At JP Dental & Implant Center, our patients often ask us about the difference between a regular dental cleaning and periodontal maintenance. The two procedures are significantly different and need to be thoroughly understood so that the right care is provided. Proper information about both procedures can help in optimal treatment and mitigation of the risk of complications.
Difference Between Basic Cleaning and Periodontal Maintenance
A basic cleaning or dental prophylaxis is a non-therapeutic and purely preventive procedure that helps to maintain the continued good health of your mouth. Typically, patients with good oral health need to visit us every six months and even less if they have exceptional oral health.
In contrast, periodontal maintenance is a more active form of treatment and is performed on patients who have gum disease or were treated for gum disease. Usually, this treatment is recommended to those people who have active moderate to severe chronic periodontal disease. Periodontal maintenance serves to keep the disease under control and stop its progress.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria form colonies on the gum tissues and even extend to below the gum line. This can cause tenderness, inflammation, and bleeding of the gum as well as a foul taste in the mouth and bad breath. When bacteria infect the gum tissue, the body’s defense mechanism fights the invasion by breaking down the diseased tissue. As a result, gum and tooth structure is destroyed. The pockets between the gum and teeth become deeper, and your teeth become loose or fall out. The bacteria may also enter the bloodstream and affect other areas of your body.
People with chronic periodontal disease need to visit us every two to three months for periodontal maintenance.
Why Does Periodontal Maintenance Involve More Frequent Dental Visits?
Periodontal maintenance requires more frequent visits than regular cleaning because of a sound reasoning: bacteria.
When the plaque is not completely eliminated, bacteria colonize on the sticky film and proliferate in just three to 12 weeks or three months. After that period, it is necessary to once again reduce their numbers. Research shows that patients who do not come for periodontal maintenance every two to four months are at increased risk for losing two to three times more teeth than those who do not miss their appointments.
What Does Periodontal Maintenance Involve?
Periodontal maintenance is typically performed in several steps at JP Dental & Implant Center:
It is extremely important that you do not miss any of your periodontal maintenance appointments as it can cause irreversible damage to the health of your mouth. If you think you have gum disease, call us at (970) 822-7622, and we will make a treatment plan for you.