Our hygiene department is the foundation of our dental practice. Prevention is our goal, so we schedule visits with our hygienists at regularly recommended intervals – most commonly every 6 months. This is the best way to insure that any problems are detected early and are treated before they become more serious.
Your hygienist will do a professional cleaning of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar as well as any staining that can be removed. She will evaluate the health of your gum tissue to determine if there is the presence of gingivitis or periodontal disease. She will make sure all your teeth are in good condition and discuss any medications you may be taking that affect your oral health. She will also inform patients of issues that are relevant to his or her individual oral health and discuss any concerns they may have.
Your Doctor will come in to do an examination and review the hygienist’s findings. He/she will diagnose any conditions you may have as well as treatment you may need or want. The Doctor will also perform a head and neck exam, checking lymph nodes, tongue and oral tissues for any abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. He/she can answer any questions you may have during this time.
Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
Gum disease, or Periodontitis, consists of swelling or soreness of the gums (the soft tissue around and supporting your teeth). It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. The plaque bacteria have toxins that infect and inflame the gums. If you do not remove plaque by brushing and flossing your teeth, it can build up and infect your gums, teeth and the bone that supports them. If not treated, you may lose your teeth.
The signs of gum disease are not always easy to see and can be painless. The earlier gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. Our hygienists are experts at detecting gum disease and use periodontal measurements to determine the level of gum disease a patient may have.
Mild periodontitis (known as gingivitis) is the first stage of gum disease. Your gums may feel tender and you may see bleeding when you brush or floss. Gingivitis can be controlled by having a hygienist professionally clean your teeth on a regular basis and maintaining a strict routine of proper brushing and flossing at home. Our hygienists instruct patients on proper techniques for brushing and flossing their teeth.