Congratulations! If you are reading this section, there is a good chance that you have recently completed deep cleanings (scaling and root planing) and/or surgical procedures to bring your gum disease (periodontitis) under control. You have invested a significant amount of time, energy, and expense to regain control of your oral health. To keep these improvements for years to come, the next step is periodontal maintenance therapy.
Periodontal maintenance utilizes periodic cleanings by your periodontist, general dentist, or dental hygienist to remove bacterial plaque and tartar from above and below your gums. Because you have already undergone procedures to bring your gum disease under control, these cleanings are typically simple and pain free. Periodontal maintenance visits take about an hour and include an examination to monitor the status of your oral health by Dr. Shumaker.
Periodontal maintenance cleanings are often rotated between your general dentist’s office and the office of your periodontist. This allows both members of your dental team to closely monitor your gingival health and any dental conditions that may affect it.
Periodontal maintenance cleanings are typically performed every 2 to 3 months. Why so often? The particular types of bacteria that are commonly associated with gum disease take about 6 to 8 weeks to reach levels high enough to cause damage to your gums and bone. Periodic maintenance cleanings reduce the numbers of these harmful bacteria, allowing beneficial harmless bacteria to take their place.
Multiple long term studies have documented that improvements in oral health following periodontal surgery may be maintained for decades with proper periodontal maintenance. These same studies have also shown that gum disease is likely to return and incidence of tooth loss can increase by nearly 500% when periodontal maintenance is ignored.
You have worked hard to improve your oral health. Stay healthy for years to come with periodontal maintenance therapy. If you have been told that you have moderate to advanced gum disease and want to save your teeth please contact Dr. Shumaker's office at 970-207-4061 to schedule a consultation, or ask your general dentist for a referral.