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Periodontal Maintenance

women smiling wide with nice white teeth

Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. When you have active periodontal disease, the typical routines of home maintenance – including daily dental hygiene and teeth brushing – may not be effective enough, as those methods generally focus on areas of the tooth that are above the gum-line.

But with regular scaling and root planing procedures, we can remove the build-up of plaque, tartar (calculus) and bacterial toxins (biofilms) from tooth surfaces below the gum line, which are the areas that general home care practices are unable to reach.

Periodontal maintenance is an integral component of oral hygiene that involves regular dental visits to prevent and treat periodontal diseases. Through periodontal maintenance, we aim to preserve healthy gum tissues and slow the progression of gum diseases that could ultimately result in tooth loss. Let's examine the process, advantages, and history behind periodontal maintenance.

Gingivitis may be caused by a number of factors that include:

• Diabetes.

• Smoking.

• Aging.

• A disease.

• Stress.

• Genetic predisposition.

• Pregnancy.

• Hormonal fluctuations.

• Infection.

• Medication use.

Periodontal Maintenance Process

Periodontal maintenance typically involves regular dental visits that occur every three to four months. During these appointments, a dental hygienist or dentist will perform an intensive cleaning of teeth and gums in order to remove plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to periodontal diseases. Periodontal maintenance typically entails:

  1. Oral Exam - The dentist or hygienist will begin by inspecting the mouth to assess the overall health of gums and teeth. They look for any indications of gum disease, tooth decay, or other oral health problems.
  2. Scaling - Your dental professional will use special tools to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup from teeth and gums, a process known as scaling. This helps prevent gum disease from progressing further.
  3. Root Planing - A dentist or hygienist may perform root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of teeth to help prevent further buildup of plaque and tartar.
  4. Polishing - After scaling and root planing, the teeth are polished to eliminate any remaining stains and provide them with a glossy sheen that leaves them looking and feeling clean.
  5. Education - Your dentist or hygienist may also offer education on proper oral hygiene techniques, such as brushing and flossing, to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Periodontal Maintenance Provides Numerous Advantages

Maintaining your teeth can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. With proper oral care and regular professional visits to a periodontist, you'll enjoy all these advantages for years to come!

Periodontal maintenance provides numerous advantages to individuals with periodontal disease or those at risk of developing it. Some of the advantages of maintaining your teeth include:

History of Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance has been practiced for centuries, although the method has changed considerably over time. In ancient times, people would use sticks or animal bones to brush their teeth and gums; later on, toothbrushes and toothpaste were invented to help ensure oral hygiene.

Periodontal maintenance as we know it today began in the early 20th century when Dr. G.V. Black, a prominent dentist of his time, published a paper emphasizing the need to keep gums healthy in order to prevent tooth loss. Subsequent research into gum disease's relationship to overall health led to modern periodontal maintenance practices as we know them today.

Nowadays, periodontal maintenance is an accepted standard practice in most dental offices and an essential element for maintaining excellent oral health.


What is Periodontal Disease?

It is important to know that Gum Disease (also known as ‘Periodontitis’) can take many forms. Each form presents us with different levels of severity. If left untreated, severe periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss and other potential health problems.

What is Gingivitis?

The most common form of periodontal disease is called ‘Gingivitis.’ Gingivitis causes your gums to become red and swollen. Because of this, they may also tend to bleed easily. However, at this stage of progression, you may only be experiencing little or even no discomfort. Gingivitis is usually caused by an inadequate oral hygiene regimen. It is usually reversible with professional treatment and good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing.


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