Health takes precedence
Nowadays, each of us is starkly aware of exactly how important our health can be, and we are all – thankfully – taking steady steps towards a healthier future. However, something which should not be overlooked whilst we all attempt to lead healthy lifestyles is our dental wellbeing. Our gums and teeth act as barriers and essential tools which we use on a daily basis. Without them, our lives would be unimaginably different and difficult, as well as leaving us far more susceptible to diseases such as periodontal disease. This is why anybody who perhaps feels that their dental routine and habits have become somewhat neglected during the recent months should visit an expert hygienist in Richmond. By doing so they can ensure that they will get their dental health fully restored and keep their smiles fresh and healthy.
What does a hygienist do?
A dental hygienist’s role is to keep your teeth, gums, and overall oral health in tip-top condition, and to recognize if any potentially damaging health effects are noticed and treated swiftly. Rather than acting in a responsive way, as many other fields of dentistry do, a dental hygienist works purely in a preventive fashion – believing firmly that prevention is the best form of treatment. This means that they are professionally trained to examine a patient’s teeth for any onset signs of periodontal disease, such as gingivitis. This is typically precursory to periodontal disease and is far easier to treat.
Gingivitis can usually be indicated by patients if they spit blood when brushing and flossing regularly or if their gums are redder. One problem of periodontal disease (gum disease) which can present problems for patients is that it is often painless, which can lead to them refraining from seeking out treatment. However, it is the second most common cause of tooth loss in adults and can have serious consequences if not treated by a hygienist.
The most common indicators of periodontal disease are abscesses throughout your mouth, or a bad taste and breath. By seeking out the aid of a hygienist however it is possible to identify any signs or indicators, and if the patient has gum disease then they will recommend the treatment for the patient, or carry it out themselves.
What are the scale and polish?
One step which patients can do to prevent this from ever happening, which is also another service provided by the hygienist, is by getting their teeth professionally cleaned. This is done through what is called a ‘scale and polish’, which is a two-step cleaning process that leaves the patient with visibly cleaner, whiter, and healthier teeth. The first stage of the scale and polish process involves the hygienist using specialized dental equipment to get rid of any pockets or spaces between teeth where plaque or food particles may have become lodged. These present a serious risk of gum disease if not removed. After this, a professional polishing tool is used to buffer and clean off any superficial marks and stains on the enamel of the patient’s teeth. The results of this stage are somewhat similar to professional dental whitening, although they leave the patient’s teeth both whiter, and healthier.