There are two simple steps to good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums; regular visits to your dentist and good home care.
Poor oral hygiene will lead to a number of problems, some of them extremely serious if left untreated.
Some signs to look for are:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen and inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
Dr Nick and Dr Shaveta are enthusiastic about educating patients on the most effective ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy and long-lasting. They love advising thier patients on all aspects of dental hygiene, including the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes.
For patients with sensitive areas, we take extra effort to keep the appointment relaxed and pleasant by offering solutions such as happy gas, local anesthetic gel etc . Our hygienists are also happy to discuss these problem areas and provide a solution to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your appointment.
Health Implications of Poor Oral Health
Research shows a clear link between periodontal disease and the following medical conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease risk, with increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Premature birth with low birth weight in babies
- Uncontrolled diabetes in adult diabetics
- Increased risk of pneumonia, particularly in elderly patients
How often should I see my dentist?
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is recommended you visit your dentist twice a year.
What will my dental hygienist or clinician do?
Your dental hygienist or clinician will examine your mouth to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and to look for any signs of periodontal disease (see below for more information).
He/she will then do a thorough clean, scale and polish. The scale will be done using ultrasonic scaling and may be followed with hand scaling, polish and fluoride. This removes any bacterial deposits and plaque from above and below the gum surface. Once the plaque has been removed, your teeth will be polished, leaving them feeling smooth and fresh.
Your dental hygienist or clinician will then show you how to care for your teeth at home, and will recommend the correct products for you to use.
Periodontal (or gum) disease is a process that starts with a biofilm that adheres to the surface of your teeth. Gums first become red, then inflamed and swollen. Later, the bone that supports the teeth is eaten away. In the terminal stages, this leads to tooth loss.
What is biofilm?
- This is the thin layer of saliva, bacteria and food that clings to the teeth. It is often referred to as plaque.
What is tartar or calculus?
- When the biofilm is not removed by professional care and daily brushing and flossing, it mineralises. Once this happens, it forms a tenacious bond that can only be removed by the hygienist or dentist.
What’s to lose?
- Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, this does not have to happen. Consistent periodontal care including examination and X-rays as needed are key to your oral health.
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
A mild inflammation of the gums, which may occasionally bleed when you brush and floss. No bone loss has occurred, so it is totally reversible.
This is the next stage of periodontal disease. Here the gums separate from the tooth allowing bacteria to invade. The toxins they produce cause additional inflammation and bleeding. Much more damaging is the bone loss that occurs, as it is irreversible damage. With early intervention and proper care, this loss can be maintained non-surgically, preserving your teeth.
In the terminal stages of periodontal disease, pronounced loss of gum attachment, bone loss, pus accumulation and eventual tooth loss are exhibited. In its earlier stages, surgical intervention may be recommended. In latter stages, there is no cure except for extractions.
Your hygienist and/or dentist will measure the degree of any breakdown of the gums using a probe.
The teeth are cleaned of all hard and soft deposits.
The root surfaces of the teeth are cleansed of all deposits allowing inflammation to decrease and arresting bone destruction. Local anaesthetic may be used.
We may recommend rinses and/or gels to aid in reducing bacteria. This will ease sensitivity and promote oral health.
Some situations require a surgical intervention to re-establish optimal health. In these cases, you may be referred to a specialist.
EXAM & X-RAYS
A dental exam and x-rays are very important beginning steps to determine the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. The dentists will examine your mouth gently and explore the state of your teeth and gums, talking you through the process step by step.
Bitewing Radiographs are taken every two years in most individuals to pick up early decay or secondary decay.
They will take x-rays of your mouth – this will assist with initial prognosis in the exam and help with diagnosis. our practice offer panoramic x-rays, which show a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and jaw joints, and reveal problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, solid growths (tumours), infections and fractures.
If you have any dental problems, it is always best to contact Your Family dentist Liverpool for an exam and x-rays, so they can provide you with a treatment plan that is unique to you.
One of the most helpful tools for dentists is the pan-oral x-ray machine.
This machine takes a single x-ray of your head from the eyes down to your mid neck and from ear to ear. It enables dentists to get a general overview of the patient’s mouth, especially those hard-to-reach areas.
This allows us to see:
- Any hard tissue changes in your bone that supports the teeth (checking for signs of periodontal disease)
- All of your teeth from the crown to the bottom of root (checking for abscesses, root fractures, impacted wisdom tooth positions or ill-fitting restorations)
- Jaw fractures
- Changes in your jaw joint
- Diseases of the jaw bones (such as cancer, cysts and other mouth pathologies)
- Sinus problems