Cleaning and Prevention
Dental hygienist services in Rawtenstall and Rossendale
Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. It helps you to keep your own teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient can help to prevent the need for treatment, and so avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions. A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan will be worked out to help you keep it that way.
Your dentist will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment that is necessary. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy and to try and prevent any dental problems returning. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.
- The hygienist or dentist will thoroughly ‘scale and polish’ your teeth.
- The dentist or hygienist will show you the best methods of brushing and flossing to remove the bacterial ‘plaque’ which forms constantly on your teeth and gums. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. When you eat or drink something sugary, the plaque turns the sugar into acid, which will cause tooth decay. Plaque will also cause gum inflammation if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The hard tartar (calculus) which builds up on the teeth also starts off as plaque.
- You will be advised which oral care products are the best ones for you to use.
- The hygienist will probably discuss diet and any habits, such as smoking and drinking, with you.
- Your dentist will also make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.
Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning. Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse, the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. In fact, more teeth are lost through periodontal disease than through tooth decay.
All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing