Periodontal maintenance and its importance

The most common gum diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. Both occur as a result of poor oral hygiene, which favours the accumulation of bacteria.  Over time, dental plaque is formed which, if not removed, solidifies to form tartar or dental calculus. At this point, the oral hygiene we carry out at home is no longer sufficient to eliminate it and encourages the bacteria to multiply, gain access to the inside of the gum and begin to destroy the bone, which can even lead to tooth mobility and loss.

The symptoms we we see are slight bleeding or inflammation of the gum, but we don’t mind it as much as we should. These signs indicate that we should check the gum, as untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.

To avoid worsening and relapse, the patient should have regular check-ups (every 3-6 months) and maintenance to ensure oral health.

Why should I get a periodontal maintenance treatment?

It is common for patients who have been attending their maintenance visits for a long time and have no problems to want to extend their appointments or even replace them with an oral cleaning.

In the short term, you may think that it reduces the discomfort and costs of treatment, however it’s important to remember that the main objective of the maintenance treatment is prevention; if a patient doesn’t experience problems is a because of such maintenance. 

Proper maintenance to ensure the patient’s pral health is of utmost importance. Scientific evidence has shown that fulfilling periodontal and peri-implant maintenance is crucial to control periodontal disease and prevent the appearance of problems that involve dental implants (peri-implantitis) in healthy patients.

In patients who attend their regular maintenance every 3-6 months, the progression of the disease remains stable and fewer teeth are lost.

The progression of the periodontal disease in implants is three times faster than in a tooth.

Why do some patients have to visit us more frequently?

At Clínica Dental Juana María Fernández, periodontal maintenance is a treatment that is individually adapted to each patient.

The frequency of the maintenance treatment is assessed on a personalised basis, taking into account what favours the patient’s susceptibility to the disease, what increases the risk of these patients developing more serious stages of the disease, and what could contribute to more rapid bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. 

Among the factors that are analysed to determine the patient’s risk are:

-Poor oral hygiene

-Smoking

-Genetics

-Diabetes

-Stress

-Inflammatory diseases (arthritis, obesity, hypercholesterolemia…)

In conclusion, with periodontal maintenance we manage to keep periodontal disease under control, delaying or slowing down its evolution. We reduce the number of teeth lost due to periodontal disease and the number of implants affected by peri-implantitis. It allows us to diagnose the early reactivation of periodontal disease and prevent its progression. We aslo delay the appearance of tooth decay by controlling the bacterial plaque and applying fluoride as a method of remineralisation of the tooth.

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