Dental Hygenist

A vast majority of teeth are lost due to the effects of gum disease and research has shown that early diagnosis and efficient treatment will help resolve the problem. The two most common diseases can be minimized by thorough oral cleaning. These are dental cavities or decay and periodontal or gum disease. They are both caused by plaque, bacteria which are allowed to build up. This is what we are brushing away when we clean our teeth. It is when areas of plaque are left that problems begin. To help you achieve and maintain optimal dental health the hygienist provides thorough teeth cleaning, dental health education and oral health advice.

The hygienist is specially trained in the prevention of periodontal disease and dental cavities. They aim to re-educate patients with regards to the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes. They carefully examine and chart your teeth and gums noting in particular: inflammation, bleeding, swelling and the presence of plaque and calculus. All the plaque and surface stains will be removed by gentle scraping and polishing.
Patients who have dental treatment such as crowns, bridgework, orthodontic treatment or even implants require special care and attention and often require aids such as superfloss or mini interdental brushes which are essential to get the best look and longevity from them. These can be expensive so a little time and effort is worthwhile. These aids are sometimes difficult to master so you will be shown how best to use them and a personal hygiene plan by your hygienist will be given.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Stress
• Clenching and grinding teeth
• Medication
• Poor nutrition

Periodontal Disease
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
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