The role of a dental hygienist is to help you maintain good oral health, by treating and preventing the development of gum disease.
A hygienist also plays an important role in inspiring and motivating patients to develop good habits and effective brushing and flossing techniques, that will lessen your chances of developing serious dental problems later in life.
As a team who cares about preventive dentistry, we see dental hygiene as an essential part of your dental care. Misaligned teeth, extensive dental fillings or crowns and fixed braces all increase your susceptibility to gum disease. During your routine hygienist appointments with us, we will be able to advise on how often you should be visiting, depending on the health of your gums.
Should gum disease be more complex and challenging to treat, do not worry, you may be invited to see Dr Catherine Daley is our in house Dentist with a special interest in Periodontics and she successfully treats cases of advanced gum disease which are routinely referred to her. Dr Daley may choose to use antibiotics under the gum together with deep root cleaning with local anaesthetic to restore gum health, and works closely with our dentists and hygienists on site.
Gum disease describes infection, soreness and inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth.
The two forms of gum disease are:
Gingivitis: inflammation of the gums. Symptoms include red and swollen gums, which can bleed during brushing. Should gingivitis go untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease: there are several types of periodontal disease, all of which adversely affect the tissues supporting your teeth. As periodontal disease progresses, the bone anchoring your teeth shrinks, causing your teeth to become loose and possibly, eventually fall out. Gum disease is the no.1 cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is a film of bacteria that collects on the surface of your teeth every day. Whilst many of the bacteria that make up plaque are harmless, some have been found to be the principal cause of gum disease. It’s possible to prevent gum disease by removing the plaque from your teeth every day, through good brushing and flossing habits.
Why is it important to treat gum disease?
Gum disease affects the structures that support the teeth, which can contribute to infections and loose and wobbly teeth. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, gum disease can often be symptomless until serious problems like gum abscesses and pus begin to form and ooze from around your teeth, highlighting the importance of regular appointments – the sooner problems are spotted, the easier they are to treat.
1. How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?
When it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, there are a number of simple habits you can employ in your day-to-day life. During your hygienist appointment, we can demonstrate how to use oral hygiene aids effectively at home, which will significantly your gum health. For most patients, bi-annual visits to the hygienist are sufficient, though we may suggest more frequent visits if we feel you could benefit from a little extra care. It’s all about creating a plan around your unique oral hygiene needs.
2. What is a dental hygiene visit like?
During your appointment, the hygienist will use special instruments to carefully remove tenacious plaque and tartar build up from your tooth surfaces and polish them to remove any staining.
Here at Oatlands Dental Lounge, we offer state-of-the-art Airflow® Polishing, which uses a powerful jet of compressed air and water to remove these hard and soft deposits more quickly.
Patient education is another important aspect of a hygienist appointment. Your hygienist will advise on the foods to avoid, as a good diet can significantly reduce the risk of tooth erosion and decay, and result in fresher breath. Should we find you have an extensive buildup of deposits or advanced gum disease, we are likely to recommend several visits in close succession, so we can work to address the problem swiftly, and put you back on the path to healthy gums.
3. Can a hygienist help brighten my teeth?
The principal aim of a visit to the hygienist is to remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth and to make sure decay doesn’t affect your dental and oral health. Whilst a visit to the dentist won’t whiten your teeth in the way teeth whitening treatment does, having plaque and tartar removed will help to keep surface stains at bay, and give you an opportunity to discuss how you can improve your at-home habits. In doing this, you are more likely to maintain brighter and healthy-looking teeth in the long term. Here at Oatlands Dental Lounge, we offer tooth gentle polishing using the renowned Airflow® Tooth Polishing system, which is extremely thorough and leaves your mouth fresh following treatment, reducing bad breath caused by lingering plaque and bacteria.
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