Periodontal Maintenance Procedure

Periodontal maintenance is a treatment procedure for patients who have periodontal disease or have suffered the consequences of periodontal disease. Different that a regular routine dental cleaning, periodontal maintenance is important to stop the progression or minimize the recurrence of periodontal disease. Has your dentist has recently recommended that you need to schedule a periodontal maintenance appointment, and you were not clear what exactly that meant? Below is more information about the procedure and what exactly is involved.

 Why do I need periodontal maintenance?

Periodontal disease can occur when bacteria builds up along and below the gumline. If left untreated, the bacteria can eventually cause serious inflammation and irritation.  In response to this inflammation, the body begins to attack the gum and bone tissue, the tissue will even pull away from the teeth creating pockets between the teeth and gum. Overtime the gums and bone become infected. If left untreated, periodontal disease will continue to progress and pockets will grow deeper, teeth will become unstable, and bone and tissue may be lost.

Periodontal maintenance is an important treatment step to stop the progression of this infection. Here are some of the steps involved in the periodontal maintenance procedure:

  1. Supragingival cleaning– First, your dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth above the gum line with scaling tools to remove plaque and calculus buildup.
  2. Subgingival cleaning– Next, the dentist will target removing calculus and bacteria from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line.
  3. Root planing– An added measure, you dentist will smooth the surface of the tooth root (below the gumline) to eliminate any remaining bacteria and make it difficult for future buildup.
  4. Medication- Following the scaling and root planing steps, your dentist may apply an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream in the gum pockets to promote fast and healthy healing.

This periodontal maintenance procedure is recommended every three to four months for patients with periodontal disease.  It is important to attack the bacteria under the gumline to get control of the infection and to prevent further breakdown of the bone and gums. If you stick to a routine periodontal maintenance schedule you can effectively stop the destructive progress of gum disease before it gets worse.

Benefits of periodontal maintenance

In addition to stopping the progression of periodontal disease, there are added benefits of the regular periodontal maintenance procedure:

  • Tartar removal– Tartar that builds up, both above and below the gum line, is one of the leading causes of the infection that causes gum disease.  Daily brushing and flossing at home are not able to remove all of the plaque that builds up. The specialized equipment used during a deep cleaning can remove this tartar buildup. This helps to eliminate your stress of not getting it all at home.
  • Eliminates staining– Daily food and drinks can stain teeth. During the maintenance procedure the cleaning and polishing will eliminate these stains. This will improve the appearance of your smile.
  • Fresher breath– A major symptom of periodontal disease is persistent bad breath (halitosis).  The removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria noticeably improves the bad breath associated with periodontal disease, improving quality of life.

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