A visit to our dental hygienist will not only leave you teeth clean, smooth and brighter but, can help prevent periodontal disease (gum disease), which, is the largest cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that live in our mouths the bacteria combined with other particles constantly form a sticky colourless film on our teeth, called plaque.
A regular brushing a flossing help to remove the plaque, plaque that is not removed can harden and form calculus (tartar) which only professional cleaning can remove. If the calculas tartar is not removed inflammation of the gums can appear and they will bleed more easily. Once the gums are inflamed, the bacteria can move down the tooth and as the gums pull away this forms spaces, called pockets which, can become infected. The body tries to fight the bacteria by the gums and bone retreating away from the infection. This then caused loss of supporting tissue for the teeth where they could eventually become loose and have to be removed. Another contributing factor to gum disease are smoking, as it is traumatic to the tissue and prevents blood flow to the gums. For people that smoke the signs for periodontal disease can be missed as the gums do not always bleed when bacteria are present.
Hormonal changes in women, especially during pregnancy, can make you more susceptible to gum disease. People with diabetes are more prone to infection, including gum disease. Other disease where people are immunocompromised can also affect the gums negatively. Some medication can also effect saliva flow in the mouth an also have a contributing factor to gum disease.