Treating Periodontal Disease
This disease involves a chronic bacterial infection that inflames the gums and either “affects” the bones and supported teeth or in severe cases, can “infect” the bone and supported teeth. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. Treatment for this disease ranges from deep cleanings (or scaling and root planing) with your hygienist, prescription for medicine to aid in controlling infection (Arestin), a referral to a Periodontist (a dental that specializes in gum disease) or a referral to an Oral Surgeon for extractions of unsalvageable teeth. The doctors and hygienists are highly trained and experienced in effectively treating and planning for all types of periodontal disease. It is important to remember that if left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to serious health problems as well, such as diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
If you have Periodontal Disease your gums may bleed when you brush or floss. They will be soft, swollen and extremely tender. You will have persistent bad breath. Your gums will begin to recede and your teeth may become loose. The main cause of periodontal disease is the build-up of plaque, which can be hard to see to the untrained eye. The bacterium plaque invades the spaces in between the teeth and gums and begins producing toxins. These toxins destroy the bone around the tooth and take away its support structure. We use our digital X-ray machines to identify periodontal disease and determine how much of the bone has been lost.
Scaling and Root Planning
When you have active periodontal disease, standard cleanings just don’t cut it. This problematic disease is tucked away under the gum line and requires special attention. Our dentists use instruments to remove plaque and tarter from under your gums. Patients often receive some sort of numbing medication to provide a comfortable experience. Our dentist’s commonly apply fluoride afterwards to clean out the infected areas. This procedure makes your gums healthier, allowing them to heal and tighten around your teeth.
Arestin is a locally administered antibiotic. It is in a powder form that we place in the periodontal pocket formed between your gum and tooth. A steady flow of the antibiotic is released for up to 21 days to reduce pocket depths. Arestin is not right for everyone and could interfere with other prescription medications you may be taking. Before administering, we will ask you about your medical history. Our goal is to help speed your healing, and if Arestin is right for you, we’ll discuss it with you to see if we can use this antibiotic to get your periodontal disease under control.