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Gum Disease and Dental Hygiene

As gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK, protecting your smile from the condition should be an essential part of your dental hygiene routine. Your gums are the foundation to your smile, so their health is crucial to the longevity of your teeth. Good oral hygiene at home will do most of the hard work in preventing gum disease, but visits to the hygienist will treat the condition and halt it in its tracks.

dental hygiene appointment

How can you prevent gum disease?

Regularly visiting a hygienist will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. The cleaner your teeth, the less likely you are to develop gum disease. Hygienists are clinicians trained in assessing, tracking and treating gum disease. Protecting your smile from gum disease isn’t just important for your smile as poor gum health has been linked to more serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease starts as inflammation in the gums caused by bacteria. Plaque deposits contain bacteria that triggers the immune system, causing the gums to get irritated. This can lead to bleeding gums. This initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis and can be treated at the hygienist chair through removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, eliminating the cause.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. At this stage, the bacteria causes the gums to recede. Pockets start to form between the gum and tooth, eventually leading to loosening of the teeth. Unlike the first stage, periodontitis isn’t reversible but can be maintained through periodontal treatments. However, good dental hygiene can prevent this.

What Happens During a Dental Hygiene Appointment?

During a hygiene appointment, the health of your gums and teeth will be assessed. This will involve looking for any signs of swelling, inflammation or bleeding. The hygienist may also take measurements where the gum attaches to the tooth and check for signs of oral cancer.

Cleaning and Removing Plaque

One of the main aspects of the hygienist’s role is to carry out a ‘scale and polish’, a thorough clean of the teeth to remove plaque and tartar build-up. Scaling (removing tartar) also makes it easier to keep teeth clean as there is no longer a rough surface to attract more plaque. This deep clean will be finished off with a polish to leave teeth shiny and smooth.

One of these cleaning treatments is called Airflow, which is a simple procedure that removes plaque, discolouration and stains from your teeth, while helping to prevent more serious conditions like gum disease. Compressed water, air and powder particles are used to remove bacteria and clean your teeth.

If gum disease has progressed beyond the early stages, a hygienist can remove deep tartar from the root surface. This is known as root planing (or debridement) and as it involves deeper cleaning under the gum line, the procedure may require an anaesthetic.

Helpful Advice for Dental Hygiene

Hygienists also offer helpful hygiene advice and demonstrate how to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free with toothbrushes, interdental brushes and floss.

For younger patients, hygienists can apply fluoride varnishes to strengthen enamel or fissure sealants, which provide a protective barrier to stop bacteria settling in the narrow fissures of the back teeth. These treatments offer a protective measure for young teeth when they first start to emerge.

From deep cleaning to advice on how to maintain healthy teeth and dental care tips, our dentists can help you to prevent gum disease and improve your dental hygiene routine with proper oral hygiene.

What People Say…

Zohaib Khan
Zohaib Khan
2020-11-25
Most amazing dental practice I have been to! Very kind and friendly staff as well a highly qualified skilled dentist! Wouldn’t go anywhere else for my teeth! Absolutely love love the results, the dentist here won’t stop until you are 110% satisfied! Excellent service specially Dr zena
Jennifer Di Costanzo
Jennifer Di Costanzo
2020-11-24
Friendly and very kind
Doreen Osei
Doreen Osei
2020-11-21
I have been going to St Helier Dental Surgery for a few years now and my experience has always been a positive one. All the staff are friendly and professional. I recently had the boutique whitening treatment done with Dr Zena and she is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She genuinely cared for me as a person which put me at ease throughout the treatment. It was very uplifting to see how excited she was for the success of my treatment. It is also reassuring to see how the surgery is following government guidelines when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. I highly recommend this dental surgery.
Wendy Payne
Wendy Payne
2020-11-19
Saw Zena and Jen this morning. Incredibly happy with the service I was given. And I would highly recommend. 5 stars ladies
ernest boamah
ernest boamah
2020-11-09
Lidia Arion
Lidia Arion
2020-11-03
I'm very grateful to Dr ZENA Al-ansari for referring my daughter for orthodontic treatment. I had their call only few days later,pleasantly surprised due to current situation. Dr Zena is very calm and patient every time we visit the surgery,explaining every step of the treatment. Thank you indeed for being dedicated to your patients! Highly reccomended surgery.
Cristian Barnes
Cristian Barnes
2020-11-02
Chris Mackenzie
Chris Mackenzie
2020-10-28
Very calming and helpful always does the best for me. Dr Zena is very kind and put me at ease. Very clean practice and amazing staff.
Sveta Log
Sveta Log
2020-10-26
Francis Moorghen
Francis Moorghen
2020-10-16
I was very pleased with my treatment. I recommend Dr Zena, she is always amazing and trying her best to help and fit me in and providing best service.

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