Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria from plaque is able to accumulate in your mouth either above or below your gum line. While regular tooth brushing and flossing help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, it is impossible to remove all of the plaque at your gum line. Once the bacteria begins to build up, it generates an inflammatory response within your body that leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as inflamed and bleeding gums, shifting teeth and bad breath.
If periodontitis is not treated, then you could potentially face long-term consequences such as bone loss and missing teeth. In periodontics, periodontal maintenance is designed to reduce the bacteria within your gum tissue and restore your mouth to a healthier state.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
Once your dentist has identified symptoms of periodontitis, they will use x-rays to determine the extent of the damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbones to develop a treatment plan to restore your oral health. Depending upon what stage of gum disease you are in, periodontal maintenance may be completed as a routine office visit, or you may be given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort.
During this treatment, your dentist deep cleans the pockets between and around your teeth to remove tartar and plaque that is causing inflammation. Root planing, or smoothing out the lower surface of your teeth may also be done to further reduce the colonies of bacteria that exist below your gum line. As a final step, antibiotics may be administered to eliminate any bacteria that remain.
What’s the Difference Between Periodontal Maintenance and a Regular Tooth Cleaning?
Regular tooth cleanings are recommended for patients who do not have deep gum pockets and other signs of gum disease such as recession or bleeding. During a regular tooth cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed above and slightly below the gum line. Polishing is also done to remove stains and tartar on the surface of the teeth. Periodontal maintenance takes a routine cleaning further by going deeper below the gums to clean all the way down to where the tooth, gums, and bones meet.
Instead of just cleaning the teeth, the goal of periodontal maintenance is to heal gum tissues by stopping the inflammation that is caused by bacterial growth. While most people will need regular tooth cleanings twice a year, periodontal maintenance is typically done every three months or more often for severe cases of gum disease.
Why Is Periodontal Maintenance Especially Important For My Dental Implants?
Dental implants have transformed how we do restorations by providing patients with a real smile that is more comfortable than dentures. When cared for properly, dental implants can also reduce bone loss in the jaw by providing stimulation that is similar to your natural teeth. While these benefits are exciting, it is important to understand that dental implants attach to the gums and bone differently.
One of these differences is that the seal between a dental implant and the gums is not as strong as natural teeth, which increases the chances of bacteria getting beneath the gum line. It is also important to avoid the bone loss that is associated with gum disease because it threatens the stability of the implanted tooth. For this reason, we routinely recommend that our patients with dental implants should include periodontal maintenance in their treatment plans to protect the integrity of their restorations.
At Paramount Dental, we take a well-rounded approach with our dental care at our Round Rock office. When you notice the signs of gum disease or our dentist detects it during an exam, periodontal maintenance can restore your oral health and protect your beautiful smile. Contact us today to find out more about how periodontal maintenance can transform your oral health.