Just Clean The Teeth You Want To Keep
Hygienist Will Make You Smile
I overheard our hygienist’s humorous comment to a patient recently and it made me laugh. She told him, “just clean the teeth you want to keep”. How true that was!
He was doing a great job on the front teeth but things weren’t so good down the back. And that is the problem we all face. It’s easy to clean the teeth at the front, but at the back of the mouth where access is restricted by cheeks and a tongue, you need to know what to do and how to do it.
The one item you can buy at the supermarket or pharmacy that comes with no instruction leaflet is a toothbrush. But why should anyone instinctively know how best to remove plaque from teeth? And that is one of the roles of the most important member of our dental team, Sharon, our dental hygienist. She can help patients clean effectively even in the awkward places and save them from suffering from decay in those back teeth or even worse, prevent the onset of destructive gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, leading to bad breath, infection, loose teeth and finally tooth loss.
How to spot gum disease
The earliest stage of gum disease is commonly identified by minor bleeding from the gums. But at this stage the disease is completely painless, which is why so many sufferers fail to seek help until the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage.
Initially bleeding from the gums occurs during, or after tooth brushing. Any bleeding is considered a sign of disease and should not be ignored. Early detection and early treatment of gum disease is far less involved and far cheaper than treating advanced and progressive disease.
For gum disease -hygienist treatment is tops!
Gum disease is far too common bearing in mind it is entirely preventable. It’s the most widespread disease in humans and will affect most of us at some stage of our lives. Sadly we find that a large number of middle and older aged patients are already suffering from gum disease that has resulted in loss of some bone that supported teeth.
In the later stages of gum disease when there has been destruction of bonearound the teeth it is common to find teeth become loose. Then more advanced treatment is required, but with effective and professional treatment, even destructive gum disease can be controlled, and even eliminated.
Left untreated, advanced gum disease results in gum infections, bad breath, gum abscesses, receding gums, loose teeth and finally tooth loss.
High Risk patients
Those people suffering from diabetes or immune disorders are at greater risk of gum disease and should be seen and checked for this condition more regularly by their own general dentist. Those who smoke are far more likely to suffer from gum disease and are likely to suffer from the more advanced and destructive forms of gum disease so there’s another reason to consider quitting!
Patients who have suffered from gum disease should be warned that they must maintain excellent gum health if they are considering dental implant treatment as they are at a greater risk of suffering from inflammatory disease around the implants and suffering from bone loss around the implants or premature loss of implants.
Research has shown a close relationship between gum disease and a long list of medical disorders that now include coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, Altzheimers, renal disorders, premature birth and low birth weight babies. The common factor appears to be the patient’s inflammatory response.
What to do
It is extremely important for your dentist to look for gum disease when carrying out your dental check-up. It’s a good idea to ask your dentist how your gums are and if there’s any inflammation present. If there is, you should make an appointment with the dental hygienist who can take the time to show you where your problem areas are and to demonstrate the bacterial coating on your teeth and provide you with a professional clean of all the teeth and their root surfaces just below the gum. In conjunction with this cleaning service you can be taught some “top tips on tooth care” and on how to remove the bacterial coating more efficiently.
One secret to keeping your whole mouth healthy is not only to brush all the surfaces of all the teeth in a logical order but also learn a technique for cleaning the small spaces between the teeth. We all need to spend sufficient time in order to care for our teeth and gums effectively and it has been shown that the vast majority ofpeople clean their teeth for less than 2 minutes and use an ineffective technique. The best advice is to call up your dentist and arrange to see the hygienist and find out how well you are doing and have your “gum health check”.
Once you know the secrets of looking after your mouth correctly, you can be sure of a healthy mouth, clean white teeth and a happy smile.
I think I have gum disease. Now what?
At NQ Surgical Dentistry, our professional, highly trained and experienced team including our dental hygienist, will help to both prevent decay and gum disease and treat existing gum disease of all levels of severity. It is a team effort and the patient is the most important member of the team.
For more information: Dental Hygiene Therapy
contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812