For most of us, routine dental checkups with a cleaning should occur every six months. However, a certain subset of our patients who have periodontal disease may require more frequent, through appointments with a comprehensive assessment of their oral health. These appointments are known as “periodontal maintenance.” When regular dental cleanings aren’t adequate, periodontal maintenance appointments give our patients here at Ranches Family Dental a better chance of having a healthy mouth when their teeth and gums already compromised by gum disease. Occurring every three or four months, periodontal maintenance appointments are a vigilant effort to keep gum recession, root damage, and tooth loss at bay in our patients who have periodontal disease.
What to Expect During a Periodontal Maintenance Appointment
It would be dangerous and misguided to assume that taking care of your teeth is exclusively a cosmetic effort. While a beautiful smile is always a reward for good oral health, gum disease doesn’t just lead to unsightly gaps between your teeth. It can lead to systemic inflammation and infection on your body and has been linked to a myriad of conditions like heart attack, stroke, cancer, and can lead to death.
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of a sticky substance called “plaque” that forms around your teeth and gums. The bacteria found in plaque release toxins, leading to inflammation of your gums. This is what leads to your gum disease.
Once a patient has already developed periodontal disease, their vulnerability to relapse is higher than a patient who has never had gum disease. Prophylactic measures to prevent the formation of gum disease are ideal, but catching it before it advances beyond gingivitis (early stage gum disease) can also aid in the preservation of your teeth and gums. Early signs of gum disease include:
It’s important to remember that gum disease isn’t always associated with pain, making it all the more important to remain on top of your brushing, flossing, and cleanings.
If we observe signs of gum disease during a regular appointment, we may advise that you come in more frequently for periodontal maintenance. While this appointment may resemble a normal checkup with cleaning, it’s significantly more comprehensive and may consist of the following:
If you notice any of the signs of gum disease, it’s critical not to ignore them. Not only can it cause recession of your gums, damage to your dental roots, and loss of your teeth, it can also manifest as a host of irreversible illnesses in your body. Keeping yourself healthy really can be as simple as taking good care of your teeth and gums.
If you have any questions about gum disease or have been told that you can benefit from periodontal maintenance, please give us here at Ranches Family Dental a call at (385) 374-0500 to let us assist you with scheduling your appointment or to answer any questions that you may have for us.