Typically dental hygienists use special instruments to clean (debride) teeth below the gumline and disrupt any plaque growing below the gumline. This is a standard treatment to prevent any further progress of established periodontitis. Studies show that after such a professional cleaning (periodontal debridement), bacteria and plaque tend to grow back to pre-cleaning levels after about 3-4 months. Hence, in theory, cleanings every 3-4 months might be expected to also prevent the initial onset of periodontitis.
- Daily oral hygiene measures to prevent periodontal disease include:
- Brushing properly on a regular basis (2 times a day), with the patient attempting to direct the toothbrush bristles underneath the gum-line, so as to help disrupt the bacterial and plaque growth that may occur there.
- Flossing daily and using interdental brushes if there is sufficient space between teeth and behind the last tooth in each quarter.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash. Chlorhexidine gluconate based mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide in combination with careful oral hygiene may cure gingivitis, although they cannot reverse any bone loss due to periodontitis. (Alcohol based mouthwashes may aggravate the condition).
- Regular dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning as required. Dental check-ups serve to monitor the person's oral hygiene methods and levels of bone around teeth, identify any early signs of periodontitis, and monitor if it has responded to treatment.