Periodontal Disease Treatment
What is Periodontal Disease?
One-third of the American population is affected by periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone that surrounds the teeth. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria buildup on your teeth and gums, causes your gums to become red and swollen.
Left untreated, this inflammation eventually results in damage to the ligaments and bone that hold your teeth in place. This damage causes pockets to form around your teeth. As the disease progresses and the pockets deepen, your teeth can become loose and fall out. Periodontal disease may also exacerbate other serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Arestin Can Help
Fortunately, we now have a new, effective treatment that helps us control periodontal disease and its destructive effects. It’s called Arestin, and it’s used in conjunction with scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your periodontal pockets and restore the area to good health.
Arestin is an antibiotic in powder form. We painlessly insert the powder into your periodontal pockets, where it combines with moisture in your mouth and adheres immediately to the infected gum tissue. The individual powder particles, called microspheres, release a controlled, steady flow of the active ingredient minocycline, a potent antibiotic. This sustained-release process allows Arestin to fight your periodontal infection for at least 21 days.
When used together with scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), Arestin significantly reduces the depth of the infected pockets and helps to prevent the progression of periodontal disease. Arestin has also been shown to be effective even in the most difficult-to-treat cases of periodontal disease, such as those experienced by smokers or patients with cardiovascular disease. However, Arestin’s active ingredient is in the tetracycline family of antibiotics, so we won’t use it to treat your infection if you are allergic to tetracycline, or if you’re pregnant or nursing.
Periodontal disease is chronic, which means it can persist for a long time and may never be cured. It’s vital that we treat it aggressively to keep it under control. Arestin is an important part of your overall periodontal therapy program, which we have designed to prevent further destruction of bone and connective tissue, and to restore health to your gums.
If you have a history of periodontal disease we must monitor the health of the gums closely so that we can prevent a recurrence of this destructive infection.
Periodontal disease can never be cured; it can only be controlled. And if it isn’t carefully monitored and controlled, periodontal disease can eventually cause you to lose your teeth.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
If we’ve diagnosed periodontal disease, we’ll usually recommend a form of periodontal therapy called scaling and root planing(deep cleaning) to remove the infection from beneath your gums. Following this treatment, we’ll have you come to see us every few months for ongoing care, which may include X-rays, re-evaluation of your periodontal health and the effectiveness of your home-care, removal of plaque above and below the gum line, and re-treatment with scaling and root planing if necessary. The frequent checkups are vital for controlling your periodontal disease.
Why Re-care is Important
Periodontal disease is site-specific. This means that you may experience a flare-up of the infection in just one periodontal pocket out of the possible total 192 that exist in your mouth. Bone and tissue loss may occur in only this isolated area, or it may be more widespread. If we aren’t checking regularly for this type of damage to your gums and bone, you might not notice that it’s occurring, and the destruction would continue unchecked.
Some bacteria do remain after treatment, and they may settle back into the pocket and once again begin the process of reproducing and destroying bone and soft tissue. In as few as 90 days, the bacteria can reach destructive levels once again. Because of episodic nature of periodontal disease, and in light of the fact that periodontal disease can re-establish itself in as few as 90 days, the typical 6-month re-care appointment just isn’t enough for those with a history of periodontal disease. Statistics confirm that re-evaluation at intervals of at least every 3 or 4 months is critical for periodontal patients. This helps us break the stronghold of bacteria in your gums, minimize the recurrence of the infection, and slow or eliminate its destructive effects.