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Periodontal Disease

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Periodontal Disease: Learn All You Need To Know About Preventing & Fighting Gum Disease

Red, swollen gums that bleed easily are a sign of the gum disease gingivitis. About 8.52% of adults age 20 to 64 have periodontal disease.

If you don’t treat it, gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis, which can cause painful pockets of pus called abscesses, and tooth loss.

Four Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is broken up into four different stages, which include:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the only stage of the disease that is reversible as it hasn’t attacked the bones yet. This is a result of plaque buildup around the teeth. Bleeding gums is one of the first symptoms you may experience. However, most symptoms of gingivitis are painless, which is what makes periodontal disease so common. Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings can help treat and reverse gingivitis successfully.
  2. Slight Periodontal Disease: Slight periodontal disease is the second stage of gum disease. It isn’t reversible, but can be managed. Once you reach stage two, the infection has spread to the bone and has begun to destroy bones. The bacteria have become more aggressive, which is what leads to bone less. Scaling and root planing can be used to deep clean the teeth gums. It removes deposits of bacteria that are deeply rooted in your gums.
  3. Moderate Periodontal Disease: The third stage of periodontal disease has more probing depths, which allows for even more bacteria to attack the bones and the blood stream, too. Much like slight periodontal disease, scaling and root planing will be used to thoroughly clean the area.
  4. Advanced Periodontal Disease: The final stage of periodontal disease is when the infection has evolved into disease-causing bacteria. It can cause redness, swollen gums that ooze pus, sensitivity, loosening of teeth, painful chewing, severe bad breath, and bone loss. This stage requires periodontal surgery or laser therapy with the PerioLase MVP-7 TruePulse to clean the deep bacteria-filled pockets. If left untreated, stage four can lead to gaps or spacing between the teeth, the need for dentures, gum recession, and other serious health problems.

Treating periodontal disease quickly is important.

Periodontal Disease Treatments
1

Dental cleaning: Plaque and tartar are removed from above and below the gum line of the teeth.

2

Scaling and root planing: This deep-cleaning and nonsurgical procedure is done under local anesthesia. Plaque and tartar are scraped away from above and below the gum line, and rough spots on the tooth root are smoothed with planing to remove bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gum to reattach properly to the teeth.

3

Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: For advanced stages of periodontal disease, a surgery may be required. During this surgical procedure, the gums are lifted back and tartar is removed. In some situations, irregular surfaces of damaged bone are smoothed where disease-causing bacteria may be hiding. The gums are then placed so that the tissue will fit snugly around the tooth. This reduces the space between the gum and tooth, which reduces the chance of bacteria from growing.

4

Bone grafts: This procedure uses fragments of your own bone, donated bone, or synthetic bone to replace bone destroyed by gum disease. This promotes regrowth of bone, which makes the teeth more stable. Soft tissue grafts can also be used to reinforce thin gums or to fill in places where the gums may have receded.

5

LANAP® laser gum surgery: This surgery is used by periodontal specialists because it is less painful, reduces sensitivity post-op, and requires very little downtime after treatment compared to traditional osseous surgery.

6

Doxycycline Gel: Gel that contains doxycycline (an antibiotic) kills the bacteria and shrinks the pockets that periodontal disease can cause along the gum line. Your periodontist applies the gel to the pockets after a tooth scaling/root planing procedure, and the antibiotic is released gradually over a period of about a week.

7

Doxycycline Pill: A low-dose doxycycline pill can help prevent overactive enzymes from breaking down gum tissue after periodontal disease treatment.

Your dentist could recommend you see a specialist. Since periodontists have had three years of specialized training beyond dental school to make them experts on both soft and hard tissues, they have the ideal combination of experience and knowledge.

List of FDA Approved Products to Help Combat Periodontal Disease

Peridex

  • Prescription mouth rinse containing an anti-microbial called chlorhexidine.
  • Controls bacteria, resulting in less plaque and gingivitis.
  • Regular mouthwash.

Periochip

  • A tiny piece of gelatin filled with chlorhexidine.
  • For bacteria control and to and reduce the size of periodontal pockets.
  • Chip is placed in the pockets after root planing, where the medicine is slowly released over time.

Atridox

  • A gel that contains the antibiotic doxycycline
  • The gel is placed in pockets after scaling and root planing. Antibiotic is released slowly over a period of about seven days.

Actisite

  • Thread-like fiber that contains the antibiotic tetracycline.
  • These fibers are placed in the pockets. The medicine is released slowly over 10 days. The fibers are then removed.

Arestin Microspheres

  • Tiny round particles that contain the antibiotic minocycline.
  • The microspheres are placed into pockets after scaling and root planing. Particles release minocycline slowly over time.

Periostat

  • A low dose of the medication doxycycline that keeps destructive enzymes in check.
  • Used to hold back the body’s enzyme response. If not controlled, certain enzymes can break down bone and connective tissue.
  • This medication is in pill form. It is used in combination with scaling and root planing.

FDA approval requires a Drug Establishment Registration as well as product listing. Additional requirements apply.

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