Maintenance Phase of Therapy

Once the therapeutic goal has been achieved and the patient is comfortable and able to perform effective oral hygiene, the goal is to maintain this state of partial or complete remission on a long-term basis. The mucocutaneous diseases associated with DG are usually of unknown or autoimmune etiology. Consequently, if remission is achieved, it can be anticipated the lesions may recur at some future point. The patient should be alerted to recognize early signs and symptoms of recurrence and to reinitiate therapy for a few days in order to eliminate the symptoms before they become severe.19,36,40,51,70 In order to confirm long-term stability, an appropriate recall appointment interval should be established and every effort made to sustain dental and periodontal health. The patient should be instructed to be alert to developing lesions in other parts of the body and to confer with their physician should this happen. It is also of importance to bear in mind there is some evidence to indicate several mucocutaneous diseases may be associated with a slightly increased incidence of malignant transformation, making maintenance recall visits to all treating health care providers an important component of their therapy.14