Also called periodontitis, gum disease is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissues that surround a tooth. If left untreated, periodontitis can destroy the bone that supports the teeth. Teeth can become loose, and eventually need to be removed. Symptoms of gum disease include gums that are swollen or puffy, tender to the touch or bleed easily, or pus develops between the teeth. Periodontitis can be prevented with regular checkups, and at-home care that includes daily bruising, rinsing with a mouthwash, and frequent flossing.
Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to periodontal disease, which infects the tissues that hold the teeth in place. A sticky film of bacteria called plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, causing gums to become sore and bleed. In severe cases, chewing problems can develop and teeth can be lost.
Used together, scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning technique used to treat gum disease. Scaling removes all the plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline, all the way to the bottom of the pocket. Root planing smoothes the teeth roots, which helps the gums reattach to the teeth.
Arestin is an antibiotic powder that is applied directly into an infected periodontal pocket after scaling and root planing treatments have been performed. The powder adheres to the inside of the periodontal pocket and directly targets the site of the active infection as it is bio-resorbed. Arestin will continue to fight the chronic bacterial infection that can lead to other symptoms such as tooth loss.