Periodontitis (or gum disease to you or me).

You may be surprised when you visit the Dentist to hear terms like gingivitis or periodontitis, but basically we are talking about gum disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) now recognises severe periodontitis as the 6th most prevalent disease of mankind.

Shocking when it can be so preventable!

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by bacteria, that affects the supporting tissues around the teeth.

In the early stages of periodontitis, some people are not aware of any problems. However, as the disease progresses, they may notice bleeding gums, a bad taste in their mouth and later on, become aware of loose teeth. If periodontitis is not treated, it will end up with both loss of teeth and eating function, which will negatively affect your quality of life.

As many as 37% of the adult population suffer from moderate levels of chronic periodontitis.

Various risk factors for periodontal disease have been identified by the British Society of Periodontology,  including poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, diabetes, genetics, poor nutrition and stress.

Your Dentist has a crucial role in recognising the early signs and diagnosing gum disease and every dental examination you attend will include careful assessment of your gums and oral hygiene.

Gingivitis is a reversible plaque-induced inflammation of the gingival tissues. Plaque is the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth.

If it is not removed regularly by tooth brushing and flossing, it hardens to create calculus (also known as tartar). Calculus cannot be removed with a toothbrush; only a dental professional can remove it during oral cleaning.

The gingival tissue is the clinical term for gums, the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and jaw bone.

Gingivitis is recognised by redness, swelling and bleeding on brushing. It is common, affecting 55% of adults. Persistent gingivitis can lead to irreversible periodontitis.

Both the prevention of periodontal diseases and the maintenance of the periodontal tissues following oral hygiene treatment rely on the ability and willingness of the individual (you) to perform and maintain effective plaque removal. This may require a change in behaviour in terms of brushing, interdental cleaning and other oral hygiene techniques as well as lifestyle behaviours such as tobacco use and diet.

From a professional viewpoint it is vital that we can demonstrate from patient’s records and x-rays that any periodontal disease present has been identified, recorded and monitored appropriately. In addition, the records should show clearly that the patient has been informed of the nature and extent of their periodontal problems and how to manage it.

So don’t be surprised when we see you and ask what your daily oral care routine is, it’s not a test or trick question to catch you out!

We need to know that you have all the tools and knowledge required to take care of your gums and prevent this disease that could cost you your teeth!

Too much plastic!

As concerned dental professionals and responsible people, we have been aware for some time of a conflict of interests.

Ultimately our goal is good oral health for all our patients and one of the things we advocate to help you achieve this is brushing your teeth, twice a day with a recommended tooth brush, preferably an electric tooth brush.

But here’s the thing, we also recommend replacing your tooth brush every 3 months and starting to brush your teeth as soon as they erupt.

It’s not rocket science to work out how many tooth brushes or electric tooth brush heads we are going to throw away in our lifetime!

Unfortunately nearly every single piece of plastic we have used in our life still exists somewhere on the planet, including our toothbrushes.

But now we are really excited to see new innovation tackling this issue and we are getting behind two really important initiatives that will benefit our environment and still maintain your oral health effectively.

Firstly, there is the environmental tooth brush and several companies have made great progress finding alternative materials to plastic to manufacture tooth brushes, such as bamboo. We particularly like TePe’s GOOD tooth brush, made from 96% bio-based plastics.

This is what they have to say –

“GOOD for you. GOOD for the environment.
Thanks to the use of the renewable raw materials, sugar cane and castor oil, we now manage to recirculate up to 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions during its life cycle”.

Secondly, while momentum gathers in the population to address plastic waste and purchase a more sustainable solution like the GOOD tooth brush, we are joining the ‘Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme’ in collaboration with Terracycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste.

What this means is that St Paul’s Dental Practice is now a public collection point for all oral care products and packaging.

See the poster below for what we can accept.

Please help us in being more responsible and reducing or recycling plastic waste. Look for the alternatives when buying your tooth brushes and support us in recycling your dental care products and packaging.

For more information, contact us 01626 365896 or

What you need to know about tooth whitening.

In a recent survey, 64% of the population asked, said they were unhappy with the colour of their teeth.

So where does this dissatisfaction come from and why do our teeth discolour with time? 

Your smile is so important. Smiling is good for your health, makes an important first impression, exudes confidence and paves the way for your success in your career and personal life.

Smiling can lift your spirits, have a positive effect on other people and improve any situation.

Being conscious that your teeth may not be as bright as they could be will make you far less likely to smile and this will have a negative effect on your own well being as well as impacting those around you.


Over the course of our lives teeth can darken as a natural effect of ageing. The outer hard tissue covering our teeth called enamel, wears away and exposes the darker dentine beneath it.

Also repeated exposure to some things will stain our teeth, such as tea, coffee, wine, smoking, certain medications, even trauma like knocking a tooth during a fall.

How can I make sure my teeth look white?

  • Take good, daily care of your oral hygiene as well as regularly visiting a Hygienist
  • Pay attention to what you eat, look out for things that could stain your teeth
  • Remember to brush your teeth after a meal, particularly if you have consumed something likely to stain
  • Drink plenty of water during your meal to rinse your mouth of staining agents
  • Schedule follow up treatments. Regularly attend your Dentist and Hygienist. A scale and polish or air polish treatment will really help remove stains and restore your teeth colour to its natural form but you can’t expect it to stay that way, lifestyle factors will have an ongoing influence
  • For maximum effect have your teeth professionally whitened 

Tooth whitening treatment.

Your Dentist is the ‘go to’ professional for tooth whitening treatment and the General Dental Council has clear advice for the public about the process. 

“Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry. By law, dentistry must only be carried out by dental professionals who are registered with us”.

Visit their website and search for tooth whitening:

The NHS, British Dental Association and Oral Health Foundation websites also have good information available.


Be cautious of anyone offering treatment who isn’t a dental professional!

What about whitening toothpastes?

Whitening toothpastes are very popular but our Dentists would offer a word of warning. These toothpastes remove stains because they contain abrasive ingredients, such as silica, which scrub the surface of the teeth.  In our experience, frequent or daily use of abrasive agents can cause pain and sensitivity.

Professional whitening treatment from your Dentist is a safe and effective way to lighten the colour of your teeth, restore your smile and confidence and enhance your appearance.

It may be that only one tooth is concerning you, discoloured through trauma or a tooth dying off. Single teeth can be effectively treated individually through internal bleaching. 

Have a look at our website to see what our tooth whitening treatment involves and check out some of our before and after examples of what can be achieved.

We are currently running a special offer price on whitening treatment.



What are you giving up for STOPTOBER?

Stoptober is a 28 day long event run each October during which participants are encouraged to stop smoking. Public Health England (PHE) created the annual campaign in 2012. The idea is that participants pledge themselves to not smoke during the 28 day period, with a mind to giving up altogether.

Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay ‘smokefree’ for good.

PHE offers a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, people can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.

Whilst Stoptober is a campaign in its own right, it is now part of the wider One You programme. One You is the PHE programme that helps adults across the country make small changes to their lifestyles that can have a big impact on their future health.

In addition to encouraging people to stop smoking, One You also tackles other everyday habits and behaviours such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended and not being active enough.

So it’s not just about quitting smoking. This October is a great opportunity to join together with other people, with the common goal of a healthier lifestyle and give up something detrimental to your health and well being.

The biggest lifestyle risks are

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity

and each one can have a huge impact on your quality of life and life expectancy.

The One You website supported by Public Health England, claims that these poor lifestyle choices are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

The good news is, it’s never too late to improve your health.

Making small positive lifestyle changes such as eating well, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking or being more active can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond.

As dental professionals dealing with diagnosing mouth cancers and dental decay on a daily basis, we obviously wholeheartedly support healthy lifestyle choices. It doesn’t always mean quitting, but even something like reducing your sugar intake is a great step forwards.

There is a downloadable Eatwell Guide open to all from the NHS or GOV.UK websites:

If you need a little bit more of a push to change, join an organised campaign or increase the incentive by raising money for charity.

One such good cause is the ‘Go Sober for October’ campaign raising vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

And there are many organisations out there to help with your fitness levels:

At St Paul’s Dental Practice, we are totally committed to helping you make the right lifestyle choices and can offer useful, knowledgeable advice.

Wisdom Teeth – Everything you need to know.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Your Wisdom Teeth are your third molar teeth, right at the back of your mouth.

The eighth tooth, counting backwards, on each side, top and bottom. So tooth number 29, 30, 31 and 32.

That is assuming that you have all four Wisdom Teeth present because some people have none, some or all four.

They are left over from a time when we ate a diet of roots, raw meats and tough vegetation requiring tearing and crushing. Early humans had larger jaws and therefore more room to accommodate more teeth to deal with this type of diet.

Why are they called Wisdom Teeth?

Because of when they appear. They usually erupt in your late teens, generally between 17-21 years of age, our college years. They are the last teeth to come through if they do at all.

Why are Wisdom Teeth problematic?

  • Often there just isn’t room for them. People now tend to have jaws that are too small for all 32 teeth to fit – 28 is often the most we have room for. So if all the other teeth are present and healthy there may not be enough space for the Wisdom Teeth to come through properly.
  • They are difficult to clean because of where they are and therefore are prone to decay.
  • It is common, because of a lack of space, for them to come through at the wrong angle. Then they get stuck against the tooth in front or the jaw behind. This makes it almost impossible for them to erupt correctly, this is referred to as an Impacted Wisdom Tooth.

  • They will cause overcrowding and upset the alignment, straightness of other teeth. If they are impacted, this will put undue pressure on surrounding teeth, causing them to twist and rotate.

Twisted or rotated teeth are also more difficult to clean and therefore more prone to decay.

  • If the Wisdom Tooth is only partially erupted, there is a risk of getting an infection under the gum. As they push up through the gum, the gum can get sore, swollen and inflamed. Bacteria and bits of food can collect under the gum edge, and as it is difficult to clean the area, infections can occur.

What are the symptoms of problem Wisdom Teeth?

  Pain or jaw stiffness near an impacted tooth.
•   Pain or irritation from a tooth coming in at an awkward angle and rubbing against your cheek, tongue, or top or bottom of your mouth.
•   An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue that has formed on top of an impacted tooth that has broken partway through the gum.
•   Crowding of other teeth.
•   Tooth decay or gum disease, if there isn’t enough room to properly clean your Wisdom Tooth and nearby teeth.

What to do if your Wisdom Teeth are causing you trouble.

If you have pain from your Wisdom Teeth then you will need to take some time to visit your Dentist.

However here are a few tips to reduce and alleviate pain if you are at home.

•   Ice can help to numb the area if it is applied carefully where you have pain.
•   Painkillers can also help.
•   Salt water mouth rinses can also be effective. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt into 230ml of warm water and rinse around your mouth. This can help to dislodge pieces of food that are trapped in and around your teeth and gums. This should be repeated several times a day.
•   Ensure that you clean your teeth properly as trapped food can exacerbate the pain from the Wisdom Tooth and also increase your chance of developing an infection.

How can your Dentist help?

  • Taking an X ray will determine the position of your Wisdom Teeth.
  • Your Dentist and Hygienist can help you take care of your erupting Wisdom Teeth, clean around them and adjacent teeth and show you how to manage effective cleaning at home.
  • They can recommend specific mouth washes, special dental cleaning tools and prescribe antibiotics if required.
  • They can remove the problem by extracting the tooth/teeth.

Wisdom Tooth extraction.

People having Wisdom Teeth removed is one of the most common oral surgery procedures performed in the UK. If your Dentist has knowledge and experience of taking out Wisdom Teeth then extraction at your own Practice can be done under local anaesthetic and is preferable to long waiting times, a hospital admission and general anaesthetic.

An X ray will determine how complex the extraction will be and your Dentist will assess the risks and if necessary refer you on to a specialist Oral Surgeon to perform the surgery.

Occasionally there is a possibility of some numbness of the lip after the removal of a lower tooth.

How are Wisdom Teeth removed?

It will depend on their position and the shape of their roots. If your Wisdom Tooth has come through fully then extraction can be as simple as any other tooth. Upper Wisdom Teeth are often easier to remove than lower ones, which are more likely to be impacted.
If the tooth is hidden underneath the gum and is not fully erupted then it may need to be extracted through a surgical excision. Often Wisdom Teeth are extracted in sections, rather than trying to remove it in one go. This dissection of the tooth in your mouth ensures complete extraction and the cleanest technique.

Extractions can also be performed while patients are under sedation but this  option requires a Dentist with specific training to administer the sedation drugs.

Should Wisdom Teeth be removed routinely?

No, if there is enough room they can come through into a useful position and cause no more problems than any other tooth.

What should I expect after a Wisdom Tooth is taken out?

You may experience some swelling for a few days and mild discomfort.

The amount of discomfort will depend on how easy it was to remove the tooth and if you have more than one tooth removed at the time.

It is important to follow any advice you are given which will help with the healing process.

Normal painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will usually deal with any pain. There may be some stitches to help the gum heal over. Your Dentist will probably want to see you again about a week later to check how your mouth is healing, and to remove any stitches.

Our post dental surgery instruction leaflet can be found via the following link but if you need more information just ask any one of our team.

Why do my gums bleed?

Healthy gums should be flesh pink in colour and should not look inflamed (fiery red and swollen) or bleed when you brush your teeth or floss.

Bleeding gums are generally a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a very common condition affecting most adults in the UK, at least some time in their life. The earliest, mildest stage of gum disease is referred to as ‘gingivitis’.

Gum disease is caused by inadequate removal of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance containing bacteria which attacks the healthy tissue around the teeth, causing inflammation and irritation. Plaque builds up along the gum line and if not removed in a timely manner, it hardens into tartar, a calcified material that plaque adheres to and continues to irritate the gums and can progress into more advanced forms of gum disease ‘periodontitis’.

Certain factors that increase your chance of developing gum disease are

  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • a high sugar/unhealthy diet
  • infrequent visits to the Dentist/Hygienist
  • an inadequate oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth less than twice a day.

There are other, less frequent causes of bleeding gums, generally related to other health considerations such as during pregnancy; as a result of vitamin deficiencies or as a side effect of some medications.

Here’s what you can do if you do notice some bleeding.

  1. Step up your oral care game – The best way to reduce plaque build-up and your risk for bleeding gums is to amp up your oral care routine.
    Remember to brush twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day as well.
  2. Take a Look at Your Tools – hard bristled toothbrushes may be too harsh on your gums. We recommend using an electric toothbrush.
  3. Check your technique – even with the right tools, it may be your brushing technique is too abrasive or flossing too aggressive.
  4. Make an appointment to see your dentist for an examination and professional advice. You may need to visit your dentist more frequently if you’ve had problems with gum disease in the past.
  5. Visit the Hygienist who will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They’ll also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future.
  6. Attend regular dental check-ups so any problems with your teeth and gums can be detected and treated early.

For more information:

Visit NHS Choices

Fluoride what are the benefits?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water.

What are its benefits?

Your body needs fluoride to keep your bones strong and to help prevent tooth decay. The appropriate amount of daily fluoride intake varies with age and body weight. On average, men should have approximately 4 milligrams of the mineral each day, while women need approximately 3 milligrams.

As with other nutrients, fluoride is safe and effective when used and consumed properly.

For dental health:

“Fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before damage is even visible,” explains Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson, Charles H. Perle, DMD, FAGD. “Studies have confirmed [that] the most effective source of fluoride is water fluoridation.”

Do they add fluoride to the water in the UK?

Fluoride concentration in our water supply varies, depending on where in the UK you live. The addition of fluoride to drinking water is a public health measure intended to prevent tooth decay.

Parts of the country with fluoridation schemes include Cumbria, Cheshire, Tyneside and Northumbria. Just over 6.1 million people in the UK receive water with a fluoride content, whether naturally occurring or added. Fluoride is added in about 10% of water supplies in England, which means that about 10% of the total population is supplied with optimally fluoridated water.

South West Water website FAQs response states:
Q: Is fluoride added to drinking water?
A: No, we don’t add fluoride to drinking water in our area. All of our water supplies have a naturally occurring low level of fluoride which is typically below 0.1 milligrams per litre.
We don’t have any plans to add fluoride to drinking water but if the Strategic Health Authority for our area decides that we should add fluoride, we would have a legal requirement to do so.
Your dentist can recommend ways for you to get more fluoride and there’s also more information on NHS Choices

When considering water fluoridation, an individual must consume one litre of water fluoridated at 1 part per million (1 ppm) to receive 1 milligram (1 mg) of fluoride.

Where else can we get Fluoride?

If the Fluoride concentration is insufficient in our water supply, we need to source it elsewhere.
Most people easily meet their daily fluoride requirement by drinking fluoridated water, consuming foods and beverages that have been prepared with fluoridated water and using dental products like toothpaste or mouthwash that contain added fluoride, though some foods also naturally contain small concentrations.
Fluoride is generally added to most brands of toothpaste, but check the labelling.
Foods rich in Fluoride include tea; seafood, especially canned seafood such as sardines which contain bones and meat cooked on the bone.
However, most bottled waters contain less fluoride than recommended for good oral health (it will be listed as an ingredient on the label if it is an additive).

Fluoride dental treatments and our role in preventing tooth decay.

At St. Paul’s Dental Practice preventing tooth decay is of paramount importance and a big part of our ongoing commitment to ‘Delivering better oral health’.

We individually assess every person attending and score them against the risk of developing dental decay. Where necessary we undertake the following additional dental treatments.

Fluoride mouth rinses.

Fluoride mouth rinses can be prescribed for adults and children aged eight and above who have tooth decay. They should be used every day, in addition to brushing twice daily with toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm fluoride.
Rinses should be used at different times to brushing to avoid washing the toothpaste off your teeth, as this reduces the beneficial effects of the fluoride in the toothpaste.

High Fluoride concentration toothpaste can also be prescribed.

Fluoride varnish application.

Fluoride varnish can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth by a Dentist, Dental Therapist or trained Dental Care Professional. The process involves painting a varnish containing high levels of fluoride onto the surface of at risk teeth every six months to prevent decay. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
From the age of three, children should be offered fluoride varnish treatment at least twice a year and Fluoride varnish should be offered two or more times a year for children of all ages with tooth decay or those at high risk of developing it.

Tackling Mouth Cancer

November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month and this is a topic we take very seriously.

Did you know that every time you visit the Dentist for your routine check up, this includes screening for the signs of Mouth Cancer?

In the UK 38,000 people are living with a diagnosis of head and neck cancer.

Around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with Mouth Cancer over the next decade.

We can’t ignore the facts, the statistics are scary but be assured, we are looking out for you.

So what can you expect in your dental examination?


  1. Observation of the face and neck, looking for swellings, skin abnormalities, moles or anything unusual or asymmetrical.
  2. Looking for changes in the colour or texture of the border of the lips and mouth.
  3. Feel of the lymph nodes in the neck, checking for enlargements or abnormalities.


  1. Examine the inner surface of the lips.
  2. Look at the inside of the cheeks.
  3. Check the margin of the cheeks, where they meet the gums.
  4. Survey the tongue at rest.
  5. Survey the tongue protruded, asking you to stick your tongue out to check the colour, texture, symmetry and mobility.
  6. Inspecting the lateral borders of the tongue.
  7. Asking you to lift the tongue to the roof of the mouth, so the floor of the mouth can be clearly seen.
  8. Looking at the soft and hard palate.
  9. Depressing the tongue and asking you to say ‘Ahhh’ so the throat can be clearly observed.           It’s not so different across the pond.

It’s up to you too! Find out the facts, know the risks, be aware of your lifestyle choices and keep vigilant to anything suspicious in your mouth.

Signs and symptoms.

  • sore mouth ulcers that don’t heal within several weeks
  • unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth that don’t go away
  • unexplained, persistent lumps in the lymph glands in the neck that don’t go away

Other symptoms may include:

  • pain or difficulty when swallowing (dysphagia)
  • changes in your voice or speech problems
  • unexplained weight loss
  • bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • a tooth, or teeth, that becomes loose for no obvious reason, or a tooth socket that doesn’t heal
  • difficulty moving your jaw
  • red or white patches on the lining of your mouth – these are common and are very rarely cancerous, but they can sometimes turn into cancer, so it’s worth seeing a specialist if you have them.                                                                                                                                                                                      For more information visit:

Increase your awareness.

  • Mouth Cancer can affect anyone but is strongly associated with age and gender.
  • Twice as many men as women are diagnosed.
  • The over 40s are those who are statistically more at risk.
  • More than 9 in every 10 cases are linked to lifestyle risk factors such as
    • Tobacco – which transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and turns them cancerous
    • HPV (the Human Papilloma Virus) – the virus that causes genital warts, the world’s most commonly sexually transmitted virus, acquired through oral sex.
    • Alcohol – where excessive use is linked to more than 1/3rd of Mouth Cancer cases in men and 1/5th in women. While heavy drinkers and smokers are up to 35x more at risk!
    • Diet – a good healthy diet with daily fruit and veg actually reduces the risk of developing Mouth Cancer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SPOT A CASE = SAVE A LIFE




‘State of Care’ Report.

In a recent press release, the British Dental Association (BDA) welcomed the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) ‘State of Care Report’, which gave dental services in England a big thumbs up.

Within the report

  • 100% of dental practices inspected by the CQC in 2016/17 met their standards for caring and responsiveness to their patients’ needs.
  • 99% were found to be ‘effective’ in achieving good health outcomes.
  • 96% were found to be ‘safe’.
  • 89% were considered to be ‘well-led’.

This is really good news to us and should be good news for you too, knowing you are receiving a good service from your dental practice.

But what do you think defines a good service?

CQC inspections put us under intense scrutiny, a process we dread yet at the same time relish as an opportunity to showcase the high standard of care we deliver here.

It truly matters to us that peoples’ experience of our service is great.

We want to but we don’t always get it right!

We encourage and monitor patient feedback and proactively review our service delivery. We always learn more from the mistakes, when things haven’t quite gone to plan and it’s these moments that create positive changes for future improvements.

Dental professionals are also regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC), who have set out clearly defined standards of conduct, performance and ethics, to which we adhere closely.

The GDC also sets out what patients can expect from a dental professional, visit the ‘Information for patients’ section of their website.

Standards are important but aren’t they just a baseline above which we should be setting our goals for achieving a ‘five star’ service?

If you had to complete a ‘State of Care’ report for St Paul’s Dental Practice, how would you rate us?

Dental Implants from a Hygienists’ Perspective.

You’re never too old to care about your appearance or quality of life. With the population living longer, more people of an older age are choosing dental implants as a preferred option to having dentures.

Choosing Dental Implants

Your dentist will help decide whether the implant option is suitable in your individual circumstances, based on your general medical health, your oral health and your ability to maintain a good oral environment to protect your dental implants in the future. Any factors that may impede the success of implants, such as smoking, certain medication or a history of gum disease, will be taken into consideration.

It is extremely useful for you also to see a hygienist before your implants are placed. They will

  • help create a healthy environment in your mouth
  • establish a good oral hygiene routine with you for you to continue at home
  • assess and advise on the impact any other health problems such as a dry mouth, might have on the health of your mouth
  • assess and advise on any limitations, such as restricted movement in your hands, that may impact on your ability to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine
  • advise you on the most appropriate oral hygiene appliances to maintain a clean mouth and maintain implant health
  • determine who will be responsible for your maintenance programme. If this will be a carer, advise and teach them the skills they need to assist you

Why is hygiene maintenance so important?

The main purpose of cleaning your mouth, around your teeth and any implants, is to disturb and remove plaque and biofilm.

Plaque is a soft, sticky film (biofilm) that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Failure to keep your implants clean and healthy can lead to their failure to integrate in to your jaw bone and subsequent loss.

Ongoing hygiene appointments will help monitor your implants, the effectiveness of your maintenance programme and keep on top of any periodontal or peri-implant disease.

Dental care products

Our hygienists recommend the following dental care products for your armoury

  • a toothbrush, preferably an electric toothbrush. These provide more effective brushing and prevent over-brushing.
  • a single tufted toothbrush. For specific focused areas.
  • dental floss. For cleaning between tight spaces.
  • interdental brushes. For hard to reach places.
  • a tongue cleaner
  • mouth wash. Effective against the bacteria in your mouth.

For anyone having difficulties managing their oral hygiene maintenance programme, we would recommend more frequent visits to see the hygienist. Three monthly reviews may be appropriate in some circumstances.

For practical problems like poor dexterity, adapted dental appliances will help. You can speak to our dental nurse with special care training if you need advice.

Should you get into any trouble keeping your implants thoroughly clean, our hygienists have the right instruments and expertise to undertake deep cleaning treatment below the gum level to the peri-implant tissues. Ensuring the best possible longevity of the implants.