Perio Protect: Gum Disease Treatment at Home
When it comes to your oral health, the word periodontitis isn’t one you want to hear. That’s the clinical term for gum disease. Gum disease can be in the early stages, known as gingivitis, where the gums are simply inflamed. Or it can be in the later stages where the patient is in danger of losing all of his or her teeth.
Either way, it’s not something you want. Dr. DeStefano and our whole team aim to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but sometimes we need an extra tool. Perio Protect is one of the tools we use, and our patients from Pittsford and the surrounding areas love its non-invasive treatment to improve the health of their gums.
“Dr. DeStefano has been my trusted dentist for over 25 years – first when he was freshly minted and a member of a group practice, up through the establishment of his solo practice to today. Dr. DeStefano has built his practice into a thoroughly professional, efficient and friendly group…”
“My family is very happy with this small, friendly dentist office. We have always had prompt, friendly and professional dental services and appointments are always easy to make. The dentists and hygienists are meticulous but gentle and very kind.”
Gum disease is common
It’s estimated that 80 percent of American adults have some degree of gum disease. For many of those people, the situation hasn’t become dire yet. But half of the American adults have what is classified as chronic gum disease.
Treatments for gum disease can range from root scaling and planing when gum disease is in the early stages to gum surgery and tooth replacement in its later stages. Surgery has been the realm of periodontists, and they strive to remove diseased gum tissue to stop the spread of bacteria and stem the infection before it begins to attack the tooth roots and loosen the teeth.
But gum surgery removes gum tissue, and this leads to pain and tooth sensitivity. Also, it’s no sure bet the bacteria won’t infect the new incisions.
Dr. DeStefano has an easier way to treat gum disease. It’s called Perio Protect.
What is Perio Protect?
Perio Protect uses custom created trays to deliver bacteria-fighting peroxide into the pockets of the gums to kill the source of the infection. The patient simply fills his or her trays and wears them the prescribed amount of time each day. The treatment is completely non-invasive, repeatable, and effective.
How does Perio Protect work?
Perio Protect is prescribed by Dr. DeStefano. The patient then is responsible for the application. The process starts with impressions taken of your teeth and bite. We ship these to the Perio Protect laboratory. The lab then fabricates custom mouth guard-like trays designed to gently deliver medication below your gum line. The trays are designed with a patented seal to place and hold medication where it is most effective — at the site of the infection below the gum line.
When your trays are shipped to our Pittsford offices, you come in and we show you how to place a small amount of the prescription medicine in each tray. You wear the trays for just minutes each day; the duration and frequency will be designed by Dr. DeStefano depending on your level of gum disease.
A low concentration of hydrogen peroxide gently and thoroughly cleanses the periodontal pockets, where bacteria are thriving. The peroxide also has the side benefits of whitening your teeth and freshening your breath.
Who is a good candidate for Perio Protect?
Perio Protect isn’t meant as a preventative measure to stop gum disease. That’s what diligent brushing, flossing, and the use of mouthwashes are all about. But once you have gum disease, where tartar and plaque have moved under the gum line and are causing enough irritation to make the gums pull away from the teeth, now Perio Protect could be very helpful.
For some patients, the non-invasive Perio Trays reduce the need for surgical intervention. For others, Perio Protect can be a complement to traditional root scaling, root planing, and even gum flap surgery. It helps ensure the bacteria can’t return and get a new foothold.
Dr. DeStefano can tell you if you’re a good candidate for Perio Protect to treat your gum disease.
Can I whiten my teeth before or after using Perio Protect?
Interestingly enough, teeth whitening uses the same catalyst as Perio Protect, hydrogen peroxide. The difference is where it is applied and the strength of the solution. Perio Protect’s custom trays fit your teeth precisely and they also feature an internal seal. This ensures the hydrogen peroxide formula is delivered beneath the gumline to kill the bacteria that is causing gum disease.
With teeth whitening, our in-office GLO or KöR systems also use peroxide. Here, the peroxide penetrates the enamel of your teeth to break up stains that have penetrated and lodged in the enamel. Unlike Perio Protect, with teeth whitening, we apply the whitening gel only to the tooth surfaces of the patient. We put a block on the gums.
So, yes, you can whiten your teeth before or after using Perio Protect. An interesting side effect of using Perio Protect, however, is that the hydrogen peroxide whitens your teeth. This is not to the same degree as our in-office or at-home teeth whitening options at DeStefano Dentistry, but for some patients it delays their need to come in for whitening.
What kind of results can Perio Protect achieve?
Brushing and flossing are mandatory tools of daily home oral hygiene, but some people simply struggle with gum infections and perennial bad breath caused by the bacteria.
The Perio Trays have a patented seal that delivers the bacteria-killing peroxide where toothbrushes and floss cannot reach. In research, Perio Protect has reduced gum bleeding by 75 percent. In a controlled clinical trial, 100 percent of patients surveyed after being placed on Perio Protect treatment said they would recommend the treatment to others.
The hydrogen peroxide you place in the Perio Trays has two roles. First, it kills bacteria. Peroxide is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, meaning it kills various bacterial species in the gum pockets. Antibiotic treatments often can only target specific strains. Also, the bubbles from the hydrogen peroxide are releasing oxygen deep into the pockets. This creates a healthier environment for bacterial growth, so healthy bacteria (which your mouth is full of at all times) can repopulate and exclude bad, pathogenic bacteria.
Are there side effects with Perio Protect?
Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring substance in your body. In fact, your body makes peroxide in your liver, and your white blood cells use it to fight infection. There aren’t any side effects or complications with these treatments.
How many Perio Protect trays will I receive?
This isn’t like Invisalign where you have different aligner trays that you wear for two weeks and then discard and replace them with the next set. The Perio Protect treatment uses two trays, one for each arch.
How long will a Perio Protect tray last?
These are meant to last for the long haul. After all, only in the beginning do you need to wear them multiple times every day (up to four times daily). That’s what is needed to really push back initially against the bacteria. Then, after the bacteria are under control and your gums are healthy and have a balanced mix of bacteria (our mouths always have bacteria), you’ll continue wearing the Perio Protect trays. But now it is only one time per day for 10-15 minutes.
The trays can easily hold up to these conditions. If you do notice that you can taste more of the Perio Protect gel, that means we need to check the fit of your trays. If necessary, another set can be ordered.
Is there any recovery after Perio Protect treatment?
No. These are completely non-invasive treatments. You simply wear the Perio Trays 10 to 15 minutes a day. Afterward, you can do whatever you please.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about Perio Protect you can contact us for a consultation at 585.248.2383 or fill out a contact us form here. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.