Denver Dentist, Dentist in Denver, CO

Heather K. Harris, DDS

 

General, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

  
303-393-0039 

Dental Hygiene

  

 


At our office, we make sure that you receive the highest level of service and ensure that our dental work is of the highest quality. To ensure that you maintain great oral health, this level of quality needs to extend into your personal oral hygiene routine. We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Your gums are essential to oral hygiene as well.

 


Oral cancer screenings

Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit for the patient. Each time your visit your hygienist, she will perform a thorough screening of all of your oral soft tissue, looking for any suspicious areas. If any areas of concern are noted, we will ask that you return in two weeks for a re-evaluation. If there is still concern with the area, we will then refer you to a local specialist to have it further evaluated.

Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth, but do not always determine whether or not you could have oral cancer. Whether or not are a smoker or heavy drinker, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit the dentist!

 

Periodontal Charting

A screening for periodontal or gum disease is very important to determine your overall oral health and should be completed at least once yearly. This screening is a description of the health of a person’s mouth.  It gives information about how many teeth are present, the depth of the bone holding in the teeth, any areas that bleed when probed (measured), loose teeth, and gum level (recession) on and around the teeth. 

Healthy gums will have measurements of 3mm or less.  Gum tissue will be pink with no bleeding.  A person with gingivitis will have measurements of 4mm and under with red, tender, puffy gums that are likely to bleed when measured, but no damage to the underlying bone.  Early gum disease or Early Periodontitis is defined as measurements  of 4mm with red inflamed gums and bone loss.  Patients with Moderate Periodontitis will have measurements of 5mm with moderate bone loss. Advanced Periodontitis is defined as measurements of 6mm and above, advanced bone loss, possible tooth movement and gums that bleed easily.

 

Gum Disease and/or Periodontitis:

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

The early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced gum disease is called Periodontitis. Patients with Periodontitis have permanent loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal disease can become more and more severe over time, especially if not treated correctly. If it does, your teeth can feel loose and start moving around in your mouth.

It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.

Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

 

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

 

Here are some factors that can increase the risk of developing gum disease:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean 
  • pregnancy 
  • diabetes 
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

 

 

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root planing is a type of deep cleaning that may be recommended if you have Periodontal disease, as a healthy cleaning will not properly treat the current infection. During this process, the hygienist will clean and smooth the infected tooth with special instruments. If necessary, the hygienist may provide local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. If this area is not kept clean the entire area can become irritated with the bacteria that resides in the tartar and plaque. It's very important to have your hygienist check this area if you have bleeding during brushing.

 

 
 
 
We proudly offer dental hygiene at our convenient location in Denver, CO. A consistent dental hygiene appointment is important to your overall oral health. Well make sure that your teeth are clean, plaque-free and looking their whitest