Healthy gums are the foundations of all dental treatment. We offer professional cleans with our dentist and hygienist to remove build ups of plaque and tartar, and heavy staining from coffee, tea, wine and smoking. We aim to restore gum health when there is tartar preventing you from accessing the gums for cleaning and work with you to build stable foundations for long-term oral health.
During your check-up, we would have spotted the signs of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) and given you a score based on your gum health. The basic score is what we use to evaluate further treatment for your gums during your hygiene appointment.
If plaque build-ups around the gum line aren’t removed, the gum tissues start to get inflamed. Swollen, red gums are the hallmark for the early stage of gum disease, gingivitis. The irritated gums bleed while brushing, making them vulnerable to the bacteria that’s present in the mouth.
If gingivitis is left untreated and the tartar deposits left at the gum line, the gums start to recede as a result. This leads to pockets developing between the gum and the tooth, exposing the sensitive and vulnerable tooth root. Once plaque and tartar build up on the root, it’s much harder to remove. This part of gum disease is called periodontitis and isn’t reversible like the earlier stage. It can be managed by a dentist or periodontist through more extensive periodontal treatment.
The main part of your hygiene appointment involves a routine scale and polish. This deep clean removes stubborn tartar from all the hard to reach areas. This is then followed by a professional polish – which leaves your teeth feeling smoother, cleaner and brighter.
As well as a deep clean, we will advise you how to properly care for your teeth and gums. We can show you how to use interdental cleaning tools properly so you can keep up the hard work at home.
To reduce sensitivity during a clean an alternative option is to use hand scalers instead of ultrasonic scalers. You could also have the treatment done by a periodontist on referral if you prefer or is necessary.
Occasionally, despite our best efforts, we fail to stop gum disease from progressing. This could be due to a number of factors including continued poor hygiene, smoking, diabetes or anything contributing to a lowered immune response. In these cases we will often refer you to a specialist or ask you to see our visiting specialist.
They will often attempt the same treatment, and supplement with antibiotics only available on their expert prescription. Surgical treatment would also be considered as well as elective extractions (sacrificing some teeth of very poor prognosis to allow cleaning of the teeth in a better condition).
Often, we will work alongside the periodontist to stabilise your gums before we carry out any further work.