Cleaning and Polishing is mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease – showing you correct home care and helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Preventing and treat gum disease including professionally cleaning your teeth. This is usually called ‘scaling and polishing’. However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. If it is not brushed away properly, this hardens to form tartar which you cannot remove yourself. We also give advice on diet and preventing dental decay. The Dentist works alongside with you to give you care that is tailored to your needs.
Gum disease is the swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main types of gum disease: ‘gingivitis’ and ‘periodontal disease’.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when you brush them.
Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone fixing the teeth to the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
People who smoke are more likely to have gum disease. Smoking may change the type of bacteria in dental plaque, increasing the number of bacteria that are more harmful. It also reduces the blood flow in the gums and supporting tissues of the tooth and makes them more likely to become inflamed. Smokers’ gum disease will get worse more quickly than in people who do not smoke. Because of the reduced blood flow smokers may not get the warning symptoms of bleeding gums as much as non-smokers.
How do you know you have the disease?
The first sign may be blood on your toothbrush when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.
What is the treatment?
Your dentist will usually clean your teeth thoroughly to remove the scale. You’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.
A good oral-care routine at home, with brushing and interdental cleaning, is the most important thing you can do to help prevent gum disease getting worse
Once your teeth are clean, your dentist may decide to carry out further cleaning of the roots of the teeth, to make sure that the last pockets of bacteria are removed. This is known as root planing. You may need the treatment area to be numbed before anything is done. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hours
Periodontal disease is never cured, but it can be controlled as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught. Any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether. However, you must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check-ups by the dentist and hygienist