Lip Tattoos: Help Dental Patients Think before They Ink

Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years, and these permanent designs are always personal, serving as status symbols, signs of religious beliefs, amulets, declarations of love, adornments, and even as forms of punishment. People tattoo every part of their bodies, including their inner labial mucosa, gingiva, and hard palate as a form of self-expression. Celebrities such...

What Your Patients Need to Know about Periodontitis Links to Diabetes & Heart Disease

There are many diseases that are prevalent in the world, and some diseases even more so in the United States. Diabetes and heart disease are diseases that are becoming more and more common to this country's population. However, there is another disease that does not get nearly as much attention that not only affects almost half of all adult...

Reviewing the Relationship of Mental Health with Dental Hygiene Care

Dentistry can be associated with anxiety, phobias, and acute stress. Conversely, these psychological disorders can be associated with dental diseases such as erosion, caries, and periodontal disease.5 Stress, anxiety, and depression may negatively affect the catabolic and anabolic pathways the body uses to react and adjust to reestablish homeostasis. The body’s response to stress is to activate the sympathetic...

Why Early Orthodontic Treatment May Be a Mistake and Not Necessary

Editor's Note: This article is one person's experience and is anecdotal. It should not be taken as orthodontic advice. Please consult an orthodontist for treatment needs based on individual circumstances. As a dental hygienist, we are often the first to see a child and recognize that the patient may have an orthodontic problem. Assessment at a young age can indicate...

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...

Due Diligence Hygienists Should Take for Dry Mouth Patients

Each time a patient sits down in my chair, I ask them a series of questions before I do anything else: Are there any changes in your health since we last saw you in the office? Are you currently taking any medications, either prescribed or over-the-counter? Is there anything giving you any trouble in your mouth? Any pain, sensitivity,...

How to Talk to Patients About Removal of Amalgam Restorations

Many dental offices, including the one I practice in today, are now mercury-free. Most of our patients are up-to-date with the research that mercury is a neurotoxin and, at certain levels, can cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, and mental disorders. We now have sufficient evidence-based research to acknowledge mercury restorations are not the ideal option they once...

Oral Cancer: HPV-related Small Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx

HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer is becoming more widely discussed in literature and dental offices. Over the past 30 years, we have learned more about HPV’s role in oropharyngeal cancer. Currently, oropharyngeal cancer is the most common HPV-related cancer in the United States.1 Most of the oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV are squamous cell carcinomas. However, there are multiple phenotypes that are...

Stop Diagnosing Pocketbooks and Treatment Plan Accordingly

When hygienists enter the field of dentistry, many present with hearts of gold. It is noticeable the minute you meet a hygienist; he/she cares about your health, family, and even more than can be imagined! Behind the compassionate hearts of hygienists, one can often find a hygienist worrying about how a patient will afford that newly diagnosed crown or...

Bridging the Gap Between Medical and Dental Health of Our Diabetic Patients

The bridge between medical and dental health is a hot topic and one we as dental hygienists cannot ignore! A lot is being done to try to build this bridge and shorten this gap, particularly with one of the most well-known and direct oral-systemic connections – diabetes and oral health. Our hygiene profession and the care we provide our...

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