Gum disease causes more Americans to lose their teeth than any other reason. The condition begins with simple, reversible gingivitis, and when left untreated, it progresses into periodontal disease: a condition that causes bone loss, gum detachment, gum recession and even tooth mobility.
Inflammation associated with gum disease places a strain on the body’s immune system, and its ability to combat other types of diseases. Also, bacteria found in the deep pockets of areas with periodontal disease can become dislodged and enter into body’s circulatory system where it can deposit itself into blood vessels throughout the body. The more advanced the periodontal disease, the more severe and uncontrollable the systemic condition is likely to be, and vice versa. Therapeutic treatment for gum disease will help strengthen the body’s immune system as it combats other conditions.
Each patient receives a periodontal screening to assess the health and attachment levels of bone and gum tissue. Diagnosis is achieved through a clinical examination, periodontal exam, and x-rays. This allows for the opportunity to implement therapy as early as possible, and maintain dental health. For patients with advanced disease, we also provide therapeutic services to eliminate the disease and associated bacteria.
Arestin is a locally delivered antibiotic capsule that helps fight the precise area where advanced gum disease is taking place. Typically, Arestin is placed in the areas where bone loss is most significant, as it helps take other therapeutic methods to the next level, where gum reattachment is possible.
Each dose is delivered with an applicator device that places the Arestincapsule into the bottom of the pocket. Once placed, it begins releasing microcapsules of antibiotic over a 10-14 day period. The advantage of Arestin over other types of medications is that it penetrates the deepest area of the disease. Other types of prescriptions are delivered topically, may not reach the bottom of pockets, and can also cause enamel staining.
After completing Arestin treatments, patients can generally expect healthier pocket depths and tissue reattachment in the treated area. That’s what makes it an effective part of the comprehensive periodontal plan we provide to patients at Sunny Dental of Wilton Manors.
When gum disease is present, loose plaque and calcified tartar are deposited along the roots of the teeth and deep under the margins of the gums inside of what is called a “periodontal pocket.” Normal preventive cleanings focus on marginal bacteria and tartar above the gumlines, but deep deposits cause bone loss and more tissue detachment so they must be removed as well. Therapeutic scaling and root planing (also called “deep cleanings”) allow our hygienists to remove these deposits so that gum disease can be eliminated.
Ultrasonic instrumentation is a comfortable and effective way to loosen and flush bacteria from the periodontal pocket. The thousands of vibrations that occur in the smooth instrument tip cause tartar deposits to dislodge off of the tooth. This type of instrumentation is also more effective than traditional manual hand scaling (not to mention more comfortable.) Most of the time the cleanings will be completed one quadrant of the mouth at a time, with 1-2 quadrants per appointment. More quadrants may be completed if local anesthetic is not needed, and the disease is less advanced. After a full mouth cleaning has been performed, the patient will need to have routine maintenance treatments to prevent the disease from recurring.
We typically offer nitrous oxide and local anesthetic for deep cleaning procedures. This keeps the patient very comfortable so that they’re at ease throughout the entire therapeutic procedure. If needed, we can also perform full-mouth SCRP treatment under oral conscious sedation.
Treating periodontal disease doesn’t end with the deep cleaning procedure; in fact, that’s just the beginning. Proper maintenance of deep periodontal pockets can keep bacterial deposits from redeveloping and reverse inflammatory conditions.
For most patients, we recommend a therapeutic periodontal maintenance cleaning as frequently as every 3 to 4 months. This prevents the disease from recurring when proper home maintenance is practiced and allows healthy tissue to reattach to the root surface. As pocket depths are lessened, maintenance visits can be spread out further and further apart, hopefully once again reaching regular recall visits every six months.
Professional therapy is only the beginning of managing gum disease. Sunny Dental of Wilton Manors will help each patient establish an individualized oral care plan that addresses the specific areas of infection, as well as home methods that are the most successful for plaque removal.
Call our office to schedule a convenient appointment today (954) 210-4376.