Hygienist & Preventative Dentistry
Maintaining oral hygiene
When considering oral health many patients focus on the cleanliness of their teeth. Although this is a plays a large part, ensuring good gum health is also crucial to overall oral health. At Campbell Dental Practice at main priority is to ensure that all our patients have clean, healthy and disease-free teeth and gums, this is promoted through attending regular dental appointments, good oral care regime at home and appointments with our highly trained hygienist, Charlotte.
Not maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene can create further problems, such as plaque build-up, tooth decay, swelling of the gums and bad breath. To prevent further deterioration, during your routine checkup your dentist will take steps to ensure your oral health is as good as possible and will provide the appropriate treatment where needed.
Dental Hygienists, Charlotte Sproston
In addition to attending regular check-ups with your dentist, a Dental Hygienist can help you to looks after your teeth and gums. Our highly skilled and gentle Hygienist, Charlotte, will advise you on the best way to look after your oral health. Regular appointments with Charlotte will ensure that all preventative measure is taken to keep your teeth and gums is the best health.
What does a dental hygienist do?
Dental Hygienists have a wide scope of practice. Some of the procedures they provide are listed below:
Scaling and Polishing
Stain removal - AirFlow
Oral hygiene instruction
Treatment of Gingivitis (the initial stage of disease)
Treatment of Periodontitis (advanced gum disease)
Application of fissure sealants
All of the above treatments provide preventative care in order to make sure you don't suffer from dental disease. If the hygienist does detect any potential problems, she can take x-rays and pass the information to your dentist who will then provide the appropriate treatment.
The hygienist services are available by direct access (no need to see the Dentist first). The hygienist offers a range of services including, private hygiene treatment, focusing on removing plaque and calculus. We now also offer the air polish 'Aqua Clean' service. This is a great way of removing your stubborn stains that you can't get off with your toothbrush, giving an overall brighter smile!
Q: My friends say scaling could weaken my teeth. Is that true?
A: False. Scaling will remove the plaque and debris that sits around your gums. This would allow your gums to come back to its healthy state and promote better gum health.
Q: Is it cancerous?
A: No, gum disease is not cancerous, but it can be contagious.
Q: I used a mouthwash specific to stop bleeding gums and combat early signs of gum disease but the dentist told me I have gum disease, are mouthwashes helpful?
A: Mouthwashes are great at preventing gum disease and excellent ‘adjunct’ in treating it, however, they do not eliminate it. Understanding the factors causing gum disease is important to prevent or eliminate gum disease.
A message from our hygienist:
“Getting a lovely smile and healthy gums is easier than you think. All it needs a little perseverance and patience.
Top 5 tips I would recommend:
Spend 2 minutes when you brush your teeth
Ditch the fizz – opt for a glass of milk
Avoid snacking between meals
Don’t smoke “
Facts About Gum Disease:
What is Gum Disease?
Bleeding gums? Bad breath? Loose teeth? Gaps between teeth? These maybe signs of gum disease, discuss your concerns with your dentist.
Gum disease is swelling of the gums, resulting in bleeding. This is mainly caused by food that is retained around the teeth leading to irritation and swelling of the gums. The early stage of gum disease is called ‘gingivitis’. If early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding are ignored, the plaque continues to build underneath the gums compromising the bone support around the tooth. The advanced stage of gum disease is called ‘periodontitis’.
Q: How does gum disease start?
A: There are several reasons that may put you at the risk of getting gum disease. These include poor brushing habits, smoking, uncontrolled systemic conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy, some medications, pregnancy and genetic factors.
Gum disease has 3 stages
Gingivitis: this is noticed by bleeding gums due to plaque build-up that sits near your gum line. It is easy to reverse this stage by simple scaling (plaque removal) as it does not affect the surrounding supporting structures of your teeth. Gingivitis can be prevented by maintaining adequate oral hygiene and flossing (use of interdental aids). If the plaque, however, is not removed it progresses.
Periodontitis: At this stage, the inflammation of your gums progresses to start causing irreversible damage to your gums and the surrounding supportive tooth structures like the supporting fibres and the bone. Professional periodontal therapy is needed alongside improving oral hygiene.
Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the supporting tissues around the teeth are extensively damaged. This may affect your speech, eating and teeth may become loose. In certain circumstances, the teeth require extraction. Periodontal therapy may help to a certain extent.
Q: At what age can someone get gum disease?
A: As early as 6 years, when adult teeth start appearing. It is not limited to seniors!
Q: How long do I know I have had gum disease for? Why was I not informed in my last dental visit?
A: It is difficult to predict how long have you had it for, especially if you do not see a dentist on a regular basis. Gum disease is largely reliant on your body’s defence system and immunity. You may in the past not have had any signs of gum disease but a weakening of immunity can precipitate signs of gum disease. Hence you could go from having no problems with your gums to having gum disease in 6 months.
Q: What are my treatment options?
A: Early stages of gum disease can be reversed by simple scaling and by improving your oral hygiene. This would include brushing 2 times a day for 2 minutes and flossing or using interdental aids.
Advanced stages may need deep scaling to remove plaque and calculus that has deposited under the gums (periodontal therapy) along with significantly improving oral hygiene habits. Very advanced cases may benefit very little from periodontal therapy and may need a referral to the specialist in certain cases.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Your dentist/reception staff should be able to help explain the cost of treatment under the NHS.
Dentists strongly recommend being seen by the hygienist especially when needing periodontal therapy. The advantage of seeing the hygienist is that your oral hygiene routine can be tailored to you. Also, there can be a detailed discussion about your progress and the dentist and the hygienist can work together to constantly monitor your progress on a 3 monthly basis. The reception staff can help explain the costs of hygienist visit and what they entail.
Q. How do I prevent gum disease from happening?
A: Firstly, see your dentist get the condition diagnosed. During the consultation, your dentist will determine the cause of gum disease, if you have any, or give you further advice on how to prevent it from happening in the future
Q: I have never seen my gums bleed, but am a smoker for the past 2 years, could I have gum disease?
A: Yes. Smokers miss the early signs of gum disease i.e. bleeding gums. Hence, it is very easy to miss the early stages of gum disease and progress into advanced stages rapidly.
Q: Despite brushing twice a day my gums bleed, could I have gum disease?
A: Yes. If you are brushing your teeth two times a day but not using anything to clean the areas between your teeth, such as floss or interdental brushes, it could hold onto the plaque and hence continuation of gum disease.
Q: My teeth felt very sensitive after my last clean. I also feel gaps have appeared between my teeth, Why is that?
A: Removal of plaque frees up the areas between your teeth, giving the sensation of gaps post-cleaning. Gaps occur naturally and need to be maintained with the help of floss or interdental brushes. Sensitivity develops as cleaning exposes parts of the tooth that were covered by the gums. This is very common. This usually resolves itself as the gums go back to their normal state. You can also use a desensitising toothpaste