Periodontal Disease (also known as gum disease) is infections of the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. Your gums and underlying bone provide an important foundation for your teeth and dental work, so it’s important to keep them healthy. Every mouth contains both healthy and harmful bacteria, sometimes the harmful bacteria can infect the gums and form spaces or gaps around the teeth, known as pockets. These pockets are a sign that you may have periodontal disease – the number one cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Periodontal diseases are progressive – left untreated, the condition often becomes worse.
Periodontal disease is commonly treated with a mechanical procedure known as scaling and root planing. The scaling removes, plaque, tartar, and stains from the surface of the teeth. Root planing smoothes the rough areas on the roots of the teeth to promote healing. This process usually requires several visits to our office.
In addition to scaling and root planing your hygienist may recommend a locally administered antibiotic called Arestin. Antibiotics treat infections in the body, and periodontal disease is an infection. Arestin treatments can reduce harmful bacteria before infection spreads and gum disease worsens.