Periodontitis, which affects more than 70% of adults, is a result of compromised gum and bone support that creates pockets around the teeth. These pockets can become infected by bacteria and cannot be cleaned properly by patients at home.
Gum treatment involves scaling and root planing below the gums and is also termed deep cleaning. This therapy is required periodically to stabilize bone loss and maintain arch support. Arestin, a locally applied antibiotic that remains active in the pocket for an extended period of time can also treat the gums and reduce pocket depth, and as needed periodontal surgery may be recommended.
The goal of periodontal therapy is to maintain a good bone level and healthy gum tissue. This is achieved by good home care as well as periodic dental maintenance cleanings, usually every three to four months.