If you've been diagnosed with periodontal disease, then there's a good chance that you're going to need specialized periodontal care for the rest of your life. After all, while periodontal disease can be managed with the right amount of preventative care, it can never be completely cured. As such, you'll likely be scheduled for periodontal maintenance cleanings with your dentist or periodontist every few months. At each appointment, there are some questions you'll want to ask to get an idea of your progress and better manage the disease.
Have the Pocket Depths Changed?
Every maintenance cleaning, your dentist or periodontist will likely begin by placing a small probe into your gums in various places around your mouth. While not the most pleasant experience for you, this is an important part of managing periodontal disease. What your dentist is doing here is measuring the depths of the infected pockets in your gums. The goal of maintenance cleanings is to reduce those pocket depths a little bit each time, so be sure to ask your dentist how you've progressed since your last visit.
Is It Time to Change the Cleaning Schedule?
Generally, newly diagnosed periodontal maintenance patients will be scheduled for cleanings once every three months, which means you'll be seeing your dentist four times a year, rather than the usual two times per year. However, as your maintenance cleanings progress, provided that your pocket depths are measuring smaller, you may be able to be moved to four-month or even six-month cleanings. Your dentist may not go out of his or her way to suggest this, but if you ask, this may be able to be arranged (which can save you money).
Which Teeth Should Be Focused On?
If you want to get a better idea on the teeth that have suffered from periodontal disease the most, ask your dentist or periodontist like Colfer Lee E Dr which teeth still have the largest pocket depths. He or she should be able to point these out to you so that you can give those teeth a little extra attention when you brush and floss each day. Often times, the teeth in the very back of the mouth (molars and wisdom teeth, if you have them) are the most common victims of periodontal disease because they're the hardest to reach, so you might even want to consider investing in an electric toothbrush to help you better attend to those areas.