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Supportive Periodontal Treatment

 

Like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, periodontal disease is a chronic ailment that has to be closely monitored on an on-going basis. After completion of the active phase of periodontal treatment, a personalized program of supportive periodontal treatment will help you maintain periodontal health.

 

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth.  It is caused by bacterial plaque that forms constantly around the teeth and if not promptly removed can harden to become calculus (tartar). The chain of events continues with calculus deposits creating a niche for further plaque accumulation, infection of the gums and periodontal breakdown.  Continual and thorough plaque control is crucial in the maintenance of periodontal health.

 

Daily brushing and flossing will keep the formation of calculus to a minimum but won’t prevent it completely.  Periodontal maintenance procedures (also known as supportive periodontal therapy) are designed to minimize the recurrence and progression of periodontal disease in patients that have been previously treated for periodontal problems.  This is an ongoing prevention program of periodontal cleanings and evaluations. 

 

Periodontal maintenance procedures involve the removal of plaque and calculus, and an evaluation geared toward identifying factors that may interfere with oral health.  These visits may be scheduled every few weeks or as far apart as every six months. The dentist determines the frequency of the visits, which depends on the severity of the disease, the overall oral health, and the risk factors involved.  Most people with a history of periodontal disease start with a three-month supportive periodontal treatment schedule. 

 

Each of these visits will include a review of the factors that interfere with periodontal health.  After reviewing changes in the medical and dental history, an oral exam will be completed to check for hidden problems.  This includes an oral cancer screening and a thorough periodontal and dental examination.  X-rays may be taken to check for cavities and changes in bone levels.  During this visit, plaque and calculus are removed and the teeth polished.  The effectiveness of the daily oral hygiene methods are evaluated and reviewed. 


Scientific research has proven that with meticulous daily plaque removal and periodontal maintenance procedures, the recurrence and progression of periodontal disease can be minimized.  The best way to protect your periodontal and systemic health is to identify and treat periodontal disease recurrence in a timely manner.  To achieve this, follow strict daily oral hygiene procedures and visit your dentist as suggested for supportive periodontal treatment.

 

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