You could have periodontal disease and not even know. Many people have it and they believe their mouth is okay until they visit our dental office. That is when they realize that all is not well. Periodontal disease is sometimes painless, until the gums become inflamed. Common visible periodontal disease symptoms that our team at The Dentist on Boones Ferry come across when patients visit our office include swollen and red bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and perhaps loss of teeth. Some people do not even show any signs. When you have periodontal disease, you will need periodontal maintenance.
Prophylaxis vs. Periodontal Maintenance
You receive prophylaxis if your mouth is healthy, showing no evidence of gum problems or bone loss. It is basically a preventive measure. Regular cleaning removes stains from teeth, soft plaque, and tartar. You should have routine cleanings twice a year, depending on how fast you develop plaque, tartar, and stains.
Periodontal maintenance is required after our dentist discovers that you have periodontal disease. Often, the disease contributes to deep gum pockets, bone loss, exposed roots, and bleeding gums. If you experience such symptoms or you had periodontal surgery and root planing, receiving regular cleanings may not be enough. As the name suggests, periodontal maintenance is aimed at maintaining healthy gums by making sure that periodontal disease is managed and controlled. The procedure takes away tartar below and above the gumline, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth. Our dentist cleans the teeth, reaching the junction of the bone, gum, and root of the tooth.
All rough surfaces within the root are smoothed over. The dentist monitors the gum pockets to see that they are not inflamed or the depth is not increasing and getting past 4 millimeters. The dentist may also irrigate the pockets if they find them inflamed. Using an antibacterial medicine, the pockets are treated to eradicate bacteria.
Periodontal maintenance is done three to four times a year. Therefore, it is more frequent than regular cleanings. The reason is that the destructive bacteria that lead to periodontal disease can multiply fast and start harming the gums and teeth again. As such, we have to monitor your mouth to ensure that there is no progression or return of the disease.
Benefits of Periodontal Maintenance
The first thing that periodontal maintenance addresses is keeping bacteria at minimal levels and removing the tartar. If not removed, tartar brings many complications such as tooth staining, and rough surfaces that harbor bacteria. This can lead to cavities and decay, or even periodontal disease because bacteria can find rough areas to hide. There is also the aesthetic purpose where the program helps clean yellow and stained teeth to brighten your smile. Having fresh breath is crucial for everyone but periodontal disease leaves your breath smelling bad. Periodontal maintenance helps ensure fresh breath by removing hidden bacteria that cause bad breath. When you have periodontal maintenance as our dentist recommends, you keep the gums and bones around the teeth healthy and ensure optimal overall health.
Visit us at The Dentist on Boones Ferry to understand why periodontal maintenance is important and when you should get it. Call us at (971) 377-1208 for an appointment.