eccentricBLOG ON WELLNESS
Wellness Put into Action
The word “wellness” has become more popular in recent years and its approach to placing focus on a person’s overall health has changed the way that I practice as a dental hygienist. I spent years frustrated by bleeding inflamed gums and periodontal infections that I couldn’t seem to get under control despite my best efforts. Little did I know that there were some very key elements missing to the treatment recommended to our patients. In school, the oral-systemic link was something discussed but there really wasn’t a treatment protocol. When I entered my current practice, which puts tremendous focus on the overall wellness of our patients, the way I practice dental hygiene changed drastically. I now have the ability to affect my patient’s overall wellbeing by investigating other issues in their bodies contributing to the infections occurring in their mouths. By addressing root causes of inflammation we are changing lives.
The Little Things
I recently received a heart-felt letter from a patient thanking me for changing her life. I thought, “wow, changed her life?! Sounds a bit extreme…” but then I realized, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. She had been burdened for years by tender, inflamed, gums. She was religious about coming in for her 3mo periodontal maintenance appointments and she practiced decent hygiene. One afternoon, as she sat in my chair, I told her that we needed to figure out why we couldn’t get her periodontal disease under control. We needed to find out the roo
t cause of the inflammation plaguing her body. She fought me saying that this was “just the way her gums were”. With some further encouragement she took an oral DNA test, and we discovered she was burdened by a high pathogen load. We placed her on Perio Protect trays and her gums changed drastically. When she arrived for her 3mo check-up she handed me a card and gave me a warm hug. No longer did her gums hurt and bleed daily. By controlling the aggressive pathogens burdening her body we were able to improve her quality of life.