Hygiene Therapy

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental problems adults face, yet it can begin at any age. It is often painless and happens slowly. Sometimes you may not notice any signs until the disease is serious and you are in danger of losing your teeth.

The good news is that gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Gum disease can be treated and even turned around in its early stages. There are 2 types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the gums that usually precedes periodontitis if left untreated.

Periodontitis is one of the main reasons why adults lose their teeth. It is an inflammation of the bone and soft tissue around your teeth. Without enough bone and soft tissue to hold your teeth in place, your teeth can become loose and fall out. In its early stages, periodontitis is very hard to see. You may not know that you have a problem until you visit your dentist. The warning signs of periodontitis may include:

  • A change in the color of your gums
  • Red gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath that will not go away
  • Shiny, puffy or sore gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose tooth or teeth
  • Increasing space between your teeth
  • Receding gum line (gums separating from your teeth and exposing the root)

Hygiene Treatments

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Fluoride application: It has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. It can also prevent or even reverse early tooth decay. Fluoride is a natural element found in soil, water and various foods. Because it is present to some extent in all food and water, almost everyone ingests some fluoride on a daily basis. 

In order to prevent Gum Disease, dental recare appointments are needed every 3, 4, 6 or 12 months.