Treatment of Gum Disease
New antimicrobial agents and innovative antibiotic delivery systems now allow dentists greater versatility in treating gum disease.
One of the most recent advances are small, time-released antibiotic spheres or "chips" that are inserted below the gum tissue in isolated locations where gum disease may be present. Sometimes, when several gum pockets are present, an antibiotic gel is used instead. As the application slowly dissolves, it saturates the gum tissue around it with an antimicrobial agent that kills the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease. This product is unique in that it delivers a high concentration of antibiotic directly where it is needed in the gum tissue. Better results can be achieved with this method, than with antibiotic tablets alone.
A related product is a special mouth rinse that inhibits bacteria growth in the mouth for up to 6 hours after rinsing. This is useful for patients with several areas of gum disease in their mouth. With most over-the-counter mouth rinses, the active ingredient is only present in the mouth for several minutes after rinsing. This limits the ability of these agents to treat gum disease. This special mouth rinse requires a prescription, and it is more expensive than over-the-counter rinses, but it is quite effective.
Patients with advanced or severe gum disease usually require more extensive gum treatment, including periodontal surgery. Drs. Milazzo and MacDonald usually refer their patients with advanced gum disease to a periodontist. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease. There have been numerous advances in the field of periodontal surgery recently, and the periodontists we refer our patients to are knowledgeable in all current procedures.