Prevent & Maintain DiseaseRockville, MD

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Conquering Gum Disease

Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent periodontal disease in the gum tissue and bone. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who are susceptible to periodontal disease or who have been treated for gum disease. Maintenance visits to the periodontist will help prevent additional dental problems in the future. Treating the disease in its early stages saves you not only discomfort but also money.

Dr. Rice Explains Gum Disease

Prevent & Maintain Disease

3 Critical Factors of Eliminating Gum Disease and Keeping Your Natural Teeth

  • Bacteria & Inflammation

    There are millions of germs that live in your mouth. If you suffer from gum disease, you have open wounds in your gums that allow the bacteria to enter directly into your blood stream and circulate throughout your body. Some of the bacteria normally found in the mouth enter your bloodstream through infected gums and can relocate to other parts of your body with the potential of creating disease in organs and systems.

    Much research is being done to investigate if a definitive link exists between periodontal disease and other systemic illnesses. Many of the results are inconclusive; however, research has shown some links between periodontal disease and heart disease, ischemic stroke, respiratory disease, head and neck cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and increased risk of pre-term delivery.

    Prevent & Maintain Disease
  • Occlussion and Mobility

    Occlusal, or bite, adjustment is a procedure performed to remove tiny interferences that keep teeth from coming together properly. These interferences can prevent the jaw from closing in its anatomically correct position. Interferences can develop as teeth develop, can occur following an accident, or they can accumulate over time with wear. Dental work such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and extractions can also cause interferences.

    Interferences can prevent the jaw from fully sliding into its anatomically correct position. This means that the muscles of the jaw and neck are never able to fully relax. This may result in severe headaches and neck aches. Many develop bruxism, or teeth grinding, as their jaw seeks its natural position. Bruxism can cause bone loss, tooth loss, and receding gums. Overtime, patients may develop tempromandibular joint issues, or TMJ, if they go untreated.

    Prevent & Maintain Disease
  • Post Treatment Care

    Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by the bacteria attack your gums and teeth. And, if the plaque is not removed, it will harden and form calculus.

    Even someone dedicated to good oral hygiene will be unable to completely prevent the formation of calculus on the teeth. Flossing and brushing will keep the calculus to a minimum but regular maintenance is needed to professionally remove what has been missed. During your maintenance cleaning, the hygienist will also check for hidden periodontal problems.

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How Often Do I Need A Maintenance Visit?

Your periodontist will recommend how often you should have a periodontal maintenance visit. The frequency will be determined by the type of periodontal disease you have, the type of periodontal treatment you have had in the past, how you’ve responded to those treatments, and how quickly you develop plaque. The most important factor, however, is how dedicated you are to good hygiene at home.

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