Hygienist Appointments in Brighton
There is now increasing evidence linking gum disease with heart disease and strokes. It is also the main reason for the loss of teeth and we take the treatment of gum disease very seriously. It is therefore important that if your dentist suggests you should see a hygienist, you should book your appointment with the receptionist.
Our dental hygienists have three main roles:
- Removing calculus (tartar from teeth), this is done by a technique called scaling and polishing.
- Treating gum disease (also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease), this is caused by plaque which is a sticky film of bacteria. If left untreated your gums will start to swell and bleed and will ultimately result in tooth loss. Tooth loss is not through age – it is because of gum disease.
- Teaching patients good oral hygiene techniques – individually tailored to specific needs.
Common dental related issues to discuss with your dental hygienist:
Halitosis, or bad breath, is one of the most frequent reasons for visiting the dentist. Causes include infrequent brushing and flossing, gum disease, dry mouth, smoking and diet. Your hygienist may suggest using a tongue scraper, chewing sugarless gum, gargling with mouthwash and drinking lots of water.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by bacteria found in plaque. As the bacteria spread below the gum line, the gums and bone around the teeth begin to break down and can lead to loose teeth. Quite often, symptoms do not appear until the late stages, which is one reason why regular hygiene visits are encouraged. Possible early signs include: receding gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, bad breath, sores in your mouth or loose or separating teeth.
By examining your X-rays and probing, your hygienist can tell how much bone loss your periodontitis has caused. Once your stage of the periodontal disease has been determined, your hygienist will work with your dentist to personalise a treatment plan, which may include home care, Soft Tissue Management or a referral to a periodontist.
Tooth sensitivity is a very common concern. Symptoms often arise after drinking hot or cold drinks or foods and sweets. Sensitivity is easily treated with fluoride. Your hygienist will often suggest using a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, certain diseases and infections and medical treatments. It can also be a result of nerve damage, dehydration and lifestyle (smoking or chewing tobacco).
Symptoms include frequent thirst, dryness in the mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips, dry and red tongue, problems speaking or trouble tasting, sore throat and bad breath.
Your hygienist will discuss home care solutions to help combat dry mouth.
If you have any questions or concerns about oral hygiene or our hygienist services, please contact our Brighton & Hove based team.