Poor oral hygiene will lead to a number of problems, some of them extremely serious if left untreated.
Some signs to look for are:
A dental hygienist or Oral Health Therapist is an important part of your dental team. Most simply, hygienists provide full oral health care, focusing on the prevention and treatment of oral disease. They often work with a dentist, orthodontist, or other dental specialists.
Most hygienists are highly enthusiastic about educating patients on the most effective ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy and long-lasting. They will advise you on all aspects of dental hygiene, including the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes.
They will explain to you how it vital to keep on top of your oral health, as research shows a clear link between periodontal disease and the following medical conditions:
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is recommended you visit your clinician and dental hygienist twice a year.
Your dental hygienist or clinician will examine your mouth to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and to look for any sign of periodontal disease (see below for more information).
He/she will then do a thorough clean, scale and polish. The scale will be done using hand instruments, or by ultrasonic scaling.
This removes any bacterial deposits and plaque from above and below the gum surface. Once the plaque has been removed, your teeth will be polished, leaving them feeling smooth and fresh.
Your dental hygienist or clinician will then show you how to care for your teeth at home, and will recommend the correct products for you to use.
Periodontal (or gum) disease is a process that starts with a biofilm that adheres to the surface of your teeth. Gums first become red, then inflamed and swollen. Later, the bone that supports the teeth is eaten away. In the final stages, this leads to tooth loss.
This is the thin layer of saliva, bacteria and food that clings to the teeth. It is often referred to as plaque.
When the biofilm is not removed by professional care and daily brushing and flossing, it mineralises. Once this happens, it forms a tenacious bond that can only be removed by the hygienist or dentist.
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, however this does not have to happen.
Consistent periodontal care including examination and x-rays as needed are key to your oral health.
Are you due for, or has it been a while since your last hygiene appointment? Find your nearest Lumino practice and make an appointment now.