Supportive Periodontal Care
Periodontal maintenance is a form of dental cleaning focused on the gums and tissues surrounding your teeth. It is a more intense form of cleaning than routine dental cleanings (prophylaxis). While a typical teeth cleaning is preventive, periodontal maintenance is performed regularly to treat current issues with your gums and keep the problem from becoming more severe.
Who Needs Periodontal Maintenance?
Anyone suffering from gum disease needs proper periodontal care followed by regular periodontal maintenance. These periodic deep cleaning treatments keep gum disease from spreading and seriously damaging your gums. It is essential for patients with receding gums or deep gum pockets from gum disease, as you cannot restore the healthy tissue. You can only prevent further recession.
If Dr. Hadeed has treated you for active periodontal disease, he will schedule you for regular maintenance. He will also demonstrate proper gum care at home to keep the gums as healthy as possible. Periodontal gum maintenance may be needed three or four times a year for the rest of your life if your gum disease is severe.
Periodontal Maintenance for You
The frequency of periodontal maintenance needed after any active gum disease is treated depends on the severity of gum damage, your oral health, overall health, and how well you care for your teeth and gums at home. Any maintenance begins with a routine dental cleaning similar to what you get at your six-month checkups with your dentist. After the initial cleaning, Dr. Hadeed will move on to more intensive steps:
Supragingival means “above the gums.” Dr. Hadeed cleans above the gum line using dental scaling tools to remove plaque and tartar not removed by a standard dental cleaning.
Your periodontist then cleans below the gum line to remove stubborn tartar and bacteria from gum pockets at the base of the teeth and beneath the gum line. This is the most crucial step in periodontal maintenance, as this area cannot be reached with a toothbrush. As a result, bacteria can multiply rapidly in gum pockets.
Dr. Hadeed smooths the roots of your teeth to remove the thin layer of tartar, bacteria, and toxins that linger below the gum line and trigger gum inflammation and infection. The smooth surface of the roots encourages the gums to reattach, preventing the loosening of the teeth.
After scaling and root planing, Dr. Hadeed may apply an antimicrobial or antibiotic to the gum pockets to speed healing and reduce discomfort.
Dr. Hadeed will take x-rays or digital images of your teeth and gums during some of your periodontal maintenance visits to track the progress of any gum disease and ascertain whether you need additional treatment.
Do You Need Periodontal Treatment and Maintenance?
If you have any of the following signs of periodontitis or gingivitis, a visit to your dentist and an appointment with Dr. Hadeed are necessary to get your gum disease under control. Periodontal disease causes infection, pain, and tooth loss when left untreated.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have gum disease requiring treatment followed by periodontal maintenance:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or sensitive gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Visible gingivitis or tartar
How to Care for Your Gums
Proper home care for your teeth and gums is the best way to prevent the need for periodontal maintenance due to gum disease. Floss once daily and brush your teeth and gums twice daily using fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to invest in a water flosser to get into hard-to-reach areas between the teeth. If your gums bleed after brushing, contact your dentist for an appointment.
Routine dental checkups with your dentist and twice-yearly dental cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist are essential to promoting healthy gums. Potential problems are spotted earlier and can be treated more effectively during these cleanings.
Do I Need a Periodontist and a Dentist?
Any patient with periodontal disease requires care from a dentist and a periodontist. Dr. Hadeed and your dentist work as a team to provide comprehensive care covering routine dental concerns while controlling gum disease. They combine their experience to formulate the best maintenance plan for you.
Although Dr. Hadeed sees you periodically for maintenance therapy, you will also need to see your general dentist. Appointments for periodontal maintenance do not replace regular dental checkups. If your doctor detects tooth decay during periodontal maintenance, you will be referred to your general dentist for treatment. Any infection or damage to the gum tissues or the jawbone supporting your teeth is treated by your periodontist.
To prevent future periodontal disease and keep your natural teeth for your lifetime, carefully and conscientiously follow the maintenance program guidelines Dr. Hadeed recommends. Protecting your periodontal health through preventive maintenance has great benefits for you. You will be able to chew with more comfort, and you will be able to smile and speak with greater confidence. Bleeding gums, sensitivity, and inflammation are reduced or eliminated, minimizing your risk of future dental problems. Your commitment to periodontal maintenance therapy is your commitment to a healthy mouth and lifelong enjoyment of your teeth.
Call 301-812-4946 if you have symptoms of gum disease or have been referred to a periodontist by your dentist.