Dental Hygiene at Sunningdale Dental Practice
Professional oral hygiene and education to help prevent gum disease
Oral health and gum disease.
Helping to improve and maintain oral health for our patients is the cornerstone of our beliefs here at Sunningdale Dental Practice. It is important for our patients to understand what can happen if their oral health is not maintained.
Why are healthy gums important?
Healthy gums are important to help support teeth. Gum disease can cause, pain, sensitivity, bleeding gums, puffy gums, infection and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a film of bacteria that forms on the surface of teeth daily. If plaque builds up, over time it becomes hard and forms tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar are left on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums which is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis is when the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with good daily oral hygiene including brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This type of gum disease does not include any loss of bone support and tissue that hold teeth in place.
If the gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. The gums around the teeth are red, swollen and inflamed. In addition the bone and tissues which surround and support the teeth break down. If not treated, the bone and tissue that support the teeth are reduced and the teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed or may just fall out. Sometimes the gums can also become infected with periodontitis.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
- Gums bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Tender gums when you brush
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- Receding gums (the teeth may appear longer) with associated sensitivity to hot and cold
- In advanced gum disease teeth may begin to move leading to spaces between your teeth, become loose and eventually be lost.
How is gum disease treated?
The way gum disease is treated is to remove and reduce the factors that cause gum disease, which are the bacterial deposits. Our hygienists work to remove plaque and tartar build-ups and to help you effectively clean your teeth between dental check-ups, promoting good oral health and helping to prevent gum disease. Where gum disease is diagnosed in its early stages by the dentist, your hygienist will provide comprehensive treatments to remove plaque and tartar, which, along with improved oral health and maintenance, will help to get it under control.
What is the role of the dental hygienist?
Here at Sunningdale Dental Practice, we offer comprehensive oral hygiene services as well as ongoing oral health education to help you develop an excellent personal care regime between check-ups. Our friendly hygienists also provide stain removal services, gum treatment and treatments that work in conjunction with a wider periodontal plan from the dentist.
We are incredibly passionate about hygiene therapy, which is a large part of our preventative focus here at the practice. We offer lots of advice, treatments and techniques to ensure you are able to achieve the most effective oral hygiene habits day-to-day.
The Dental Hygienist
How often do I need to see a dental hygienist?
Most patients visit the hygienist every six months at a similar time to their dental check-up. However, depending on the individual patients oral health, we may advise more frequent visits, for example for patients who suffer with diabetes or those who are undergoing a course of treatment for gum disease.
Each visit will typically last 30 minutes.
What is Periodontal (gum) surgery?
If the disease is more advanced or does not respond to treatment with the hygienist, you may need periodontal surgery. Gum surgery might be required to help improve the advanced gum disease and in this case you may be referred to a specialist in gum treatment known as a Periodontist. Your ongoing treatment will include a maintenance plan incorporating regular deep cleans with your hygienist.
Is there anything that can be done with receding gums if causing a problem?
Some patients may suffer from receding gums, making the teeth look longer and in some instances cause a degree of sensitivity due to the recession. The Periodontist can also use advanced gum surgery techniques to do soft tissue grafts to help reduce areas of recession of the teeth, helping to improve the appearance and also reducing levels of teeth sensitivity.
We are delighted to say that we have a Periodontist available here at our practice.
Do you offer Airflow stain removal?
Here at Sunningdale Dental Practice we are pleased to offer the revolutionary ‘Airflow’ cleaning treatment that effectively gets rid of stains on the teeth, boosting their natural brightness. The treatment uses a mixture of extremely fine powder, water and air to polish the entire surface of the teeth, getting into all the little cracks and nooks you might struggle to reach with everyday brushing.
This treatment is ideal for general smile maintenance, but also provides an excellent treatment to boost your smile before an important event like a party or presentation.
Do I have to see the dentist before seeing a hygienist?
Sunningdale hygienist services are available via a referral from the dentist, or via direct access in some instances. Please call our friendly reception team on 01344 620526 for more information.