Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support your teeth. It is caused most often by the build-up of plaque and tartar when teeth are not routinely brushed and flossed.
There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis affects only the gums. It is a mild form of gum disease and if properly treated, may be reversed. Left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis. In such cases, the gum pulls away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing, and other complications.
What to expect after periodontal treatment
Unlike a regular hygiene appointment, periodontal treatment requires extra time to anesthetize the tissue and teeth in each quadrant for proper removal of all plaque and tartar build up in order to prevent further inflammation and bone loss.
Once the initial treatments are finished, patients will be placed on a periodontal maintenance schedule to monitor and preserve their existing level of bone. In the beginning, the schedule is more frequent but over time when the teeth and gums are showing signs of stability and health, frequency will be reduced to only twice per year.