Periodontal (Gum) Disease Treatments

Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease, which affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is a chronic infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. This infection causes bone loss and is the number one reason for tooth loss in America. If this disease goes untreated you can end up losing your teeth and needing dentures.

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease which results in the progressive destruction and loss of the supporting bone around ones teeth.

  • Red and irritated gums that bleed
  • bad breath
  • loosening of teeth
  • leading cause of the loss of teeth in America
What is a scaling and root planing procedure?
Root planing removes bacteria and their toxins, tartar, and diseased deposits from the surfaces of tooth roots. Scaling is required for the full length of the root surface, down to where the root, gum and bone meet. Root planing is typically one of the first steps in treating gum and bone disease. Scaling and root planing is a therapeutic (healing), meticulous, and time consuming treatment in which the Registered Dental Hygienist removes toxins and bacteria from the root surfaces of the teeth, thereby allowing the body’s immune system to begin the healing process. Calculus (tartar), and diseased dentin are scaled away. These procedures are used as a complete treatment in some stages. Several appointments, treating sections of the mouth at a time, and using local anesthesia may be required. These procedures are considered critical in establishing periodontal health. Recent studies are even beginning to show a relationship between gum and bone health in certain heart conditions and other systemic diseases.
What is ARESTIN®?
ARESTIN® is an antibiotic powder placed in the depths of your periodontal pockets by your dental professional containing 100,000 microspheres that attach to the walls of infected pockets and release the drug minocycline for up to a month. Arestin is indicated as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) procedures for reduction of pocket depth in patients with adult periodontitis. ARESTIN® may be used as part of a maintenance program, which includes good oral hygiene and SRP.
What if scaling and root planing alone is unsuccessful?
If your periodontal disease appears to be non-responsive and we are not successful in managing disease activity, surgery may be needed to stop progressive bone loss and regenerate lost bone where possible. There are many surgical approaches used in treatment of advanced periodontitis, including open flap debridement, osseous surgery, as well as guided tissue regeneration and bone grafting. The goal of this surgery is access for definitive calculus removal and surgical management of bony irregularities which have resulted from the disease process to reduce pockets as much as possible. Your doctor will discuss which options may be appropriate for you.
What happens after scaling and root planning or surgery?
After you have completed your scaling and root planing or surgical procedure, regular cleanings are no longer completely effective. The American Dental Association refers to post- scaling and root planing cleanings as periodontal maintenance. These maintenance visits are not considered regular cleanings due to the nature of disease control. The bacteria causing periodontal disease re-establishes itself in as little as 90 days and it is critical to disrupt this process in order to disable the destructive process. There is no cure for this disease, it can only be managed or controlled. The successful long-term control depends upon active and continuous maintenance therapy.
Do bad teeth run in the family?
Genetics play a role in the way your body responds to a bad bacterial infection. Bacteria cause cavities and periodontal disease. Sometimes the bacteria that you have are a stronger, more hostile strain, or your body is more susceptible to damage from those bacteria than someone else’s. With regular dental visits and continual home care, your family’s history of bad teeth doesn’t have to be yours.
How do I get rid of bad breath?
Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in your mouth. The best way to get rid of it is by flossing and brushing daily. If you suffer from periodontal disease you will have to work with your Dentist to control or eliminate the odor producing infection deep down in your gums. Don’t forget to brush your tongue because bacteria grow in the little grooves in your tongue.
What can I do to make all of my loose teeth more secure?
Periodontal disease robs our teeth of the supporting bone, but your dentist has many options to help strengthen the gums around your teeth. Eventually we may have to splint some of your loose teeth together to help prolong their lifespan.