HYGIENE

Hygiene


Dental Hygiene in Ettalong and Kincumber

the stages of gum disease

Gum Disease

We are sure many people have heard of gum disease, but what is it really and what causes it? Gum disease is one of the most common preventable diseases affecting almost every individual at some stage in their lifetime. It is characterised by two stages, gingivitis and periodontitis.
gum disease infographic

Gingivitis

Many of you may have experienced bleeding gums while you have been brushing or flossing. This is called gingivitis and is preventable and reversible. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar. Common signs of gingivitis include bleeding, redness, soreness and swelling. If the buildup is left for an extended period of time, the bacteria can colonise and progress further into the next stage of gum disease — periodontitis.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the irreversible destruction of the supporting structures holding your teeth in place. As the bacteria colonise, they produce pathogens which start to destroy the connective tissue and bone around the teeth. This can be localised to one tooth or can be generalised around the entire mouth. Once the tissue and bone are destroyed, it will not return. However, it is important to address and treat it in its early stages. 

Treatment

The main aim of treatment in patients with periodontitis is to arrest and stop the disease from progressing. As the bone shrinks away from the tooth, spaces between the tooth and the gum open up, allowing an area for bacteria to colonise. This area is nearly impossible to clean sufficiently at home by yourself. 
It is important for patients with periodontitis to regularly get their teeth checked and cleaned. In some patients, this has to happen every 3-4 months to stop the disease from progressing further. In addition to visiting the dentist for a regular cleaning, home care is just as important. Your dental healthcare professionals can advise you on the best way to look after your teeth if you are suffering from gum disease.

If you suspect or are worried you may have gum disease, please see your dental healthcare professional straight away as it is much easier to treat in its early stages.
periodontitis

Fissure Sealants

What Is a Fissure Sealant?

A fissure sealant is a preventative procedure which helps reduce the risk of dental caries within the fissures (grooves) of the teeth. Fissure sealants are commonly placed in children’s molars between the ages of six and 12. These teeth have been shown to be at the greatest risk of developing caries as approximately 80-90 percent of all caries in children occur within the fissures/grooves of the teeth.

Depending on the material used for fissure sealants, they have been shown to provide a mechanical and chemical barrier to bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of decay. Below is an artificial tooth with artificial staining mimicking what a natural tooth at risk of caries would look like. On the right shows the same artificial tooth with a sealant placed over the top.
Often, before sealants are placed, dental X-rays are required to confirm the absence of any decay that has extended past the fissures of the tooth. This is because even the smallest of superficial stain can extend and spread out underneath the surface.
little girl getting fissure sealant

Introducing the EMS Airflow

A New, Comfortable Cleaning Technique

Here at All About Smiles Ettalong and All About Smiles Kincumber, we are excited to announce the arrival of a revolutionary new product that makes your regular professional dental cleaning more effective and comfortable. This new product is called the EMS Airflow Prophylaxis Master and is changing the way you have your teeth cleaned.
airflow machine

Ideal for Sensitive Teeth

Often, you may experience some sensitivity while your teeth are being professionally cleaned. The majority of the time, this sensitivity is caused by the ultrasonic scaler (the shaking feeling) using cold water on your teeth. This cold water and vibrating sensation are required to remove the hard tartar buildup on your teeth. With this new Airflow technology, the water that is used can be warmed up to 40 degrees Celsius, reducing the sensitivity you may experience.

In conjunction with the warm water reducing the sensitivity, the Airflow uses a separate tool which will remove the majority of biofilm (bacteria) reducing the time needed to scale the teeth with the ultrasonic scaler. This tool uses a combination of a fine powder, air and water to remove the bacteria on the teeth. This replaces the need to polish the teeth with a rubber cup and gritty paste and is also much more effective and comfortable.

What Is Involved With an Airflow Clean?

To begin with, the principle that this new technique of cleaning is based around is called Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT). GBT involves painting a harmless coloured dye on the teeth which physically stains the bacteria in three different colours as seen in the photos below.
airflow cleaning
The pink staining is bacteria that has only been on the tooth surface for roughly 24 hours. The dark blue staining is bacteria that has been on the tooth surface for longer than 24 hours. The light blue staining is acid-producing plaque which has a high risk of causing cavities.

Removing Bacteria

Once this dye is applied to the teeth, your clinician will provide oral hygiene instruction in the areas where you may need to pay more attention to when cleaning. After this, the Airflow machine will be used to remove all the stains which in turn removes all the biofilm. Once the biofilm is removed, if there is any remaining tartar build up, the ultrasonic scaler can be used.
removing bacteria

Advantages of EMS Airflow

To begin with, the principle that this new technique of cleaning is based around is called Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT). GBT involves painting a harmless coloured dye on the teeth which physically stains the bacteria in three different colours as seen in the photos below.
  • More comfortable clean
  • More effective clean
  • Reduction in cleaning time
  • Use of warm water (up to 40 degrees Celsius)
  • Reduction in the time needed using the ultrasonic scaler
  • Better ‘clean’ feeling afterwards

Disadvantages

  • Slightly more water is used

We reduce your risk of gingivitis and gum disease

Tooth and check mark icon

Get the Best Technology on Your Side

If you’d like to try out this new cleaning device, please call our Ettalong office.
Clean Your Teeth
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