Dental hygiene is the practice of keeping teeth clean and healthy. Our mouths are subjected to over 600 different kinds of bacteria all the time, and while some of the bacteria are good, the job of bad bacteria is to cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. At Southern Ontario Tooth Corner dental clinics, our dentists and hygienists partner with patients of all ages to battle bad bacteria. We want you to keep your natural teeth and enjoy healthy gums throughout your lifetime.
We encourage all our patients to attend a dental hygiene and cleaning visit every six months. A regular dental checkup entails evaluating teeth, existing dental work, soft oral tissues, and gum health. Your Tooth Corner dentist will also explain how to make the most of your home brushing and flossing practice, by using proper techniques and the right products for your oral health needs.
We may take x-rays to see the structures of your mouth that exist below your gums – like teeth roots, sockets, and your jaw bone. Once the dentist has information from his examination and your records, he will review them and present his findings. If necessary, he will discuss his findings and a treatment plan with you. Rest assured, we work with patients to provide affordable dental services, so you can get the dental care you need!
Your checkup should be followed by a dental hygiene visit, also called dental cleaning. Hygienists are responsible for helping patients protect and maintain the health of their gums. At this appointment, the hygienist will probe your gums. Periodontal pockets deeper than .3mm can indicate gum disease.
If your pockets are not .3mm deep, you regular dental cleaning will involve removing plaque and tartar from at and just below the gum line, perhaps with an ultrasonic scaler. This tool uses sound vibrations, instead of manual scraping, to loosen tartar. Afterward, your teeth will feel smooth and silky.
Everyone’s mouth produces a sticky matrix known as plaque, that builds up on teeth. Plaque contains bacteria, minerals, and saliva. If we don’t remove plaque by brushing twice a day and flossing once daily at home, it can calcify and harden into tartar, or calculus, and build up at the gumline, where teeth and gums meet. Tartar irritates gum tissue, and bacteria in the tartar cause infection in the gums.
Over time, bacteria start to eat away the bond between teeth and gums. Periodontal pockets form at the base of teeth, and infection breeds inside these pockets. Bacteria continue to spread down teeth roots, breaking the tissues that hold teeth in place, so teeth loosen. Gums become more infected. Early-stage gingivitis turns into late-stage periodontitis, which leads to tooth loss, gum and bone necrosis (death), and serious oral health problems that require surgery. If your condition reaches this stage, you’ll need to see a periodontist.
Patients with gum disease in it mild to moderate phases may require a deep cleaning, which takes a bit longer than a regular dental cleaning and can be completed in our office. During a deep cleaning, the hygienist will scale teeth to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line, then plane roots to smooth any rough spots where plaque accumulates. An anesthetic will be applied to the gums for your comfort. You may need more than one appointment for the entire treatment.
Because gum disease is a chronic condition, patients are usually scheduled to return for dental hygiene and evaluations every few months until we see improvements. It is extremely important to keep gums clean after being diagnosed with and treated for gum disease, because the condition can flare up at any time.
How long has it been since your last dental hygiene or checkup appointment? You need to see the dentist every six months, and so do your children. If you’re looking for a dentist, look no further. Call the Southern Ontario Tooth Corner office near you today! We are always happy to welcome new patients and provide affordable, quality dental care, so you can enjoy a beautiful smile and healthy life.