Periodontitis is an incurable form of gum disease, and those who suffer from it must undergo periodontal maintenance to prevent the disease from worsening. Periodontal maintenance is a collection of treatments that can be used to discourage the growth of periodontitis and improve the strength of the oral cavity. My Dentist Friend takes periodontitis seriously, and our oral surgeons are professionally trained to administer periodontal care.
How Does Periodontitis Develop?
Periodontitis starts as gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease. This develops by patients neglecting their oral health and not brushing their teeth. Plaque and tartar builds up on the enamel of the teeth, making the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. Symptoms of gingivitis are bleeding and sore gums, swelling and discoloration of teeth. If this is not treated by an oral surgeon or oral professional, then it can develop into periodontitis. Gingivitis is curable and reversible, even in its later stages, but once it develops into periodontitis, it is no longer curable. At this point, it can only be maintained. Sometimes, patients will not experience any periodontitis symptoms and can go months without any issues. Symptoms of periodontitis include pockets developing between the gum and teeth, loose teeth, and bone loss. Untreated periodontitis is seriously detrimental to an individual’s oral health.
What Happens During Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance will slightly change every time the patient meets with one of our oral surgeons, as it will depend on the condition of the patient’s oral cavity. There are some aspects of the procedure that will always happen, though there will be instances where our oral surgeons may advise more extensive treatment. For example, every time a patient comes into our oral surgeon’s office - the frequency of which will depend on the patient’s oral condition - the patient can expect to have an intense cleaning. This includes the removal of plaque and tartar - as to be expected from a routine cleaning - as well as the removal of any diseased tissue, and the smoothing of the gums to discourage bacterial growth.
Our oral surgeon will monitor the gum pockets and inspect the oral cavity for any worsening of the condition. If the periodontitis has been particularly intensive, and the patient is experiencing bone loss or wobbly teeth, then the patient may need surgery. This includes the placing of a bone graft in the jaw if there has been bone resorption. Teeth also may need replacing with restorative appliances such as dental implants.
Periodontal maintenance usually takes place every 3 months in order to keep the effects of periodontitis under control. However, there can be longer stretches between appointments if a patient’s oral health is in good condition. Good oral health habits are crucial to keeping the symptoms of periodontitis from worsening, so patients are urged to brush twice a day and floss daily.
My Dentist Friend offers periodontal care to reduce the recurring symptoms experienced by sufferers of periodontitis, as well as to make daily tasks, like eating and talking, as easy as possible. In many cases, our professionals can reduce the symptoms significantly. Call our office to schedule an exam at 856-484-4114, and our team can help you fight periodontitis.