Periodontal Disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. It is usually unknown to the patient until it is quite severe. Symptoms include bleeding gums, a general ache that floats from tooth to tooth, loose teeth, gaps that form between teeth over time, bad taste and bad breath (quite bad).
Periodontal therapy (gum therapy) is the process of cleaning the teeth below the gumline. Most of the time, anesthetic is needed for the patient's comfort while the sensitive root surfaces are cleaned of bacteria and toxins (scaling and root planning or deep cleaning). If the damage is significant (bone loss), a referral to a periodontist may be needed for further evaluation and detailed treatment. There are two new technologies available today that improve the results of the treatment as well as the comfort level during treatment. Arestin is a time-released antibiotic powder that is placed (at the time of treatment) into the periodontal pockets. It kills any remaining bacteria in the surrounding tissues and prevents new infections for up to 21 days. This allows the body to heal and catch up on reforming the tooth-bone attachment. Go to www.arestin.com for more information.
Another neat product available to us is Oraqix, a non-injectable anesthetic that is applied between the teeth and gums painlessly. It is used just prior to scaling and root planing, eliminating the need for an injection of anesthetic. It may not be practical if you have a full mouth of treatment, but it is perfect for "that extra sensitive spot". Go to www.oraqix.com for more information.
Gum disease is one of the main reasons that dentists recommend regular check-ups. Most diseases of the mouth are silent (you don’t know you have it). Just like most things, catching it early can save bone, teeth, your smile, embarrassment, and money. A full periodontal evaluation with multimedia educational programs is the best way to understand your exact oral health. Make an appointment with us to prevent or stop periodontal disease. Schedule a new patient exam with a periodontal screening and cleaning today!