Periodontal Maintenance

Following gum disease treatment, regular cleanings are vital to maintaining periodontal health. Maintenance, along with good oral hygiene, are the keys to good oral health. Studies have shown people who do not maintain regularly have 20 times the amount of bone loss as those who do.

For cases where there are some residual pockets deeper than 3mm, or where the patient has shown a high susceptibility to breakdown, three month (or more frequent) recalls are critical. In these cases where the patient cannot reach all areas with oral hygiene techniques, bacteria form colonies (plaque) immediately after treatment.

Why is Maintenance Necessary?

Studies have shown that following initial therapy, the levels of periodontal bacteria are reduced for up to 42 days before returning to pre-treatment levels (Listgarten 1980). Recall frequencies are custom to each patient’s needs, taking into consideration risk factors (smoking, diabetes), home care, and clinical evaluation. (pocket depths, bleeding, tissue tone, etc.)

Normally, however, it takes plaque about three months to develop into an aggressive infection. The first three months there is minimal bone loss, but after ninety days the breakdown dramatically increases. If the plaque is removed every three months, the plaque aggressiveness will stay low.

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