It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)!  Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention. 

Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year.  In pockets that are greater than 4 mm, you can't clean.  This has been determined by research.  Therefore, bacteria gets into these areas and reorganize to cause damage.  This reorganization takes about 80 to 90 days to occur.  At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy.  The amount of plaque, bleeding and pus will be evaluated.  Recommendations, if any, will be made accordingly.  Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.

In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:

    • Examination of the teeth: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay, cracks, wear and erosion.  All fillings and crowns (if present) will be checked recurrent decay and condition.
      Gum disease evaluation: The gums and bone around the teeth will be examined for any signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
    • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss,  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
    • Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheeks, and palate will be checked for any signs of pathology.
    • Examination of the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs):  The bite, the chewing muscles, and the joints (TMJ's) will be evaluated for any signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease.

Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!

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