Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal Maintenance Allentown - Philadelphia, PA

If you've been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal disease you probably realized that the illness is not curable, Its a companion for life that must be continually managed.  Although improvements in treating the disease have shown promise at reducing its severity.  Long term remission from the illness continues to hinge on excellent oral hygiene proper nutrition, controlling of risk factors, such as the elimination of smoking and control of diabetes and regular periodontal maintenance visits with your dentist.  Even after bacterial plaque and calculus are removed from the gingival sulcus and tooth roots, periodontal pockets generally persist which are more that 4mm deep.  The significance of that number is the toothbrush bristles, tooth picks, floss and other home care products for oral hygiene cannot access the base of these pockets to clean them.   Periodontally destructive bacteria will again colonize these areas unless its removed regularly by a detail professional with instrumentation that is available to the patient.  

The length of time between periodontal maintenance visits varies according to the severity of the illness, the amount of periodontal destruction that is already take  place and other factors.  On average, a periodontal patient will need to be seen at 3-4 month intervals.  Periodontal maintenance visits typically involve remeasuring periodontal pocket depths and carefully recording any increases in areas that bleed  on probing, a sign of continual periodontal inflammation or re-inflammation.   These areas will often require additional treatment, like localized root planing, treatment with sub gingival antibiotics and possible surgical pocket reduction.  

Dental X-rays or radiographs may be exposed and compared to previous images to evaluate the tooth supporting bone for progression of the disease.  Tooth mobility will be recorded in a careful assessment of how the teeth fit together will be made.  It may be necessary to perform minor bite adjustments to ensure that periodontally involved teeth do not become overloaded since the teeth may shift a bit as their bony support is lost.  Adjustment simply involves removal of a small amount of non-sensitive enamel to elminate tipping forces.   Dentists often prescribe flouride gel trays and antiseptic rinses like chlorhexadine for home use to help control the disease and avoid complications like cavities and sensitivity.  Be sure to use them as directed and for the best chance of keeping periodontal disease from progressing, make sure you keep your maintenance appointments regularly.  Contact Allentown periodontist Dr. Potter today to evaluate your oral health.