Personalized health care applied to oral hygiene

October 14th, 2014

The best way for dental hygienists and those studying the profession to stay informed about upcoming discoveries and news related to oral care is to have hygiene academic software that updates with the latest dental news. Not only will dental school software provide a platform for someone who wants to know how to use the kind of tools that professionals operate, but such a student will also be fully conversant with techniques and stories about his or her field.

One recent story by RDH Magazine described the importance of personalized health care for those who want to offer special treatment plans to those who need it. The story presented a patient with a history of cigarette smoking, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He has moderately good oral hygiene and visit the dental hygienist once or twice a year. He is Interleukin-1 (IL-1) genotype positive, meaning he has increased bone and connective tissue destruction in his periodontal tissues.

How would an oral care professional treat such a case? Essentially, the process would be to analyze the patient's risk factors and then proceed accordingly, giving more or less dental help as it becomes necessary. This means that the patient may need to see a dentist or hygienist more often or have surgery performed on his periodontal tissues to prevent further damage. The story offered a risk-based model of treatment for prevention that seems to reduce the chances for significant oral health problems in those it has been tried on.

Keeping your patients informed about bad breath
In honor of Halloween, as well as National Dental Hygiene Month, Doctor Bob Kross presented a story in the Gilmer Mirror that spoke to the importance of mouth wash and brushing the tongue in order to reduce the chances of building up anaerobic bacteria.

"The nooks and crannies in our mouths and gums are not the only places crammed with organic debris, which feed the bacteria that create biofilm, such as plaque, to protect themselves from oxygen," Kross said. "There are also cracks on the tongue's surface and in the other soft tissues in the mouth and pharynx where bacteria collect, further compromising dental health and creating bad breath."

Oral hygienists who want to help their patients prevent bad breath can remind them that using non-alcohol based mouth washes can kill bacteria that develop in the mouth. Additionally, brushing the tongue helps to clean food debris. Keeping patients informed about best practices for oral health is a great way to make sure they have a healthy mouth the next time they come into the office.

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