Periodontal Maintenance

If you’re keeping up with your regular dental appointments, that means you’re undergoing a routine dental cleaning at regular intervals. Periodontal maintenance is a bit different from regular cleanings. Regular dental cleanings are a form of preventative care, while periodontal maintenance is for ongoing oral health problems.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Oral hygiene is incredibly important to the health and appearance of your teeth, gums and mouth. Recent research has also suggested that maintaining your oral hygiene has an effect on your overall health. For example, oral bacteria has been linked to conditions like heart disease. It appears that the same oral bacteria present in the mouth can travel systemically throughout the body, causing inflammation – a large culprit in a wide range of medical conditions.

When it comes to gum health, it starts with your teeth. By regularly brushing and flossing, you can prevent the accumulation of plaque, which could otherwise lead to the development of periodontal disease.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Nutrition
  • Immune system function

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, commonly called “gum disease,” is a chronic inflammatory infection of the gums that surround and support the teeth. Dentists consider periodontal disease as being one of two types: gingivitis or periodontitis.

In its earliest stage, periodontal disease is referred to as gingivitis. This is when it can still be reversed when you resume proper oral hygiene. As it progresses, periodontal disease turns into periodontitis – an irreversible form of gum disease. Although periodontitis cannot be reversed, your dentist can slow or stop its progression when you undergo regular cleanings known as periodontal maintenance.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance is a type of deep cleaning for the treatment of serious gum disease. As with your regular cleanings, your dental hygienist would remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. With periodontal maintenance, they would also clean down to your gums. This is called scaling and root planing.

Preventing Gum Disease

There are two main components to preventing gum disease: oral hygiene and regular dental exam and cleaning appointments. Practicing proper oral hygiene at home is your first line of defense against gum disease. But you should also combine your cleaning efforts at home with routine dental exam and cleaning appointments. The dental exam also provides an opportunity to spot any early signs of trouble with your oral health so that early intervention as possible.

For More Information

Are you concerned that you may be developing periodontal disease? Are your gums red, tender and swollen? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for recommendations or to schedule an appointment or consultation for any of our dental treatments and procedures.

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