A new tool in the fight against gum disease

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

“I had all these bleeding points and they were going to scrape my gums and I wanted to avoid that sort of thing,” Barbara Culver says.

Culver has periodontal disease. It is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth.

“The World Health Organization puts us at 85 percent of the population that actually has periodontal disease,” Dr. Alison Schwartz reveals. “They don't even know it because they haven't gone to the dentist.”

Schwartz is with Healthy Smiles Dentistry in Scottsdale. She said research shows not taking care of your teeth could lead to serious medical conditions.
 
“We know the bacteria that lives in the pockets of the gum tissue are also found in the coronary arteries around the heart,” Schwartz says. “It affects diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

While brushing, flossing plus going to the dentist and hygenist are key to a healthy mouth, Schwartz says there is another tool in the fight against gum disease.
 
“When I first started out, because I had so many pockets, I had to do it three times a day,” Culver explains. She is talking about Perio Protect. It is an FDA-cleared medical device to treat periodontal disease, as well as gingivitis.

“The patient takes the [mouth] tray home for about 10 minutes every day,” Schwartz says. They will load the tray with a peroxyl and a doxycycline antibiotic in a liquid form that fits over their teeth. The peroxyl gel will kill the bacteria and cause the pocket to shrink or become a smaller number and the doxycycline actually has the ability to rebuild bone around the teeth.” Schwartz continues.

She says patients will start to see results within two weeks. "When I came back for my visit some of the pockets were gone,” Culver says. “The trays fit tightly and as the swelling goes down, they get loose and that was one of the things she [hygienist] told me was getting better.”

Schwartz says that while this does not take the place of going to the dentist, it is a great maintenance tool to do at home.

“It doesn't hurt and if you’re motivated it's really easy,” Culver says.

For more information go to Perio Project.  Dr. Alison Schwartz is at Healthy Smiles Dentistry by calling (480) 951-0651 or go to Healthy Smiles Dentistry.