At Bath Street Dental Practice we are dedicated to promoting good oral health for our patients and have adopted a comprehensive preventative approach to dentistry.
What does a Hygienist/Therapist do and what happens during a dental hygiene appointment?
- Assess gum health and the presence of gum disease
- Design a personalised plan of prevention
- Give tooth brushing instructions
- Help find the correct method of interdental cleaning for you
- Treat and monitor gum disease
- Clean and polish teeth
- Offer Airflow treatment
- Carry out an oral cancer screening
- Deliver preventive treatments such as fluoride application and fissure sealants
- Discuss dietary issues where there are problems with recurrent tooth decay
- Offer smoking cessation advice
- Tooth Whitening
- Composite (white) fillings
For more complex/advanced gum disease your dental hygienist will work closely with your dentist to ensure you receive the right care and if further treatment is required we will refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist).
How often should you visit your hygienist?
Regular visits to our dental hygienist are a large part in providing preventive dental care to ensure you keep your teeth for life. It is important for your hygienist to frequently assess and monitor your gum health to help prevent the occurrence and progression of gum disease whilst removing hard deposits and staining that can contribute towards further bacteria build up. Your hygienist will advise how regularly to attend appointments which is determined by the full assessment carried out on your first/initial visit, this may change depending on your gum health.
Why is it important to visit the hygienist?
Our teeth are covered in a sticky and colourless film made up of millions of bacteria, known as biofilm. If this biofilm is not removed, it can accumulate between the teeth and the gums, resulting in gum disease. Your gums form the foundation for your teeth and looking after them is paramount to your oral health. Early signs of gum diseases are: bleeding gums and bad breath (gingivitis). Eventually teeth may become mobile and infections can occur (periodontitis). The bacteria in biofilm can also break down enamel when it comes into contact with sugary foods and drinks, ultimately causing tooth decay.
What is Gum disease?
Gum disease is described as swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth.
Even with the best tooth brushing routine at home it is virtually impossible to stop the development of plaque on your teeth, which builds and hardens on a daily basis. While your body naturally attempts to attack the plaque to remove it, in a number of people it can continue breaking down the existing bone and soft tissue.
While some signs of gum disease are obvious, other people can show no signs at all. Gum disease does not always cause pain. One of the most obvious and common signs of early gum disease is bleeding in the gums. Healthy gums should never bleed, they should be light pink in colour and firm to touch.
If you are concerned that you might be suffering from gum disease it’s important to visit us at the earliest opportunity. Gum disease can’t be cured but it can be managed to ensure it doesn’t get worse.
Our hygienists will clean (or debride) your teeth and gums to remove any accumulated bacteria deposits. They will then provide information and advice to help you manage your gum disease in the long-term.
Am I at risk of gum disease?
Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss amongst adults. In recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease and dementia. More research is required to understand these links but there is more and more evidence that having a healthy mouth and gums can help improve your general health.
Top tips in keeping your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth x2 daily for 2 minutes
- Use a small head
- Medium textured toothbrush
- Clean between your teeth daily - floss, interdental brushes..etc
- Look in the mirror when brushing to ensure your angulation is correct (45 degrees to the tooth surface and gum line)
- 1450ppm Fluoride Toothpaste
- Maintain a healthy balanced diet
At Bath Street Dental Practice the prevention and management of periodontal disease is of great importance. We recognise that periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults and without good periodontal health all other types of dental treatment are likely to be unsuccessful.
Our team are dedicated to helping you achieve healthy gums keeping you smiling for life!
Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. There are two main types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis affects the gums alone and is usually reversible, while periodontitis is more serious and also affects the bone supporting the teeth.
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque which is a film of bacteria which forms on the surfaces of teeth and gums. Smoking, a family history of periodontal disease, diabetes and some medications can also increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease requires fast intervention and treatment if it is to be managed successfully.
The basis of successful treatment of periodontal disease is the establishment and maintenance of excellent oral hygiene habits. Our dentists and hygienist can devise tailored oral hygiene regimes which will aid in prevention or management of periodontal disease.
Treatment of periodontal diseases may involve cleaning below the gum line. This involves the use of specialised instruments to remove plaque and calculus from below the gum line and may be performed over several visits.
Airflow is a supplementary hygiene treatment that uses a combination of air, water and a gentle powder that will remove plaque and staining from the tooth surface.
There are many reasons you may opt for Airflow polishing:
- It offers the best way to remove superficial staining from the surface of the tooth
- While it will not alter the colour of the tooth itself, your smile may appear brighter
- It’s a great adjunct to tooth whitening and allows the whitening gels access into the hard to reach spaces where stain has built up
- It is safe and effective around crowns, bridges, veneers and implants and is a great way to keep restorations safe and clean