For many patients struggling with periodontal health, the road to relief can seem never-ending. This is, in part, due to the hyper-resilient nature of oral biofilm, the core cause of gum disease. Because oral biofilm features a protective slime matrix and has a capacity for cell-to-cell communication, like all biofilms, it tends to resist and adapt to both host defenses and systemic antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, unaided, the gold standards for periodontal treatment—such as scaling and root planing (SRP) and surgery—can often fall short as well.
The Shortcomings of Surgery and Scaling
Removing all bacteria living within subgingival biofilm is impossible with SRP, and scientific evidence suggests that mechanical disturbance of these communities can be counterproductive. One study showed that, after the removal of 50% of the initial biofilm using SRP, a four-fold increase in biofilm growth occurred. This was followed by the revelation that 75% removal of the regrowth produced a three-fold increase over the first regrowth. Subsequently, most patients who suffer from chronic periodontitis are stuck in a cycle of treatment that begins anew every 3–6 months, even when supplemented with traditional homecare like brushing and flossing. Repeated scaling presents additional problems for patients who have arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory illnesses, as it has been shown to raise the chances of bacteremia or transmission of bacteria to the bloodstream. While the threat of bacteremia is typically of little concern for most healthy individuals, immunocompromised patients are at greater risk of contracting systemic illness with every round of SRP.
Last-resort treatments for patients with advanced periodontal disease include surgical procedures like pocket reduction, gum and bone grafting, as well as dental prosthetics. While most surgeries produce a favorable outcome, all cause some degree of postoperative bleeding, pain, swelling, and hypersensitivity, which means discomfort for the patient. As a result, it’s not uncommon for patients to put off or refuse surgery altogether out of fear of postoperative side effects or an unpleasant previous experience. Albeit low, surgery also comes with the risk of complications like bacteremia, trismus (an inability to open the mouth), and, of course, infection, which can lead to a host of other challenges for patients and their clinicians. Additionally worth mentioning are the complications that can arise from the use of local anesthesia which include toxicity, allergy, paresthesia, and more.
A Non-Invasive Therapy
Patients can reduce the need for painful surgery, frequent, uncomfortable scaling, and all associated complications by incorporating a non-invasive, chemical therapy like hydrogen peroxide into their homecare regimen. Trusted by clinicians for over 10 years, the Perio Protect® Method leverages the unique combination of 1.7% hydrogen peroxide gel, a proven antibacterial and debriding agent, and sealed, prescription Perio Tray™ delivery to gently cleanse pathogenic bacteria from periodontal pockets as deep as 9mm. Studies show that when patients use this system for as little as 10 minutes a day, in just several weeks most will experience a marked reduction in biofilm and all related symptoms. This includes gingival inflammation, pain, bleeding upon probing, and pocket depths exceeding 4mm. Scientists hypothesize that the oxygen released by the peroxide gel used in Perio Trays changes the microenvironment of the pocket, which helps break the cycle of biofilm regrowth and promotes continual host healing. Peroxide’s remarkable versatility even lends Perio Protect the ability to whiten teeth and freshen breath.
Better Compliance, Better Outcomes
Many times, periodontal patients have difficulty adhering to prescribed homecare between visits, which sets them up for more maintenance appointments and potential oral surgery down the line. Perio Protect, on the other hand, makes compliance easy, as patients can simply follow comfortable, custom-fit Perio Tray delivery and go about their daily routines. The Perio Protect Method has been so well-received by patients that 100% of those surveyed say they’d recommend it to someone else. And, in cases where SRP and surgery are necessities, the convenience of adjunctive Perio Tray therapy can enhance treatment outcomes by preventing infection and bacteremia and aiding in the healing process.