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Hygienist treatment is of importance in the prevention of dental disease. Regular professional tooth surface cleaning prevents the build-up of plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line, removes stains and makes your breath fresher. Gum disease is the commonest cause of tooth loss in adults. Regular hygienist appointments can help prevent this.
What is Gum Disease?
Plaque is the accumulation of a biofilm on teeth that is colonised by bacteria. This causes an inflammatory response in gums making them red and swollen. They often bleed and can be uncomfortable. If this persists for a long time the bone loss can occur creating a dental gum pocket. This is called gum disease. Plaque can calcify and become tartar. This is very stubborn an can build up on teeth both above and below the gum line.
How can you prevent gum disease?
The hygienist’s treatment is particularly important in removal of the stubborn tartar and to help cleaning in the harder to reach areas. Some require more regular attention than others. Some may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease others medical complications and there are some social factors such as smoking. The biggest help in prevention comes from you and your oral hygiene regime. The hygienist will ensure you have information and demonstrate the important techniques required to keep a healthy mouth for life. When pockets exist, they can accelerate the progression of gum disease. Eventually there is so much bone loss that the teeth become loose and painful. Repeated gum infections can occur and result in the tooth or teeth requiring extraction. Gum disease can also make your breath smell.
How do we treat gum disease?
The hygienists will carefully debride the teeth removing the plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. Sometimes when the gums are particularly inflamed this can be quite sore. In these cases we often recommend the use of local anaesthetic to make things more comfortable and also easier for us.