What does a Oral Health Therapist do?

  • Diagnosis of periodontal disease with appropriate referral
  • Provides oral health education
  • Removal of plaque/tartar from above and below the gums that cannot be removed by a toothbrush or floss at home
  • The Dental Oral Health Therapist uses a high frequency instrument called an ultrasonic scaler to remove this buildup
  • Placement of local anesthetic where necessary
  • Prophylaxis polish to remove surface staining on tooth surfaces that can be caused by smoking or drinking coffee/tea.
  • Advise you regarding whitening procedures

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the attachment fibres (gum) and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth.

The main cause is the buildup of bacterial plaque, a sticky, colourless, fury film that constantly forms on the teeth. If not removed it hardens to form tartar which cannot be removed with brushing or flossing at home.

Smoking, diabetes and pregnancy can also contribute to the development of Periodontal Disease.

  • Wobbly teeth.
  • Appearance of long teeth (receding gums)
  • Bleeding with brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Red puffy gums
  • Excellent plaque removal at home
  • Using an anti-bacterial mouth wash
  • Brushing correctly
  • Flossing regularly
  • Regular dental hygiene visits to remove tartar