Periodontitis is a dental condition that requires ongoing treatment. This generally includes a deep cleaning from one of our dentists at HomeTown Dental at Lake Worth followed by a round of antibiotics. After this initial treatment, you will need to have a routine deep cleaning schedule to prevent further decay or infection. Periodontitis can cause serious long term health issues, such as bacteria build-up and tooth decay. Periodontal maintenance is used to prevent these issues and ensure that your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.
Why Periodontal Maintenance Is Important
Periodontitis is a condition caused by poor oral hygiene. This can be very painful and causes tooth decay as well as infection throughout the teeth and gums. The bacteria in your teeth and gums can also travel through your blood stream to other parts of your body. Periodontitis decays the teeth and gums to form pockets which hold plaque, tartar, and other debris. These pockets have been shown to be several millimeters deep, making them a prime spot for bacteria to form in your mouth. Periodontitis also comes along with bleeding gums and exposed roots, which can be painful. Periodontal maintenance helps to prevent further infection and can alleviate the symptoms.
Most people receive dental cleanings every six months, but patients who have had periodontitis must receive more frequent cleanings. Our dentist will determine a cleaning schedule based on how quickly tartar or plaque form, inflammation, bleeding, self-care quality, condition stability, and your individual medical history. In general, you should expect to have periodontal maintenance three or four times each year.
Periodontal maintenance uses anesthesia, since the condition can cause pain for the patient. After we administer anesthesia, our dental hygienist will use a scaler to clean the teeth. Scaling is when our dental team uses a tool to pull away any plaque or tartar around your gums and on your teeth. This is deeper than with regular cleanings as our dental hygienist needs to scale the entire tooth, within the gums, to prevent bacteria build-up. They may need to smooth out some areas of the roots first.
At these appointments, our dentist will also examine your gums for any pockets. They look for inflammation and measure the pockets to determine if they have grown in size. If they have, you likely have bacteria causing more decay which would then require a more intensive treatment plan. Our dentist would also need to clean the pockets using an antibacterial solution.
Home Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent periodontitis. You should brush twice daily for two minutes at a time and the American Dental Association recommends using a fluoride-based toothpaste. You should also use a soft-bristled brush so that you do not irritate the gums and cause bleeding. The American Dental Association also recommends that people floss at least once per day.
After your initial periodontitis cleaning, our dentist may prescribe a medication, such as an antibiotic. You will need to carefully follow any instructions given to you to prevent recurrence of periodontitis. You should also be monitoring the pockets at home and let us know immediately if you experience any symptoms. For more information, call HomeTown Dental at Lake Worth at 682-516-3532 today.