Periodontal maintenance

Periodontal maintenance

Periodontal maintenance of your teeth or oral health is a cleaning procedure which is performed to thoroughly clean the teeth.  Maintaining your teeth is an important dental treatment for reduction of the progression of periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases and gingivitis occur when bacteria from plaque colonize on your gum tissue, either above or below the gum line. These bacterial colonies can cause serious swelling and irritation which in turn will produce a chronic swelling response in the body.  As a result, the body starts to periodically and systematically destroy gum and bone tissue, resulting into teeth shift, instability in teeth , or completely fall out. The pockets between the gums and teeth become deeper and create room for more bacteria which may travel via the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body.

Some of the benefits of periodontal maintenance :

  • Removes Plaque & Tartar – Removes tartar (also known as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum lines, can cause serious periodontal problems if left untreated.  Even using the best brushing and flossing homecare techniques, it is not possible to remove debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The professional eye of a dentist using specialized dental equipment is needed in order to identify and treat problems such as tartar and plaque buildup. 

  • Look and Feel – It becomes difficult to feel confident about a smile which have become yellowish or stained. Maintenance can remove the teeth of unsightly stains and return the smile to its former glory. 

  • Get rid of Bad Breath – Periodontal disease can often be identified by persistent bad breath (or known as halitosis).  Bad breath is usually caused due to a combination of decay of food particles below the gum line, possible gangrene stemming from gum infection, and periodontal problems. The removal of plaque, tartar and bacteria noticeably improves breath and alleviates irritation.  

  • Identify any health issues – Many health problems can be identified first by the dentist. Since prophylaxis(a treatment for cleaning teeth) involves a thorough examination of the entire oral cavity, the dentist is able to check for oral cancer, evaluate the risk of periodontitis and often spot signs of medical problems like diabetes and kidney problems. Recommendations if any problems identified can be provided for altering the home care regimen and if needed can refer specialist for the identified problem/symptom.
What does periodontal maintenance involve?

Prophylaxis can be performed in the course of a regular dental visit or, if necessary, using general anesthetic. Further procedures or treatment is particularly common where severe periodontal disease is diagnosed and checked by the dentist. An endotracheal tube is sometimes placed in the throat to protect your lungs from harmful bacteria which needs to be removed from the mouth.

Prophylaxis is usually performed in several stages:

  • Supragingival cleaning – In this process the dentist will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to get rid of plaque and tartar. 

  • Subgingival cleaning – This procedure step is the most important step for patients with periodontal disease because in this the dentist will remove tartar and bacteria from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line. 

  • Scaling and Root planing - In this process smoothing of the tooth root by the dentist is done to eliminate any remaining bacteria. The bacterias which are removed are extremely dangerous, so eliminating them is one of the top priorities of the dentist. 

  • Medication - After scaling and root planing, an antibiotic or antimicrobial cream can be placed in the gum pockets, but these is done by very less specialist. These antibiotics treatments may promote fast and healthy healing in the pockets and help to ease discomfort. 

  • X-ray and examination – Routine X-rays are a major part as they can be extremely useful in revealing dental problems when it comes to periodontal disease.  X-rays reveal the extent of bone and gum recession, and also helps the dentist in identifying areas which may need periodic attention.

Procedure

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays: Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed.
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!

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