One of the downsides of developing periodontal disease is that you no longer are able to wait six months for a professional cleaning. Instead, you will be required to visit the dentist or periodontist every three to four months for an intense cleaning known as periodontal maintenance.
While having to undergo professional teeth cleaning every three to four months isn’t ideal, it is extremely important. Regular periodontal maintenance is needed in order to keep gum disease from returning, to prevent health problems – both overall health problems and oral health problems – from occurring, and to preserve your smile.
Why Additional Appointments are Needed for Periodontal Maintenance?
Additional appointments are needed in order to maintain your oral health after seeking treatment for periodontal disease. Being so, it is helpful to understand the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis. Understanding the difference between these two conditions can help you understand why additional appointments for cleanings are necessary.
Gingivitis vs Periodontitis
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease, but it is a very minor form of gum disease. People who develop it experience gum irritation, gum swelling, and gum bleeding. Gingivitis is extremely easy to treat with a professional cleaning and by making improvements to your oral care routine. It is easy to treat because the periodontal bacteria have only reached the surface layer of the gum tissue.
Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease. People who develop this form of gum disease have periodontal bacteria which has gone deep into the gum tissue. Sometimes, large pockets may form around the teeth. This traps periodontal bacteria and causes gum irritation, inflammation, tooth, and bone loss.
Once periodontitis occurs, the only way to treat it is with very specialized cleanings. A traditional professional dental cleaning cannot reach the periodontal bacteria to remove it. Dental cleanings, known as scaling and root planing, or even surgical cleaning, is the only way to remove the bacteria in order to treat the gum disease.
After treatment for gum disease is administered, additional cleanings are needed to cure deep pockets which formed in the gums. Since the pockets remain, you have an increased risk of having harmful periodontal bacteria get trapped in the pockets. This can cause you to develop gum disease again. Periodontal maintenance will make sure that doesn’t happen.
In order to make sure your mouth stays healthy, you need to have the deep pockets cleaned regularly. Periodontists believe scheduling an appointment every three to four months for periodontal maintenance helps to keep the gums and teeth healthy.
Make Changes to Your Oral Health Routine
Following through with periodontal maintenance isn’t the only thing you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy after seeking treatment for periodontal disease. You will also need to make changes to your oral health routine.
Some of the changes, which may seem minor, that you can make that will help you prevent gum disease from returning include:
- Learn proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques – learn how to brush and floss properly so that you are reaching all your teeth and properly removing plaque from the gum line and teeth
- Brush and floss the right amount of times a day – it is recommended that you brush and floss twice a day, but if you have gum disease, you may want to consider trying to brush after every meal. This will remove any harmful bacteria before it can cause problems.
- Use a water floss system – water floss systems won’t replace actual flossing, but it can help to remove plaque. Consider using one in addition to regular flossing.
Have questions about how you can improve your oral health routine after seeking treatment for gum disease? Call Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics and schedule an appointment to speak with our experienced periodontist. Dr. Brown can help you create an oral health routine that will prevent gum disease from returning.
Our periodontist can also help with other problems including helping you find the right type of treatment for periodontal disease, getting a proper diagnosis for periodontal disease, and answering questions. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to speak with our Vero Beach periodontist.