Periodontal maintenance is long-term supportive program that is designed to keep your gums and supportive structures healthy after you have been treated for periodontal disease. When you are committed to a conscientious oral care routine at home and regularly scheduled periodontal maintenance care with Dr. Tomlin, you will improve the chances that you will keep your teeth for the rest of your life.

Understanding the Importance of Supportive Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal disease is an ongoing condition that can be controlled but not completely ‘cured’. However, with the continued support of your general dentist and our experienced periodontal team, the disease can be well-controlled and your condition can improve considerably.

Even after we have treated you for periodontal disease, the toxins from bacterial plaque can begin to attack your gums and bone from the moment that you walk out of our office. We’ll teach you some personalized techniques to manage the plaque accumulation at home, but we’ll also recommend that you return to our office periodically so that we can monitor your progress, check for hidden problems, and thoroughly remove additional buildup.

More than Just a Cleaning

The presence of periodontal disease influences the type of dental care that is necessary to preserve your health. These visits do not replace the regular dental checkups that your dentist provides, instead we will perform additional specialized services to monitor and preserve the health of your supportive tissues. Your maintenance visits may include one or more of the following:

  • A review of your health history
  • An evaluation of the oral tissues to identify abnormal changes
  • Measurement of the gums and periodontal pockets around the teeth
  • Personalized oral hygiene guidance, instructions, and support
  • Thorough removal of tartar and bacterial plaque
  • Digital x-ray imaging of the teeth and the supporting bone
  • Identification of cavities and other dental problems
  • An evaluation of your bite relationship
  • Treatments or prescriptions of medications to address sensitive teeth, to prevent tooth decay, or to control localized infections.

The frequency of these visits will depend upon your specific needs, and the details of your care will be shared with your general dentist for consistency.

Learn more about the benefits and importance of periodontal maintenance by contacting our office today.

Common Questions

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue. It is a progressive condition that results in more severe symptoms in its most advanced stages. Signs of early stage gum disease include bleeding, swollen or red gums. Pockets between the gums and the teeth indicate some progression of the disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause consequences like tooth and bone loss. This oral disease is quite common, especially as people get older, affecting as many as half of Americans over age 30. It also appears to have some correlation with systemic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria are able to collect along the gumline and cause inflammation as the tissue attempts to eliminate the bacteria. Poor oral hygiene and lack of professional dental care are the most prevalent causes of gum disease. Genetics, hormonal changes, stress and smoking can also contribute to gum disease. Certain diseases and medication use may also increase a patient’s risk for gum disease.

Whatever you can do to minimize the presence of those bacteria in your mouth will help to reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. Your daily oral hygiene regimen is your first line defense against gum disease. Flossing along the gumline and brushing thoroughly in this area – twice a day, two minutes per session – can help to keep bacteria in check. An anti-bacterial mouthwash can be helpful, too, especially if you tend to develop a lot of plaque and tartar buildup. Your routine dental cleanings also are important to your efforts to prevent gum disease. The dental hygienist can use specialized instruments to remove any bacteria-containing plaque and tartar that can still accumulate along the gumline even if you do brush and floss daily.

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition. That is, it develops in a series of stages, with each one causing more severe symptoms than the previous one. Gingivitis is the first of these stages and the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis can be treated with a deep professional cleaning, with minimal discomfort for the patient. You should visit your dentist for exams every six months to be monitored for signs of gingivitis so that you can get treatment early, when it is most effective and least invasive.