Hygiene & Gum Health

What is dental hygiene & Gum Health treatment?

A dental hygiene (cleaning) treatment is the removal of the bacterial biofilm that builds up around your teeth, in particular around and under your gum Health line.  This biofilm is made of bacteria and pathogens that can destroy the bone that supports your teeth in your jaw. If the build up of plaque and tartar is left untreated, you can experience an infection that leads to bone loss and eventually, tooth loss. This level of gum disease is irreversible. Regular hygiene visits with your dentist or hygienist/therapist will help to prevent and control this gum health disease.

The tell-tale signs of gum disease

Dental hygiene visits are essential when you are showing one or more of the signs of infection from gum disease:

  • Build up of plaque and/or tartar
  • Swollen or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum abscess
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Food packing between teeth

Establishing gum health prior to dental treatment

Prior to treatment, your gum health will need to be in optimal condition so that they are not infected, inflamed or bleeding.  Inflamed and bleeding gums can effect the final result of your dental work.

Before you have any fillings, crowns, veneers, bondings or implants completed, your gums will need to be in optimal condition. Depending on the level of infection and build up, at least 1-2 visits may be required.

Some patients may need to have specialised care with a Periodontist if the level of gum disease is severe.  You can continue to visit us for general dental treatment and examinations while under the care of the gum specialist.

How oral bacteria can effect your general health

Oral pathogens and biofilms can cause chronic gum inflammation which damages the bone around your teeth. As the gum and bone deteriorate, this opens up a gateway to the rest of the body through the vascular system. Chronic inflammation in the body is the root cause of most disease and an inflamed body can not restore or heal.

These days we understand the link between oral pathogens and many conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, arthritis and the underdevelopment of babies in the womb.

As dental professionals, our team has a crucial role to play in the diagnosis, treatment and management of gum disease not only for your oral health but for the prevention and control of other conditions throughout the body.

Helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy is our top priority so you can experience better overall health!

Treating your gum disease

During your hygiene appointment, the dentist (hygienist/therapist) will:

  1. Assess the gum health and bone including charting to determine the site and extent of gum health disease and bone loss
  2. Gently remove the build up of plaque and tartar on your teeth surfaces below the gum line
  3. Polishing and removal of surface stains from teeth, polishing existing restorations
  4. Application of clinical strength fluoride and desensitising agents if required
  5. Instructions for optimal home care and prescription of home care aids such as speciality brushes, flosses or rinses
  6. Dietary counselling and analysis if required

Depending on the level of your gum disease, the amount of build up to be removed, number of visits required and the services completed, your appointment may take up to 50-80 minutes.  The fee for your treatment will be outlined in your Treatment Plan.



  • Remove the bacteria that causes infection
  • Save teeth from becoming loose
  • Healthy gums that don’t bleed or recede
  • Dental work last longer
  • Fresh breath
  • Better overall health

Treatment FAQs

Why do my gums bleed when I brush and floss?

Gums that are infected from the build up of bacteria and pathogens in plaque, are inflamed and bleed. When you floss or brush in the effected area, you will notice bleeding. Keep on gently brushing and flossing to help remove some of the build up. A dental hygiene visit will remove all of the build up so your gums can heal and stop bleeding. 

Why do I need more than one hygiene visit?

The more build up you have and the more advanced your gum disease, the longer your treatment may take to bring you back to health.  Often the majority of the build up is removed in the initial visit and more deeper treatment may be required at subsequent visits. Your gums may be inflamed and puffy, allowing time in between visits helps in the healing process. Your treatment may be broken up into 2 – 4 visits due to the amount of build up or the the time it takes to treat the gum disease thoroughly. In some cases, the dentist will numb the areas to make the visit more comfortable.

Do certain medical conditions or medications effect my gum health?

Yes they can. Pregnancy can effect a woman’s hormones and cause gums to be inflamed. Uncontrolled diabetes can exacerbate gum disease because there are more sugars in your saliva which causes the bacteria in plaque to grow. Some medications cause cause dry mouth. Saliva is crucial in washing away bacteria and stabilising the pH of your mouth. Your dentist will discuss your medical history with you at every visit to help identify any potential issues and offer the right advice for your individual situation.