Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning in San Diego
Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent the progression of periodontal (gum) disease in the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal disease.
Maintenance visits to the periodontist can help to prevent additional dental problems in the future, such as further bone and tooth loss. Treating the disease in its early stages can help to save you from not only oral and overall health problems, but also money!
Why is periodontal maintenance necessary?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by these bacteria cause our bodies to destroy the bone that supports the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and form calculus (tartar) that can exacerbate the periodontal problem. Studies have shown that tartar buildup already attaches to teeth in three months.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition that affects the structures that support your teeth, including your gums and jawbone. The inflammation is your body’s response to the bacteria in the buildup of plaque around your teeth, near your gums. There are three main stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis – The early stage symptoms may include swollen and tender gums, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, but no structural damage has occured. This stage is reversible with deep cleaning.
- Periodontitis – At the middle stage, increased swelling, redness, and occur, and the gums have been irreversibly damaged. But the condition is manageable and further advancement can be prevented with deep cleaning
- Advanced Periodontitis – Gums are destroyed and the teeth are beginning to shift and loosen. This stage is treatable, but measures beyond deep cleaning may be needed.
Periodontitis is a silent disease. In many cases, people don’t know they have it until damage has been done. The best way to prevent gum disease or to catch it before it does damage is to practice proper oral hygiene at home and to attend maintenance visits with your dentist regularly.
Periodontal cleaning procedure – What is deep cleaning?
Deep cleaning combines scaling and root planing procedures to clean your teeth down to the roots, reattach your gums, and close any loose pockets. The scaling procedure involves the use of handheld instruments, ultrasonic instruments, or a combination of both to pull back on the gum tissue, expose the tooth roots, and remove the tartar and plaque from the tooth surface above and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing out the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth. This two-step process can completely reverse gum disease in its early stages and stop it from advancing in its later stages. Periodontal maintenance therapy is recommended for follow-up treatment at regular intervals in order to ensure that the gum disease has been reversed or prevented from advancing.
Maintaining Good Good Oral Hygiene
Even someone with good oral hygiene will be unable to completely prevent the formation of all calculus on the teeth. Calculus forms when the minerals in the saliva harden, or calcify, the plaque on the teeth. Plaque is soft and sticky, and is continually forming. It is therefore important to ensure proper, thorough brushing and flossing on a daily basis to remove the plaque before it has the chance to solidify into calculus.
Flossing and brushing will help to keep the calculus formation to a minimum, but regular maintenance is needed to professionally remove what has accumulated. During your maintenance cleaning, the hygienist will evaluate and record your periodontal pocket depths and check for hidden periodontal problems.
How often do I need a maintenance visit?
Dr. Kwok will recommend how often you should have a periodontal maintenance visit, but it is best to get a cleaning every three months. The frequency will be determined by the type of periodontal disease you have, the type of periodontal treatment you have had in the past, how you have responded to those treatments, and how quickly you accumulate plaque. The most important factor, however, is how dedicated you are to good hygiene at home.
Book a Consultation with Dr. Kwok
Dr. Kwok has extensive experience in treating all stages of gum disease. Whether you’re experiencing early stage symptoms or think you may need treatment for advanced periodontitis, Dr. Kwok can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (619) 304-9184 today.