National Dental Hygiene Month!

November 27, 2018

Happy October! Time to celebrate the beautiful fall colors and arrival of pumpkin flavored everything. Also this month we celebrate our hygienists for National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s a time to help us raise awareness about the importance of good oral health and celebrate the important work our hygienists do to improve our oral health!  They are always striving to better serve their patients. We are so fortunate to have 7 wonderful hygienists that put our patients at ease and encourage them to work toward a healthier smile. National Dental Hygiene month is the perfect time to discuss the basics of periodontal disease. Read on to learn more about the disease your hygienist is working hard to treat and prevent every day.

First up, gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease that presents with red, swollen and bleeding gums. It is caused by a buildup of plaque (which contains bacteria) on the teeth and is reversible. With regular routine dental cleanings and good oral home care you can prevent gingivitis from progressing. Periodontal disease or periodontitis is the advancement of untreated gingivitis. When plaque is left to accumulate, your body’s inflammatory response starts to do irreparable damage over time. Your gums begin to form deeper pockets, making them harder to clean resulting in more buildup 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. As you can imagine this leads to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss.

The hygienists here at Ballard Dental Arts are focused on preventing and treating periodontal disease. Treatment for periodontal disease starts with gum therapy, also referred to as “deep cleanings” or “scaling and root planing.”  During this treatment, the use of anesthetic and specialized instruments help 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,  a referral will be given. We have enjoyed a great relationship with Advanced Periodontics. Our patients are in great and capable hands with the wonderful staff at Advanced Periodontics.

Our hygienist will help you treat the disease but maintaining the work is a team effort. Good home care is imperative. Your hygienist will discuss the best tools for you based on your individual needs. It’s likely that they will recommend a more frequent recall schedule. Many people are unaware that the 6 month recall frequency is intended for those with a healthier mouth. The goal at these appointments is to prevent periodontal disease. A 3-4 month recall is appropriate for anyone that has undergone treatment for gum disease. More frequent hygiene maintenance appointments help to keep your gums stable and the disease under control.

I would like to conclude by thanking our amazing team of dental hygienists. Ginny, Heather, Jenni, Jennifer, Lea, Phuong and Siri work hard everyday to keep their patients healthy. As always if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them at your next visit. If you’re ready to begin your journey to a healthy smile, give us a call! 206-784-3740

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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