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Hygienist services

At Notley Dental Care our in house hygienists are fully trained in preventive dentistry.  They are able to help our patients prevent tooth decay and gum disease occurring by advising on diet and tooth brushing techniques.

Regular intake of sugar causes tooth decay and accumulation of plaque at the gum margins can cause gum disease.  The hygienists will instruct patients in tooth brushing techniques, normally using an electric toothbrush and the use of a variety of interdental cleaning aides.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria which normally inhabit the mouth.  The bacteria adhere to the tooth surface particularly where the tooth meets the gum margin.  Plaque is a soft substance which can be easily removed with a methodical brushing technique and interdental brushes or floss/tape.

What is Calculus (tartar)?

Calculus is plaque which has been left on the tooth and has been calcified by the mineral salts present in saliva.  Once calculus has formed it can only be removed by having a professional cleaning carried out by our hygienists.  However, with a good tooth brushing technique it will not reform.

Why do my gums bleed?

This is normally caused by inflammation, gingivitis. This is a very early stage of gum disease and will heal completely if you use a better brushing technique clean interdentally more effectively.  Healthy gums do not bleed. Our well trained hygienists can help you with this.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by plaque accumulation at the gum margins and can be grouped into two categories, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis
One of the first signs is bleeding on brushing or bleeding when using floss or interdental brushes.  Gingivitis is a very early stage of gum disease and will heal completely if the patient is shown a better brushing technique and how to clean interdentally more effectively.

Periodontitis
This is a more severe form of gum disease whereby the gum margins loosen from the tooth by the actions of  toxins produced by bacterial plaque.  The ‘pockets’ that form can bleed on brushing/flossing and the bone that supports the teeth breaks down which then leads to the teeth becoming mobile. 

This type of gum disease tends to be found in patients aged over 40 years, whereas gingivitis can be present in any age group. Healthy gums however do not bleed.

Can Gum Disease damage my health?

Several studies have shown that the presence of gum disease can make several common serious diseases worse and in some cases even cause them. This means good brushing and flossing could literally save your life.

Coronary heart disease (which causes heart attacks and angina) has a link with gum disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by the bacteria involved with periodontal disease may be responsible for the association. Untreated gum disease greatly increases a susceptible individual’s risk.

Regular hygiene visits to have your gums checked and teeth cleaned are really good ways to prevent gum disease.

What treatment is available?

Gingivitis can be reversed simply with good oral hygiene techniques.  Patients will benefit from seeing one of our hygienists as well especially if calculus is present.

Periodontitis requires further treatment whereby the patients teeth will need a thorough professional clean which may need to be carried out using local anaesthesia.  Our in house hygienists are all qualified to carry out this treatment. In the most severe cases, the patient may be referred to a Specialist and some patients may require a short course of antibiotics following the treatment.

This treatment is very successful and will prevent the loss of the affected teeth.

Why do I have Bad Breath?

There are a number of causes of bad breath, the most common of which is poor oral care. Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC) are produced when naturally occurring bacteria break down plaque and food debris in the mouth.

By keeping plaque and debris in check bacteria have less to feed on and reproduce less frequently. In addition to cleaning thoroughly between the teeth it is recommended that you also clean your tongue on a daily basis.

Are electric brushes better than manual ones?

Electric toothbrushes are recommended by our hygienists for their superior performance when compared to manual brushing. Electric toothbrushes tend to have small brush heads that cup around the tooth and are faster and more efficient in cleaning areas of the mouth where bacteria and plaque collect.

It has been clinically proven that electric toothbrushes remove up to twice as much plaque as a manual brush.

Can smoking cause Gum Disease

Patients who smoke 10 cigarettes or more are susceptible to a more aggressive type of periodontal disease.  These patients tend to have more teeth affected by gum disease, have deeper pocketing, much less bleeding when cleaning their teeth and also tend to have more bone loss related to the pocketing present.  Patients who smoke also lose more teeth than those patients who don’t.

The reason for these differences is because the chemicals found in cigarette smoke cause changes within the oral cavity itself and also suppresses the immune response.

Patients with this problem often require referral for specialist treatment and require the addition of a short course of antibiotics to resolve the problem.

Can I have Dental Implants if I have Gum Disease?

Gum disease can occur around implants so it is very important for the patient’s oral hygiene to be excellent and with that in mind, it is recommended that if implants are present, patients are seen by a hygienist regularly.