Once you’ve been told that you have periodontal disease, it doesn’t ever go away forever, but it can be managed so that it’s not in an active state. You’re susceptible to Periodontal Disease for a number of different factors, and some of them can be genetic factors. It’s very similar to a diagnosis of, say, diabetes. Once you’ve been diagnosed with it, you don’t have a cure, but you can manage in a healthy state. And that’s really the goal.
The way that we know if we’re managing it in a healthy state is that when we see you on a regular basis, sometimes even more regularly than the six month mark. So, maybe every four months, let’s say three times a year, we’ll do those gum measurements and we’ll check and compare them to our previous charting of the pocket depth measurements or the gum measurements that we have. By measuring and comparing those two, we can titrate or modify some of our treatments. Maybe we’ll give you a different medication to take home. Maybe we’ll give you a different regimen. Maybe if you’re so successful with a four month regimen, we’ll put you back to a six month regimen. Maybe you’ll need to go on every three months or four times a year. The problem is, gum disease causes bone loss, which ends up with loose teeth. If you want to keep your teeth, they also can be unsightly, because as the bone is lost, then you see more and more of the root of the tooth. And most people don’t like the look of that. It’s not an aesthetic smile. It’s not a nice looking smile. If you want to keep your teeth from loosening up and keep them for a long period of time, the management of gum disease, when it’s minor, when you have a mild case of gum disease, that’s when we want to really attack it so that there’s very little, if any, change in the overall gum height, at least aesthetically, to the patient.