Periodontics, Perio Protect®
Bacteria called plaque forms at the point where the teeth meet the gums, as well as between the teeth. If it is not removed daily, plaque multiplies into colonies. Unremoved plaque hardens into tartar, a tough gritty deposit which, because of its roughness, collects more plaque. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. If plaque is allowed to develop, an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis occurs. As gingivitis worsens, gums begin to pull away and recede from the teeth. Pockets of bacteria form and deepen, reaching the bone and destroying the bone that anchors the teeth. The advanced stage of this disease is called periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Other causes of periodontal disease, aside from plaque (the chief cause), are conditions affecting the immune system such as diabetes, hormone imbalances, thyroid malfunction, pregnancy and also some medications and hereditary factors.
During checkup, we use an instrument called a periodontal probe. This determines if there is any breakdown in the attachment of the gums to the teeth, or early development of pockets between the teeth and gums. The depth of the pockets is measured in millimeters with the periodontal probe. Up to three millimeters is considered normal...deeper than three millimeters indicates a potential problem. X-rays are taken if there is concern over possible bone destruction.
More than 75% of North American adults over 35 have some form of gum disease (or periodontal disease). Most who have the beginning stage of this disease don't even know it.
The most severe version of gum disease is known as periodontitis. A less severe version is known as gingivitis. In many cases gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, so all forms of gum disease should be seen as serious and not neglected. This disease is serious enough to be called the "silent epidemic" by former Surgeon General, David Satcher. It is also known as the "busy person's disease" because people with very busy schedules often neglect their oral hygiene. It can be scary to hear that you have gum disease. Many people become embarrassed when they are told they have gum disease because they feel they have not paid enough attention to their oral hygiene; however, studies show that many adults lose ground even when they brush and floss regularly. A well-known phrase for growing older is growing "long in the tooth". This phrase obviously indicates that it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep good oral hygiene for an entire lifetime.
When symptoms become severe, with gums bleeding and teeth becoming loose, we tend to start paying attention. Unfortunately this level of belated intervention is now at the crisis level and can cause serious bone, tissue and tooth loss.
The following list represents a few of the concerns people have regarding a periodontal exam or treatment:
Convenient, Comfortable Treatment
In our office, the doctors provide various types of intervention treatments for all stages of the disease. Extremely minor symptoms are typically treated non-surgically with some patient education, a professional quality cleaning and careful attention to follow-up visits.
For patients with moderate gingivitis through severe periodontitis, this office offers the convenient, comfortable Perio Protect® treatment, which is a method that uses an FDA-cleared medical device that enables dentists, in most cases, to provide effective treatment with:
The Perio Protect™ system, which is very easy to use, has been proven in clinical studies to kill harmful bacteria within 72 hours.
Within days of using the medication, inflammation and swelling is reduced and bleeding gum tissue decreases dramatically. Bad breath, for many patients, is eliminated.
How It Works
You will be fitted for custom made mouthpieces (Perio Trays™), which are similar to athletic mouth guards. They are very thin, soft and comfortable.
The trays are made by an FDA-registered laboratory to the exact dimensions of your teeth. You will then take them home and add the doctor-prescribed medications (which are usually in a gel form – similar in consistency to toothpaste) and wear them according to the doctor's instructions (for only a few minutes at a time). This gel seeps above and below the gum line, modifying the biofilm (the calculus and tartar), which makes brushing and flossing that much more effective. The hard calculus and tartar are turned into a soft chalky material that is easily removed by regular brushing and flossing. The gel also kills the bacteria, which allows your gums to heal.
You will be instructed on the frequency of usage based on your diagnosis. A great advantage of this method is that the entire treatment is done in the comfort of your own home. The medications used in this unique treatment also whiten your teeth and freshen your breath.
At each subsequent dental visit, our hygienist will gently remove any remaining softened deposits and evaluate the progress of your healing. Your dental visits will be quick, easy and painless.
Imagine…a new way of eliminating most gingival and connective tissue disease problems without pain or excessive expense. To see video testimonials from patients who have been through the system click here. To learn more about the Perio Protect Innovative Gum Disease Treatment follow this link.