Oral hygiene and gum disease
Plaque is a soft film of acidic bacteria that collects close to the gum line and in the pits and fissures of your teeth. It’s also very evident around and within the gum collar that envelopes each tooth.
Time and time again, we see at our dental practice in London City EC4 how these bacteria can attack teeth, inflame gums and even affect jaw bones. The consequences: your teeth and gums look ugly, your teeth can get loose and you have bad breath.
When plaque is new (and soft) it can be easily removed through careful and frequent brushing and flossing. But after 48 hours plaque starts to build up and eventually turns into hardened calculus (tartar). This is the ‘nasty stone’ that builds up around the teeth at the gum margins. By this stage, only professional scaling can remove it.
What can you do to remove plaque?
- Clean your teeth for a full three minutes a day in the morning AND three minutes in the evening.
- Use the right oral hygiene aids and instruments (such as an electric toothbrush, the Airfloss, and interproximal massagers/cleaners) with the correct technique.
- See a good dentist or hygienist for at least half hour session every six months.
To professionally remove plaque build-up and tartar takes between 30 and 75 minutes – depending on your degree of oral hygiene between cleaning sessions. The more you clean, the less the hygienist has to! In our London City EC4 dental practice we may use a colouring ‘disclosing’ solution to show you where the plaque has accumulated – you may be shocked! Your gum pockets may be deepening, showing greater loss of supporting bone.
Red, swollen and painful gums that bleed on brushing are a sign of inflammation caused by the bacterial infection of plaque. It’s a red warning signal. Bleeding gums are ‘wounds’ in the body and may allow infection into the bloodstream! If you notice these signs, you must visit your dentist without delay. Prevention has to be the optimal approach, since even the best dentistry cannot improve on nature!
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