Periodontal maintenance is the regular recall sequence to maintain the health of your gums. The recall sequence is determined after periodontal therapy, sometimes called a deep cleaning, is performed. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroy the bone support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing may prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to periodontal disease, than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and tooth decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth, but with thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. If not carefully removed, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress. Periodontal disease is never cured, but can be maintained.