Periodontal maintenance (PM) is teeth cleaning, but not the routine cleaning we’re all familiar with: It is a super deep-cleaning procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and roots of plaque and calculus/tartar, both above and below the gum line. PM is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of periodontal disease.
These are two very different types of dental teeth cleaning for very different types of patients:
- Prophylaxis: Preventive teeth cleaning and polishing that focuses on the surfaces of the teeth above the gum line for patients who do not have periodontal disease.
- Periodontal Maintenance (PM): Deep cleaning for patients who have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a chronic and non-curable bacterial infection. The essence of why periodontal disease is not curable is this: The only way one can get periodontitis is if there is a genetic susceptibility to it, which is true for all diseases. For example, some people smoke nonfiltered cigarettes for 40 years and never get lung cancer because they do not have the oncogenes necessary for it to develop; i.e., they are not genetically susceptible to cancer. If you are genetically susceptible to periodontitis, you are susceptible forever. All it takes for the disease to return is for the pathogens to be present.