brushing and flossing so as to ensure your family’s teeth remain as healthy as possible.

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To schedule a dental cleaning appointment for you or your family, please contact us today.

Oral DNA (Salivary) Testing


Dr. Todd Mabry is pleased to announce the availability of 3 laboratory tests relating to oral health. We think that some of our patients may benefit from these tests, but they are usually not covered by your insurance. Therefore, we will only perform them at your request. So, it’s important for you to understand the tests and their related conditions.

One of the conditions is gum disease, which can result in loss of your teeth. Bacteria and inflammation cause gum disease. More than 50% of Americans have gum disease. The other condition is oral cancer. Oral cancer can be caused by infection with a virus called HPV and by tobacco and alcohol use. HPV-related oral cancer occurs most often in people who don’t smoke or drink very much. A different kind of oral cancer occurs in smokers who drink a lot. About 36,000 Americans get oral cancer every year.

The MyPerioIDÒ PSTÒ test can tell if you have specific changes in your DNA. These changes might mean that you have a greater risk of getting gum disease.

The MyPerioPathÒ test is for patients who actually have gum disease. It finds out which bacteria are triggering the gum disease. Once we know which bacteria are in your mouth and at what amount, we can come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. For example, this information can help us select the right antibiotic for you. We highly recommend this test if you have gum disease that has not responded to previous treatment.

The OraRiskÒ HPV test can tell if you have an HPV infection in your mouth. If you do, you might have a greater risk of getting HPV-related oral cancer. Like most cancers, it’s important to detect oral cancer early. If we know you have an HPV infection, we can watch you very closely for signs of oral cancer. We suggest you consider having this test if you are a non-smoker and don’t drink a lot.

All 3 of these tests are performed using a saliva sample, which is collected in our office. The sample is easy and fast to collect. Simply swish a sterile saline (salt) solution in your mouth and spit it into a container. The sample is then sent out for testing. When the results come back, Dr. Todd Mabry will tell you what your results are and what they mean to your oral health.

If you are interested in learning more about the Oral DNA testing offered in our practice, please contact our office at (480) 538-5210 or



Beyond Bars: Helping Rehabilitated Prisoners Regain Confidence in Their Smiles

At our practice, our goal is to provide the highest quality dental care to help patients feel confident in their smiles. To demonstrate my commitment to patient care, I have joined a nonprofit foundation called Beyond Bars. This organization provides dental work for pre-screened, rehabilitated prisoners to help them regain confidence as they adapt to everyday life.

Each of the women that I have had the pleasure of helping has been very appreciative and gone on to become productive citizens. Beyond Bars has about 19 prospects for the coming year that will need various levels of help. Making a difference in their lives and helping them adapt to the society is what inspires me most about working with the Beyond Bars organization.

Beyond Bars is part of the national movement to prevent mass incarceration. The foundation creates short videos and engages in social media to support a more conducive approach to public safety. Beyond Bars partners with a variety of organizations to help advocate policies about community rather than incarceration.

Our practice just donated a free case to a female prisoner named Cynthia who was recently released from jail. We will be providing her with advanced dental services to fix her teeth as she begins to get back into the workforce. Currently, she has no teeth, and we are providing her with upper and lower dentures with dental implants to support them. We also conducted a Cone Beam scan to determine if she has enough bone to place the implants.

Joining the Beyond Bars organization has allowed our practice to help out less fortunate people who are not able to afford the dental work they really need. Our goal is to help them succeed when readapting to everyday life.

To learn more about Beyond the Bars, visit