Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly half (47.2 percent) of American adults over 30 have some form of periodontitis.
Our risk of advanced periodontal disease only increases as we get older. The CDC also estimates that 70.1 percent of adults 65 and older have periodontitis.
Our staff at Beaumont Family Dentistry wants you to keep your mouth healthy. That includes your gums, and that is one of the reasons we use Arestin in our periodontal treatment for our patients from Lexington, Richmond, Winchester, and everywhere else in Central Kentucky.
What is Arestin?
Arestin is an antibiotic treatment that is placed directly under your gumline.
If you experience periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, you can develop pockets between your teeth and gums. These pockets are a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause plaque, and that can lead to tartar.
As your gum disease progresses, it harms more and more of your gum tissue. With time, it also can damage your jawbone. This can lead to your teeth becoming loose or even falling out.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we use Arestin as part of our non-surgical gum disease treatment. The antibiotic medicine in Arestin kills the bacteria that remain after we do scaling and root planing (more on this later).
Arestin helps you to heal faster after your treatment, and it reduces the likelihood that your periodontal disease with return.
Stages of gum disease
Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease. The symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and gums that bleed easily, such as when you are brushing your teeth or flossing. (This is often a sign that you haven’t been flossing like you should.)
At this stage, you can do a lot to reverse the effects of gum disease on your own. By brushing twice a day and flossing every day, you should bleed less and stop bleeding when you floss with time.
If you don’t treat your gingivitis, it can develop into periodontitis. That’s when you’ll need professional help to heal your gums.
At this stage, you may experience bad breath, pain, and gum recession.
Gum recession occurs when your gums pull away from your teeth. This is what creates the pockets, where bacteria can build plaque, which can lead to tartar.
The American Academy of Periodontology describes four types of periodontitis.
- Chronic periodontitis is the most common form. If you have this, you will see the pocket formation described above.
- Aggressive periodontitis is just what it sounds like, a more aggressive form of the gum disease. You experience rapid gum recession and bone damage with this condition.
- Periodontitis can be a symptom of a systemic disease (such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease). This often occurs in younger patients.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease occurs because your gum tissue is dying. Malnutrition and a weakened immune symptom can cause this type of periodontal disease.
With developments in modern dentistry, we can treat gum disease without surgery in most cases.
With milder cases, regular cleanings and exams (along with your at-home oral hygiene) is often enough to reverse the disease.
In more serious cases, we will do scaling and root planing, administer Arestin, and use our dental laser.
During a regular cleaning, a hygienist removes plaque and tartar build up. If you have advanced gum disease, scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning technique to remove plaque and tartar under your gumline and around the roots of your teeth. Arestin is applied after your deep cleaning.
In some cases, we may use a dental laser as well. The laser is a pain-free tool we use to remove infected gum tissue. The laser sanitizes the area that has been treated and seals the tissue without causing bleeding.
Fight back against gum disease
The bacteria in your mouth is always trying to form the plague that causes tooth decay and gum disease. That means you need to make a consistent effort to keep it under control.
Brush your teeth twice a day (for two minutes each time), floss every day between your teeth and gums, and visit our office twice a year for a professional cleaning by one of our hygienists.
If you or someone you love is experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, you need to call us today. The sooner we can examine your mouth, the sooner your treatment can begin.
To make an appointment, use our online form, our new patient form, or call any Beaumont Family Dentistry location in Lexington. Act now to save your gums and your teeth.