Periodontal Maintenance vs. Routine Cleaning

A bright, healthy smile is a reflection of overall well-being. At Lake Cities Dental, we understand the importance of maintaining excellent oral health to enhance not only your appearance but also your confidence. Our commitment to your dental well-being extends beyond the dental chair. We've curated a collection of dental care tips and insights to help you achieve and maintain a radiant smile from the comfort of your home. Whether you're seeking guidance on daily oral care routines, exploring the latest dental trends, or looking for answers to common dental questions, our comprehensive resource is here to empower you on your journey to optimal oral health. Welcome to a world of smiles!

Has your dentist or hygienist recommended periodontal maintenance for you? You might think that all dental check-ups are the same. While both periodontal care and regular cleanings are essential, they serve different purposes. Let's break it down simply:

Preventative Cleaning

Regular dental cleanings, also known as prophylaxis, are a part of preventive dental care. During a routine dental cleaning, a dental hygienist cleans and polishes your teeth, removing visible tartar above the gum line. If your gums are healthy and firmly attached to your teeth, regular cleanings, typically recommended once or twice a year, can help prevent serious oral issues, like periodontal disease. Your mouth should be in good shape, with no bone or gum concerns, such as bleeding, tooth mobility, receding areas, or gaps around the base of your teeth. Depending on how quickly plaque and tartar build up, regular cleanings are typically done two to three times a year. These cleanings are considered preventive because they help prevent periodontal disease.

These cleanings play a vital role in preventing the development of serious oral health issues like periodontal disease. By regularly removing plaque and tartar, we help keep your smile bright, healthy, and free from common dental problems. It's an essential part of our commitment to your long-term oral well-being.



Periodontal Maintenance

On the other hand, periodontal maintenance or periodontal cleaning is a treatment designed to combat periodontal disease. Like regular cleanings, it reduces tartar buildup on your teeth. However, it goes a step further. To effectively remove tartar deep between your teeth and gums, root planing and scaling are necessary. During periodontal maintenance, the hygienist removes tartar buildup between your teeth and gums, stopping at the point where the gum, root, and bone meet. If there's any inflammation or infection, your hygienist carefully assesses the depth of each gum pocket and rinses them with antiseptic solutions.

If you have advanced periodontal disease with bone loss, gum pockets deeper than 4 millimeters, bleeding gums, exposed root surfaces, or if you've undergone periodontal surgery or root planing, regular cleanings won't suffice. Periodontal maintenance is essential to maintain gum and bone health. It involves removing plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, along the length of each tooth to the point where the root, gum, and bone meet. If necessary, rough areas of the roots are smoothed, pocket depths are monitored, and inflamed pockets may receive antibiotic treatment.


Periodontal cleaning may be categorized as a basic treatment by your insurance, and a yearly deductible may apply. The frequency of these visits depends on factors such as the rate of plaque and tartar buildup, the presence of bleeding or inflammation, the stability of your current condition, your ability to maintain good oral hygiene at home, and any health factors.

Periodontal maintenance or perio maintenance appointments are typically scheduled for patients diagnosed with periodontal disease who have already undergone periodontal root planing and scaling treatment. These cleanings are usually recommended every three to four months to maintain healthy gums and eliminate harmful bacteria associated with periodontal disease.

According to the American Dental Association, periodontic cleaning may require more visits than a standard prophylaxis cleaning. However, the frequency of your periodontal cleanings may change as your condition improves. Studies have shown that patients who adhere to periodontal maintenance fare better than those who don't. Neglecting maintenance could lead to the progression of periodontal disease and the potential loss of teeth. Each patient's needs are unique, so it's crucial to discuss them with your dentist.

What's Next?

At Lake Cities Dental, we prioritize your oral health. Whether you need a routine preventive cleaning or specialized periodontal maintenance, our team is here to provide you with exceptional care. Don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're dedicated to keeping your smile at its best, ensuring your confidence in your oral health. Let us be your trusted partner on your journey to a healthy, vibrant smile.

If you've been diagnosed with periodontal disease, Dr. Moore will provide further treatment recommendations, including initial and ongoing treatments like periodontal maintenance. Feel free to contact our office at (817) 410-7373 or schedule an appointment through our website here.