THE VALUE OF HYGIENE
Many people perceive “teeth cleaning” as the
least important part of the treatment that they
undergo when they visit the dentist. But whilst
being the most neglected, dental hygiene is actually
the most important.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE - WHAT IS IT?
This disease is an infection in the jaw bone which is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. In its early and moderate stages JAW BONE DISEASE IS COMPLETELY PAINLESS, but it also affects your general health. There is a connection with this type of infection and inflammation that releases a special protein into the body called a “C REACTIVE PROTEIN”. This protein has the following effects on general health:
- The presence of C reactive protein is more predictive of heart disease than your cholesterol level. It is an agent that causes heart disease. The risk of fatal heart disease is twice as high for patients with severe gum and bone disease.
- People with type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to develop gum disease.
- Advanced gum and bone disease can increase the risk of stroke by over 50% in adults aged 25-54.
- If you have periodontal disease early in life you are four times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.
- Pregnant women with severe gum and bone disease are seven times more likely to have a premature baby and are also more likely to have a low birth weight baby.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT GUM DISEASE?
The answer is to treat the infection and reduce the inflammation so that the proteins are not continually being circulated around your body. All this involves is cleaning your teeth thoroughly at home and seeing the hygienist often enough so that the disease never develops or is significantly reduced.
Victoria, our hygienist, will remove the bacteria and hard deposits that destroy the bone around your teeth and halt the infection before it spreads. Victoria will also show you how to maintain healthy teeth and gums at home. Good dental hygiene will help you keep your teeth for the whole of your life. Chewing food is not a luxury, it is a necessary part of digestion.
WHAT DOES A HYGIENIST DO?
Our hygienist is an integral part of the treatment we provide. Victoria provides all the preventative and maintenance services in our practice. Treatment of a disease or problem is only part of our ongoing care for our patients, as regular cleaning and hygiene instruction is part of maintaining your general dental health. Our aim is for our patients to have the healthiest teeth and gums possible. We want our patients to keep their teeth and look and feel good about their mouth.
Tasks performed by Victoria are:
- Taking x-rays and maintenance of accurate dental records
- Making mouthguards, nightguards and whitening trays
- Scaling and polishing teeth
- Treatment of bone and gum disease involving conservative treatment with and without anaesthetic
- Giving local anaesthetic
- Providing information to patients on how to care for their teeth and gums
- Dietary analysis and advice
- Saliva testing to discover predisposing factors for dental decay
- Charting and photographing of teeth
- Regular checks of children's teeth and gums
- Ongoing oral hygiene instruction for children as they get older and the challenges to their oral health increase
- Polishing and adjusting new dental work for optimum cleaning by the patient and to maximise the longevity of the treatment
Victoria can help every one of our patients keep their mouth in a healthy state.