Happy National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 18, 2018

 

When most people think of October they think of Halloween but not us! We think about our amazing hygiene team! October is National Dental Hygiene Month and a great month for us to remind all of our patients and community members of how important good oral health is. This also gives us an opportunity to applaud our hygiene team on the great care they provide to our island community. At our office we have two fantastic hygienists who work with our patients to have the best dental experience possible, while also giving them the knowledge to take the best care of their mouth. This month is also a great time to talk about the basics of periodontal disease. If you keep reading this we hope to help you learn more about what our hygiene team does to treat and prevent this.      

The best place to begin is gingivitis, what it is and what it can do. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that presents with red, swollen and bleeding gums. This is caused by letting bacteria filled plaque build up on your teeth. Gingivitis doesn’t sound like fun but don’t worry it is reversible. If you see your hygienist regularly for your cleanings and keeping up with good homecare practices you can prevent gingivitis from worsening.  Periodontal disease or periodontitis is the advancement of untreated gingivitis. When plaque is left to accumulate, over time your body’s inflammatory response starts to do irreparable damage. The gums begin to form deeper pockets, becoming harder to clean and more buildup occurs below the gumline. Without treatment, the cycle continues with more gum tissue and bone being destroyed. Once the bone is lost, it cannot be regenerated. All of this damage leads to loose teeth and inevitably to tooth loss.  

The highly trained hygienist’s here focus on the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. The way to begin with this process would with gum therapy, most people know this as a “ deep cleaning” or as our clinical team calls it “ scaling and root planing”. This consists of  the use of anesthetic and specialized instruments to reach and adapt below the gumline to remove the tartar and plaque buildup at the depths of the pockets. If your hygienist determines your gum disease is advanced to a point that a specialist (Periodontist) would best serve you, we would be happy to send a referral for you! We have several Periodontitis that we have for you to choose from. We have options in both seattle and Tacoma.

Once the disease has been treated, good home care is a necessity. Your hygienist will go over a unique plan for your individual needs. They will also most likely encourage you to come in more than twice a year. Many people are unaware that the 6 month recall frequency is intended for those with a healthier mouth. The goal is to prevent periodontal disease at these visits. A 3-4 month recall is appropriate for anyone that has undergone treatment for gum disease. When they get to see you more frequently it helps to keep your gums stable and the disease under control.

We want to give the biggest thank you to our hygienist’s Cheryl and Wanda. Thank you ladies for the amazing work you do and the care you provide to our patients.  If you’re ready to start your exploration to a healthier you, please give our team a call! (206) -463-9115

Happy Dental Hygiene Month!

 

References

American Academy of Periodontology: https://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html#OverlayWrapper[flash]/0/

 


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