Oral Hygiene and Prevention

In most cases, periodontal diseases are caused by inadequate personal care for the mouth, allowing growth of harmful bacteria, called plaque, and resultant inflammation of the tooth supporting structures. Plaque is a soft biofilm of bacteria that adheres to tooth and root surfaces. Smoking also increases the risk for periodontal disease.

People remove plaque by cleaning their teeth properly and seeing a dentist or dental hygienist for regular preventive cleaning of the teeth. Proper tooth cleaning involves twice daily brushing and once daily flossing. In some instances, special oral hygiene aids or rinses may be recommended.

For people who are in good dental health and have never had periodontal disease, professional tooth cleaning every six months is recommended.

For people who have had periodontal disease, professional tooth cleaning every three to four months is recommended. We recommend that these visits be alternated between the restorative dentist's and the periodontal specialist's offices. That way, the restorative dentist can perform a restorative examination on a regular basis and intervene early when indicated, and the periodontist can perform a periodontal examination on a regular basis and intervene early when indicated.