Why Your Dental Hygienist Is Your Friend…

Facts About The Dentist

Dental HygienistFear Of The Dentist's Office

Many people fear going to the dentist.  They may fear pain or they may have other phobias.

One person told me that she had a fear of people putting their hands in her mouth.  There are a variety of reasons.

However, it seems to me that fear of pain is the biggest problem to overcome. Many people do feel pain, even during a regular cleaning.

You should know that if our gum tissue and teeth are healthy, you really should not feel much, if any, pain at all during a routine cleanings and checkups.

Healthy Teeth And Gums Are The Key

Many people feel like a sharp pin is being stuck into their gums whenever they get a checkup.  This is most likely because the gum tissue is not completely healthy.  Tissue that is even just a little inflamed is going to be sensitive.

You should be aware that this is not actually normal at all.  Healthy tissue, even when probed for pocket depth, does not usually hurt at all.

If you feel pain every place they touch,  it is even more likely that you have a bit of a problem with the health of that tissue.

The Problem Defined

What most people are not aware of is the fact that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, bar none.  Some people may think it is cavities, but that is simply not the case.

While a very large cavity can necessitate the death of the tooth,  this is still far less common than 'ordinary' gum disease.  Dental professionals tell us that as many as 75% of people suffer from some form of gum disease.

That is a staggering statistic.  When you think carefully about it, you may conclude that most of those people do not even know they have this problem!  Could you be one of them?

How To Know

For specific diagnosis you should rely solely on your dentist.  However, here are some general tips that can help.

1. Pocket depths - This is a truly objective measure of the health of your tissue.  Most professionals believe that your gums are relatively healthy if your depths are 3 mm and below.  Above this amount, there is likely to be a problem that needs more work.

2. Sensitivity on the gum probe.  This was mentioned above, but it is a tell-tale indicator that you may have a problem.

3. Bleeding gums when you brush or floss - Be aware that just because you do NOT have any noticeable bleeding does not mean that you do not have a problem.  Bleeding is many times, but not always, present when there is gum disease.

Again, this is general, get a real diagnosis from your dentist.  Better yet, go to a periodontist.  This is their specialty.

What Can You Do

Again, this is general information.  Get specific advice for your situation from your dentist or hygienist.

1. Read this book:  What You Should Know About Gum Disease -  Written in easy-to-understand language with easy to understand concept definitions, this book can really help you see what is going on.  In addition, it gives helpful information about what you may be able to do about this problem.

2. Get a HydroFloss oral irrigator -  Many hygienists and dentists recommend this tool to their patients.  It may be very helpful in controlling those pocket depths.

3.  Chew xylitol gum.  The dentists in Finland really like xylitol.  They have noticed that it seems to have reduced the amount of dental disease in their patients.  They have payed attention to it since WWII.

Learn All That You Can

Your hygienist is more or less your coach.  They understand that the biggest part of the fight to control dental disease is in your hands.  The struggle is a daily one and they only see you a couple to a few times a year.

As mentioned before, many recommend the hydrofloss.  This tool has provided some very good results to many people.  You can check with your dentist on this one.

In any case, the more you learn and are aware of,  the better your chances for success!  Your hygienist wants you to do better, so treat her like the friend she is.  Consider her ideas and advice.

Posted in Heath & Fitness

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