If you have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal (gum) disease, regularly scheduled supportive therapy is vitally important to your success in management of disease progression. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Following a course of active periodontal treatment and of periodic ongoing care at regularly prescribed intervals is essential. Because periodontal disease or infection can recur, continuous maintenance is absolutely necessary to prevent this periodontal infection from becoming active once again and from destroying what healing has occurred.”
The following treatment is included in your periodontal maintenance appointment:
- Evaluation of oral health to detect subtle signs of disease recurrence
- Appropriate debridement of teeth and gums (professional cleaning and polishing)
- Antimicrobial therapy to destroy difficult-to-reach bacteria as deemed necessary by the doctor
- Evaluation of homecare regimes and aids
- Oral health evaluation, including oral cancer screening, necessary dental films, and decay detection
- Recommendations based on individual needs as a result of medical and dental histories review
Scientific studies support the belief of experts that the most important aspect of periodontal treatment is the long term maintenance therapy. Individuals vary in their response to periodontal disease, and resistance to the disease varies at different times of life. When periodontal disease recurs following treatment, it may do so without signs or symptoms to the patient. The Maple Grove Dental team of periodontal therapists are well trained in recognizing the very subtle signs that may signal detrimental changes. Ask your hygienist what frequency of care would be in your best interest for lifelong oral health.
Q: What is periodontal disease?
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even from a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t catch periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
According to Caesy Dental Education, “Ailments associated with periodontal disease include respiratory disease, pneumonia, strokes, ulcers, difficult-to-control diabetes, low birth weight babies, and infective endocarditis (a dangerous infection of the heart valves). Researchers recently discovered that this chronic infection in your mouth creates an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria (streptococcus sanguis) may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack.”