Regular visits to a dental hygienist are essential for a healthy smile and lasting oral health. Cleaning your teeth properly prevents tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath and stops more serious problems such as tooth loss and premature ageing from the resulting bone loss in the jaw.
There will always be parts of your mouth you can’t reach, and for most people some plaque and bacteria remain on their teeth even after brushing. Our hygienists will give these areas a deep clean, going under the gum line where necessary, and they will remove calculus, also known as tartar, hardened plaque that can’t be removed by brushing.
Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some extent, and it’s more common with age. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, which is why its treatment and control is the single most important factor in dental care.
Gum disease is the swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth and there are two main types: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Two symptoms of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, are bleeding when brushing and bad breath.
If gingivitis isn’t treated, periodontitis can develop. This affects tissues that support the teeth and hold them in place. If this goes untreated the bone in the jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth, allowing teeth to become loose and eventually be lost.
Gum disease usually develops painlessly so it’s easy not to notice the damage it is doing, but if the disease is left untreated for a long time treatment can become more difficult. That’s why regular hygiene appointments are a good idea as part of your routine dental care.
In your hygiene appointment we will carefully check for signs of gum disease or mouth cancer. Gum disease and other sites of infection in the mouth can be of particular concern to people at risk from coronary disease. The inflammation places additional stress on the heart and so it is important that these problems are seen and treated early.
Unfortunately it’s still quite common for people to reach adulthood without having been shown healthy brushing and flossing techniques, and damage to your gums and enamel can result. We will work with you to develop an oral hygiene regime for you to use in between you hygiene appointments so that you stay as healthy as possible.