Hendriks Dental | Hygienist

What is gum disease?

A mild form of gum disease is also known as gingivitis which is basically inflammation of your gums caused by bacteria that is present in plaque, the sticky soft film that builds up on teeth .If this plaque is not removed effectively by brushing and flossing every day, the bacteria will cause your gums to become red, sore and swollen and you may notice bleeding gums, a bad taste or bad breath. These are all signs of gum disease. They should not be ignored and must be treated to prevent further problems. Gingivitis is very easy to treat.

If the plaque is left to build up on the teeth it will become hard and form tartar or “calculus” which can’t be removed by your toothbrush .This tartar irritates the gums even more which can lead to a more serious condition if not treated called Periodontitis (gum disease).The bone that supports your teeth can be affected by the bacteria within the tartar and if it is not removed you will begin to lose this bone which may then lead to tooth loss.

It is really important to remember that these conditions typically are caused by poor oral hygiene, (not brushing and flossing efficiently.)But a visit to a Dental Health professional along with good home care techniques will ensure you have the best possible chance to keep your teeth for life.

Scaling and polishing

The scaling and polishing of teeth by a hygienist is the removal of tartar, staining and plaque which helps prevent the progression of gum disease. At your hygiene appointment, we can also discuss your individual home care and which products will be the most effective tools for you to use on a daily basis. To be able to control gum disease it is essential to have excellent oral hygiene and regular treatments from a Dental Health Professional. Prevention and maintenance is the key! We generally recommend six monthly hygiene visits but this can vary depending on the individual. Certain conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy, and medications can determine how often you may need to be seen.

Smoking and oral health

Most people know that smoking is bad for their health but did you know that it is also a major contributor in gum disease? Smokers are much more likely to have gum problems as the nicotine and smoke reduces the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the gums and tissues. It also increases the risks of Oral Cancers.

Dietary Advice

Certain foods and drinks contain large amount of sugars which can have a dramatic effect on your teeth, causing not only tooth decay but also erosion of the enamel. Part of the role of our hygienist is to advise my patients on diet and sugar intake. A very simple tip: The best drink is water!!

Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth is fast, easy and safe. It boosts your confidence and gives you a bright, affordable make over for your smile. Our teeth darken for several reasons. Certain foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine, smoking, medications and ageing can all cause enamel to become stained and unsightly. There is a solution!

There are 2 methods of whitening:

Sports Mouth guards

It is important to wear a mouth guard to prevent painful and costly dental injuries and a custom made guard is recommended to ensure the best possible fit. This is a simple procedure which involves taking an impression of your teeth. A guard is then made and fitted at your second appointment. Individual custom guards are far superior, safer and reliable than over the counter guards.