Periodontal disease (Gum disease) is painless infection of the gums that affects millions of Americans. It is an infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth and is the number one cause of tooth loss. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease have also been linked to heart disease, diabetes and pre-term, low birth-weight babies. Last year Time Magazine labeled this disease the “silent killer.”
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen and bleeding gums, bad breath that will not go away, loose or shifting teeth, or pus under the gums.
Periodontal disease can result in serious consequences and needs to be addressed immediately. Treatment will vary depending on the progression of the disease. This can be determined through dental x-rays and an exam by your dentist and hygienist. The most effective initial treatment consists of scaling and root planing in conjunction with antibiotic treatment.
The antibiotics we use are called Arestin (minocycline HCL) or Atridox. They are applied locally at the site of infection at the time of scaling and root planing. Once applied, the Arestin will release the antibiotic for up to twenty-one days, continually fighting the infection. Studies have shown dramatic improvement when using Arestin in conjunction with scaling and root planing as compared to scaling and root planing alone.