Skip links

Gum Disease and Dental Hygiene

As gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK, protecting your smile from the condition should be an essential part of your dental hygiene routine. Your gums are the foundation to your smile, so their health is crucial to the longevity of your teeth. Good oral hygiene at home will do most of the hard work in preventing gum disease, but visits to the hygienist will treat the condition and halt it in its tracks.

5 Toothbrushes

How can you prevent gum disease?

Regularly visiting a hygienist will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. The cleaner your teeth, the less likely you are to develop gum disease. Hygienists are clinicians trained in assessing, tracking and treating gum disease. Protecting your smile from gum disease isn’t just important for your smile as poor gum health has been linked to more serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease starts as inflammation in the gums caused by bacteria. Plaque deposits contain bacteria that triggers the immune system, causing the gums to get irritated. This can lead to bleeding gums. This initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis and can be treated at the hygienist chair through removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, eliminating the cause.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. At this stage, the bacteria causes the gums to recede. Pockets start to form between the gum and tooth, eventually leading to loosening of the teeth. Unlike the first stage, periodontitis isn’t reversible but can be maintained through periodontal treatments. However, good dental hygiene can prevent this.

What Happens During a Dental Hygiene Appointment?

During a hygiene appointment, the health of your gums and teeth will be assessed. This will involve looking for any signs of swelling, inflammation or bleeding. The hygienist may also take measurements where the gum attaches to the tooth and check for signs of oral cancer.

Cleaning and Removing Plaque

One of the main aspects of the hygienist’s role is to carry out a ‘scale and polish’, a thorough clean of the teeth to remove plaque and tartar build-up. Scaling (removing tartar) also makes it easier to keep teeth clean as there is no longer a rough surface to attract more plaque. This deep clean will be finished off with a polish to leave teeth shiny and smooth.

One of these cleaning treatments is called Airflow, which is a simple procedure that removes plaque, discolouration and stains from your teeth, while helping to prevent more serious conditions like gum disease. Compressed water, air and powder particles are used to remove bacteria and clean your teeth.

If gum disease has progressed beyond the early stages, a hygienist can remove deep tartar from the root surface. This is known as root planing (or debridement) and as it involves deeper cleaning under the gum line, the procedure may require an anaesthetic.

Helpful Advice for Dental Hygiene

Hygienists also offer helpful hygiene advice and demonstrate how to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free with toothbrushes, interdental brushes and floss.

For younger patients, hygienists can apply fluoride varnishes to strengthen enamel or fissure sealants, which provide a protective barrier to stop bacteria settling in the narrow fissures of the back teeth. These treatments offer a protective measure for young teeth when they first start to emerge.

From deep cleaning to advice on how to maintain healthy teeth and dental care tips, our dentists can help you to prevent gum disease and improve your dental hygiene routine with proper oral hygiene.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is dental hygiene?

It is essential to keep the mouth, teeth and gums clean to prevent any issues with hygiene. We work to prevent any hygiene issues from occurring through routine checkups and recommendations on how to keep your mouth healthy.

How do I keep my mouth hygiene better?

By regularly visiting dental hygienists and following the recommended guidance on keeping your teeth clean, you can lower your risk of gum disease and have help in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day, with the right concentration of fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing to prevent plaque and tartar build up can help.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

Not maintaining good oral hygiene can lead to problems such as gum disease, which is the main cause of tooth loss. Implementing a good dental hygiene routine at home and regular visits to prevent the condition can work to prevent gum disease.

Does removing tartar hurt?

Depending on the amount of tartar, it can be painful having it removed. Especially if the gums are inflamed or your teeth are feeling tender. However, anesthesia is used if necessary and applied to the gums to prevent pain.

What People Say…

Jignasha Patel
Jignasha Patel
2023-12-08
Great friendly and helpful team from reception to dental nurses & dentists themselves.
David Arulanandam
David Arulanandam
2023-11-28
I had a very pleasant experience and the staff were extremely kind and willing to help as much as possible. The Dentist explained the condition very well and taken the appropriate measures. I will recommend this surgery to everyone. well done and keep up the good work.
Beverly Newbury
Beverly Newbury
2023-11-28
Great dentist 😬 and they put you in so much ease
Lesley P (Dolly daydream)
Lesley P (Dolly daydream)
2023-11-28
This was my first visit as a new patient at Confidental St Helier & felt quite nervous. I didn’t need to worry though, from booking in at reception & meeting my new dentist was a really good experience. I would highly recommend them.
Dr Simeon
Dr Simeon
2023-11-28
Kind, gentle and friendly receptionists, dentist and hygienist. Was dreading visiting the dentist as I had not been for quite a while. Walked out of my check-up with a spring in my step and amuch brighter, cleaner smile on my face. So grateful I managed to get in.
Z K
Z K
2023-10-31
Most amazing dental practice I have been to! Very kind and friendly staff as well a highly qualified skilled dentist! Wouldn’t go anywhere else for my teeth! Absolutely love love the results, the dentist here won’t stop until you are 110% satisfied! Excellent service specially Dr zena
Donna Munoz
Donna Munoz
2023-10-26
I am so happy that I had my dental treatment here at St Helier. Dr Zena Al-ansari made it possible for me to smile again after more than 30 years. I had Invisalign fitted as well as other procedures during the course of a year and the care and attention I received was outstanding. Zena is such a lovely friendly dentist who puts you at ease and informs you of your procedure every step of the way. Thank you so much for giving me the confidence to smile again😃
Jackie Miller
Jackie Miller
2023-10-20
Would I recommend this practice yes I would. What a great place Dr Catarina Machado and her nurse Jina what lovely people they are. Very nervous about dentist but no need here make you feel relaxed every step is explained clearly and why things are done. Cant tell you how relaxed Catarina made me feel no longer worried about seeing dentist any more. Thank you all so very much. 👏👏👏😊😊😊
Mona
Mona
2023-10-04
Everyone was so helpful and amazing 👏 starting with receptionist Sienna and nurse Anna. Dr Catarina is lovely and my front tooth looks like was never damaged. Hygienist Haddy worked a miracle with my gums, they stopped bleeding after a session with her. I am so greatful♥️💙thank you

Customer Support

Affordable Dental Care

Experienced Dentists

Book Your Dental Hygiene Appointment Today

Book Appointment