Dental Hygiene / Periodontal Health

In our office, we pride ourselves on our meticulous dental cleaning, polishing, and examination of your teeth. We also take the time to help our patients develop proper oral hygiene habits at home to ensure the long-term health of your teeth and smile. We will carefully evaluate your current brushing and flossing habits and make recommendations to your home-care regimen as needed.

Dr. Keen and his team of hygienists will also make suggestions for preventative measures such as dental sealants to prevent decay, or nightguards to protect your teeth from grinding/clenching (bruxism). These recommendations are to educate and inform you about the effects of night-time grinding/clenching & TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) Disorder.

If we feel that you are suffering from gingivitis, or a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis,

we may recommend that you have a more advanced, deeper cleaning, known as a root scaling and planing. These measures are extremely important to maintain the roots of your teeth clean of tartar debris (calculus). Regular cleanings are imperative to prevent bone loss and gum recession, and to help you maintain your natural teeth healthy for life.

Studies have proven the correlation between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, whereby poor oral health significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease.

Oral Cancer Screenings

During a dental exam, Dr. Keen will check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white patches or recurring sore areas.

Screening for early changes in the oral tissues can sometimes help detect cancer at a stage when it can be more successfully treated.

Smoking, especially combined with heavy alcohol consumption (30 drinks a week or more), is the primary risk factor for oral cancer. In fact, this combination is estimated to be the most likely trigger in about 75 percent of oral cancers diagnosed in this country. Other lifestyle and environmental factors may also increase your risk of developing oral cancer.

The harmful effects of continuous sun exposure on skin is well documented. It is advised that SPF 15 or SPF 30 be applied to the lips and face to protect against sun damage and cancer. Unfortunately, cancer of the lower lip in the form of Squamous Cell Carcinoma is becoming very common today, and can be prevented.  Please protect your lips and skin from the sun!

Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure in which the dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed with specially designed dental instruments. It is important to remove the plaque and tartar from the "gum-line pockets" around the teeth, because the rough surfaces of plaque and tartar make it easier for bacteria to remain attached to the roots of teeth. Once bacteria is firmly attached to your roots, they release many toxins that not only irritate the gums, but cause permanent destruction of the gum tissue and bone.

Some patients develop more plaque and tartar than others.  Accordingly, some of us need cleanings performed more often than just twice per year.  Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are one of the best methods to ensure your teeth are healthy for a lifetime.

Dr. Keen and our team of skilled dental hygienists will establish a dental cleaning schedule that is ideally appropriate for you and your smile.