Periodontal maintenance is a necessary post-treatment precaution for patients who suffer from periodontal disease. This essentially includes proper oral care at home as well regular consultations with dental experts. Professional maintenance appointments are set based on the patient’s susceptibility to bacterial infection. These appointments are typically scheduled every two to four months, alternating between a general dentist and a periodontist.
To understand the importance of periodontal maintenance, let’s first delve into the basics of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums as well as of the bone supporting the gums. Some of the signs of gum disease include swollen or red gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, bad breath, pain, and loose teeth. The disease could be genetic or caused by hormonal changes, diabetes, or smoking.
Several treatment options are available to address periodontal disease, and the appropriate option is chosen on a case-to-case basis. Some of the treatment options are scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, regeneration surgery, and laser therapy. After any of these treatments are done, periodontal maintenance is needed because the bacteria responsible for the disease activate every three months. Note, however, that Periodontal maintenance mainly ensures that the gum disease is controlled, not necessarily eliminated because it may not always be possible to completely eliminate it.
Periodontal maintenance essentially consists of deep cleaning by a procedure called prophylaxis. The maintenance is carried out by following the steps given below. The patient may be given a general anesthetic in case of severe cases of periodontal disease to ensure the patient does not feel discomfort and is relaxed during the procedure.
Periodontal maintenance ensures gums remain healthy, which translates to overall good oral and physical health. Ensuring regular visits to the dentist and thorough at-home oral care results in beautiful smiles and fresh breath.
Consult your dentist at Cowden Family Dental by calling us at (505) 867-3999 and plan a yearly periodontal maintenance plan.