Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. It is caused by harmful bacteria that live and multiply below the gums. These harmful bacteria may be passed from parents to children and between couples.

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Bacteria cause the gums to become red and inflamed leading to pocketing and recession.

The video below is an actual example of the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Mapping of the pockets is called periodontal charting. This shows us where gum disease is located in the mouth. Pockets measuring deeper than 3 mm. are a problem.

X-ray images are often required to evaluate bone loss as shown below. The red arrows show where the bone has been destroyed by the gum disease.

The video below demonstrates the collection of a plaque sample to determine which bacteria are causing the gum disease. It shows what types of bacteria are causing the gum disease and how best to control the problem bacteria.

Below is an example of the report from the lab along with recommendations for treatment. The report from micro-IDent is ready in two to three weeks.

The treatment recommended by the laboratory may require return visits to our office for enhanced cleanings, short-term use of antibiotics, a change in your home care regimen, or some combination of the above.

Treatment should be conservative but effective. The first step usually involves therapy without surgery. While your gums are numb a detailed cleaning of the teeth, both above and below the gum line, is performed. This special cleaning is called scaling and root planing.

Antibiotics are often recommended at the completion of the scaling and root planing. The antibiotic selected will be targeted to your pathogenic bacteria as determined by your culture.

Periodontal maintenance is the key to preserving the progress you have made. Your daily home regimen along with regular visits to our office will help your gums stay healthy.

Tools

Sonicare: high quality, multiple options, small brush head

Oral-B: quality product, multiple options, ​extra small brush head

Waterpik Water Flosser: removes bacteria, gets below the gums, easy to use, does not cut gums, use around implants

Viajet PRO: oral irrigator, as good as Water pik, wall mount. Call Oratec at 800-368-3529.

Sonicare AirFloss: small size, great for travel, minimal water, only one button, takes 60 seconds

GUM Soft-Picks: easy to use​, purchase anywhere, easy to use, two sizes

Oral-B Glide Floss: fits between tight teeth, helps prevent gingivitis, ​shred-resistant

Gum Care Floss: woven floss, contains fluoride, gentle on gums

Ayr Saline Nasal Rince Kit: easy to use, cleans the sinus, reduces bacteria, relieves postnasal drip