The main role of a Dental Hygienist is to prevent and treat gum disease as well as removing stains caused by tea, coffee, red wine etc.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. It releases toxins that can damage the gums.
In the early stages of gum disease (called gingivitis), the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. In the more advanced stages (called periodontitis), the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
- gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- red, swollen or tender gums
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- bad breath that doesn’t go away
- pus between your teeth and gums
- loose teeth
You can help prevent gum disease by regular brushing and flossing every day and having regular dental checkups.
The dentist may refer you to see the hygienist, who will professionally clean the teeth. This is called scaling and polishing. They will also give advice on diet and preventing dental decay. The hygienist will work with the dentist to provide care tailored to your needs.