A routine dental cleaning is a preventive procedure in which a dental hygienist removes built-up plaque on the teeth. But, if you have gum disease, then you’ll need a deeper clean than traditional dental cleanings can offer. Luckily, our dentists in Dallas, TX, provide periodontal maintenance to help patients get the deep clean they need to manage gum disease.

Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel encourage patients living with advanced gum disease to schedule regular periodontal maintenance appointments at Lakewood Dental Group. These appointments help patients keep their condition under control, which can save their teeth and gums from further damage.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease–also known as gum disease or periodontitis–is a condition in which excessive tartar accumulates on the teeth, extending up to four millimeters below the gumline. This buildup causes the gum tissue to peel away from the teeth, which creates periodontal pockets. 

As gum disease progresses, these pockets get wider and deeper, which allows harmful bacteria to get below the gumline. Eventually, the tartar and bacterial buildup will cause significant oral health problems, such as:

  • Infections in the teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gum tissue
  • Jawbone deterioration
  • Tooth loss

Periodontal disease affects nearly half of all adults over the age of 30, and it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. 

How does periodontal maintenance differ from dental cleanings?

Dental cleanings are a prophylactic treatment aimed at preventing gum disease and cavities. But, for patients who already have gum disease, a regular dental cleaning won’t suffice.

Periodontal maintenance requires deep cleaning, typically with scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing tartar and bacteria from the surface of the teeth and below the gumline. Our team uses an ultrasonic dental tool to make this process as comfortable and effective as possible. 

Root planing smooths the area where the tooth root meets the bone, which encourages displaced gum tissue to reattach to the surface of the tooth. This allows the periodontal pockets to close, effectively limiting the amount of bacteria and plaque that can get below the gumline.

Traditional dental cleanings do not extend below the gumline, making them ineffective for periodontal maintenance. Furthermore, patients with healthy gums should get a dental cleaning every six months, but patients with gum disease should get periodontal maintenance done every three to four months.

What are the benefits of periodontal maintenance?

The primary benefit of periodontal maintenance is keeping bacterial growth under control, which limits the risk of oral infections and tooth loss. However, research suggests that unchecked gum disease can lead to significant systemic health issues, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease

Without periodontal maintenance, patients risk developing or worsening these life-threatening health conditions. Subsequently, frequent periodontal maintenance allows patients to live a healthier, happier life. 

Schedule a Periodontal Maintenance Appointment Today

If you’re looking for a compassionate Lakewood dentist to help you manage gum disease, then call the team at Lakewood Dental Group today. A periodontal maintenance appointment will give you the deep clean you need to keep the disease from progressing further.

New and existing patients can schedule an appointment online, or they can call our dental office in Dallas at (214) 827-1885.