Hygienists are always asking questions: “How often are you flossing? Does this hurt? How hard are you brushing your teeth?” In turn, there need to be some questions that you’re asking them. Knowing the right questions to ask can help you keep your mouth healthy, your teeth longer, and your breath fresher.
“Do I have any new pockets?”
Pockets are the areas under your gums, around your teeth. Healthy pockets are less than 3mm deep, but deeper pockets indicate that gum disease is present and beginning to destroy the bone in your mouth. Excessive pocketing may mean that perio therapy like deep cleanings, laser treatment, or even gum grafting is necessary.
“Are any areas of my gums bleeding or swollen?”
Gingivitis is the first step in developing gum disease. Thankfully, it is 100% reversible. Symptoms like bleeding, swollen gums are signs that gingivitis is present. With routine brushing and flossing, gingivitis should completely reverse within 2 weeks.
“Is there any recession?”
Recession is when gum tissue creeps down the neck of the tooth, exposing the root. It can cause sensitivity, compromise the stability of the tooth, and allow the root to develop cavities. Scrubbing too hard when you brush, using a hard toothbrush, grinding/clenching, and gum disease can all contribute to gum recession.
“Do you see any demineralized enamel?”
The first stage of cavities is weak, demineralizing enamel. This often appears as frosty white areas on the teeth where brushing is less than adequate. Common areas are those along the gumlines, or around orthodontic appliances.
If you’re having an area of sensitivity or something doesn’t quite look right, your hygienist is a great resource to utilize during your check-ups!
Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists
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