Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is responsible for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss and has been linked to numerous health conditions, including heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and birth defects.
Plaque, a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva, and bacteria gets inside the space between the gum line and the tooth. This space is called a pocket. If you do not remove the plaque thoroughly with daily home care the plaque hardens with the mineral salts in your saliva to form a hard substance called calculus or tarter, which is very difficult to remove.
Gum Disease can Eventually Harm the Bone
Eventually, the bacteria in the plaque and tarter eat away at the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth, creating deep pockets. As bacteria spread, the pockets become deeper until the bacteria finally eat away the bone that holds the tooth in place.
Gum disease is diagnosed through a process that measures the depth of the pockets around each tooth. Pockets that are greater than 3 millimeters in depth are considered hazardous and will generally require treatment.
In most cases, once bone is lost, it can never be replaced. However, a skilled periodontist may be able to perform a bone graph procedure to restore the loss. Dr. Best can provide the names of skilled surgeons who can assess your situation to see if you are a candidate.
Treatment Requires Skill and Persistence
Treatment for periodontal (gum) disease is case specific. You will be thoroughly evaluated for which level of periodontal disease you exhibit. We will determine which method of treatment will benefit you the most.
Non-Surgical Treatment of Gum Disease
We treat periodontal disease non-surgically with ultrasonic cleaning techniques, laser debridement, and antimicrobial medicaments and rinses.
Bacteria and substances that form in the pockets around the teeth are carefully removed on a microscopic level. This requires great skill and is a process that usually requires several visits to our office.
Arestin is an antibiotic powder can be placed directly in the diseased periodontal pocket. Using unique microsphere technology it delivers an antibiotic to the infected areas in your periodontal pockets, working gradually for over two weeks to kill the infection effectively and help to heal your gums.
Maintenance after Treatment
Following your periodontal treatment the pockets must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis by Dr. Best or a certified dental hygienist. Otherwise, the bacterial will return, as may the periodontal disease.