Meet Melissa, Registered Dental Hygienist

MelissaMelissa attended San Diego Mesa College and San Joaquin Valley College, and she holds her registered dental hygienist’s license, as well as certification in laser dentistry. She is also a member of the American Dental Association. As a hygienist, Melissa performs regular and deep dental cleanings, educates patients about oral health care at home, how to care for their gums, and which dental products are best for their individual health. In addition, she can help patients with issues like bad breath, receding gums, and gum sensitivity.

Melissa encourages her patients to open up and feel comfortable with her, and she gets to know every patient in her care, on a first-name basis. Melissa takes great pride in the appreciation her patients’ express for her work and the role she plays in their oral and overall health.

Of Armenian heritage, Melissa comes from a loving and generous family. Her brother is also in the healthcare field; he is a child psychiatrist. Away from the dental office, she likes to sing, attend dance classes, go sailing, and travel the world with her husband.

Why Dental Hygienists are Important

A dental hygienist is formally trained in the health and care of the gums. While most people think about dentistry as only having to do with teeth, gums and jawbone tissue are the supporting foundation for all teeth. Without healthy gums, teeth would become loose and fall out.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, affects about half of the population, and it strikes people of all ages. Particularly prone to gum disease are women undergoing hormonal changes, teens in puberty, those who smoke or use tobacco, people who use an inhaler for asthma, and older persons. Detected and treated in the early stage, gum disease can be stopped from progressing. Early symptoms are usually mild or undetectable, though, so the condition may progress rapidly, as it remains untreated.

By checking the depth of the pockets between your gums and teeth, Melissa can determine whether you have gum disease or are developing it. Because this disease is chronic, patients who have gum disease are always at risk for a flare up. Treatments for the condition usually start with improving daily oral hygiene by using the right products and good techniques when regularly brushing and flossing. More advanced gum disease may require a deep cleaning, in which teeth roots are planed and teeth are cleaned, or scaled, below the gum line. Antibiotics may be employed to destroy the bacteria that cause gum disease. Laser therapy may also be used to eradicate bacteria and promote the reattachment of gums to teeth. For extreme cases, patients may be referred to a periodontist (a specialist).