Despite what many people think, gum disease is fairly common. While the earliest stage, also known as gingivitis, is reversible, later stages are not. This does not mean that you are doomed to the effects of untreated gum disease, however. Getting treatment right away can help to put a stop to the progression of gum disease. To improve your oral health and prevent gum disease from worsening again, the condition needs to be managed. Summit Dental Care can help to protect your oral health with periodontal maintenance.
Understanding Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance is a type of dental cleaning. This particular cleaning, however, is specifically meant for patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease. It is typically recommended after you have received an initial treatment for gum disease, most commonly after scaling and root planing. These cleanings take the place of your routine dental cleanings.
How is This Different Than a Routine Cleaning?
So, how exactly are periodontal maintenance cleanings different than routine dental cleanings? The biggest difference between the two is how thorough the cleanings are. With routine dental cleanings, we focus on the crowns of your teeth and the areas along the gumline. With periodontal maintenance, we focus cleaning not just the crowns of your teeth, but the surfaces below the gumline as well. When you have periodontal pockets, bacteria and plaque can accumulate under the gumline.
No matter how well the crowns are cleaned, if the areas under the gums are not cleaned, your mouth will never be able to heal properly. Periodontal maintenance allows for a deeper clean so that you can achieve and maintain a healthier mouth. In addition to being more thorough, periodontal maintenance visits are generally more frequent. On average, these cleanings are done every 3 months.
Are More Frequent Visits Really That Necessary?
This depends upon the severity of your gum disease. The actual frequency of your visits will depend upon the condition of your mouth. For those with more advanced gum disease, more frequent visits are essential for ensuring that all surfaces of your teeth stay clean so that your gums can begin to heal and reattach. For those with less severe gum disease, you may not need as many visits.
As your mouth heals and you can maintain your oral health, you may only need periodontal maintenance visits twice a year. Even at twice a year, your cleanings will still be periodontal maintenance cleanings rather than routine cleanings to help ensure that your mouth remains healthy. Regardless of the frequency of your visits, it is important that you follow your treatment plan to ensure the gum disease does not take over your mouth again.
Periodontal Maintenance Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of periodontal maintenance visits is that they help to slow and stop the progression of your gum disease. By following your treatment plan, we can effectively remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria buildup. This helps to alleviate the irritation experienced by your gums. The tissue can then begin reattaching to your teeth. By helping you to improve the health of your mouth, we can help you to avoid the more devastating effects that advanced periodontitis can have.
Later stages of gum disease might not be reversible, but the condition is manageable. For more information about periodontal maintenance, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 490-8141 today.