WHY IS ORAL HYGIENE SO IMPORTANT?
Adults lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular preventive visits to your dentist and dental hygienist. At Smile Island, your dentist or hygienist may recommend 6 month intervals, 4 month intervals or even 3 month intervals between dental cleanings depending on your individual vulnerability for periodontal disease.
Your dentist will examine your overall oral health. Under the direction of the dentist, the dental hygienist will take x-rays to determine bone loss due to periodontal disease, remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth, apply tooth medicaments such as fluoride, teach oral hygiene strategies, dispense home care tools, and develop an individualized home care routine. Our overall goal is to determine individual need and help prevent further disease.
Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
Contributing FACTORS to periodontal disease:
- Hormonal changes
- Genetic susceptibility
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
- Illnesses and their treatments
- Dry mouth