The job of our hygienist’s is to professionally clean and polish your teeth (this is sometimes called ‘scaling and polishing’). Their job also involves educating patients about the best ways to help keep their teeth plaque free.
Combining regular hygienist appointments with your own home care is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth, keep your teeth strong and give you fresher breath. Neglecting your gums can lead to poor gum health, which can cause cause heart problems later on in life.
Hygienist training is focused on preventing gum disease and tooth decay by removing deposits of tartar that build up on the teeth. By teaching you how to prevent it collecting on your teeth in the future, you will be able to slow the process of gum disease.
Booking hygienist appointments for your children will help keep their teeth clean and help to educate them on the best way to brush.
A great way to reduce tooth decay is to limit the amount of sugar in your diet, as well as the amount of times you eat throughout the day.
Preventive dentistry is the modern approach to reducing the amount of dental treatment required to maintain a healthy mouth and help keep your teeth for life.
Tooth loss primarily results from gum disease and decay. A proactive approach to the management of these causes therefore increases the opportunity for prevention.
Whilst it is the ideal way to manage the oral healthcare of children and young adults, it is the recommended approach for everyone – including people with false teeth who can benefit through the early identification of conditions like mouth cancer and denture stomatitis.
Through recommended treatment and a maintenance plan, the combined efforts of the dentist, hygienist and patient can help prevent the need for treatment and so avoid the historical pattern of fillings and extractions.
As a result of improved oral hygiene and fluoride, more people are keeping their own teeth into old age but in order to continue to maintain healthy teeth and gums, a regime of brushing and rinsing twice a day should be combined with interdental brushing – cleaning between the teeth.
The major cause of tooth decay and gum disease is plaque. The formation of plaque is continuous and its growth cannot be stopped. Whilst brushing controls plaque formation around the surfaces of your teeth, it does not reach between your teeth and that’s why interdental brushing once a day is so crucial.
Cleaning between your teeth is made possible by the use of the following:
- Dental floss
- Interdental brushes
- Single tuft toothbrushes
- Dental sticks
- Rubber tip stimulators
- Irrigation device
Consult your dentist and hygienist to learn more about the right method of interdental brushing for you.
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 tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us knows if we are part of this 15-20% because we can’t usually feel or notice the onset of gum and bone (periodontal) disease. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.
Keeping your gums in shape
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 brushing and flossing, 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 will require some new maintenance techniques for battling gum infection.
GUM DISEASE IS NOT CURABLE,
BUT IT IS TREATABLE,
AND IN MOST CASES, CONTROLLABLE
Are you living at high risk for gum disease?
Smoking: 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: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.
Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist is a lifestyle choice that puts you at risk of contracting diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.
Floss Your hygienist or dentist works to prevent infection in your mouth from entering the bloodstream and reaching vital organs.
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: This group 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.