So far, over 500 Bacterial species have been identified in the oral cavity, plus protozoa, yeasts and viruses. Periodontitis is a polymicrobial infection. Researchers have found that there are 46 common pathogen combinations.
Systemic antibiotics have been evaluated in conjunction with mechanical debridement for severe cases of periodontitis.
In our office we have a phase contrast microscope to help us determine the bacteria in the mouth. We are able to view the bacteria while it is still alive (which is different from other microscopes which cannot use live specimens) to actually see the motion and amount of disease causing microorganisms. At the exam, we take a bacterial sample and view it on the monitors in our exam rooms. This allows patients to become more educated about their perio health and us to better treat the infection.
In some cases where the disease is advanced we also offer a bacterial culture. We sample the bacteria from under the gumline and send it to a lab in California. The lab then cultures the bacteria and sends us a report on the exact classification of the microorganisms so we know which antibiotics are best to help treat the disease.