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Optimize Oral Health: Periodontal Maintenance and Preventive Care

Optimize Oral Health: Periodontal Maintenance and Preventive Care

What is Periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic condition, meaning that it can be treated but never cured. Fortunately, with proper maintenance and oral care, your symptoms can be controlled. Your periodontal maintenance period starts as soon as your periodontal therapy ends. Periodontal maintenance has been proven to be the most important phase of periodontal therapy because this phase determines the long-term success of periodontal care. These diseases can range from mild gingivitis to more severe forms like periodontitis. Here’s an overview:


This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease and is characterized by inflammation of the gums. It is often caused by the accumulation of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis can lead to red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing


If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. This stage involves inflammation around the tooth, including the supporting bone. Periodontitis can result in the formation of pockets between the teeth and gums, leading to the loss of bone and tissue support. Symptoms may include gum recession, loose teeth, and changes in the bite.

What Are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) diseases like Gingivitis and Periodontitis are serious, progressive, oral health issues. When it begins, however, it is almost completely undetectable. Any early symptoms that do present themselves are often written off as brushing too hard. Periodontal disease is the damage to the gums that occurs when bacterial infections develop in the gums and jawbones. Bacterial growth is normal but can get out of control due to poor oral health, smoking, hormonal changes, medications, and unhealthy diets.

When periodontal disease is not treated, it can lead to serious complications, including loose teeth, tooth loss, and health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. At Sunnyvale Dental Care, Dr Bhawna Gupta DDS can help to stop gum disease in its tracks and restore the health of your mouth with periodontal maintenance.

How Can You Maintain Oral Health?

The control of periodontal disease is achieved with consistent home care, regular dental maintenance, and continuous professional monitoring. Because the bacterial infection has already developed, periodontal disease patients are more susceptible to a recurrence.

Treat repeated periodontal flare ups.

Many people experience repeated infection of their gums due to periodontal disease and enlarged pockets around the teeth. When repeated periodontal flare ups continue to occur our office provides periodontal maintenance. Patients who require a more diligent oral hygiene routine are scheduled for more frequent dental cleaning appointments.

This is important because the severity of damage caused by periodontal infection increases exponentially as it progresses. Each patient is evaluated so a customized schedule can be maintained to avoid major damage to teeth and gums and support overall general health. 

What Are Deep Cleanings?

Periodontal maintenance focuses on periodic deep cleanings, or scaling and root planing, in areas of recurrent disease. After periodontal therapy, most patients undergo periodontal maintenance every three months as opposed to every six months, which is recommended for patients without periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing is a thorough cleaning of the tooth roots.

This treatment removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line and smoothes the surface of the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach to the tooth healthily. Deep cleanings are necessary for patients with periodontal disease because “pockets” that form around the teeth are more likely to collect bacteria and result in bone loss. 

Avoid Gum Disease with Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent periodontal disease in the gum tissue and bone. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who are susceptible to periodontal disease or who have been treated for gum disease. Maintenance visits to Sunnyvale Dental Care will help prevent additional dental problems in the future. Treating the disease in its early stages saves you not only discomfort, but also money and time!

Why is periodontal maintenance (supportive periodontal care)important?

As you have learned, you are susceptible to gum disease. And, you have probably learned, too, that the main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque produce toxins, or poisons, which constantly attack your gums and teeth.

Unless plaque is removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will help to minimize the formation of calculus, but it won’t completely prevent it.

For some patients, no matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease from two to four months after your last professional cleaning. Therefore, a dental professional must check for hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque at time intervals appropriate for you so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.

Your maintenance/supportive periodontal care visit may include:

  • Discussion of any changes in your health history
  • Examination of your mouth tissues for abnormal changes
  • Measurement of the depth of pockets around your teeth
  • Assessment of your oral hygiene habits and provision of instruction
  • Removal of bacterial plaque and tartar
  • X-ray film studies to evaluate your teeth and the bone supporting your teeth
  • Examination of your teeth for decay and other dental problems
  • Checkup on the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Application or prescription of medications to reduce tooth sensitivity or other problems you may have.

How often should you have periodontal maintenance visits?

Your periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your periodontal maintenance visits might be as often as every few weeks or as frequent as every six months. Everyone’s situation is different. The frequency of your supportive care visits will be influenced by:

  • the type of periodontal disease you have
  • the type of periodontal treatment you have
  • your response to treatment
  • your rate of plaque growth
  • Your personal commitment to good oral care at home.

To prevent periodontal disease, the major cause of tooth loss in adults—and keep your natural teeth for your lifetime—carefully and conscientiously follow the guidelines of the maintenance program that Sunnyvale dentist Dr Gupta recommends. Protecting your periodontal health through preventive maintenance has great benefits for you.

You will be able to chew with more comfort, and you will be able to smile and speak with greater confidence. You will be able to keep dental costs down by preventing future problems. Your commitment to maintenance therapy is your commitment to your better oral health.

How to Get Your Oral Health Back on Track

While periodontal maintenance can help to end the progression of gum disease and allow your gums to heal, you cannot rely on your appointments only. You must take measures to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home in between your scheduled visits. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. Along with this, make sure you eat a diet of nutrient-dense foods. Nutritious foods can help your teeth and gums to fight infection and heal.

Call Sunnyvale Dentist Dr. Bhawna Gupta DDS for Periodontal Care at 408-720-0900.

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