Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroys the support of your natural teeth.  Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily.  If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Proper daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

Patients with periodontal disease should have specialized deep cleanings, called scaling and root planing, to remove plaque and bacteria both above and below the gumline.  

Controlling periodontal disease

Similar to high blood pressure or diabetes, periodontal disease cannot be cured, however, it can be effectively managed with proper care.  Routine prophylaxis is not sufficient to control periodontal disease.  A periodontal maintenance regimen is designed for patients with periodontal disease and, if followed, can prevent progression of the disease.  At periodontal maintenance appointments, our hygienists carefully clean the tooth surfaces both above and below the gumline to prevent reinfection of the gum tissues.  Patients on periodontal maintenance regimens are usually seen more frequently than patients who receive prophylaxis for healthy gums.  

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities.  Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque.  Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line.  Plaque constantly forms on your teeth.  By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.  If plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition


Periodontal disease is a serious infection under your gum line.

ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) is an antibiotic that kills the bacteria that causes the infection.

  • It’s placed directly in the infected areas—or “pockets”—in your gums.
  • It’s applied right after scaling and root planing, the dental procedure that disrupts stubborn plaque and bacteria below your gum line—where brushing and flossing can’t reach.

ARESTIN® starts working quickly, right at the source of infection, and keeps fighting bacteria long after you leave the dental office. 1,2

ARESTIN® fights infection and inflammation for 30 days,2 and provides significantly better results than scaling and root planing alone for up to 90 days.3

1. Oringer RJ, Al-Shammari KF, Aldredge WA, et al. Effect of locally administered minocycline microspheres on markers of bone resorption. J Periodontol 2002;73:835-842.
2. Goodson JM, Gunsollwy JC, Grossi SG, et al. Minocycline HCl microspheres reduce red-complex bacteria in periodontal disease therapy. J Periodontol 2007;78(8):1568-1579.
3. Williams RC, Paquette DW, Offenbacher S, et al. Treatment of periodontitis by local administration of minocycline microspheres: a controlled trial. J Periodontol 2001;72:1535-1544.