Patients need to have periodontal maintenance if they have periodontal disease, which is also known as gum disease. The good news about gum disease is that it is not infectious. No matter how far advanced it is, the disease cannot be transmitted between people. The bad news about gum disease is that it is chronic and incurable. Think of periodontal disease as a disease similar to diabetes. The symptoms can be managed with treatment so the disease does not progress or worsen. Patients who have advanced gum disease need to have periodontal maintenance performed on a regular basis or they face the risk of potentially losing all of their teeth.
To avoid tooth loss and other complications, patients should schedule regular maintenance cleanings. Here at Atlantic Dentistry we can provide the deep cleaning necessary to halt the progression of gum disease. Contact our office today with any of your questions.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Caused by poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease is a progressive disease which can only be stopped in the earliest stages. When patients do not brush and floss regularly, the build-up of bacteria along the gumline can lead to plaque. While regular brushing and flossing can clean plaque, it cannot remove tartar which is what plaque becomes if not cleaned soon enough. This can lead to gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontal disease.
What Are the Signs?
Gums that fit tightly around teeth and look pink are healthy gums. If your gums are puffy and tender to the touch or when brushing, this could be a sign of gum disease. If they bleed after brushing or you spit out blood after brushing this is also concerning. Do you have chronic bad breath or pus between teeth or do your teeth feel loose? These all could be signs of gum disease.
There are four distinct stages in the progression of periodontal disease. The first is gingivitis, then slight periodontal disease to moderate periodontal disease, followed by the last stage, which is advanced periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the only stage of the disease where it is reversible. This is because the disease has not infected the bone yet.
What Happens During Maintenance?
Maintenance is a lifelong commitment. Those patients with periodontal disease need to have professional cleanings every three months for the rest of their lives. If they brush and floss every day and have the cleanings at our office, the progression of the disease can be stopped.
Root scaling and planing are a big part of the maintenance procedure. This is when our professional team will clean the tartar from deep beneath the gumline. Tartar has to be removed from between the teeth as well, stopping where the root and bone meet the gum. The earlier the treatment can start, the sooner the progression can be stopped.
Patients who have noticed the early signs of periodontal disease should contact us immediately. With early detection, you have the best chances of treating the disease. Our staff will evaluate your teeth and gums and determine whether you have periodontal disease or not. Please contact us at Atlantic Dentistry or stop by the office in person.