Why it’s important to visit your dental hygienist

The Telegraph newspaper reported recently that 170 youngsters a day are having teeth extracted due to excess sugar consumption. They called it an ‘oral health crisis.’ Why is this happening? Dental technology is better than ever and everyone in the UK has access to a dentist in theory, although registering with one is obviously up to the individual.

Could it be that people are not taking care to avoid decay through regular brushing? Or that by avoiding their dental appointments, they’re missing the opportunity to have their teeth professionally cleaned and any food deposits remaining on them removed? Visiting a hygienist annually can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and the more serious health conditions that can arise as a result of untreated tooth decay and gum disease!

How gum disease is caused

Gum disease occurs when food deposits are not removed after brushing. They remain on the teeth and sit on the gum line, growing harder, causing tartar. Telltale symptoms of gum disease are swollen, bleeding gums, which look red and sore. This condition is easier to treat when it’s caught in the early stages. Your hygienist can apply some gum therapy to remove the pain and restore your gums to health.

Spotting changes in your mouth

When you visit your hygienist with suspected gum disease, the first thing he or she will assess is what stage you’re at. If gum disease is left untreated for too long, it can lead to much more serious problems. For instance, it has been linked to strokes, diabetes and heart disease. Your hygienist will be able to help you overcome your gum disease, but he or she will not be able to reverse the effects gum disease might have already had on your body.

Another very important reason to visit your dental hygienist is to have any changes in your mouth identified. Some changes can denote serious health problems; such as cancer. Lumps and discoloured patches that you might not notice, or simply dismiss as insignificant, could be a signal that there’s something sinister happening to your cells. The sooner you realise this, the more treatable your condition will be.

Lifestyle advice

Sugar is hidden in the most unexpected places. For example, you might be surprised to find out exactly how much sugar is in a single slice of bread. We’re all well aware that fizzy drinks contain a lot of sugar, because their ingredients are currently subject to a public date on whether or not a sugar tax should be levied on them, but how many of us conveniently forget that alcohol too contains an impressively large amount of sugar?

When sugar enters our mouths, it reacts with oral bacteria to create acid, which attacks the enamel on our teeth. Once it’s worn the enamel away, cavities form. These holes in the teeth are painful and need to receive a filling from the dentist in order to protect the tooth and save it from requiring extraction.

Your hygienist can help you restrict your sugar intake, protect your teeth and help your smile look naturally beautiful for longer. Prevention is far less painful than cure! Please get in touch with our reception team to register with our practice, or book your next appointment.