While cavities are certainly a big concern here at St. Albans Dental, periodontal (gum) disease is actually the most common oral health problem in the world. This bacterial infection forms on the roots of the teeth and gum tissue, and over time, it can actually break them down and lead to tooth loss! Early symptoms include red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed often, so if any of these sound familiar, be sure to come see us right away so our team can use proven therapies to quickly stop the infection in its tracks.
The primary cause of periodontal disease is tartar buildup, which is hardened plaque filled with bacteria, above and below the gumline. Scaling is used to physically remove the tartar, and then root planing smooths out the tooth roots so that plaque and tartar are less likely to accumulate on them again. This treatment also encourages the gums to reattach to the teeth more firmly while healing, which lowers the chances of reinfection in the future.
Applied directly to the gums, Arestin is a powerful topical antibiotic that’s able to seep deep below the gum line to eliminate bacteria that can’t be reached by scaling and root planing alone. Periodontal disease bacteria tend to gather in extremely small spaces located between the teeth and gums, and this treatment ensures it doesn’t have a chance to harm someone’s smile. Once in place, Arestin only takes about a week to work its magic.