Pacific Beach Dentistry logo926 Hornblend Street
San Diego, CA 92109

(858) 273-7900
Joseph M. Snider, DDS
Terri Nguyen Snider, DDS


Periodontal Therapy

You may have Periodontal Disease and not realize it. Most people don't experience pain or have obvious symptoms. Periodontal disease is the primary cause of the loss of teeth in adults. This inflammatory disease, simply called gum disease, attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures of the teeth.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in the mouth, irritating the gums and causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It also causes the gums to bleed easily. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the necks of the teeth.

The tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth can be destroyed by the irritants in plaque. The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with more plaque. As the pockets deepen, it becomes impossible for you to clean the plaque out. Eventually, the bone structure supporting the teeth can be destroyed.


The type of treatment you require depends on how advanced your particular case is. Individualized treatment may include any of the following:

  • Scaling and Root Planing - Scaling is removing the calculus deposits from your teeth above and below the gum line. Root planing is the smoothing of the root surfaces where the bacteria can collect. Scaling and Root Planing is done under local anesthetic so that your treatment is as comfortable as possible.

  • Arestin Therapy - A potent but low-dose antibiotic (minocycline 1 mg) is administered locally, directly into the infected pockets between your teeth to significantly reduce the depth of infected pockets and help prevent disease progression.

  • Oral Hygiene Instruction - Proper and frequent brushing and flossing is crucial in the daily battle against periodontal disease. We may instruct you on specialized home cleaning aids.

  • More Frequent Teeth Cleanings - It may take the bacteria at the base of the pocket only three months to colonize into numbers able to destroy supporting jawbone. Frequent cleanings can prevent this buildup. We may recommend that you have your teeth cleaned every three or four months instead of the usual six months.

Severe periodontal disease may require that you see a specialist, called a Periodontist, to be treated with surgical techniques. Each of us is different, and so is our individual ability to resist diseases. Some patients are more susceptible than others to periodontal disease. Fortunately, you don't have to lose your teeth to gum disease. With today's treatment procedures, you can feel assured that most teeth can be saved.

Healthy gums & bone

Healthy gums





Early Periodontitis

Early to Moderate Periodontitis


Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced Periodontitis