What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a necessary periodontal cleaning of the teeth to keep structures sound and the teeth healhty. It involves cleaning the teeth above and below the gum line, and is one of the best ways to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause infection, gum disease, and bad breath.
What Happens During Periodontal Maintenance?
There are five basic steps for periodontal maintenance:
- Supragingival Cleaning – In this step the dentist will clean the teeth above the gum line, removing tarter and plaque while performing other cleaning procedures.
- Subgingival Cleaning – This step involves cleaning at and below the gum line, including eliminating tooth rot and cleaning the gum pockets.
- Root Planing – Root planing is a step that provides relief to the tooth roots, preventing rot and removing dangerous bacteria.
- Anti-Bacterial Treatment – An anti-bacterial cream or gel is placed in the gum pockets following cleaning. This helps teeth and gums heal more quickly and reduces pain and discomfort.
- X-Ray – X-Rays allow your dentist to track the progress of periodontal maintenance efforts and evaluate if any other steps should be taken.
- Intra-oral soft tissue exam to rule out oral cancer or other pathologic conditions.
- Taking of blood pressure and review of medical history.
These steps are recommended every 3-4 months in order to prevent gum disease and ensure continued oral health.
What are the Benefits of Periodontal Maintenance?
Patients have reported a number of benefits from periodontal maintenance, including:
- Better Breath – Bad breath is often caused by gum disease and periodontal issues. Removing the plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath from the teeth above and below the gum line helps prevent infections that can cause bad breath
- Plaque Removal – Tarter and plaque buildup can lead to a number of different oral health issues, including serious gum disease, bad breath, and other periodontal issues. While brushing and flossing at home help, only qualified oral health professionals can remove bacteria and debris from gum pockets, which is an essential step to ensure good oral health.
- Better Smile – The deep cleaning provided by periodontal maintenance can remove stains and plaque buildups that make some patients self-conscious of their smile.
Should I Get Periodontal Maintenance?
If you are experiencing sore, reduced, or bleeding gums, excessive bad breath, excessive plaque buildup, or unsightly stains, you may be a candidate for periodontal maintenance. Periodontal maintenance is an important part of maintaining proper oral health, and many patients can benefit from the procedure.
It is important to consult with a qualified oral health specialist if you are considering periodontal maintenance in order to determine the best path forward for you. Dr. Kathleen A. Stambaugh is a periodontal and implantology specialist in Burlington, WA. Her practice specializes in the treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile, and replace missing teeth using dental implant technology. She also diagnoses and treats oral pathology.
With over 65 combined years of research and practice, Pericowest Periodontics provides cutting edge implant and periodontal disease services and treatments. Kathleen A. Stambaugh’s office is nestled in the city of Burlington, surrounded by farm fields and foothills, providing a calm and serene place of practice that is reflected in the patients’ treatment experience.