Treating Gum Disease

By Maria Hernandez / August 26, 2016
gum disease treatment

Gum infections are also known as periodontal diseases. The diseases are caused by plaque and bacteria build-up that infects and inflames gums. Plaque refers to a clear film present on teeth where bacteria sticks and when not removed with flossing and brushing, it becomes a hard material known as tartar. The bacteria and tartar deposits under and around the gum line are the primary causes of gum disease.

There are two kinds of gum disease. First, periodontitis which is a much more severe oral health condition where inflammation spreads deep beneath the gum lines and includes the tissues and bone which grip teeth in place. The type can result in deep pockets of disease that can cause loss of teeth and enclose bone if it remains untreated. Secondly, gingivitis which is a milder type of gum illness. Gingivitis causes gums to become swollen, bleed easily and red.

Numerous procedures exist for treatment of periodontal diseases based on the disease severity. The primary objective of medicating gum disease is to eliminate and control bacteria and tartar infection under the gums and around the teeth. However, the treatments range from oral surgery to deep cleanings.

To start with, deep cleaning is also called root planing and scaling, and it is the initial step in the treatment of periodontal infection. While undertaking this procedure, your periodontist, dental hygienist or dentist will eliminate the plaque and tartar from the teeth through scrapping it off below and above your gum lines. Additionally, root planning is also used to remove rough spots on the bare teeth roots which are the part where bacteria accumulates.

Finally, your oral health practitioner may also recommend a treatment to medicate any form of infection you may have. The oral treatment includes:

  • Antibiotic gel
    • It contains an antibiotic doxycycline which can also control bacteria responsible for gingivitis. The gel is placed directly into pockets around the teeth after deep cleaning and releases the medication slowly over one week time.
  • Rinses
    • A treatment antimicrobial mouth rinse may help to control bacteria when medicating gingivitis as well as after gum surgery.
  • Antibiotic microspheres
    • To decrease the sizes of periodontal pockets and control bacteria, some minute round particles which contain minocycline (antibiotic that is almost same as doxycycline), are introduced into pockets after deep cleaning and release medication over the period.
  • Oral doxycycline
    • This is an antibiotic which when taken in oral form acts as enzyme suppressant which interferes with damage of tissues by bacteria. The medication is usually prescribed alongside deep cleaning.

In conclusion, all treatments described above might have a real outcome when properly prescribed. However, it is important to ensure continuous therapy which helps to maintain good oral health.


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Maria Hernandez

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