Why is Periodontal Maintenance Important

Why is Periodontal Maintenance Important

Posted by Dr. Cowden on Apr 23 2021, 10:38 AM

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.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

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.

What does Periodontal maintenance entail?

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.

  • Supragingival cleaning: The dentist uses scaling tools to properly clean the area above the gum line and removes calculus and plaque.
  • Subgingival cleaning: A vital step in the procedure, this step is similar to the previous but focuses on the calculus and plaque deposits below the gum line.
  • Root planing: Any residual bacteria around the root is smoothed out so as to ensure that the root is not affected in any way.
  • Medication: An antibiotic is then applied in the gum pockets to aid with healing and to reduce discomfort.
  • X-ray and examination: An X-ray is taken to track the overall health of the gums and bone as well as the extent of recession.

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.

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