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Woman visiting dentist at clinic
Woman visiting dentist at clinic

Dental Hygiene Therapy (Periodontics)

More than just “cleanings”, dental hygiene therapy focuses on the prevention of oral disease and maintenance of adequate oral health. Most of us are familiar with how a cavity impacts our teeth, but periodontal disease is a silent force that can have detrimental effects on not just our oral health, but on the health of our entire body.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as “gum disease”, is an infection that affects the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. This includes gingivitis, indicated by preliminary inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis, which is the breakdown of the bone surrounding the teeth as a result of chronic inflammation of the gums over time. We have long attributed the cause of these diseases to the bacteria living in the plaque (sticky film) and calculus (hard, mineralized plaque) on teeth, therefore, cleaning the teeth, both at home, and professionally by a Registered Dental Hygienist, is essential to preventing oral disease.

However, there are many more factors than keeping teeth clean that influence oral health. Advancing research is giving us more evidence that our mouth is a portal, deeply connected to the rest of our body.

Our Registered Dental Hygienist, Tianna, is a bit like a detective, assessing everything from your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, in combination with a thorough assessment of your oral tissues, including oral cancer screenings, to develop individualized treatment plans and recommendations, aimed at keeping not just your mouth, but your entire body healthy and functioning optimally.

Nutritional Counselling

Nutritional counselling, a service that our hygienist, Tianna, offers here at Motivo Dental, goes beyond reducing sugars and acids to prevent cavities. For example, if Vitamin C levels are low, connective tissue healing is compromised, and we are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of gum disease. Without adequate Vitamin A, saliva production is reduced, increasing our risk to cavities. As the Greek physician Hippocrates said all the way back in 400 BC, “Let thy food be thy medicine”.

Recreational Drug Cessation

Recreational drug cessation, another service that Tianna offers, focuses on more than just quitting smoking to reduce stain. In fact, any form of combustible smoking, whether tobacco or cannabis, increases the risk to periodontitis to such a large degree that it is one of two risk factors (along with diabetes) that are used by dental professionals around the world to formally diagnose the severity and progression of periodontal disease. Other drugs such as e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, hookah, etc. have their own risks and complications.

Oral-Systemic Link

The role of inflammation caused by oral bacteria associated with systemic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer, is a fascinating field of study, and further emphasizes the importance of maintaining adequate oral health. We like to think of your oral health as part of an interconnected web with influences at constant play with one another. Much the same as a vehicle, we cannot neglect treating certain areas of our health and expect to feel good and function properly, just as forgetting to change the oil in our vehicles can lead to significant damage.

Experienced Dental Hygienists

Tianna’s ultimate goal as a dental hygienist here at Motivo Dental, is to keep your body healthy and strong, starting with the prevention oral disease, through her keen awareness of early signs, and working with you to address them before degradation of oral tissue occurs. Often, the destructive effects of periodontal disease are not reversible, and thus, the goal becomes more challenging, working to prevent further disease progression.

Contact us today with any questions and to schedule an appointment with our Registered Dental Hygienist, Tianna, to ensure a lifetime of health and happiness, starting with your mouth!