Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an oral condition that affects the gums and supporting structures in your mouth. It is caused by the harmful bacteria trapped in plaque. As plaque hardens into calculus (tartar), the disease becomes more established in your mouth. Gum attachments begin to separate from your teeth and create pockets that harbor these harmful bacteria. If gum disease is allowed to progress without treatment, the condition may become irreversible. The gums are one of the main supporting structures of teeth, and unhealthy gums often indicate a risk of eventual tooth loss or oral infection.
Periodontal maintenance appointments work to treat gum complications and help patients maintain healthy gums, helping to ensure they are able to keep their teeth for a lifetime.
What are periodontal maintenance appointments?
Periodontal maintenance is a term used to describe a dental visit in which the main priority is the health of the gums. Many dentists refer to a scaling and root planing as periodontal maintenance, although the appointment might include more than just a deep cleaning. A scaling and root planing, the most common type of periodontal maintenance, is a procedure in which the dentist conducts a deep cleaning of the part of the tooth closest to the gums as well as the gums themselves, removing any and all bacteria or diseased tissue that might exist on the gums or along the gum line.
When to consider periodontal maintenance
It is encouraged for everyone to schedule a periodontal maintenance appointment at least once a year to ensure the gums remain clean. The fact is a good oral hygiene routine and routine dental cleaning can only do so much to remove bacteria on the gums, and procedures such as scaling and root planing are often needed to fully ensure healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, anyone who struggles with symptoms of periodontal disease, such as bleeding, swollen, discolored or receding gums, should visit the dentist for scaling and root planing.
Controlling Periodontal Disease
Keep in mind that periodontal disease cannot be cured; it can only be controlled. This is why we need to examine the health of your gums at least every three to four months. If periodontal disease is not closely monitored and controlled, the disease can quickly worsen, destroy bone and soft tissue, and eventually cause tooth loss. If you notice any signs and symptoms such as bleeding, inflammation, foul taste or odor coming from your gums, contact your dentist in Beaufort, SC.
Don’t Skip Periodontal Maintenance
Normally, patients visit a dentist twice a year for normal cleaning, also known as prophylaxis. During normal teeth cleaning, plaque is only removed from above the gum line, which can cause plaque to continue to grow below the gum line in patients suffering from gum disease. Periodontal Maintenance is recommended every three to four months. Gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but it can be controlled with periodontal maintenance.
Periodontal maintenance is required when the disease has caused destructive and further build-up of plaque and calculus would exacerbate the disease.
Benefits of periodontal maintenance appointments
There are many benefits to periodontal maintenance appointments, not the least of which is an increased likelihood of keeping your teeth for an entire lifetime. The gums are crucial for the health of a tooth, and gum disease symptoms such as gum recession can lead to tooth becoming loose and falling out. Periodontal maintenance works to treat gum disease and prevent it from moving forward. There are also cosmetic benefits to a periodontal maintenance appointment, and it can help patients achieve a better smile as well as healthier gums.
Additional Benefits include:
- Fresher Breath: Not even the best mints can mask stinky breath. Bad breath is an indicator of periodontal disease, which is caused by rotting food particles below your gum line, gum infection, and periodontal issues. During Periodontal maintenance, plaque, calculus, and bacteria are removed, which alleviates irritation and freshens up your breath.
- Tartar Removal: Even the best brushing and flossing at home is not enough to remove debris, bacteria and gum pocket deposits, because specialized dental equipment and techniques are needed in order to treat problems like tartar, also known as calculus and plaque buildup.
- Beautiful smile: Improve your aesthetics! Gain confidence again when you finally get rid of the teeth stains that never seemed to go away. Say bye to the yellow, stained teeth and say hello to a polished smile!
- Improve Your Overall Health: Healthy gums lead to good overall health! Periodontal disease causes gum pockets to increase in depth, which increases a home for bacteria that can potentially travel to your bloodstream and infect other areas of your body. Keeping up with periodontal maintenance helps alleviate gum issues and reduce gum pocket depth, allowing you to remain healthy.
What to expect at you Periodontal Maintenance appointment
- Supragingival cleaning: The hygienist will thoroughly and carefully clean the area above the gum line to remove plaque and calculus.
- Subgingival cleaning: The hygienist will thoroughly and carefully clean the area below the gum line to remove plaque and calculus.
- Root Planing: The tooth root is smoothed to eliminate remaining bacteria.
- Medication: Following scaling and root planing, an antibiotic may be placed in the gum pockets for comfort and healthy healing in the gum pockets.
- X-ray and examination: X-rays reveal the extent of bone and gum recession, and also identify areas that may require attention.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are looking for a healthy and time-honored periodontal practice you can rely on us to help you achieve and maintain good dental health. Contact our Periodontal Maintenance Specialists today to schedule an appointment. Our practice would take care of you and the members of your family. We look forward to serving you. To schedule an appointment in our Ladys Island dentist office, contact us at (843) 986-0177 or feel free to use our online appointment form.