Tens of millions of Americans suffer from periodontal disease, which affects the gums, teeth, and bone that surrounds the teeth. Periodontal disease begins with a bacterial infection. As the infection worsens, your immune system produces white blood cells to fight it. Unfortunately, as they fight the infection, the white blood cells also release enzymes that destroy the soft tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. As a result, your teeth may become loose, and, if left untreated, the destruction of supporting bone will eventually lead to tooth loss.

Fortunately, there is an effective treatment called Atridox that fights the bacterial source of periodontal disease and its destructive effects. Atridox is an antimicrobial gel containing the broad-spectrum antibiotic doxycycline. We apply Atridox directly to the infected spaces between your teeth and gums. It then flows deep into the periodontal pockets, where it hardens into a wax-like substance. As it sits in the pocket, it releases the antibiotic over a 7-day period. During this time, the antibiotic attacks the bacteria that are causing your periodontal infection, dramatically reducing their numbers.

Treating your periodontal infection with Atridox is quick and completely comfortable. Your body absorbs the waxy plug, so you won't need to come in and have us remove it. Scaling and root planing treatment is not necessary with each application of Atridox, but we will use these treatments as needed to keep your periodontal disease under control. You must be thorough and consistent with your daily oral hygiene, and you should come to see us every 3 to 4 months for an exam and cleaning to keep the infection in check.

The active ingredient in Atridox is in the tetracycline class of drugs, so it's not an option if you are allergic to drugs in the tetracycline family. Also, if you're pregnant or nursing, we won't use Atridox to treat your periodontal infection, because tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration in your unborn or nursing baby.

You should be aware that Atridox is not a cure for periodontal disease, and once bone has been lost, no medication will bring it back. However, Atridox is another effective method that helps eradicate the bacterial infection and prevent further destruction of bone and connective tissue.