Supportive Periodontal Care
After Drs. Lindell Frankum or Thelma Frankum has completed the active phase (scaling and root planing) of periodontal treatment and your periodontal disease is under control, they will provide you with a personalized maintenance program of care to keep your gums healthy.
Maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent disease in the gum tissues and bone supporting your teeth. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with Drs. Lindell Frankum or Thelma Frankum will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime.
Why is 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. 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.
How often should you have supportive periodontal care visits?
Your periodontal condition is the deciding factor. The interval between your supportive periodontal care 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 we recommend. 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.
In some advanced cases of periodontal disease a referral to a periodontist may be necessary. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
Learn more about periodontal maintenance through our ADA Patient Education library.