Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent periodontal disease in in the gum tissue and bone. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who are susceptible to periodontal disease or who have been treated for gum disease. Maintenance visits to the periodontist will help prevent additional dental problems in the future. Treating the disease in its early stages saves you not only discomfort but also money!
Why is periodontal maintenance necessary?
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by the bacteria attack your gums and teeth. And, if the plaque is not removed, it will harden and form calculus/tartar.
Even someone dedicated to good oral hygiene will be unable to completely prevent the formation of calculus on the teeth. Flossing and brushing will keep the calculus to a minimum but regular maintenance is needed to professionally remove what has been missed. During your maintenance cleaning, the hygienist will also check for recurring periodontal problems. Remember, periodontitis is a chronic disease.
How often do I need a maintenance visit?
Your periodontist will recommend how often you should have a periodontal maintenance visit. The frequency will be determined by the type of periodontal disease you have, the type of periodontal treatment you have had in the past, how you’ve responded to those treatments, and how quickly you develop plaque. A patient's genetic predisposition to disease is also a large factor. The most important factors, however, are how dedicated you are to good hygiene at home and the regularity of maintenance visits. The most common maintenance interval is every three months.