Patient Instructions for Periodontitis

The following instructions for home care apply to patients who’s risk assessment has shown that they have periodontal disease. How you take care of your teeth at home can greatly impact your future success!

Be Proactive at Home to Lower your Risk Level

  • Brush for two minutes, twice daily with over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste. Do not rinse with water after brushing. Floss daily to reduce plaque and tartar build-up.
  • Use a Waterpik twice a week, if recommended by your provider, with a solution made with 2 tsp of plain bleach added to 1 cup (8 oz) of water. Also use an Interproximal Aid, if recommended by your provider. This helps disturb bacterial plaque in hard to reach places.
  • Rinse with one cap full (10 ml) of over-the-counter antibacterial fluoride mouth rinse every morning and night. If you are prescribed a prescription strength mouth rinse, rinse for 30 seconds twice daily for 4 – 8 weeks. Do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after rinsing.

Our Intervention Guide

The helpful guide below compares the different treatment recommendations for each gum disease risk level. You have Periodontal Disease.

Gum Health Graph


Likelihood of Losing a Tooth due to Gum Disease (by Risk Level)*

  • It is important for patients at low risk for gum disease to maintain their current oral hygiene practices to maintain their risk level. However, these patients have little to no risk of losing a tooth due to gum disease if they maintain this level.
  • Patients who maintain a moderate risk level for gum disease have a 30% risk that sites with gingivitis could develop periodontitis if left untreated.
  • Patients who maintain a high risk level for gum disease have a risk of losing 5 teeth per 10 years compared to patients at low risk.
  • Patients who maintain an extreme risk level for gum disease have a risk of losing 16 teeth per 10 years compared to patients at low risk.

*Löe H, Anerud A, Boysen H, Morrison E. Natural history of periodontal disease in man. J Clin Periodontol 13:431, 1986. PJ Robinson, Gingivitis: A prelude to periodontitis; J Clin Dent 6(Spec issue)41-45:1995