Arestin: An Effective Treatment Option for Periodontitis

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US. If left untreated, this dental condition can worsen and result in gum disease and tooth loss. The main symptoms of gum disease are sensitivity, bleeding gums, receding gums, and tooth pain.

One of the most effective treatments for periodontitis is Arestin. 

What is Arestin?

Arestin is an antibiotic medication that is directly put in the periodontal infection site. The medication helps to manage gum disease and reduces the risk of reoccurring infection.

How Does Gum Disease Occur?

Periodontitis is caused by bacteria, which lead to the infection of the gums and teeth. 

When you have periodontitis, the space between your gum and tooth (the “sulcus”) becomes deeper. This deep gum area is known as a “pocket”. As the pocket becomes deeper, you’ll find it difficult and painful to clean it. 

There is also an increased risk of the tissue or ligament holding your tooth in place detaching from the gum. The results are a loose tooth and, eventually, tooth loss.

Periodontitis Treatment

For the gum and teeth to recover from periodontitis, the bacteria-forming infection must be removed from the teeth. 

According to dental guidelines, periodontitis treatment should be provided in the most affordable and least invasive manner. Thus, non-surgical periodontal procedures are often preferred. 

One of the most popular non-surgical treatment options for gum disease is Scaling and Root Planing (SRP). This treatment involves careful cleaning of the tooth surface and periodontal pockets to remove accumulated stains, tartar, and plaque. The procedure is known as scaling. 

The rough root surfaces are later smoothed to remove any toxins left and encourage healing in what is called root planing. 

Unfortunately, the instruments used during the SRP procedure may not always reach the bacteria located at the bottom-most part of the tooth pocket or other difficult-to-reach areas. That means the procedure may not be sufficient enough to guarantee the non-reoccurrence of gum disease. For this reason, extra treatment options may be recommended.

At Portal Cypress Dentistry, we may recommend an antibiotic treatment to stave off gum disease and ensure it doesn’t reoccur. 

Use of Arestin in SRP Treatment

At Portal Cypress Dentistry, we use Arestin to resolve our patients’ periodontal issues and to make their gums healthy. 

Arestin is a Locally Administered Antibiotic (LAA) classified under tetracycline antibiotics. The antibiotic is administered during the scaling and root planing procedure to prevent bacteria from developing after the treatment of gum disease. By using both treatment options, our patients get the benefits of two therapies that work simultaneously: Arestin and SRP. These two make it easier to manage periodontitis.

Arestin is available in granular form and is safely placed inside the tooth pocket after plaque has been removed from the periodontal pockets. The medication comprises of tiny particles called microspheres, which have antibiotic medicine. Through the polymer hydrolysis process, the tiny holes in the microspheres provide escape routes through which medication is released slowly over the next 21-30 days. This ensures that any bacteria that gets into contact with the medication is eliminated and that gum disease does not reoccur.

Benefits of Arestin Use in Treating Gum Disease

Bacteria causes periodontitis and antibiotics are effective at killing it. For years, periodontists have used locally administered antibiotics, in addition to SRP treatment, to manage gum disease.

However, the approach was different as the patient was prescribed antibiotics to take orally during the treatment duration. This approach wasn’t very effective as it took time for the antibiotic to reach the affected area. Moreover, some patients tend to discontinue antibiotic treatment after they think they’re feeling better. This limits the effectiveness of the medication.

However, the use of Arestin is a straight-forward procedure. Arestin is an antibiotic but its administration in the affected area is different since it is applied directly to the periodontal pocket. Moreover, it is the very first antibiotic with microspheres that is effective in treating gum disease. 

The addition of Arestin in the periodontal pockets makes a notable difference, including:

  • It provides a sustained minocycline dose directed to the periodontal pocket, helping to eliminate the bacteria that may have been left by SR
  • The antibiotic provides the right drug dosage to the infection site
  • Maintains safe drug concentrations in the infected pocket weeks after treatment
  • It is painless and stays in the pocket after application

Past studies indicate that the use of Arestin together with SPR treatment is more effective than the use of the scaling and root planing procedure only. 

Notable benefits of using Arestin compared to the use of SRP treatment alone include:

  • The antibiotic significantly reduces the periodontal pocket-size compared to the use of SRP alone 
  • It reduces bacteria that causes gum disease
  • Reduces the rate of bleeding in case the gums were probed
  • Reduces the reoccurrence of gum disease

Aftercare after Arestin Use

For Arestin to be effective, it has to be combined with good dental care after the SRP treatment. Here are some guidelines to follow after the treatment:

  • Don’t touch or probe the treated area for at least seven days
  • Avoid eating hard and chewy items like ice and gum for seven days
  • Don’t clean or floss the treated area for ten days
  • Keep any dental appointments and follow any other instructions provided by your dentist

During the follow-up appointments, our periodontist will evaluate the treated area. In case it is not healing as expected and the pocketing persists, the tooth will be checked for debris. 

If there is debris, our periodontist will debride the area. The dentist may also apply additional Arestin in the pocket. In case the pocketing persists, we may recommend surgical treatment.

If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can quickly lead to bone or tooth loss. This effect is irreversible and will see you lose your beautiful smile. Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek treatment. Our dental facility offers effective treatment for gum disease. 

Our friendly periodontists will advise you and carry out the proper procedures to ensure you don’t lose your teeth. We use Arestin during the SRP treatment to increase your chances of recovery and reduce the risk of periodontitis recurring.