You might think one dental cleaning is the same as another. But, while dental cleanings are important for removing plaque, preventing decay, and ensuring you maintain good oral health, the cleaning process may be different if you have periodontal disease. For instance, one special type of cleaning is known as periodontal maintenance, and it involves a deeper cleaning than your routine dental cleanings.
What is Periodontal Maintenance?
Periodontal maintenance is a type of “deep cleaning” Dr. Jeff Evanko, DMD performs on patients who have gum disease known as periodontal disease or periodontitis. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the bone supporting your teeth and your gum tissue. Essentially, it is an infection of the tissue holding your teeth in place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of individuals 30 years old or older struggle with some form of periodontal disease. And, the prevalence increases with age with 70.1% of individuals 65 years old or older dealing with periodontal disease.
You’ll usually need a deep cleaning if you have:
- Bleeding gums
- Four-millimeter deep gum “pockets”
- Bone loss
- Exposed root surfaces
- Have had root planing or periodontal surgery to treat periodontal disease.
How Periodontal Maintenance Works
Periodontal maintenance is called a deep cleaning since it includes:
- Scaling: The dentist cleans beneath your gum line to remove bacteria, plaque and other buildup
- Root Planing: The dentist shapes the root of your tooth to eliminate leftover debris and reduce the likelihood and/or amount of bacterial buildup later on
Dr. Evanko provides you with a local anesthetic during a scaling and root planing procedure, so they can clean below your gum line with minimal pain. Afterward, you’ll need:
- Possibly pain relievers
- More frequent checkups
Since periodontitis is chronic, Dr. Evanko will need to perform the deep cleaning treatment about every three months (potentially for life), or more or less frequently depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. If he treats it early with aggressive three-month treatments and you follow strict oral hygiene practices, you might be able to go back to receiving normal teeth cleanings every six months.
If Dr. Evanko tells you to set an appointment for a deep cleaning, please don’t skip this treatment. You need periodontal maintenance scaling to maintain good gum and bone health and to avoid tooth loss due to tissue damage surrounding your teeth.