The Key Is Early Diagnosis and Oral Hygiene
Periodontal disease, like tooth decay, is a bacterial infection that can cause tooth loss if left untreated. But unlike some diseases that can be cured with a simple vaccination or treatment, there is no cure for periodontal disease. But, it can be controlled. For most people, this means the daily oral hygiene effort and the yearly 3 to 4 special periodontal maintenance cleanings that are needed to adequately control or at best slow down the progression of disease.
Unfortunately, the disease progression is typically slow and chronic so that it can smolder unnoticeably for years. By the time you do notice it, the process is usually further along such that more complex treatment and personal effort may be needed to control it.
On the other hand,fortunately its slow progression allows early diagnosis during your regular dental examinations. When the disease is discovered early, it can be completely reversible. Though later stages can also be controlled, the deterioration that has taken place is usually irreversible making the chance of saving your teeth for a lifetime more unpredictable.
All treatment options are directed to controlling the bacteria that cause the disease. That makes good daily oral hygiene important in controlling periodontal disease. Because the plaque bacteria grows every day, no in-office dental treatment for periodontal disease will be more effective in saving your teeth for a lifetime than good daily oral hygiene. For without it, even any treatment will fail if inadequate oral hygiene causes the disease to relapse.
But just going through the motions of oral hygiene is not enough. I have found that learning and committing to effective oral hygiene is like learning a foreign language. When I was learning a language in school, the classes were everyday. No one expects to learn a skill by taking a class twice a year. So expect the continued refinement of your oral hygiene technique to require additional appointments as needed so that we can ensure the health and longevity of your teeth and smile. Also, thetwice a year simple teeth cleanings are no longer considered adequate or the standard of care anymore for those who need to control their periodontal disease.
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