Dental hygiene is “clean teeth” and a dental hygienist is a licensed professional who not only cleans teeth but also educates and informs patients about their dental conditions, how to clean their teeth, and why good oral hygiene can improve total health.
Oral Diseases: Gingivitis
The most common oral disease is gingivitis or gum disease. Gums that bleed easily are the first indications of gingivitis. Symptoms are “pink toothbrush” – that is: after not too vigorous brushing, your tooth brush shows there has been bleeding. The same could show up after using dental floss or toothpicks.
If there is anything good about gingivitis it is that it is almost always reversible and leaves no permanent damage. Usually a dental hygienist can reverse gingivitis by a thorough professional dental cleaning and by suggesting good oral hygiene habits that will keep your mouth clean. A dental hygienist can help you be gum disease free.
Why does gingivitis turn into periodontal disease? Bacteria are the culprits in most oral diseases and your body’s ability to fight them is crucial. Especially for a person who has a weak immune system, a clean mouth means everything in staying healthy.
The key is to not let inflammation become chronic. Once the inflammation in the gums has been allowed to exist for years, the body begins to expel the teeth, like splinters under the skin.
Let’s not exaggerate this: it takes YEARS to lose a tooth to gum disease. But you don’t want it to get that far along! Periodontal disease is not curable but it can be controlled.
With good oral hygiene and the advice of a professional hygienist, you can be sure you’ll keep your teeth intact. BUT once the teeth become very loose… and have very little jaw bone left around them… they simply cannot be saved.
Don’t wait to save your teeth. Click to schedule an appointment today.
Tooth Decay: Cavities
Tooth decay is a central concern in dental care. There are different bacteria that are responsible for cavities. These bacteria love sugar and they love un-brushed teeth. And if you do not clean between your teeth (with floss or toothpicks) – then you leave the bacteria undisturbed to do their worst. That causes the enamel to be dissolved. It works like a water-drip, gradually wearing a hole in hard substances.
Did you know?
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body.
Yes, it’s true… but even tooth enamel can be dissolved by the acids that these microbes produce… when they have sugars to live on and are undisrupted. It only takes 24 hours after you clean your teeth for those bacteria to reorganize and get to work all over again.
Dental Care and Whole-Body Health
Oral diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease are preventable with simple procedures like professional cleaning and good oral hygiene. Many people have heard the saying that you can extend your life by flossing daily. Well…it’s true! You can reduce your risks for other diseases and conditions like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and low birth weight/pre-term delivery by maintaining good oral health. The bacteria that are the main causes of gingivitis and gum disease have been decidedly implicated in these critical life-threatening diseases.
So: good oral health means good health… period.