Even those patients who are diligent about their oral hygiene and biannual visits to Grins and Giggles Family Dentistry are at times confused about regular cleaning and periodontal maintenance. Some are under the impression that the latter is just a deeper form of cleaning. The procedures, however, are principally different. Cleaning is a preventive process to ensure that there is no build-up of tartar, on individuals with a healthy set of teeth and no serious dental issues. Usually, a biannual regimen of regular cleaning is enough for most people. Periodontal maintenance, on the other hand, is focused on the gum tissue and is part of a treatment for periodontal disease.
Periodontal or Gum Disease
When there is significant bacterial growth in the gums, it leads to periodontal or gum disease. This build-up festers deep inside the gum tissue and in the middle of the gum and teeth. If it’s left untreated, either due to poor oral hygiene or irregular dental check-ups, the bacterial presence gets deeper and more insidious. Periodontal disease can increase the chances of loss of bone, inflammation, and serious health conditions like diabetes and cardiac problems. Therefore, those detected with periodontal disease have to undergo specialized cleaning procedures.
It’s similar to regular cleaning to the extent that both are aimed at removing the tartar. But, since it’s done after the detection of a problem, it’s aimed at getting rid of tartar from deep within the gums and the spaces in between. During periodontal cleaning, our dentists focus on the intersection of the root of the teeth and the gum tissue. The cleaning is carefully done after a thorough examination of the level of tartar in the surrounding area of each tooth.
A regular cleaning focuses on the chewing areas and the crevices between the teeth, whereas periodontal maintenance delves deep into the roots and gum. Before cleaning, our dentists will check the root and the gum for any signs of inflammation. If inflammation is found, special care is given to the cleaning of that area. Carefully chosen disinfectants are then used to clean the bone, teeth and gum of tartar. Our dentists will also analyze the depth and health of the pockets between the teeth and the gum to periodically assess their progress. Due to its unique nature, periodontal cleaning is done more frequently than an ordinary dental cleaning.
Should I Opt for Periodontal Maintenance?
If you are regular with your biannual check-ups at Grins and Giggles Family Dentistry, chances are, our dentists would figure out if you need periodontal maintenance. If you haven’t been methodical about dental cleaning, we urge you to book an appointment by calling us at (509) 928-4746. One of the objectives of the examination will be to determine if you have deep pockets between gum tissue and the teeth and, importantly, if the roots of your teeth are exposed. Patients who have undergone periodontal procedures should also ideally get maintenance done regularly. Since there is no permanent cure for gum disease, regular periodontal maintenance is the safest way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.