Myofunctional Therapy: Expanding Dental Intervention

It seems that in the past, the main reason to refer a patient to a therapist was for a tongue thrust. We now have a wide variety of symptoms we need to be looking for which can be treated by a Myofunctional Therapist that can greatly improve our patients’ quality of life. Things such as malocclusion, long-term thumb sucking,...

The Dental Hygiene Revolution: Reflect, Research, Take Action vs. Deflect, Accept, Do Nothing

We reflect, research, and take action on a daily basis in our clinical dental hygiene operatories. Sometimes the opposite is true of us as well; we deflect, accept, and do nothing. The latter is by far the easier route, but perhaps the most frustrating and least fulfilling. What I would like to focus on is the former, also known...

Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Dentistry

The question, “What does my blood pressure have to do with my teeth?” is likely one dental hygienists who take blood pressure have heard. As dental hygienists, we realize the simple answer to this question is a lot; specifically safety while under our treatment and overall health of the patient. Many clinicians have had cases of referring a patient...

More than Just Teeth: A Hygienist’s Journey to Patient Satisfaction

Landing my first dental hygiene job was a breeze. I had just graduated from the dental hygiene program and was excitedly looking for a position to jumpstart my career. The third office I walked in to hired me on the spot after I handed them my very green resume. I was beyond perplexed but also extremely ecstatic. I smiled...

Behcet’s Disease: What Dental Hygienists Should Know & Look For

Behcet’s disease is an autoimmune disorder which attacks the blood vessels and creates inflammation. “It is known as a multisystem inflammatory disorder characterized by ulcers affecting the mouth and genitals, various skin lesions, and abnormalities affecting the eyes.3” Behcet's disease is most commonly found in Japan, China, Turkey, and Iran, also known as the “Old Silk Route;” it is...

Ankyloglossia: Please Release Me!

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital anomaly that may severely restrict the tongue’s range of motion. It is caused by an abnormally thick, short lingual frenulum which tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Severe tongue-ties are usually discovered at birth as it interferes with normal breast-feeding.1 If not discovered at birth...

Sealants: Not Just For Kids Anymore

As a dental hygienist, I consider myself a preventive oral healthcare specialist. Dental hygienists are one of the few healthcare providers with the primary goal of preventing disease - not just treating it. We have an entire arsenal of preventive procedures we can offer our patients which ultimately leads to reduced cost and discomfort by reducing restorative treatment needs....

Gingival Recession: It’s Not the Toothbrush’s Fault

Let’s think about how many times we’ve heard the following chief complaints from our patients: “I have cold sensitivity,” “I’m noticing a dark spot close to my gum line (a.k.a. black triangle),” “I think I’m brushing too hard,” or, “I started flossing, and I noticed my gums starting to recede.” Raise your hand if you have heard any of...

Expanding Sensitivity Options

Dentin hypersensitivity is consistently a top chief complaint dental hygienists hear from patients.  Levels of sensitivity and the underlying causes of this condition can vary widely making it important to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Dentin hypersensitivity is characterized by short, sharp pain from exposed dentin in response to thermal, evaporative, tactile, osmotic or chemical stimuli...

The Link between Nitrous Oxide Uptake and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Dentistry as a whole can often bring about anxiety and stress for many patients. This anxiety does not just occur when restorative work needs to be addressed, but for many, the idea of a “routine cleaning,” as well as any kind of periodontal maintenance treatment, can induce high anxiety and stress. Some people will avoid scheduling dental procedures until...

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