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Dental Hygiene Therapy

A healthy smile starts with fantastic dental hygiene. The gums are the foundation of your teeth and good dental health starts with healthy gums.

Bleeding gums and other gum problems are something we take very seriously here at Lawton Dental Care. A surprising half of the population suffer from gum disease (periodontitis), often without knowing.

Periodontitis is the 6th most prevalent disease throughout the world and significantly linked to general well-being including diabetes and heart disease. Luckily, gum disease is completely treatable if diagnosed early enough but can lead to bad breath, loose teeth and sore gums if left untreated.

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What to expect from our Hygeinist

During your appointment, we can provide oral hygiene advice, plus remove stain, tartar, hard deposits and plaque from the most hard to reach areas. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned with special equipment and pastes – a process also known as professional mechanical plaque removal (previously scale and polish).

Your hygienist will prevent and treat gum disease as well as advise you on the best brushing techniques to keep your teeth free of plaque.

We’ll give you tips on flossing and using inter-dental brushes. If you have a bridge, denture, brace or a dental implant, you will have specific hygiene needs that the hygienist will be able to assist you with.

It’s important not to substitute hygienist appointments for dentist appointments and vice versa – both work together to keep your smile in the best health it can be.

Have a question?

Most people can get mild gum disease but some people are susceptible to more aggressive forms. Severe gum disease, especially if you have it at a young age, can run in families.

There are a few factors that put people at higher risk of getting severe gum disease. These include:
– diabetes (especially if poorly controlled)
– smoking (possibly including e-cigarettes)
– stress
– a poor diet lacking in vitamins and minerals
– obesity
– certain medications.

Periodontal disease is usually pain-free (sometimes called ‘the silent disease’) and so you may be unaware of it until your dentist or hygienist checks for it.

Here are some warning signs;

Bleeding gums when brushing or even whilst eating
Red, swollen gums
Bad breath
Spaces appearing between teeth
Loose teeth or teeth moving position in the mouth
Receding gums
Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks

Treatment aims to reduce bacteria around your teeth and prevent the disease from getting worse. Generally though, treatment cannot replace the support your teeth have already lost.

– You will be taught the best methods of cleaning your teeth and gums to remove dental plaque. Treatment will only work if you clean your teeth properly, twice a day, to a high standard
– You need to clean daily between your teeth with interdental brushes – or floss if the gaps between teeth are too tight for brushes
– You should use a small headed toothbrush or a good quality power brush – your dentist can advise you
– The tartar above the gum-line can be removed by your dentist/hygienist
– Any bacteria below the gum line can be removed by your dentist/hygienist deep cleaning your teeth. You can ask for an injection to make your gums and teeth numb if you prefer
– Mouthwashes may help with very mild gum disease but may mask more serious gum disease

Your gums are likely to bleed more to start with – don’t worry and keep cleaning as this is normal and will improve

As they become healthier your gums may shrink. Spaces may appear between the teeth and they may appear longer

As gums shrink, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot, cold or sweet things. Usually this gets better in a few weeks, but you might need to use a special sensitivity toothpaste or have other treatment to help with this

If you smoke tobacco you should do your best to give up – there are plenty of organisations that can help. Smokers who continue to smoke:
– are more likely to get gum disease
– may find their gum disease gets worse quite quickly
– are less likely to get better after treatment
– are more likely to have a recurrence of gum disease following treatment

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