Preventing and treating gum disease with hygiene visits
Your gums are crucial to the overall health of your teeth. They give your teeth vital support and protection. They are however vulnerable to bacteria that builds up on the surfaces of your teeth. Keeping your teeth clear of plaque and tartar deposits protects your gums from inflammation caused by bacteria.
Hygiene visits centre around a thorough clean, which removes all plaque from your teeth, including places that are hard to reach with a conventional toothbrush. Hygienists are trained in identifying signs of gum disease and treating the condition effectively.
What is gum disease?
Though initially a mild condition with very few symptoms, gum disease can become destructive if left untreated. Bacteria in plaque deposits aggravate the gums, causing an immune response that results in the tissues becoming inflamed. This often leads to bleeding gums, the telltale sign of gum disease.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This stage can be reversed through removing bacteria deposits and keeping the surfaces of the teeth clean. Removing the bacteria solves the problem and the gums calm down. Symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, red gums, bleeding gums and halitosis.
If gingivitis is left untreated, the gum tissues begin to recede. As this happens, more of the tooth becomes exposed, creating pockets between the tooth and gum. Bacteria is then able to form under the gum line on the roots. This stage of gum disease is periodontitis, which isn’t curable but can be controlled through periodontal maintenance. If not controlled, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Why do I need to see a hygienist?
Hygienists train specifically in diagnosing and treating gum disease. They are the very best defence as they not only look for signs of gum disease but prevent it from developing through removing stubborn tartar and plaque deposits from your smile. On top of this thorough clean, they will make sure you have the skills and know-how to continue the hard work at home.
To get the most out of your dental care, it’s recommended to see your hygienist once every six months.