The Benefits of Regular Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance is an essential aspect of dental health that often goes overlooked. It involves caring for the gums and bone structures that support your teeth.

This article will provide a deeper understanding of this vital practice and why it should be a part of your regular dental routine.

What is periodontal maintenance?

Periodontal maintenance is a deep-cleaning procedure specifically for those treated for periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Unlike regular, preventative dental cleaning, periodontal maintenance appointments and cleaning are prescribed gum disease treatments involving scaling and root planing techniques.

Moreover, it allows early detection of potential dental issues, enabling timely intervention and treatment, thereby saving you from severe discomfort, expensive procedures, and possible tooth loss in the future.

What is periodontal disease, exactly?

A woman with periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, often called gum disease, is a bacterial infection that targets the gums, the periodontal ligament, and even the jawbone in its advanced stages. This disease can be quite deceiving as it is often painless until it reaches an advanced stage. Early detection is vital and will require special teeth cleanings.

In the United States, 47.2% of adults have some form of periodontal disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?

A dentist shows signs of periodontal disease

The symptoms of periodontal disease often present subtly but can escalate if left untreated. Here are the most common signs:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums: This is often the first sign of periodontal disease.
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing: While occasional bleeding may not cause alarm, regular bleeding may indicate chronic inflammation.
  • Receding gums: If your teeth appear longer than before, it might be due to your gums receding - a common symptom of gum disease.
  • Loose or shifting teeth: Indicates advancing periodontal disease affecting the bones holding your teeth in place.
  • Chronic bad breath or taste in the mouth: Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste could indicate gum disease.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums:  Indicates infection, a serious symptom of advanced periodontal disease.

Visiting your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms is crucial.  Early detection, treatment, and dental cleanings prevent further damage and potential tooth loss.

The benefits of periodontal maintenance for oral health

A woman showing her healthy gums
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Periodontal maintenance assumes a crucial role in optimal gum and bone health. Routine cleaning and check-ups aid in the early detection and treatment of gum diseases, significantly reducing the risk of extensive oral health problems.

The benefits of periodontal maintenance for overall health

In addition to keeping our oral health in check, periodontal treatment has many benefits that contribute significantly to overall health.

  • Prevents gum disease
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Keeps diabetes in check
  • Preserves memory
  • Improves digestion

What to expect during a periodontal maintenance appointment?

Perform a detailed examination of the mouth

Undergoing periodontal maintenance cleanings might feel daunting at first, but with the following information, you can anticipate what to expect:

  • Medical history review: The dentist will first discuss your medical history. Any changes in your health status, medications, etc., will be noted as they can influence your periodontal health.
  • Thorough examination: Using specialized tools, the dentist will conduct a detailed examination of your gums, teeth, and mouth. This step is crucial in spotting any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Plaque and tartar removal:  The dentist will remove plaque and tartar deposits above and below your gum line. This process, known as scaling, helps prevent gum diseases.
  • Teeth polishing:  After scaling, your teeth will be polished to remove any remaining plaque or stains, leaving your teeth clean and shiny.
  • Guidance on oral hygiene:  The dentist will provide instructions on maintaining good oral hygiene. This includes tips on proper brushing and flossing techniques.
  • Scheduling the next appointment:  Before you leave, the dentist will schedule your next maintenance appointment, ensuring your periodontal health is continuously monitored.

Remember, periodontal therapy is a preventive measure. You are taking crucial steps toward maintaining your oral health by keeping up with your appointments.

How often should periodontal maintenance be done?

For preventative care measures, it's generally recommended to have periodontal cleanings every three to four months. However, the exact frequency can vary based on your oral health status.

What are the risk factors for periodontal disease?

The risk factors of periodontal disease are myriad, from habitual behaviors to genetic predispositions. Below are some of the key contributors:

  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Diabetes
  • Medications
  • Genetic susceptibility

The cost of periodontal maintenance

Someone taking money from his wallet

Providing a general price for the cost of periodontal maintenance is difficult as it can vary significantly depending on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the condition: The more advanced your periodontal disease, the more extensive the treatment needed, hence, the higher the cost.
  • Geographical location: Dental procedure costs can vary depending on where you live. Major cities tend to have higher costs compared to rural areas.
  • Dentist's experience: Highly experienced dentists usually charge more for their services.
  • Insurance coverage: Your out-of-pocket costs can be significantly reduced if your insurance plan covers the procedure.

Generally speaking, periodontal maintenance appointments can range from $140 to $300 for the entire mouth. However, it's essential to note that neglecting periodontal health can lead to more severe health problems, which would inevitably cost more in the long run.

Does insurance cover periodontal maintenance?

Generally, periodontal maintenance is covered by dental insurance to some extent, but the terms of coverage may vary greatly depending on your specific insurance plan.

It is essential to understand your insurance policy and consult with your provider to understand the exact coverage for periodontal maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need periodontal maintenance forever?

While the specific duration varies per individual, most patients require ongoing periodontal maintenance to prevent the recurrence of gum disease. Your dentist will help determine the best long-term strategy tailored to your oral health needs.

Is periodontal maintenance the same as deep cleaning?

Periodontal maintenance and deep cleaning (prophylaxis) are not the same. While both are crucial to oral health, periodontal maintenance cleaning is a more specialized treatment, whereas deep regular cleanings are preventive measures used to remove plaque and tartar, typically performed on patients with healthy gums.

Is periodontal maintenance painful?

Generally, periodontal maintenance is not painful. Any discomfort is typically minimal and can be effectively managed with local anesthesia or sedation.

How long does a periodontal maintenance appointment take?

The duration of a periodontal maintenance appointment can vary, typically ranging from 45 minutes to an hour. This time frame depends on the complexity and severity of the individual's periodontal condition.

Can periodontal maintenance treat gum disease?

While periodontal maintenance cannot completely cure gum disease, it is crucial in managing the condition and preventing further progression and gum infection.

Who can perform periodontal maintenance?

A dentist or a registered dental hygienist can perform periodontal maintenance. They have the training and expertise for this integral part of oral health care.


Periodontal maintenance is a crucial part of maintaining oral health post-gum disease. It's comprehensive, proactive, and a key to a healthier, happier smile!  

Contact Main Street Dental today to see if you are a good candidate for periodontal treatment and maintenance.