Hygienists are trained clinicians responsible for tracking, preventing and treating gum disease. In addition to your routine visits to your dentist, hygiene appointments are an important part of your preventative care.
We are firm believers in the importance of promoting oral hygiene at The Practice. As gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK, managing and preventing the condition is paramount to your oral health. You can book hygiene appointments directly without needing to be referred.
What is gum disease?
Plaque and tartar build-ups around the gum line cause bacteria to irritate the gum tissues. If the bacteria aren’t removed from the tooth surface, the irritation worsens and can cause your gums to bleed. This stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can be treated during hygiene appointments.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to recession of the gums. This can cause pockets to develop as the gum moves away from the tooth and can eventually lead to loosening of the teeth. Even at this later stage, symptoms can be mild.
What happens during a hygiene appointment?
During an appointment, the hygienist will assess the health of your gums and teeth and look for any signs of swelling, inflammation or bleeding. The hygienist may also take measurements where the gum attaches to the tooth and check for signs of oral cancer.
A chief part of a hygienist’s role is to carry out a ‘scale and polish’ to remove any build-up of plaque and tartar. The hygienist uses specially designed implements to remove tartar from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. When all the surfaces are clean, they polish teeth with a gritty paste, leaving them feeling smooth and silky.
A hygienist will not only thoroughly clean your teeth but will also show you how to keep up the good work at home.
Regularly visiting a hygienist will not only help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, but also protect your overall well-being because poor gum health has been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease, respiratory infections, diabetes and dementia.