The cleaner your teeth, the healthier your gums. That’s why visits to the hygienist on top of your oral care at home are essential to your gum health. Hygiene appointments involve a deep clean that removes plaque and tartar from your teeth, including the areas that are hard to reach with a conventional toothbrush. These appointments are your best defence against the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Bacteria in plaque deposits near the gum line causes the tissues to become irritated. This reaction is part of the immune system response, leading to the tissues appearing red and inflamed. This is the telltale sign of gingivitis, the early and reversible stage of gum disease. Other symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush, sensitivity and bad breath.
Hygienists can treat gingivitis through removing the plaque and tartar. As this removes the bacteria, the gums then return to their healthy state.
If gingivitis is left untreated, the gums start to recede as the tissue becomes under attack. This creates pockets between the gums and the tooth, creating space for plaque to develop on the tooth root. This condition, known as periodontitis, isn’t reversible but can be controlled through removing the plaque from the roots. If not controlled, it can lead to further gum recession and eventually tooth loss.
The main part of any hygiene appointment is the scale and polish. This clean leaves the mouth bacteria-free, preventing and treating gum disease. Using a jet of water, the stubborn tartar deposits are loosened up then are scaled away using specialised tools. The polish then leaves the teeth smooth and clean.
During the appointment, the hygienist will also assess the health of your gums. This check accurately maps out any signs of gum disease. After the scale and polish, you’ll receive handy tips on how to keep your gums healthy at home with flossing and other interdental cleaning techniques.
For us to keep your gums as healthy as possible, we’d like to see you for a hygiene appointment every six months. Some people are more susceptible to gum disease, plaque build up, or have a family history or existing health condition so may need to be seen more often. Your hygienist will advise on when to see you next.Book your hygiene appointment