Yes, visiting your hygienist every six months is important for the maintenance of good oral health. Most people need a little help to achieve a good toothbrushing technique and also to incorporate a system of cleaning between their teeth. The hygienist will evaluate your hygiene practices and advise any modifications as necessary.
It is also impossible to identify early decay or gum disease by yourself at home, so you will require a professional’s expertise in detecting early disease.
Gums that bleed on brushing are a common sign of early gum disease. If you suffer from bleeding gums, your dentist may recommend a dental scaling and root planning treatment. Scaling is a non-invasive, non-surgical method of treating gum disease by removing the calculus (hard deposits) and plaque (soft deposits) on your teeth.
When correct brushing techniques are not followed, over time, plaque and calculus collect along and below your gum line. The deposit causes the attached gums to pull away from the teeth and form deep tooth pockets, where more deposits collect. The deposits also house dangerous bacteria that, if left to fester, infiltrate your gums and cause infections. The infection damages the gum and bone tissues, destroying the tooth’s attachment apparatus in the mouth. In this late gum disease stage, your teeth will start to become loose and eventually fall out if not treated. Scaling and root planning removes these deposits as regular brushing cannot remove them.
Special scaling and root planing instruments are used to remove the deposits and make the surfaces free of bacteria. The tools can access the hard-to-reach areas of the tooth, specifically below the gum line. Our hygienists may use either hand instruments or ultrasonic tips attached to a specialised ultrasonic machine. Sometimes, the scaling procedure can be uncomfortable for patients, so your hygienist will give you anaesthesia to make the process more comfortable.