01 Mar The Importance of Regular Dental Hygiene Appointments.
In Modern Day Dentistry, Prevention is Definitely Better than Cure.
Attending regular dental hygienist appointments is a great way of maintaining a healthy mouth. Dental hygienist/therapists are in a perfect position to advise you on how to prevent gum disease and tooth decay (the 2 leading causes of tooth loss). In this blog we are going to focus on gum disease but please see our previous blog on ‘the best ways to prevent tooth decay’ for more information.
Healthy gums are vital in order to support the teeth. In many cases of gum disease, support around the teeth is lost – in advanced cases this leads to tooth movement and eventual tooth loss. It is difficult for you to detect yourself if you have gum disease as it rarely causes any pain. If you visit a hygienist then they are able to visually look for areas of inflammation of the gums. The more regularly you attend appointments, the easier it is to monitor the condition of your gums and act early if there are any deviations from heath. There are various factors that can lead to gum disease but one of the leading causes is plaque.
There are different types of gum disease. Usually it is reversible so if you do see an area of bleeding then don’t panic – just do your best to keep the area as clean as possible and the bleeding is likely to settle.
Healthy gums should look pink and firm. Diseased gums look more red and ‘puffy’. If you have any concerns about your gums then please make an appointment with one of our hygienists.
If there has been persistent inflammation of the gums then, over time, this can cause loss of gum support. Your hygienist will be able to identify if this is the case by probing the gums to measure if there is a deepening of the natural gap between the tooth and the gum. If this is the case we will help stabilise the disease too.
Another factor that contributes to gum disease is smoking. Studies show that smoking reduces the blood supply to the mouth which affects gum health. This also means that if you smoke then the warning signs of gum disease (bleeding) might be masked. In smokers, just because your gums aren’t bleeding does not mean that gum disease isn’t present. It is important to mention that smoking is linked to mouth cancer too.
If you are interested in stopping smoking then we are happy to give you further advice about this and the benefits this can have on your mouth/general health.
If you would like to book an appointment for your dentist in Edinburgh, please call us on 0131 225 7576.