Oral health is all about keeping bacteria at bay, and the best way to do this is to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
It’s not that these bacteria are bad in themselves. Our mouths are populated with these little critters, they live on the surfaces of our teeth and gums and soft tissues, and do no harm. It’s what they produce that is the problem. They feed on sugars in our mouths, and release acid. The acid is what causes the problems.
The problems with plaque
When plaque is left to fester, and it loves hanging out around the gum line and in crannies and crevices where it’s hard to get at with tooth brushing, it thickens and hardens into tartar. The bacteria nearest the tooth enamel then release acid that starts to erode the enamel of the tooth. If the acid gets into the dentin and pulp that lie underneath the enamel, tooth decay sets in. The acid also irritates the gums, resulting in the inflammation of early gum disease, and later on, can attack the bone below the gums, causing teeth to loosen in the sockets, and even fall out.
Dental hygiene to the rescue
This is why at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, dental hygiene is one of our top priorities. We want each patient to see the hygienist at least twice a year. Some patients may have to come more often.
Pregnant women need to come more often as their elevated hormone levels cause a quicker build-up of plaque and there is a higher chance of developing what is known as pregnancy gum disease.
Smokers are also more at risk because smoking constricts the blood vessels, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching the gum tissues. Diabetics may also need more frequent check-ups as diabetes slows healing.
Our hygienists will remove the plaque from your teeth and gums with special equipment which scrapes away the hardened tartar. When everything is all cleaned up, they will polish your teeth, making the surfaces smooth and shiny so that plaque has a harder time sticking to it.
If you have not had this done for a while, you may need more than one appointment to get all that tartar off.