What is periodontal maintenance?
When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, bacteria colonizes and causes irritation and inflammation. This also deepens the pockets between the teeth and gums, which allows even more bacteria inside. Without intervention, these conditions can lead to gum disease, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gums that pull away from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Persistent bad breath
For mild to severe cases of periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance procedures deep clean each tooth—even down to the root—to help restore the health of your gums and teeth.
What is done in a periodontal maintenance procedure?
The first step in periodontal maintenance is an X-ray and examination to reveal the extent of any bone and gum recession. Once your dentist has identified the problem areas, we will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to remove plaque and tartar.
Next, the dentist will perform a subgingival cleaning, which removes plaque and tartar from the pockets between the teeth and gums and below the gum line. A root planing procedure follows, during which we will smooth out the tooth root deep below the gum line to eliminate any remaining bacteria. After the periodontal maintenance procedure is complete, your dentist will apply an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream in the gum pockets to promote fast and healthy healing and ease discomfort. In severe cases, you may be prescribed an antibiotic medication to take for a week or more.