The best way to ensure the long-term health of your mouth is to combine regular dental check-ups, hygienist appointments and a good oral hygiene routine at home.
Your dental hygienist will professionally clean your teeth (scale and polish) helping to make sure your mouth is fresh and healthy.
Even with regular brushing at home it is impossible to stop the daily build-up of plaque on your teeth which can cause gum irritation, bleeding and bad breath.
When left untreated, tartar build up could potentially lead to the development of gum disease. At your regular appointments, the hygienist can remove this tartar layer.
At Oakleigh House we have fully qualified GDC registered dental hygienists who work every day throughout the week ensuring you can easily make an appointment at a time and date that is convenient to you.
Please call us today to find out more – contact us »
What will my Hygienist do?
- They will professionally deep clean (scale) and polish your teeth greatly reducing your chances of developing gum disease.
- They can advise and educate you regarding your oral health. – including tips for keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy in the long-term.
- They can give recommendations for dental cleaning tools.
- They will keep your mouth (and thus your breath) fresh.
- They could help prevent the need for more involved treatments in the future.
- They could spot the early signs or oral cancers and other dental diseases.
- Some hygienists can also carry out oral assessments, fillings, x-rays, impressions, fissure sealants and fluoride treatments on behalf of the dentist.
A hygienist appointment is a great opportunity for children to be educated regarding their oral health whilst also ensuring their teeth are developing properly.
Your hygienist can also advise you on the impact of your diet and other lifestyle factors including smoking.
What is gum disease?
It is estimated that up to three quarters of adults in the UK are affected in some way by gum disease (periodontal disease). In fact, it is likely that almost everyone will experience it as some point in their lives (usually as gingivitis- the earlier stage of gum disease).
Often it can be hard to tell whether you have gum disease as there are no obvious signs. That’s why it is important to attend yearly appointments with your dentist- and six monthly trips to the hygienist so that your teeth and gums can be cleaned and checked regularly.
Remember to always brush and floss your teeth twice a day- using a mouthwash and interdental brushes to reach any hidden areas between teeth.
Gum disease cannot be reversed or ‘fixed’ but if found early it can be treated and controlled.
What causes gum disease?
- The daily build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums contributes directly to gum disease.
- Brushing and flossing alone does not remove this plaque.
- If left the plaque build-up turns to a tartar and causes a reaction in your gums- resulting in irritation, bleeding and redness.
- The natural reaction of your body is to attack and break down the plaque- but unfortunately it can also start to break down the gum and bone.
- Untreated, the bone will eventually erode resulting in tooth loss.
The signs of gum disease:
Remember that the signs of gum disease are not always obvious. An important thing to bear in mind is that healthy gums don’t bleed! If you are concerned about gum disease then contact your dentist- it’s important to detect the problem early in order to ensure the best chance of saving your teeth.
- Blood– this is one of the most common signs. You may notice blood when brushing or eating.
- Bad breath– or a metallic taste in the mouth.
- Noticeable gum recession
- Increased sensitivity
- Gaps or wobbly teeth.
What can you do about gum disease?
Bacterial deposits under the gums can be removed with a deep clean (debridement).
Following the removal of bacteria and plaque you will be given advice on how to best clean your teeth with the use of interdental devices if necessary.
If your gum disease is advanced you may be referred to a periodontist who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
Who is at risk of developing gum disease?
The development of gum disease is sporadic and therefore this is no way of predicting who it might affect. Anybody is at risk if they don’t clean their teeth properly or visit their dentist on a regular basis.
There are particular groups of people who are at more risk:
Smokers: Smoking can greatly affect the health of your mouth- from high levels of tartar in the mouth, increased bone loss and the lack of ability to heal there are many reasons to quit.
People with stress: High levels of stress can affect your ability to fight off infection.
Those undergoing medical treatment: Certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy can affect your immune system.
Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease. Gum disease also makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Even with regular brushing, flossing and rinsing the daily build-up of plaque on our teeth and gums never stops. Check-ups with hygienist are the best way to help remove this build up- ensuring that we lessen our chances of developing gum disease.
But what about those hard to reach (somewhat neglected!) areas of our mouth? They can often slip our minds. Gaps between teeth that are not reached by a conventional toothbrush can become breeding grounds for food and bacteria.
Your Dentist can recommend a wide range of interdental devices to help fully clean your mouth every day- helping you to maintain healthy teeth and gums until your next dental appointment.
These items include:
- Interdental brushes
- Dental sticks
- Rubber tip stimulators
- Irrigation devices
- Disclosing solutions
All of these items are available for purchase from your dental practice at a very reasonable price.
Why not call us today to find out more.