Why Does My Dentist Want to See Me Every 3 Months?
If you suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease), you may need special treatments to help bring your teeth and gums back to a healthier state. After the treatment is complete, your dentist may strongly recommend that you schedule periodontal maintenance appointments every three months. Why that specific number? Learn more about periodontal disease, how it’s treated, and why three months is necessary between maintenance appointments.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is commonly known as gum disease, is an infection that primarily targets the soft tissue and bone structure that supports your teeth. This condition causes teeth loosening and loss. You can effectively prevent periodontal disease by practicing responsible oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, using dental floss at least once a day, and attending regular dental check-ups.
How symptoms may show up:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Sensitive gums
- Purple or dark red gums
- Gaps between gums and teeth
Treatment and Maintenance
If your dentist finds that you have gum disease, you will receive some special cleaning treatments called periodontal cleaning or scaling and root planing, that remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth and gum gaps in order to let the gums heal and gaps to reduce in size. You may also receive some medication to prevent pain and infection. If the damage is excessive, you might need surgical procedures to restore bone and tissue structure.
After diagnosis and the initial corrective measures needed to correct damage from periodontal disease, your dentist will require maintenance every three months. Periodontal maintenance is essentially the same as any regular dental cleaning procedure. However, it requires additional cleaning of the periodontal pockets from tartar and buildup, which takes extra time. The dentist will recommend these visits every three months.
Why Three Months?
Periodontal maintenance takes place within three months because that is the estimated time for the bacteria to reproduce and affect the teeth and gums. These bacteria will multiply so constant maintenance visits are necessary to prevent their growth. Further infection by the bacteria can lead to more gum and tooth damage, greater pain, and tooth loss. In addition, Periodontal disease is linked to other conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke.
There is no known cure for Periodontal disease. By scheduling periodontal maintenance appointments, practicing good dental health habits like brushing twice a day, and avoiding health risks like tobacco, you can prevent the disease from getting worse. You will also protect the teeth and gums from further infection.
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