What is the role of a dental hygienist?
There is now increasing evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease and strokes.
Hygienists can also apply fissure sealants, and even take dental x-rays; but their main role is to give advice on the best ways to look after your dental health and avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental hygienists are experts in teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. They can discuss your diet, suggest ways to improve and maintain your oral health, and even advise you on ways you can give up smoking, a habit which has been proven to be very damaging to teeth and gums.
Regular visits with our dental hygienist will ensure your teeth stay stronger and healthier for longer.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.
What are the causes of gum disease?
Build up of plaque is primary factory; other factors that can make you more likely to get gum disease include smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes and stress.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky layer that forms around your teeth and gum. It is accumulation of bacteria on the surface. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it can become hard and form tartar. Tartar is tougher than plaque and cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. This inflames the gum and leads to gingivitis.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.
Am I likely to suffer from gum disease?
Most people suffer from some form of gum disease, and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, the disease develops very slowly in most people, and it can be slowed or removed.
What happens if gum disease is not treated?
Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do notice the damage it is doing. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.
What do I do if I think I have gum disease?
The first thing to do is visit your dentist for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.
Once I have had gum disease (periodontal disease), can I get it again?
The periodontal diseases are never cured. But it can be controlled, as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught. Any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether.
I'm middle-aged and all my remaining teeth are porcelain or gold crowns. Do I still need to floss them?
Yes, you should still use floss to clean between your crowns and under your gum line to prevent plaque from building up.
I have Diabetic and recently developed gum bleeding. Do I have gum disease?
People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections and more susceptible to gum disease. Ask your dentist for more advice.
My dentist said smoking is not good for my gum?
Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Smoking decreases the flow of blood to the gums, and this slows down the healing process. If you want help to stop smoking, talk to your dentist.
My gum started bleeding since I become pregnant. Is it normal?
During pregnancy hormonal fluctuations make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop and they may cause gum disease to develop.
Despite regular cleaning, I continue to suffer from bleeding gums and bad breath. I have had this problem for years. Is it normal?
8% of the population have severe gum problems that are difficult to control. Assuming you are brushing your teeth everyday and flossing to ensure that no plaque is left behind, you may need specialist. Bleeding gums can sometimes be a sign of a medical condition such as diabetes and so it may be wise to visit your GP for a medical check up and blood test.