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Periodontal Health

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The treatment of periodontal disease begins with the removal of sub-gingival calculus (tartar) and biofilm deposits. A dental hygienist procedure called scaling and root planing is the common first step in addressing periodontal problems, which seeks to remove calculus by mechanically scraping it from tooth surfaces.

Dental calculus, commonly known as tartar, consists almost entirely of calcium phosphate salt, the ionic derivative of calcium phosphate (the primary composition of teeth and bone). Dental calculus deposits harbor harmful bacteria. Clinically, calculus stuck to teeth appears to be hardened to the point requiring mechanical scraping for removal.

The bacteria responsible for most periodontal disease are anaerobic, and oxygenation reduces populations. Thorough brushing with dilute hydrogen peroxide, with emphasis on the gum line, and flossing, help prevent the formation of harmful biofilm, gingivitis, and tartar. Therapeutic mechanical delivery of hydrogen peroxide to subgingival pockets can be provided by a water pick. Wound "healing following gingival surgery was enhanced due to the antimicrobial effects of topically administered hydrogen peroxide". For most subjects, beneficial effects were seen with hydrogen peroxide levels above 1% though concentrations between 1% and 3% have been suggested, and commercial preparations contain 1.5% hydrogen peroxide.

Enzymatic agents found in commercial preparations can loosen, dissolve, and prevent biofilm formation. Beneficial agents include lysozyme, lactoperozidase, glucose oxidase, mutanase, and dextranase.

Another method for treatment of periodontal disease involve the use of an orally administered antibiotic, Periostat (Doxycycline). Periostat has been clinically proven to decrease alveolar bone loss and improve the conditions of periodontal disease with minimal side-effects. However, Periostat does not kill the bacteria, as it only inhibits the body's host response to destroy the tissue. Laser assisted periodontal therapy has been shown to kill the bacteria that causes periodontal disease as well as grow bone in certain cases.

 

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