Periodontal Maintenance

Keeping Your Gum Disease Under Control

A woman performing a dental exam. At Adirondack Periodontics, we don’t only care about treating your gum disease and moving on. We want to play a role in making sure that your gum disease remains under control and your symptoms do not resurface. During your treatment, Dr. Gordon Davis performs comprehensive gum therapy to keep the worst symptoms of advanced gum disease at bay, but you’ll still need to pay close attention to your at-home care and maintain follow-up appointments at our office. If you aren’t familiar with periodontal maintenance, you’ll want to give our office a call or keep reading to learn more about what’s in store for your long-term care.

Why Periodontal Maintenance Matters

A woman with mild gum disease.

Whether you have just completed treatments for advanced gum disease or you’re at risk, periodontal maintenance matters for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, only a dentist can effectively remove all plaque and tartar from the hidden pockets of your gums. While daily brushing and flossing work to prevent most formations of hardened plaque, it’s not completely foolproof. That’s why routine cleanings are necessary every six months, especially since tartar can only be removed safely by a dentist.

Furthermore, if you are receiving treatment for your advanced gum disease, you are already more susceptible to future gum infections because, technically, gum disease does not ever go away entirely. Once it develops, it needs to be micromanaged every few months to ensure an infection has not redeveloped. Untreated gum disease, specifically the advanced form known as periodontitis, can cause tooth loss and even put you at higher risk of developing other conditions, including heart disease.

Who Should Perform Periodontal Maintenance?

A woman flossing.

If you have serious gum disease, it’s better to have your condition managed by a specialist in gum disease treatment. A person who specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of gum diseases is called a periodontist. The best way to determine how often you should see a periodontist for care is to discuss it with your general dentist beforehand. They can help you build a schedule for supporting your gum tissue and preventing your condition from worsening moving forward.

What Does Routine Periodontal Care Include

A dentist performing a dental exam.

While periodontal care includes removal of bacteria and tartar and possible application of antibiotics or other medications, it also includes detailed examination of your gum tissue. During your periodontal maintenance, you can expect:

  • Changes in your health history
  • Assessment of your at-home oral care habits
  • X-rays to evaluate teeth and supportive bone tissue
  • Examination of tooth decay and other potential issues
  • Confirmation of how your bite comes together
  • Pocket depth measurement to determine if gum recession is present
  • Potential or abnormal changes in your mouth tissues