Dental hygienists are dental care professionals who are uniquely prepared to watch out for signs of gum disease and manage these ailments with a dental specialist. Hygienists are trained to provide oral health education, dietary advice, apply fluoride coatings to teeth, deep scaling of roots and taking x-rays and many others.
Why seeing a hygienist is significant?
Gum disease will get worse if it is not treated. Because it is painless, it can become very bad without noticing. When there is not enough supporting bone left, teeth become loose and eventually have to be taken out. Root planning can stop gum disease becoming worse and prevent tooth loss.
Like scaling and polishing, root planning helps you to keep your teeth and gums clean at home. Dentists and hygienists cannot keep your mouth healthy by themselves. Your own cleaning is just as important.
Scaling and polishing
Scaling is a mechanical removal of the hard tartar which forms on your teeth like scale inside a kettle. Scaling also removes trapped food and plaque containing millions of germs which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Stains from coffee, tea, cigarettes or red wine are also cleaned away when your dentist polishes your teeth.
If you have gum disease, scaling needs to be deeper, around the roots of the teeth. This is called ‘root planning’. Your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable. Your dentist or hygienist will show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly at home.
A dentist or dental hygienist will scale your teeth. If you clean your teeth very thoroughly anyway, your scale and polish will take less time.
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss
Also known as periodontal disease. It affects gums and the supporting bone. It is caused by sticky plaque and hard deposits of tartar. Gum disease caused by several factors, including poor oral hygiene, genetics, smoking, diabetes and manty other. If gum disease left untreated, it could easily lead to bone loss and subsequently the teeth become loose and eventually lost. As a matter of fact in the western world more teeth are lost due to gum disease than loss due to caries. It starts with gingivitis which is an inflammation- redness and swelling, and bleeding when brushing gingivitis. It can be cured with good oral hygiene and scaling.
The next stage is called chronic periodontitis. Some of the bone that supports the teeth is lost and the teeth became loose until they eventually have to be taken out.