Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance program decorative image

Home care is an extremely important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but even excellent home care cannot prevent bacteria and plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden, becoming calculus. We will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform an oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.

During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck

A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.

According to Dr. Rowe, “Eighty percent or more of the overall population in the world suffers from some form of periodontal disease.” Because the condition does not necessarily cause pain, its symptoms are not always noticeable, but they may include increased spacing between teeth, mobile teeth, bleeding gums, and/or an uncomfortable taste or odor in the mouth. Unfortunately, this silent menace is “linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and even erectile dysfunction.” Says Dr. Rowe, “so that’s why it is so important to make sure that it is screened for and that it is treated appropriately.”

“Periodontal disease can be very easily prevented,” he says, “with adequate oral hygiene technique, avoiding tobacco use, and overall trying to live a healthy lifestyle.” He specifically recommends visiting a dentist every six months for a basic cleaning, undergoing a periodontal screening annually, having x-rays of the teeth every three to five years to monitor bone levels, flossing regularly, and brushing for two minutes at least twice each day.