What is Gum Disease?
All gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the surface of your teeth. If plaque is not removed through daily brushing and cleaning between teeth, the bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums causing gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease leads to tooth mobility and tooth loss.
There are two main types of gum disease which can affect children or adults. These are gingivitis and periodontitis.
What is Gingivitis?
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gums may be red, swollen and bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and a better oral hygiene routine at home.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is an inflammation around the tooth and occurs when gingivitis is not treated. With periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces or pockets that become infected. If left untreated, the bones, gums and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed, causing the teeth to become loose. These teeth may fall out or need to be removed.
When would I need hygiene therapy?
Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without symptoms. Several warning signs can signal a problem:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Gum recession
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
What is the procedure?
All of our appointments are for 60 minutes per session.
At your first appointment, our hygienist will do a periodontal screening to check for the presence or absence of gum disease. If disease is present a series of appointments may be needed to remove the infection.
We can use topical or local anaesthetic similar to when having a filling to numb the area. Using a number of dental tools, including ultrasonic instruments, the infection is gently removed.
We may recommend medications such as a mouthrinse or antibiotics placed directly into the periodontal pocket to help control periodontal disease. We will also provide advice on diet, giving up smoking and oral hygiene products such as dental floss, special toothpaste and interdental brushes so that you can follow a good oral hygiene routine at home.
What hygiene treatments do we offer?
Root planning and scaling
When present, periodontal disease is usually more severe towards the back of the mouth and between teeth–areas that are difficult to keep clean and free from plaque.
Depending on the severity of the disease and depth of your periodontal pockets, we may recommend between one to four appointments for root planning and scaling to help prevent tooth movement and tooth loss.
Root planning is a cleaning procedure which cleans bacteria from the roots of your teeth. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
Once the root planning and scaling treatment is complete we will check how your gums have healed and responded to the treatment. If pockets persist, additional treatment may be needed.
As well as scaling and root planning, our hygienist may insert antibiotics or periochip into the periodontal pocket.
Periochip is a small thin wafer of Chlorhexidine which fights bacteria for a period of seven to ten days and reduces the depth of periodontal pockets. Additional treatments may be required every 3-6 months after the initial treatment.
Fresh breath clinic
To fight the common causes of bad breath, our hygienist uses a combination of hygiene therapies and specially formulated products to combat this highly embarrassing problem.
Treatment for stained teeth
For tough stains we offer “air abrasion” which will leave your teeth sparkling clean and bright. A special fine powder is blasted onto your teeth, gently ‘blowing away’ any staining on and between your teeth, leaving your teeth feeling lovely.
You can smile like a star! For discoloured teeth, our hygienist can whiten your teeth using Philips Zoom teeth whitening.
Cleaning with braces
For all braces treatment, we provide a thorough pre-braces clean so that your teeth and gums are healthy before the braces are fitted.
- Whilst wearing braces, brushing your teeth becomes even more important as food can get stuck on your braces causing staining, decay, gum disease and bad breath. We help to protect your teeth and gums throughout your treatment with maintenance visits.
- Once your braces are off, we provide a post-braces clean to remove any deposits that have built up around the braces, to leave you with a healthy straight smile.
Cleaning with Implants
For all implant treatment, we provide a thorough pre-implant placement clean so that your teeth and gums are healthy before the implants are placed.
Once the implants have been placed, we use special instruments to clean and maintain the implants which ensures their longevity.
What are the benefits of treatment?
Professional cleaning with our hygienist combined with a good oral hygiene routine at home, will ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your life. The healthier your teeth and gums are, the less risk you have of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss.
How will I feel after treatment?
Following your hygiene appointment, your teeth and gums will feel squeaky clean, smooth and healthy.
In the case of root planning and scaling, its normal to feel a little sore for a few hours after treatment as this is a much deeper clean. However, you can go about your normal activities.
How long will my hygiene treatment last?
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, you should always visit a hygienist for professional cleaning of your teeth and gums regularly, every 3-6 months.
Depending on the extent of the disease, treatment may require multiple visits ranging from 1 – 6 hygiene therapy appointments. If periodontal disease persists, we may refer you to a periodontist, a specialist in the treatment of gum disease.
For those who are at an increased of disease, more frequent visits with our hygienist are very important to help detect developing periodontal disease at an early stage. Those at increased risk include those who
- smoke or chew tobacco
- have systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, blood disorders, HIV and AIDS
- take certain medications
- are pregnant
- have a family history of tooth loss
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Hygiene therapy appointments should be a regular occurrence in your life, particularly if you already have or are considering any other dental treatment such as braces, implants or cosmetic dentistry.
If you feel like you want more out of your smile or if hygiene treatment alone is not enough we do offer extensive general and cosmetic treatments.
Alternative treatments: Teeth Whitening, Cosmetic Dentistry, Smile Makeovers
How much will my Hygiene Treatment cost?
We understand that price is an important consideration factor. When you come to see us for your first consultation, we will screen for the presence or absence of gum disease, determine the number of appointments needed and provide you with a treatment plan and costs.
All hygiene appointments are for 60 minutes.
To obtain an estimate for the total cost for your treatment, please call 020 8567 4344 for your consultation or email us.