Treatment for Gum Disease

Gum DiseaseMedications

Medications may be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planing, but they cannot always take the place of surgery. Depending on the severity of gum disease, the dentist or periodontist may still suggest surgical treatment. Long-term studies will be needed to determine whether using medications reduces the need for surgery and whether they are effective over a long period of time.

Here are some medications that are currently used:

Prescription antimicrobial mouthrinse

What is it? A prescription mouthrinse containing an antimicrobial called chlorhexidine.

Why is it used? To control bacteria when treating gingivitis and after gum surgery.

How is it used? It is used like a regular mouthwash.


Antiseptic "chip"

What is it? A tiny piece of gelatin filled with the medicine chlorhexidine.

Why is it used? To control bacteria and reduce the size of peridontal pockets.

How is it used? After root planting, it's placed in the pockets where the medicine is slowly released over time.

 

 

Antibiotic gel

What is it? A gel that contains the antibiotic doxycycline.

Why is it used? To control bacteria and reduce the size of peridontal pockets.

How is it used? The periodontist puts it in the pockets after scaling and root planing. The antibiotic is released slowly over a period of about seven days.

Antibiotic micro-spheres

What is it? Tiny, round particles that contain the antibiotic minocycline.

Why is it used? To control bacteria and reduce the size of peridontal pockets.

How is it used? The periodontist puts the micro-spheres into the pockets after scaling and root planing. The particles release minocycline slowly over time.

Enzyme suppressant

What is it? A low dose of the medication doxycycline that keeps destructive enzymes in check.

Why is it used? To hold back the body's enzyme response -- If not controlled, certain enzymes can break down gum tissue.

How is it used? This medication is in pill form. It is used in combination with scaling and root planing.

Last Modified Date: February 21, 2013

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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