The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, regular professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Periodontal disease is a chronic disease that can't be cured, but can be controlled. Regular examinations are very important to keep track of the present status of your disease and any disease progression over time. Your periodontist will create a maintenance schedule depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is.
Based on factors such as your overall health, the severity of bone loss, and risk factors such as smoking and genetics, your periodontist will adjust your care so your periodontal disease does not continue to worsen.
Dr. Jessica Stilley feels strongly that "Once a healthy environment has been established with appropriate periodontal treatment, the most important phase of periodontal therapy begins…long term maintenance." The frequency of periodontal maintenance cleanings is determined by the patient’s susceptibility to the disease. Dr. Stephen Lieber adds, "Most commonly these sessions are scheduled every two to four months, alternating between the general dentist and the periodontist."
It all begins with the first visit though, and you don't need a referral from a dentist to visit Periodontal Health Center or any periodontist. If you have any of the following signs of disease, do make an appointment as soon as possible: bleeding gums during or after brushing or flossing, red, swollen, or tender gums, persistent bad breath, loose or shifting teeth.