If you are dealing with periodontal disease (gum disease), then Dr. Bennett can help you. Our dental clinic has used in the past laser therapy, herbal therapies, ozone irrigation therapy, hydrogen peroxide with special trays and other alternative medicinal therapies along with conventional approaches to periodontal care. We have found that the one therapy that is most effective and most conservative is the use of hydrogen peroxide gel with dental trays to (like an athletic guard) hold the gel in place. Early and moderate periodontal disease can be controlled with conservative care provided by the gel and trays.
New Conservative Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease or periodontal disease affects more than 80 percent of adults in the United States. Unfortunately most of these people don’t know they have gum disease. Many people ignore the symptoms because they cannot see the infection or feel pain. Treatment is important because gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. This is where your mouth can get you in trouble.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. Teeth and bone are attached to the gums, or gingiva. A tooth's root is anchored to its socket by fibers called the periodontal ligament. The gums do not attach to the teeth as firmly as one might think, however. A shallow, V-shaped gap called a sulcus (also called the periodontal pocket) exists between the teeth and the gums above the narrow band of attachment of the gum tissue to the tooth. This narrow band of attachment is just above the bone around the root. Periodontal disease affects this gap. Eventually, as the disease progresses, the tissues attaching to the tooth and bone break down and gum recession occurs.
The effects of gum disease go far beyond the mouth. Research studies show a connection between gum disease and serious health concerns including inflammation, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, respiratory disease, and pre-term or low birth weight babies.
There are two classifications of gum disease.
- Gingivitis, which causes lesions (wounds) that inflame the gums.
- Periodontitis, which damages the bone and the periodontal ligament.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Swollen, red or tender gums
- Spaces between your teeth
- Receding gums
- Loose or mobile teeth
How Does The Disease Start?
When food, bacteria or tartar (known to dentists as calculus) are not sufficiently cleaned from the teeth, a community of bacteria called biofilm can develop and cause infections in the space or pocket between the teeth and gum tissue.
As the infection increases, oxygen is depleted and more damaging anaerobic bacteria dominate the area. In the advanced stages, clumps of bacteria detach from the biofilm in a “seeding” effect to form new infections and even enter the blood stream and be dispersed throughout the body.
The standard cleaning procedure for periodontal disease has been “scaling and root planning”. This common treatment is used to remove the calculus and oral biofilm in periodontal pockets. Unfortunately bacteria are continually reintroduced into the mouth and oral biofilms regenerate very easily, so it is difficult to control between office visits.
I have been trained in a new technique to help our patients manage periodontal disease. This is very exciting as it is another way to treat gum disease. This is done through a program called the Perio Protect Method®. This method augments the professional cleanings with a technique that you can use at home to manage the oral bacteria on a daily basis.
Using a custom formed prescription tray, doctor-prescribed medication can be placed into the periodontal pocket. Medication is placed in the tray which is designed to prevent medication from being quickly washed away. This space is beyond the reach of a toothbrush. When medication is delivered according to the Perio Protect Method ®, the medication helps fight bacteria. Treatment takes just minutes a day, is comfortable, and many report fresher breath. A side benefit may be whiter teeth over time.
The first two weeks may require more frequent application of the medication. As healing occurs treatment will be modified to a simpler schedule. Regular application of the Perio Protect Method® will help sustain a clean oral environment.
You can view the Perio Protect video by clicking on the following link: www.youtube.com/perioprotect. Please contact our office if you want to learn more.