Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal disease is a broad term used to describe various diseases that affect the gums, bone and surrounding structures of the teeth. It is a chronic bacterial infection that is responsible for soft tissue destruction and bone loss that will not resolve on its own. The space between the gum and the tooth increases and develops a “pocket” that allows harmful bacteria to grow. This bacteria below the gumline causes the body to produce toxins and enzymes resulting in inflammation. Untreated, periodontal infection can lead to tooth loss. Research also indicates periodontal disease may contribute to diabetes, respiratory diseases, heart attack and stroke. Early detection is important.

Some early warning signs:


Depending on the severity of the disease, treatment often begins with deep scaling and root planing to effectively remove the bacteria and deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. This is a non-surgical procedure that involves both ultrasonic and hand scaling. This treatment helps to create an environment that allows the gums to heal, reduce pocket depths and get the infection under control. In addition, areas that are more periodontally involved may require an antibiotic. Arestin or minocycline is placed directly into the pocket and provides 21 days of antibiotic treatment to shift the pocket from a diseased state to a healthy one. Different types of anesthesia are available. The appointments involve 2-4 visits with one of our dental hygienists which include review of homecare techniques. Periodontal maintenance follow up will take place to evaluate the results. In order to maintain a healthy result, periodontal maintenance therapy will be required at specific intervals depending on the patient’s risk assessment. Some patients may require further treatment with a referral to a periodontist which can involve surgery.


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