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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.

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is dental hygiene?

It is essential to keep the mouth, teeth and gums clean to prevent any issues with hygiene. We work to prevent any hygiene issues from occurring through routine checkups and recommendations on how to keep your mouth healthy.

How do I keep my mouth hygiene better?

By regularly visiting dental hygienists and following the recommended guidance on keeping your teeth clean, you can lower your risk of gum disease and have help in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day, with the right concentration of fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing to prevent plaque and tartar build up can help.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

Not maintaining good oral hygiene can lead to problems such as gum disease, which is the main cause of tooth loss. Implementing a good dental hygiene routine at home and regular visits to prevent the condition can work to prevent gum disease.

Does removing tartar hurt?

Depending on the amount of tartar, it can be painful having it removed. Especially if the gums are inflamed or your teeth are feeling tender. However, anesthesia is used if necessary and applied to the gums to prevent pain.

What People Say…

Lisa Lambert
Lisa Lambert
2021-11-22
Verified
The smiling reception is always professional and friendly and I was so pleased when my Dentist, Dr. Deval, took time to inform me of my choices which were best for me personally. A refreshing change. A smashing Dentist, Tuba and her lovely assistant Sanju have taken over from Dr Deval. Tuba, cares about her patients and works towards them keeping a healthy smile, she's a credit to the Dentist profession as is her assistant Sanju. She got rid of an abscess painlessly and on my next appointment she miraculously saved my tooth for which I am so grateful. Valentina and Sarah who work on the reception desk are always welcoming and very helpful. Many thanks to a great Dentist and her team. L Lambert.
Pavel Jagodzinski
Pavel Jagodzinski
2021-10-10
Verified
I'm so grateful for all the effort and support during my two visits with Dr Tuba Pishgharavol at St Helier Dental Surgery in Morden. Dr Pishgharavol is really a professional, and at the same time showed her passion and commitment in very complicated a root canal treatment. However, all other staff is very polite, friendly and helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend this dental practice to my friends.
nicky lynch
nicky lynch
2021-10-08
Verified
Highly recommended, all staff are professional and polite and really know what they are talking about. I wouldn’t consider putting mine or my families dental care in any other practices hands . Excellent service all round
Lilly Sineen
Lilly Sineen
2021-10-04
Verified
Great customer experience from Fatima Ali and her team today. Warm, friendly and put me at ease. We discussed all my options regarding improving my teeth and even had a CT scan on my mouth. Very impressed with the setup and knowledge of the lovely crew. Highly recommended. Thank you for an enjoyable second visit. K. Lilliana Sineen
Jan Showell
Jan Showell
2021-09-24
Verified
Very good professional service. The practice has a calm and helpful feel about it. I was very pleased with the tooth whitening treatment. The results are better then I expected and the treatment was easy to apply and comfortable to use. I would recommend this surgery for nervous patients like me.
Sioned Davies
Sioned Davies
2021-09-17
Verified
Had a wonderful service at St Helier with Dr Tuba Pishgharavol and the lovely receptionists Sarah and Valentina. Would recommend highly. Thank you all 🙂

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