Specific bacteria play a central role in the cause and promotion of destructive gum disease. Under suitable conditions, the bacteria grow under the gum into a mass or colony that adheres 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 cleaning) is the gold standard procedure designed to transform the toxic root surface into a clean, smooth root that can be returned to and maintained in health.
In certain cases, the effectiveness of scaling and root planing may be enhanced with antiseptics and antibiotics that are placed below the gum line. Once these products are placed, generally immediately after a session of scaling and root planing, the medication is released in the pocket at high concentrations over 1 to 3 weeks. This gives the gum tissue more time and a better chance to heal by reducing the number of disease causing bacteria present.
Examples of local delivery agents include the following:
In some cases the healing that can be achieved when these medications are used is better than with scaling and root planing alone.