What is Periodontal Maintenance?

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What is Periodontal Maintenance?

If you have periodontal disease, you may require root planing to remove disease deposits from the roots of your teeth. Other treatment, including antibiotics or surgery, may be required. After the disease process is under control, a regular cleaning is not appropriate anymore. Instead, you will require special on‐going gum and bone care procedures, also known as periodontal maintenance to keep your mouth healthy. Three months after treatment the bacteria that causes periodontal disease re‐establishes. A three month periodontal maintenance visit is critically timed to disrupt the bacteria in pockets greater than 4 millimeters in order to disable the destructive process at its critical stage. This critical stage is when the bacteria and their poisons do the most harm to the supporting structures namely the periodontal attachment.

Several weeks after the removal of the toxins present (root planing) and flushing out the bacteria a periodontal maintenance re‐evaluation will be scheduled.

Following root planing, you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding and less swelling of your gum tissue. Your mouth will taste better and feel better. Home care eliminating the bacteria on a daily basis, Fluoride toothpaste and continuing on a three or four month periodontal maintenance will keep your gums healthy.

Periodontal maintenance is not the same treatment as regular cleaning, even though a hygienist may perform both services. A periodontal maintenance procedure includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Gum and bone examination (periodontal probing around each tooth to check for bone loss);
  • Review of home care;
  • Isolated scaling and root planing, as needed;
  • Placing Arestin (antibiotic), as needed;
  • Gums and pocket irrigation with medicine, as needed;
  • Polishing of teeth as needed.

Typically, an interval of three  or four months between appointments is effective. As in many other chronic conditions, successful longterm control of the disease and prevention of tooth loss depends on continual and possibly lifetime maintenance.  Our goal is to get you back on a healthy six month maintenance program.