Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing specialized program of care for patients who have been previously diagnosed and treated for periodontal disease to keep the gums and bone healthy and free of inflammation-causing bacteria.
The harmful bacteria that cause gum disease continue to build deep in the pockets between your gums and teeth even after initial treatment, often taking only 3 to 4 months to return to a damaging level.
Because of this, periodontal maintenance therapy is typically done at 3 to 4 month intervals to stay ahead of it.
During these visits, your doctor or hygienist will examine the health of your gum tissue by probing the depth of the gingival pockets and possibly also using x-rays to check the health of the supporting bone.
They will then perform a deep cleaning of the teeth beneath the gumline and deep into the pockets, removing any plaque and bacteria buildup that has occurred since the last visit.
Any uneven surface areas of the teeth will be smoothed out to discourage additional bacteria from attaching.
Given that there is no cure for periodontal disease, periodontal maintenance therapy is crucial to prevent it from worsening and causing additional complications for your oral and systemic health. Your doctor will work with you to create a maintenance schedule that best suits your unique needs.