If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you may have already received treatment such as scaling and root planing or pocket reduction surgery. Following your treatment, you may have then been recommended for periodontal maintenance. Many patients are unsure of the difference between regular cleanings and periodontal maintenance. At Tim Perry, DDS, we can help you to understand your need for periodontal maintenance better and perform these cleanings for you to help you protect your oral health.
Is Periodontal Maintenance the Same as a Regular Cleaning?
Sometimes patients confuse periodontal maintenance and routine cleanings, or prophylaxis. While these are both types of cleanings, they are very different from one another. With routine cleaning, we simply remove the buildup from the crowns of your teeth. We can eliminate plaque, bacteria, and even tartar, helping you to prevent the development of cavities and gum disease.
Periodontal maintenance is a much different type of cleaning that is specifically designed for those who have been diagnosed with gum disease. In addition to cleaning the crowns of your teeth, we also clean the roots. This type of cleaning helps to stop the progression of gum disease. In doing so, we can help you improve your overall oral health as well as maintain the health of your mouth.
Why is Periodontal Maintenance Important?
Once you have gum disease, you always have it. You may have received treatment for gum disease, but these treatments only do so much. You may still have periodontal pockets. Even if you brush and floss like you should every day, plaque and bacteria can begin to accumulate below the gumline again, causing your gum disease to worsen.
With regular periodontal maintenance visits, along with at-home periodontal care, however, we can help periodontal pockets continue to become shallower, improving your oral health. We also help to prevent gum disease from worsening, meaning that we can help you to avoid unwanted consequences such as tooth loss. You may need to have more frequent visits every year, but these visits are a much better alternative to having to deal with gum recession, tooth loss, and replacing those missing teeth.
What Happens During Periodontal Maintenance Visits?
Several things may happen during your periodontal maintenance visits. We may discuss changes in your overall health, such as medical diagnoses and medications. We closely examine your mouth, assessing buildup on your teeth, and measuring periodontal pockets around your teeth. We also check your teeth for issues such as decay and cavities and look at your tooth alignment. X-rays may also be taken, although they are not typically taken at each visit unless they are necessary. These images allow us to evaluate the supporting structures around your teeth. Your teeth are thoroughly cleaned. We will also take the time to go over your oral hygiene habits at home and provide you with tips on how to improve them if necessary. Depending upon your circumstances, you may also be prescribed medications.
What are the Benefits of Periodontal Maintenance?
One of the biggest benefits of periodontal maintenance is that it helps you to maintain your oral health. These appointments prevent gum disease from worsening, saving you from the more dire effects of the condition. Your teeth are saved from falling out or needing to be extracted. In addition to this significant benefit, periodontal maintenance can also help to improve your breath and the appearance of your smile.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding periodontal maintenance, do not hesitate to call Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.