Hygiene appointments protect smiles from gum disease. Hygienists are trained clinicians who track, assess and treat gum disease, keeping mouths bacteria-free. As gum disease can cause tooth loss among other issues, it’s important for us at Southbank to ensure your gums are as healthy as possible.

Trips to your hygienist, on top of great oral care at home, will keep your teeth as clean as possible and so will prevent bacteria from causing damage.

What is gum disease?

Your gums react to the presence of bacteria in plaque and tartar deposits around the gum line. It’s an immune-system response that causes the gums to become inflamed and can, as a result, bleed when you brush. Irritated gums are the main symptom of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. This stage is reversible through cleaning away the bacteria that’s causing the gums to react. Hygienists can clean away the bacteria, allowing your gums to recover.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to a more aggressive stage, periodontitis, as the gum tissue starts to recede and degrade as bacteria enters the tissue. It’s dangerous for any bacteria to enter the bloodstream so preventing this stage is crucial for your oral and general health. Periodontitis can be managed through removing tartar and plaque that has formed under the gum line on the tooth roots.

How do hygienists prevent gum disease?

As bacteria in plaque is what causes gum disease, much of the hygienist’s role is removing stubborn deposits so your mouth is bacteria-free. A large part of a hygienist appointment involves a scale and polish which involves using a focused jet of water and grit to soften tartar deposits which the hygienist can then scale away using special tools.

Removing the tartar and polishing the teeth leaves a smooth surface that makes it harder for plaque deposits to form. Hygienists can also reach areas in your mouth that are tricky to keep clean with conventional tooth brushing and flossing.

How often do I need to see the hygienist?

Just like with your dental check-ups, it’s best to see your hygienist once every six months. If you have no history of gum disease and have very good oral health, you may only need to be seen once a year. For patients which more extensive gum disease, more regular visits are necessary to keep on track of the condition.

Find Us

We are located on the first floor of County Hall. When visiting, walk to Westminster Bridge Road and take the arched entrance into County Hall.

8:30am - 5:30pm
8:30am - 5:30pm
9:00am - 7:00pm
8:30am - 5:30pm
8:00am - 4:00pm

Southbank Dentistry & Implant Clinic
Riverside Building,
Westminster Bridge Rd
London, SE1 7PB

Tel: 020 7183 3558