Oral Hygiene Services

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What does a hygienist actually do?

Our hygienists provide an important service which includes treating, managing and maintaining overall oral health.

Their role includes: performing scaling and polishing (removal of plaque and calculus), detecting, treating and managing periodontal (gum) disease, screening for oral cancer, performing salivary tests, and providing fluoride applications and fissure sealants. They will also create a custom home care procedure and provide oral hygiene education.

Going to see a hygienist does not need to be a traumatic experience. We have a range of topical gels and local anaesthetics to minimise any discomfort.

Bad breath

Bad breath (or halitosis) has many causes. However, 80-90% of cases emanate from the oral cavity. We all have microorganisms – good and bad - present in/on our bodies, such as our oral cavity, throat and nose. The overgrowth of bad organisms and the bacterial breakdown of proteins in our mouths causes a generation of volatile sulphur compounds (VSC), which cause the halitosis.

This can be due to inadequate plaque control (not cleaning our teeth and gums properly), periodontal disease (a major disorder of our gums and bone), dry mouth (can be caused by medications), tongue coating, food impaction, faulty (leaking and broken) restorations and throat infections. Management of halitosis involves maintenance of plaque control, elimination of active periodontal disease and cleaning of the tongue on a routine basis.

Let our experienced and gentle hygiene team show you how easy it is to be rid of embarrassing bad breath.

Bleeding gums/ Gingivitis

Bleeding gums are caused by the inflammation of gums and their supporting structures. They can be an indication of serious disease and should not be ignored. Bleeding gums are a sign of an inflammatory process called gingivitis or periodontitis (periodontal disease). It is important for smokers to note that bleeding gums are often masked due to the poor blood supply to the gums.

Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of calculus (hard) and plaque (soft) on the gum and tooth, which causes infection.
It is reversible and preventable through regular hygiene appointments and good personal oral hygiene habits.
If left untreated, this can lead to the more severe periodontitis and tooth loss (periodontal disease)


Gum Pocket Measurements:

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults. It is an infection of the supporting structures (periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone) surrounding the teeth. Once bone loss has occurred, this is irreversible; however with deep scaling from our hygienists and good personal oral hygiene habits, periodontitis can be halted in progression.

Did you know that periodontal disease can indicate an increased risk of cardiac and cardiovascular events? There is significant scientific evidence to show a relationship between periodontal disease and other systemic (general body) conditions. Recent findings have strongly suggested an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse pregnancy outcomes and osteoporosis.

In addition, severe periodontal disease leads to sensitive teeth, elongated and flared teeth, formation of gaps between teeth, mobile teeth and eventual tooth loss. This, in turn, means dentures or more complicated dental treatment.

Don’t ignore bleeding gums as it is a tell-tale sign and symptom of more serious disease – both oral and systematic.

Progression of Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis Stages:

Periodontitis Overall Summary:

Why should I see a hygienist?

Did you know that kissing transfers oral microorganisms to your partner and children? This is why it is important for the whole family to have regular oral and dental maintenance checks.

“Gum problems” i.e. gingivitis and periodontitis, lead to loss of clinical attachment – that means the soft tissue and bone that holds the tooth securely in place recedes, leaving the root exposed. That expression “getting long in the tooth” actually happens! When the root of the tooth is exposed to stimuli like temperature changes (hot and cold) we feel increased sensitivity.

Controlling bleeding gums lessens the amount of exposed root surfaces. Our hygiene team can tailor a program to lessen tooth sensitivity control bleeding gums and keep your teeth longer.

Fissure sealants

Fissures are the grooves that occur on the chewing surface of the back teeth in the mouth. Fissure sealants are a preventative measure for decay, and are applied to protect a tooth when there are deep fissures that make it hard to remove sticky foods. They are made from a resin material that flows into the groove and releases fluoride.

The application of sealants does not require any drilling or local anaesthetic, and multiple sealants can be applied in one appointment.

Plaque disclosing

Plaque disclosing is when a vegetable based dye is used to stain the plaque that has been unsuccessfully removed from teeth and gums. At VC Dental we use an advanced ‘Tri Plaque’ gel which shows different stages of plaque damage. This helps all ages to be more aware of problem areas when brushing their teeth and to provide oral health education. These results are also recorded and progress is tracked throughout subsequent appointments.

Diet and tooth decay

During your appointment, our hygienists will provide you with personal and comprehensive nutritional and dietary advice.

How much do you know about how your dietary habits affect your dental health?

The bacteria in your mouth causes tooth decay, which is a preventable disease. Foods containing sugar or starch feed the bacteria in your mouth, causing ‘acid attacks’ that result in the demineralisation of your enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) and tooth decay. This occurs more from the frequency that these foods are consumed, rather than the amount consumed. By limiting snacking throughout the day this will reduce the demineralisation process which will minimise decay.

Speak to your dental hygienist for any concerns you have regarding your diet.

Acidity (pH) of Common Drinks:

Saliva Testing

Do you know the functions of your saliva?

Saliva is nature’s primary defence system for your oral region, and is particularly important for lubrication, neutralising acid and protecting exposed tooth surfaces (i.e. preventing decay).

In specific cases where there may be unexplained decay, a simple saliva test is used to identify, measure and assess saliva condition, and help in formulating your treatment plan.

For information on the testing system we use, please click here.

For more information on the role of saliva please click here.

Fluoride Application

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in food and water which helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay, by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars. If fluoride is lacking from the diet, the teeth will be prone to tooth decay and cavities (holes).
At VC Dental, fluoride applications can be carried out at your regular hygiene appointments. This is done with a concentrated fluoride gel, which is placed in a foam tray and sits over the teeth for 1 minute.

For more information you can visit our Oral Hygiene Education page here.

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East Gosford

  • Suite 10, Victoria Court
  • 36 - 40 Victoria Street
  • East Gosford NSW 2250
  • 02 4323 1933
  • 02 4323 2112