A dental hygienist will help you to take good care of your teeth as well as the periodontium (surrounding tissue and bone) of the teeth. For most people it is important to have healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath, and a socially acceptable smile. This can only be achieved if you clean your teeth and gums regularly and properly.
A dental hygienist specializes in showing you how to take care of your teeth and gums and will strive to keep motivating you to do so. They also specialize in removing plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) deposits on the teeth and underneath the gingiva (gums). If this is not done on a regular basis, you are at risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease.
More than 80% of people suffer from some form of gum disease, this can vary from mild to severe cases. The danger of gum disease is the fact that it often is painless in the early stage, so a lot of people don’t even know that they have gum disease. Most of the time, pain and discomfort will only be felt in an advance stage of gum disease.
The result of gum disease is irreversible damage to the periodontium (supporting structure of the teeth: bone and soft tissue) where mobility occurs, and you may lose your teeth due to little or no support of healthy bone and tissue around them. Scientific studies have proven a direct link between gum disease and certain systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse pregnancy outcomes, gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disorders, and osteoporosis.
Regular visits to your dental hygienist reduces the risk of developing these conditions, as well as helping you to achieve optimum oral health. Most patients only need to see the dental hygienist every six months, unless otherwise advised for patients with an existing periodontal (gum) condition.