How To Tell If You Will Have A Lengthy Dental Hygiene Visit

Of all the dental services a dentist's office provides, the most useful is probably your semi-annual dental hygiene visits. Twice a year, you make a point of having your teeth professionally cleaned and your gums assessed for signs of disease. Some people have really short hygiene visits while others have lengthier visits. There are some precipitating factors that will predict just how long your next hygiene visit will be.

Film of Pre-Chewed Food

If you have ever looked in the mirror after a meal and noticed this mushy, pasty film stuck to your teeth, you might be in for a long hygiene visit. This sticky, mushy film is the predecessor to tartar buildup on your teeth. It collects along the gums and right in between the teeth where partially digested and pre-chewed food tends to settle. If you do not brush it away with a tooth brush right away, it slowly begins to harden and stick to your teeth. The thicker the layer, the longer it takes for the hygienist to chip it off and scrape it away.

Medications That Cause Your Gums to Swell

While some gum tissue may just be inflamed from less than ideal hygiene, many medications can also cause your gums to swell. This means that the hygienist has to be a little more careful about cleaning under the gum line, flossing and applying pressure to the gum tissue. The swollen tissue may be heavy laden with water or there may be increased blood flow to the gums, in which case a slip of a hygiene tool and there could be some bleeding. If you are on any medications at all, be sure your hygienist and dentist knows what they are so they can avoid bleeding or sensitive tissues.

An Overall Aversion to Dental Service and Care

Patients who have an aversion to dental service and care or are afraid of dental visits even if they are just routine check-ups will have a longer time in the hygienist's chair. If this describes you, you may want to ask for some type of sedative or laughing gas—anything that will help you calm down long enough for the hygienist to do his or her job in the least amount of time possible. If you also have a sticky, hard layer of tartar and medications that cause your gums to swell, you may want to consider dental care under general anesthesia so that the hygienist can work quickly and more efficiently.

For more information, call clinics like Malwin & Malwin Family Dentistry.