Treating Periodontitis with Antimicrobial Therapy

Periodontitis is severe inflammation of the gums that damages surrounding soft tissue and the bones that support the teeth. Many of the side effects of periodontitis includes loss of teeth, increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or both. A recent article in The Journal of American Dental Association (JADA) suggests that organization of certain bacteria in the oral microbiota provides favorable conditions for its growth and expansion.

Periodontitis is largely preventable. The current standard treatment includes scaling and root planing (SRP) to reduce the total bacterial presence. Although this treatment has proven to be successful, it may not be efficient for removing all periodontal pathogens and not all patients may respond similarly.

For the past two decades, researchers and doctors have recognized the importance of antimicrobial therapy in combination with scaling and root planing (SRP) in fully treating periodontitis. Antibiotics, defined as naturally occurring or synthetically manufactured, are credited for killing pathogens, and can be particularly useful in controlling oral pathogens. There has been much interest in local antibiotic treatment. Recently, a new locally administered antibiotic called Arestin was approved by FDA and has shown to reduce pocket depth and infection in periodontal disease. Arestin delivers minocycline, an antibiotic that has been shown to be effective against the bacteria that causes gingivitis, in a microsphere delivery system that is both bioadhesive and bioresorbable. Our office offers Arestin to patients that qualify.

For more information on periodontitis and how it can be treated, please call our office at 845-486-4572.