Why Do I Need Periodontal Maintenance?

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Continue reading for more information about periodontal maintenance in San Jose so that you can take an informed approach to your dental treatment.

What is Periodontal Maintenance?

Periodontal maintenance is the dental cleaning procedure that is carried out in order to treat periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease.

Periodontal disease develops due to large amounts of bacteria accumulating both above and below the gumline in the form of plaque. Without proper home care consisting of brushing and flossing at least twice daily as well as regular professional dental cleanings, this plaque remains on the teeth and eventually begins breaking down both the enamel of the teeth as well as the gum tissues. Over time, pockets form between the gum and the tooth that allow further bacterial growth.

Individuals with periodontal disease may experience:

Periodontal maintenance cleanings are designed to halt bacterial growth and ensure that both above and below the gumline are clean. These maintenance appointments allow the hygienist to clean out remaining deep pockets and help decrease the pockets.  These cleanings are done until the pockets have reduced in size.  The reduction of the size of the pockets ultimately helps keep the bacterial count down.

Another option for the successful management of periodontal disease is laser therapy around and under the gingiva. This is done in order to eradicate all signs of bacteria underneath the gums.  Ultimately, this treatment allows the gingival tissues to reattach themselves to the bone and teeth; this helps reduce the formation of pockets as well as inflammation. 

Periodontal disease is not reversible, but it can be properly and successfully managed with the aid of professional periodontal maintenance treatments in order to prevent it from worsening.

What to Expect

During a periodontal maintenance cleaning, the hygienist may numb the area using a local anesthetic, depending on the severity of the case and the patient’s preference.

All plaque, calculus and tartar will then be removed from the surface of the teeth using a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler. The hygienist will then ensure that all plaque is removed from underneath the gumline, and he or she will then place antibiotics in order to ensure that the bacteria growth comes to a halt.

The hygienist will then take measurements of the pockets between the tooth and the gum; this is an indication of the progression of the gum disease in that area. The measurements will be recorded and used during your next visit in order to see how you have progressed. With proper treatment, the pockets may shrink in size, which can aid in preventing harmful bacteria from accumulating under the gumline.

In most cases, you will be asked to return in three months rather than six. This is to ensure that your hygienist is able to keep a close eye on the progression of your treatment, as well as to ensure that any bacteria that has the chance to accumulate under the gumline can be successfully removed before it causes any damage or decay.

We are here to answer any questions you may have about your periodontal dental treatment. For more information or to get scheduled for a periodontal maintenance treatment in San Jose, give us a call today. Willow Glen Dental Center, (408) 266-6144.

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