Treatment for Periodontal Disease


Dentists and periodontists have long known that disease in the mouth can affect the entire body. Periodontal disease, which affects almost 75% of the entire world's population, is one of the most prevalent diseases on the planet. Fortunately, it can be treated effectively in the vast majority of patients. Only recently, however, has the world of modern medicine begun to recognize that there is a significant correlation among periodontal disease and other systemic diseases, such as: cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. You need the best periodontists in Tampa to help you fight this disease.

Periodontitis is a disease that is classified as an "inflammatory" disease. It creates all kinds of molecules as a response to the hard bacterial deposits on teeth (tartar or calculus) that circulate throughout the body through the bloodstream. Cutting-edge research is currently pointing toward periodontal disease as contributing greatly to other diseases, and that definitive treatment helps decrease your risk and the severity of these diseases.

All in all, inflammation is not good anywhere in the body - whether it be the mouth, the heart or elsewhere. Treatment to reduce that inflammation can result in a healthier mouth, healthier body and healthier you!

How do you treat periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease can be treated in several ways, however, most methods fall into one of two categories - surgical or non-surgical. Truthfully, the recommendation of treatment options will depend on a number of factors. Most of the time non-surgical therapy is used as a first-line of treatment in order to reduce the necessity for surgical treatment. There are several methods of non-surgical therapy, however, the primary goal is to remove any bacterial deposits (calculus or tartar) from the roots of the tooth, as they act like a "splinter under your fingernail" and are a constant source of irritation. No matter what course of treatment that is necessary and you choose, removal of these bacterial deposits IS A MUST!

Types of non-surgical therapy:

  • Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) - This is a necessity, even if patients will eventually need surgical therapy. It is absolutely necessary to remove the bacterial deposits (calculus or tartar) so that the irritation to your gums and bone loss does not persist. 
  • Laser Therapy - Lasers have been used in both medicine and dentistry for over 20 years, and have been proven to be safe. In dentistry, there are many types of lasers that are used, some of which are used in the treatment of Periodontal Disease. In the right situation, it can be effective alongside other treatments. However, there are many situations where laser therapy is not the best option. At Implant & Periodontal Therapy, we take time with each individual to discuss all the indicated treatment options available, and why a particular treatment is right for you. 
  • Local Antibiotics (Arestin, Periochip) - Localized antibiotics, usually in the form of a chip or powder that is inserted into a periodontal pocket are a form of "adjunctive" therapy that is meant to be used after deep cleanings to improve the results obtained or attempt to further treat pockets that did not respond to deep cleaning. These are NOT meant to be used without removing bacterial deposits (calculus or tartar) - in fact, using them by themselves may "trap" the calculus on the root surface and result in an abscess, which is a highly active and painful type of infection that must be treated surgically.
  • Perioprotect - Perioprotect is a system that was developed in an attempt to treat periodontal disease without the removal of bacterial deposits. It consists of a mouthpiece (similar to a bleaching tray) that contains a medicament (any one that your dentist chooses) to attempt to sterilize the bacterial deposits. This type of therapy does not remove the cause of periodontal disease (calculus or tartar) in most people and may offer some temporary benefit, however, the "splinter under the fingernail" is still there, and, unfortunately, the active disease will return.

Types of surgical therapy:

  • Pocket Reduction - This procedure is meant to remove deposits from the roots of the teeth that cannot even be reached through deep cleanings, remove unhealthy tissue, and to recontour the bone to mimic "healthy" bone structure.
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration - This procedure actually allows your body to build back support on teeth where it has been lost next to teeth in the past. It replaces bone and the supporting structures for teeth and can be helpful to gain lost support in isolated areas. Bone grafts, and growth factors are commonly used to enhance the overall result. . 
  • Biologic Root Reshaping - Root reshaping accomplishes several goals with one thing in mind - keeping your teeth. This procedure was developed to remove many of the physical causes of periodontitis - the little nooks and crannies in and around the roots of teeth. The result is a perfectly smooth tooth that you are able to keep clean at home.

Dental implants and periodontal disease (Peri-Implantitis)

Dental implants are a fantastic solution to the problem of missing teeth and can be a permanent replacement for lost teeth. In a small segment of the population, however, dental implants are also susceptible to the same bacteria and processes of periodontal disease that can cause implant loss.

Many of the same therapies for periodontal disease in teeth may work for implants with "Peri-Implantitis". However, disease around implants can act differently and progress differently, and an examination to determine where you stand is a very important part of the process.