Periodontal (gum) disease

Gum disease is caused by bacteria below the gumline and is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Even so, many people are tempted to ignore their dentist’s advice to treat gum disease in its early stages.


You have a choice. Do more now, or allow the disease to progress further. Left untreated, gum disease may lead to more serious problems that may require painful and expensive surgery. They can also lead to tooth loss. Your dental professional can perform scaling and root planing (SRP), applying ARESTIN®, to help you treat moderate to severe gum disease.

How gum infections happen

Periodontal (gum) disease is very common. Everyone’s mouth contains the bacteria that cause gum disease. That’s why it’s the most common chronic bacterial infection in adults. In fact, the majority of adults in the United States have it. With regular checkups and good daily oral hygiene, it’s possible to keep this infection under control. Since early gum disease symptoms are often mild, many people are not aware of their condition until it becomes more serious.

Plaque is the root of the problem

Over time, a film (plaque) builds up on your teeth. A major cause of tooth decay, plaque is a sticky substance made of bacteria, mucus, and food on the exposed parts of your teeth. Over time, plaque can harden and become trapped at the base of the tooth. A buildup can lead to gum infection. Once plaque hardens on your teeth, it’s known as tartar or calculus. Plaque and tartar can harm your gums if they are not removed. This can lead to inflamed and infected gums, also known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gum disease may progress as the infection can create deep pockets (gaps) or cause your gums to recede or pull back. This exposes the roots of your teeth and allows bacteria to grow below the gumline. Over time, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may need to be removed.

Symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease

The symptoms below are all signs of gum disease. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, tell your dental professional:

  • Bad breath – 
The bacteria that cause gum disease release toxins that can cause bad breath.
  • Tender or painful gums – 

Receding gums and exposed tooth roots can cause added sensitivity.
  • Bright red gums – 
Even a subtle change in the color of your gums can be a sign of gum disease.
  • Swollen gums – 
A gum infection can cause the gums to swell.
  • Bleeding gums – 
Bleeding is a common symptom of gum disease. Healthy gums should not bleed during brushing, flossing, or a standard dental exam.
  • Gaps – 
Gum disease causes a gap, or pocket, to form along the side of your tooth.
  • Loose teeth – 
It’s not normal to have teeth that can wiggle, at any age. Gum disease can cause teeth to loosen over time.
  • Alignment changes – 
Gum disease also attacks the bone and tissue that support your teeth. This can cause your teeth to change position over time

You may not have these symptoms today, but they may develop in the future. So it’s important to maintain a good oral care routine.

Periodontal disease treatment

SRP (Scaling and Root planning) is an effective gum disease treatment. In this procedure, your dental professional will clean plaque and tartar from your teeth and roots. SRP can remove much of the plaque below your gumline. This is where bacteria produce toxins that irritate your gums and cause gum infections. But sometimes SRP alone isn’t enough to get all the bacteria behind gum disease.

ARESTIN® with SRP is more likely to result in successful treatment than SRP alone

ARESTIN® is a locally administered antibiotic treatment for gum disease. It’s a powder composed of 100,000 tiny microspheres that release antibiotics over time. In a single visit, your dental professional will add ARESTIN® to the pocket between your gum and tooth. It’s a painless procedure, and ARESTIN® with SRP can make your gum disease treatment more effective by killing the bacteria left behind after SRP. Best of all, ARESTIN® keeps working long after you leave the dentist’s chair.

Periodontitis is an active, persistent infection that requires more than scaling and root planing (SRP).

ARESTIN® (minocycline HCl) is a sustained release, locally applied antibiotic that targets the red complex bacteria underlying the active, persistent infection of periodontal disease.
When you add ARESTIN® (minocycline HCl) to SRP, you receive the benefits of comprehensive treatment that’s superior to scaling and root planing alone:

  • Decreased bleeding on probing
  • Immediate and sustained reductions in harmful periodontal bacteria to healthier levels
  • A healthier oral environment for up to 30 days, so healing can begin
  • Decreased pocket depth

ARESTIN® (minocycline HCl) is indicated as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) procedures for reduction of pocket depth in patients with adult periodontitis. ARESTIN® (minocycline HCl) may be used as part of a periodontal maintenance program, which includes good oral hygiene and SRP.