Periodontal disease is chronic. The same bacteria which cause periodontal disease are free floating in your mouth and return to your teeth and gums over time. Antibiotics can sometimes help, but only temporarily. Calculus also originates from your saliva and will always return. Calculus sticks to your tooth and root surfaces and cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. Regular periodontal maintenance check-ups and cleanings will always be needed to keep the bacteria from attacking your gums and teeth again.
Systemic antibiotics are drugs that, when given, affect the whole body. Normally they are administered in pill form when used in periodontal treatment. Periodontists use systemic antibiotics to treat acute infections, such as a gum abscess , and also before treatment when patients have certain medical conditions (Prophylactic Antibiotics). Systemic antibiotics are also recommended for two weeks after regeneration procedures and when implants are placed. This is done to make sure there is no infection during the early healing stages, which are critical with these two techniques.
A personalized program of care is helpful in maintaining healthy gums. The key word is: maintenance therapy. By exercising proper home care and having frequent periodontal maintenance treatments, you will help protect your periodontal health.
Why is periodontal maintenance therapy important? Daily oral hygiene will not insure that the bacterial plaque won’t return to do damage to your gums and bone. Even with the best of flossing and brushing, and using a host of oral hygiene aids, dental plaque continues to mature in the hard-to-reach places. This can happen in 8-12 weeks. That’s why it’s often recommended to patients completing periodontal treatment, to schedule maintenance sessions every three months.