A dental hygiene appointment with one of our experienced hygienist lasts for 30 minutes and is provided on referral by one of our dentists. You may be referred to the hygienist if you have gum disease.
What is gum disease?
This is a disease which causes swelling, soreness or infection of the gums. There are two main types namely gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis means “inflammation of the gums” where the gums look red and swollen and often bleed when you brush.
Periodontal disease can occur when gingivitis is left untreated and can cause severe damage to the tissues supporting teeth, leading to tooth loss. It is the major cause of tooth loss among adults.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth every day. If this plaque is not brushed away it can irritate and infect the gums, leading to gum disease. Some people are more prone than others due to their dental make-up.
Smoking can make gum disease worse by reducing the oxygen level in the blood stream preventing the gums healing. Smokers also produce more of the bacterial plaque.
How can the Hygienist help?
Hygienists can advise you on how you can help to improve and maintain your oral health, even if you have established periodontal disease. They show you how to brush and floss as well as give your teeth and gums a deep clean.
Gum disease can cause:
- Bad breath that won’t go away with brushing
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Pain on chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
In recent years research has found links between poor oral health and other general health conditions including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor pregnancy outcomes
More research needs to be done to work out how these are linked, but current research strongly suggests that a healthy mouth and gums can help improve your general health.
For further information on any of these services or to book an appointment, contact us on 0208 300 8255.