Specific bacteria play a central role in the cause and promotion of destructive gum disease. Under suitable conditions, the bacteria (bugs) grow under the gum into a mass or colony of bacteria that strongly adhere to the tooth. The invisible mass or colony is what we call plaque. Successful treatment of the disease depends on our ability to remove the bacteria from the root and detoxify the root surface. Scaling and root planing (deep scraping) is the foundation procedure that is designed to transform the toxic root surface into a clean smooth root that can be returned to health and be maintained in health.
Current brands of LDDs include the following names:
In certain cases, the effectiveness of scaling and root planing may be enhanced with antiseptics and antibiotics that are placed below the gum line. The medication is released over 1 to 3 weeks and helps eliminate the disease causing bacteria with a high concentration of a drug or antiseptic that is placed directly under the gum line. This gives the gum tissue more time and a better chance to heal without the disease causing bacteria present.
In some cases the healing that can be achieved when these medications are used is better than with scaling and root planing alone, but in many cases the deep tarter remains on the root and the medications only appear to help for a brief period of time before inflammation or infection returns. Areas treated with these medications must be very carefully and frequently monitored.
In some cases, this may not be enough and the Perioscope or a surgical approach may be needed to get to the affected root surface area.