Dental hygiene and gum disease
Gum disease is one of the most common and fully preventable diseases which, untreated, may increase the risk of a tooth loss.
Inflamed, red, bleeding, and often tender/painful gums are typical symptoms of gingivitis. If you suffer from any of these we recommend you see your dentist or hygienist as soon as possible.
A good oral hygiene routine is the key to a healthy smile. It helps to prevent not just tooth decay, but also gum disease, staining, and bad breath (halitosis).
Our dentists or our dedicated hygienist, Laura, will work with you to help improve your everyday oral hygiene routine and provide you with a personalised plan on how to maintain your smile.
What happens during a hygienist appointment?
Our highly trained dental hygienist will assess the condition of your gums and teeth and will then carefully remove any build-up of dental plaque and calculus from the teeth. This can be done by using hand or ultrasonic instruments. Laura will be able to talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of both techniques.
They will instruct you on different brushing techniques tailored to your needs and demonstrate how to floss and use interdental brushes correctly.
What is a Scale and Polish?
Scaling is when your dentist or hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the tooth surface and below the gum line, making sure all debris is removed down to the bottom of the pocket. Polishing your teeth and root surface will help your gums to reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root debridement may take more than one visit and may require a local anaesthetic. Your dentist or hygienist will discuss the treatment with you and will advise you about appointment intervals tailored to your needs.
After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, your teeth might be sensitive for a short time, and your gums might be slightly tender. You can help yourself by brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth daily.
What causes gingivitis, and how can I prevent it?
The main factor leading to the development of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene, which leads to plaque and bacteria accumulation around your teeth, causing inflammation of surrounding gum tissue.
Good oral hygiene, including brushing teeth at least twice a day, flossing, using interdental brushes, and attending regular dental check-ups can help prevent and reverse the disease.
There are some other additional factors that can increase your risk of gingivitis:
• Smoking or chewing tobacco
• Older age
• Dry mouth
• Poor nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
• Crowded, difficult to clean teeth
• Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or puberty
• Conditions that decrease immunity such as leukaemia
• Certain drugs, such as phenytoin for epileptic seizures, and some calcium channel blockers.
If you are concerned about tooth loss due to gum disease please feel free to contact us.