How dentists and compounding pharmacists save your gums from periodontitis

Certainly, the path to healthy teeth and gums is pretty clear: Brush, floss, see your dentist. But keeping your gums as healthy as they can be can often take a little extra effort.  That effort is certainly worth it,  as severe periodontitis (or gum disease) can lead to damage to the bone that supports your teeth.  For those severe cases, your doctor may work with a compounding pharmacy to find a solution designed for your specific case.

Download the Supplements for Teeth and Gums Reference Guide for Dentists

Almost half the adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that it’s not just that Americans are bad at brushing.  In some cases, other chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses can contribute to poor oral health. It could be that your dentist has had to take more intensive steps to combat this disease because of an underlying condition.

What is Periodontitis?

The Mayo Clinic says Periodontitis or gum disease is a gum infection that can become serious.  Periodontitis is largely avoidable through good oral hygiene. Signs of Periodontitis include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bright red, dusky red, or purplish gums
  • Gums that feel tender when touched
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
  • Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • New spaces develop between your teeth
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

How are compounded medications used to treat periodontitis?

The first line of defense against this disease is regular brushing, and flossing as well as regular trips to the dentist.  If Periodontitis is present, there are both surgical and non-surgical solutions. In connection with either, your dentist may prescribe a special wash or antibiotic gel in order to combat the infection. That’s where a compounding pharmacy can be an important part of the team. Learn more about how compounding pharmacists and dentists work together.

Working in partnership with the dental team, a compounding pharmacist can create pastes, gels, or washes that deliver medication in the best manner possible for each patient. A compounding pharmacist works with the dentist, and based on the patient’s dental history creates a unique solution taking that history into account. Because these treatments are unique to the patient, they can offer the best possible outcome, with the least chance of adverse effects.

Teeth and gums support

Dentists treating periodontitis may prescribe an antibiotic.  A compounding pharmacist can formulate a mouthwash, oral adhesive paste, or plasticized gel that contains an antibiotic. Or recommend supplements to support teeth and gums.

The paste or gel will maintain contact between tissue and medication for a prolonged period of time, increasing the possibility of resolving the infection. A recent study showed that a gel of this type using Metronidazole 25%  in conjunction with standard treatments such as scaling and root planing showed significant improvement in the successful treatment of Periodontitis.

Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy has been providing pharmaceutical solutions to dentists and their patients since 1996.   Locally owned and based in southern Michigan, Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy was among the nation’s first compounding pharmacies to earn accreditation by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) of the Accreditation for Healthcare Commission (2006). Our mission is to partner with healthcare providers to provide service excellence, accuracy, and rapid response for improved patient outcomes.  To learn more about building a partnership, call Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy at (800) 836-2303.

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Health Dimensions is an APMS member
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