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Hygiene Therapy

Oral hygiene is the corner stone of dental health. Simply brushing your teeth properly every morning and evening can prevent you from developing gum disease.

What is gum disease?

When plaque and tartar build up on our teeth (see image below), the gums respond and become inflamed and irritated. If this inflammation is not controlled, a lot of damage can be done to your gums, bone and dental ligaments. Bone and dental ligaments support your teeth in your gums.

Tartar | Calculus build up lingual to the lower front teeth
Tartar Build Up

Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease, also bad breath. Gum disease ( periodontal disease) affects half the population, but 10% will have severe periodontal disease.

How can you manage gum disease?

Your dentist can assess your gums and refer you to the hygienist for treatment or to a specialist called a periodontist, if the condition is very severe. The hygienist will clean the plaque and tartar off your teeth and encourage a cleaner environment in your mouth.

You will also be given advice and demonstrations on how to best look after your teeth and gums for prolonged dental health.

Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are hugely beneficial.

Would you like to see our hygienist?


What is Plaque?

The bacteria that cause gum disease are present in our saliva. This bacteria attaches to the tooth surface and around the gums to form a sticky white substance called plaque. If this plaque is not removed effectively every 12 hours it can harden into tartar (calculus). Tooth brushing, flossing and the use of interdental brushes are very effective at removing this white sticky substance.

Why is it bad for our oral health?

The build up of tartar and bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed. When gums are inflamed they become swollen and bleed when brushed.

What other factors cause or exacerbate gum disease?

Tobacco use, diabetes, stress and our own bodies (our genetics) all increase the risk of developing gum disease. Some external factors like smoking can make it significantly worse. Read on to find out more information.

Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are hugely beneficial.

Do you have bleeding gums?

Smoking and Gum disease

It is widely known and documented that smoking can significantly affect your oral and general health.

Smoking has a direct affect on the mouth and your oral health. Holding the cigarette between the lips and inhaling directly into the mouth and throat has a direct impact on your gums, teeth, lips and oral mucosa. Due to the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke smokers are 4 times more likely to develop gum disease. The risk of oral cancer is also much greater in smokers compared to non smokers.

Therefore it is very important that a smoker takes extra care of his/her mouth and teeth and attends for regular dental visits.

When the periodontal tissues; the gums, periodontal ligament and bone are compromised, tooth loss can occur.

Smoking leads to tartar build up as smoking drys your mouth, it can also cause black hairy tongue and soft tissue conditions like leukoplakia which can lead to throat, lung and oral cancers.

Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are hugely beneficial.

Do you smoke and have bleeding gums?

Diabetes and Gum disease

What is the link between diabetes and gum disease?

Increased blood sugar levels, especially if uncontrolled can cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, the heart, the kidneys, the eyes, the feet and the gums.

Severe gum disease can cause blood sugars to increase, especially in diabetics. Periodontal disease is where gum disease is not controlled over a period of time, the gums become inflamed causing the body's inflammatory response. This response affects the body's defence mechanism, which affects blood sugar regulation in the body.

Treating periodontal disease and achieving improvement in the periodontal condition has a positive affect on blood sugar control. It has also been proven that blood sugar control in diabetics can help to improve gum disease.

Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are hugely beneficial.

Do you have Diabetes and are you worried about bleeding gums?

Bad Breath

Are you self conscious about bad breath?

The medical term for bad breath is Halitosis. There are many reasons for bad breath; dehydration, poor oral hygiene, bleeding gums, dietary choices eg garlic, gastric illness or other systemic illnesses.

Good oral hygiene is imperative to reduce halitosis. Regular visits to the dentist or hygienist can dramatically improve this condition as we can help you and give you lots of advice.

Our Tips to help with bad breath!

1/ Brush and floss twice daily (especially at night time)

2/ Clean your tongue

3/ Use a mouthwash

4/ Avoid foods that cause bad breath eg garlic, onions, some spicy foods that cause acid reflux.

5/ Keep hydrated - drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Hydrate your body for optimum performance and healing.

6/ Chew sugar free chewing gum at certain times of the day. In the late afternoon our production of saliva decreases and our mouths are naturally drier. This is a great time to chew sugar free chewing gum to increase our saliva production.

7/ Stop smoking - this is not an easy one for you smokers, but it is worth considering when you look at the severe ill affects that smoking has on your oral and general health. We can help support you.

8/ Visit your hygienist regularly for a thorough clean of your teeth and gums.

Would you like to make an appointment?

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