Regular dental hygienist appointments remove tartar in harder to reach places to prevent cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. Alongside good daily dental hygiene routine this will ensure your gums and teeth are rid of daily buildup of plaque and tartar.
Our oral hygiene appointment provides:
1. A dental hygiene examination to look for any bleeding, inflammation, plaque or calculus build up.
2. Scaling and polish to remove plaque and calculus. We use the latest equipment, including air polishers, which fires a jet of air, water and sodium bicarbonate at your teeth to remove debris and polish the surface.
3. Daily dental hygiene advice to ensure you maintain those areas visibly accessible on a day to day basis, in between dental hygiene appointments, and ensure long-term problems caused by poor dental hygiene remain at bay.
4. An opportunity to discuss your diet and provide advice on changes which may reduce the
incidence of tooth decay and gum disease.
5. Sealing of the fissures on children’s teeth, which prevents early establishment of tooth decay. We would also apply special fluoride coatings to strengthen the enamel of their teeth The hygienist can also help with halitosis treatment of bad breath as this can be a common result of poor dental hygiene.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected.
If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis.
If gingivitis isn’t treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects the bone and supporting tissues around the teeth that hold them in place.
If periodontitis isn’t treated, the bone in your jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. Your teeth can become loose and in severe cases, eventually fall out.
Why might I be susceptible?
Periodontal disease is the Number One cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is because a certain number of people (15-20%) have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissues that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us know if we are part of this 15-20% because we can’t usually feel or notice the onset of periodontal disease.
Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.
Keeping your gums in shape
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria.
Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are harmful for the health of your gums. If you don’t remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it builds up and irritates your gums. This can lead to redness with bleeding, swelling and soreness.
Keep in mind that healthy gums DON’T BLEED. You are the key player on the hygiene team. If you don’t do the essential daily toothbrushing and interdental cleaning, the rest of your dental team (the dentist and hygienist) is playing short-handed. And sometimes with everyone fighting the good fight, stubborn plaque and bacteria require new maintenance techniques for battling gum disease.
Unfortunately gum disease is not curable, but it is treatable, and in most cases, controllable.
Am I at high risk of gum disease?
As well as poor oral hygiene, a number of things can increase your risk of developing problems with your gums. These include:
Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.
Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.
Unfortunately, gum disease becomes more common as you get older.
Research has indicated that some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be more likely to develop periodontal disease.
These groups of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Systemic diseases that interfere with the body’s inflammatory system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
A weakened immune system
Conditions such as HIV & AIDS, or certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, impair the body’s ability to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.
Poor Nutrition and Obesity
A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.
There is also mounting clinical evidence linking the bacteria responsible for gum disease with other general medical conditions:
Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets, forming heart-stopping blood clots.
Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.
Diabetics: These groups of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people and gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Premature birth: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be as much as seven times more likely to have a baby born early. Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the level of hormones that induce labour.