Periodontal Maintenance

Most people know about teeth cleaning but they don’t know what periodontal maintenance is and why it is performed by dentists in San Diego, CA. Periodontal maintenance has to do with a very thorough cleaning of the teeth. It is usually for people who suffer periodontal disease but there is no reason why you cannot use it as a preventative measure. Periodontal disease is a serious condition that occurs when thee is plaque on the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria and this can start feeding on the jaw and soft tissue nearby. This causes the immune system to respond by attacking the jaw – it has to get rid of it in order to save the rest of the body.

If not treated periodontal disease can cause loss of jaw tissue, loss of teeth and serious dental problems. It has also been associated with heart disease. That is why it is important for you to do periodontal maintenance from time to time – it gets rid of plaque which means that there is little chance that you will ever develop periodontal disease. Other than protecting you from heart disease, there are other benefits of periodontal maintenance:

  • You get rid of plaque. Plaque is build-up that usually occurs just above the jaw-line, just at the point where the tooth meets the gum. It takes years to develop and the problem with it is that it is very hard to remove – once it forms it can only be removed by a dentist using specialized equipment.
  • A good smile gives you confidence. It is hard to be sure of yourself when your teeth are strained. You may miss opportunities to socialize and even career opportunities because you felt too shy to communicate with someone. Part of periodontal maintenance is teeth cleaning. If you have your teeth cleaned very thoroughly every once in a while you don’t have to worry about stained teeth.
  • Ever heard of halitosis? That is when someone constantly has very bad breath whether or not they brush their teeth. It is usually caused by build-up of plaque on the teeth. Periodontal maintenance ensures that you have fresh breath all the time.
  • Periodontal maintenance can help you spot chronic medical conditions early. Many diseases present through your teeth and gums. Since during the procedure your San Diego, CA dentist will do a thorough examination of all parts of your mouth they will be able to discover symptoms that show that you may have kidney problems, oral cancer, heart disease and so on. If you begin treatment all most of these diseases can be managed quite easily and you can have good quality of life.

What does the procedure involve?

This is a common question and it is easy to understand why – most people associate dental procedures with pain so they want to know what they should expect. Fortunately, periodontal maintenance is not painful since all the dentist is doing is examining your mouth thoroughly and then cleaning your teeth. Here is what you should expect:

Supragingival cleaning

The supragingival area is the area above the gum line where plaque usually builds up. The doctor will clean it using specialized tools and there should be no pain at all. You may experience some sensitivity for a few days but it is nothing serious.

Subgingival cleaning

Again, this is another big word which means that your San Diego, CA dentist will clean below the gum line where there is some plaque and pockets of bacteria. This is a most important step for people who suffer gingivitis or periodontal disease.

X Rays

These are only done when someone already has periodontal disease and also if the dentist suspects that a patient may be developing it. X rays are able to tell the dentist the extant of damage to your gums and teeth.

Medication and further tests

Medication is necessary because the dentist cleaned below the gum line. Since he doesn’t want you to get an infection he will issue you with an antibiotic to promote faster healing. If the dentist detects an underlying illness he will refer you to a specialist for a deeper diagnosis and treatment.

If you are wondering how often you should have periodontal maintenance done, the answer is that you should have it done at least 3 times a year. Research shows that bacteria start to form on the gum line after 3 months. This means that if you see your San Diego, CA dentist every 3 months for periodontal maintenance you should be able to avoid periodontal disease altogether. Sufferers of gum disease should see their dentists more often.