Blue Back Dental Offers the Latest Periodontal Treatments

If your gums are tender, swollen, bleed easily, and seem to be pulling away from your teeth, you may have periodontitis, the most advanced form of periodontal disease.

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the gums and causes bone loss around teeth. If left untreated, it can cause tooth loss and has been linked to other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

We all have bacteria in our mouths, which can form plaque on your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can mostly eliminate plaque, but plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can harden into tartar, which can only be removed with a dental cleaning. When tartar stays on the teeth, it can cause inflammation of the gums, or gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.

While gingivitis can usually be reversed with regular brushing and flossing and professional cleanings, if allowed to progress, it can develop into a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, in which the inflamed gums begins to pull away from the teeth, creating spaces or pockets where the bone is exposed.

As the disease progresses, the pockets become deeper, exposing more of the bone to bacteria. As the bone is eaten away, it may lose its ability to hold teeth in place, causing teeth to loosen and even fall out.

What to Do if You Think You Have Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis is fairly common—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 and older have periodontal disease.

Symptoms of periodontal disease can include:

  • Gums that are tender, swollen, or puffy
  • Gums that bleed easily or are bright red or purplish
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Pain when chewing
  • Teeth that appear longer than normal
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth

If you suspect you have periodontal disease, Blue Back Dental can conduct a periodontal screening. We will examine your gums and teeth to see if you have periodontal disease. If the results are positive, we can use a scaling and root planing procedure to clean out the infection.

Your hygienist will numb your gums with a topical gel or local anesthetic injection, then remove tartar deposits under the gum line that are not reachable by a toothbrush or dental floss.

Once the infection is gone, we apply an antibiotic called Arestin inside the pockets of the gums. Arestin (minocycline hydrochloride) releases antibiotic over time to fight bone-destroying bacteria and allow the gums to heal.

Arestin is covered by many medical prescription plans. If you’re unsure whether it is covered by your plan, we can call your pharmacy to verify coverage then administer the treatment right away during the same visit.