Supportive Periodonal Therapy

Once your periodontal disease has been arrested through scaling and surgical therapy, you will be seen regularly for supportive periodontal treatment. This ongoing phase of periodontal treatment is as important as the surgical therapy. Its purpose is to access your periodontal health and make sure your infection stays under control.

Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases!! Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure) maintain visits with physicians to keep them under control. Supportive periodontal treatment serves this same purpose to save your teeth. Controlling periodontal disease can also improve your total body health. Ongoing studies confirm that good oral health can decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, improve blood sugar control in diabetics, decrease risk of respiratory disease, and prevent low birth weight babies during pregnancy. In other words maintaining periodontal health adds to your total body health.

During this visit your mouth is examined, new tartar build up and plaque is removed from your entire mouth as well as difficult to reach areas, and your teeth are polished. Teeth are formed with natural grooves, furcations, and crevices that make a perfect home to the dangerous plaque that created this disease. These areas have been cleaned out during your initial/surgical therapy, but they can be a site for future disease if not accessed professionally on a regular basis. Tooth loss studies confirm thee month visits are more effective in keeping teeth then six month visits in a patient with chronic periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene and regular professional care are the keys to preventing periodontal disease. Teeth were meant to last a lifetime, and with a little tender loving care, they can.

The diagram illustrates the destructive process that occurs to the bone on the right. Normal bone height and probe depth is seen to the left of the tooth.

Plaque is the bacterial component that starts this destructive process. Plaque if left on the root of the tooth will calcify into what is referred to as tarter. This wedges its way down the root surface. The tarter buildup will act to increase the surface area of the destructive bacterial plaque. The plaque initiates an immune response from the body. The body’s response to plaque inadvertently will painlessly destroy the bone support. Most horizontal bone loss is gone for good, but certain bone loss defects can be regenerated by bone grafting or other techniques.

The immune response is what makes periodontal disease a continuous chronic process that needs to be controlled. A diagnosis of periodontal disease is controlled by dental professionals through different methods of therapy. It is a process that is not cured by a drug or surgery alone.

Adding antibiotics in the pocket will not treat a bone defect. Local antibiotics are not indicated to be used when surgical therapy is indicted. Only a dentist or periodontist can diagnose the severity of your gum disease. The true nature of periodontitis is bone destruction.