Frequently asked questions about gum disease and ARESTIN

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Gum disease

What is gum disease?

Gum disease—also known as periodontal disease—is a bacterial infection that can, over time, harm the gums and bone that support your teeth. With timely treatment and good at-home care, you and your dental professional can fight the infection, allowing your gums to heal, get stronger, and hold your teeth more securely.

What are pockets?

If gum infection is not treated, the gums can begin to pull back, creating pockets of diseased tissue between the teeth and gums. As a pocket deepens, the tooth can become less supported, and bacteria can spread even deeper.

Why is pocket depth important?

If you have pockets that get deeper over time, it can be a sign that gum disease is getting worse. If the pockets become less deep, it can be a positive sign that treatment is working. See pocket depth chart

What is scaling and root planing (SRP)?

  • Scaling teeth involves manually removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and their roots
  • Planing smoothes out rough spots on the roots where bacteria can gather

SRP is a widely used treatment for gum disease.

How effective is scaling and root planing (SRP)?

SRP is highly effective at removing visible plaque and tartar, but it often cannot reach to the base of deep pockets. That’s why many dental professionals use a combination approach that pairs the antibiotic ARESTIN (minocycline HCl) Microspheres, 1 mg and SRP. See how ARESTIN works

What are the risks and causes of periodontal disease (gum disease)?

There are many factors that can put someone at risk for gum disease. An important one is poor oral hygiene, which may allow bacterial plaque to build up. Other risk factors include family history, diabetes, smoking, certain prescription medicines, stress, pregnancy, diseases affecting the immune system, and tooth alignment irregularities that may lead to food impaction.

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About ARESTIN (minocycline HCl) Microspheres, 1 mg

What is ARESTIN used for?

ARESTIN is an antibiotic a dental professional places directly into infected gum pockets after a scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure. ARESTIN + SRP fights harmful bacteria deeper—and longer—than SRP alone. See how ARESTIN works

What are ARESTIN microspheres?

ARESTIN microspheres are tiny particles that contain an antibiotic. They release the antibiotic gradually to fight bacteria in the gums over time.

How is ARESTIN treatment different from taking antibiotic pills?

Unlike oral antibiotics for gum infection, ARESTIN is locally applied, delivering the antibiotic right where you need it, at the site of the gum infection.

How does ARESTIN work?

After performing a scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure, a dental professional places ARESTIN directly into the gum pocket. Because it starts as a fine powder, ARESTIN can reach the base of the pocket, targeting bacteria that SRP alone may not reach. See how ARESTIN works

How effective is ARESTIN?

Studies have proven that ARESTIN + scaling and root planing (SRP) is more effective in reducing pocket depth than SRP alone. Learn about ARESTIN effectiveness

How effective is ARESTIN for smokers with gum disease?

In a clinical study, smokers treated with ARESTIN + scaling and root planing (SRP) showed a 29% reduction in pocket depth vs SRP alone.

How long does it take ARESTIN to work?

Fighting gum disease takes time, and healing happens gradually. Depending on the depth and number of pockets you have, some pockets may need retreatment at future visits. To achieve the best results from treatment with ARESTIN, follow the post-treatment instructions and any other recommendations from your dental professional.

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Treatment with ARESTIN (minocycline HCl) Microspheres, 1 mg

When do I receive treatment with ARESTIN?

ARESTIN is applied to infected pockets in the gums immediately after a scaling and root planing (SRP) has been completed. Your dental professional may apply ARESTIN during the same visit as your SRP or during a follow-up visit.

Is placement of ARESTIN painful?

Placement of ARESTIN is easy and does not require needles or anesthesia.

How long does placement of ARESTIN take?

Placing ARESTIN in the gums takes 1-2 minutes in most cases.

Does the treatment require bandages or other covering?

No. ARESTIN does not require bandages and will not fall out.

Will I have to return to my dental office to have ARESTIN removed?

No. ARESTIN is naturally absorbed into the gums, leaving nothing that needs to be removed.

After a treatment with ARESTIN, what instructions do I need to follow?

For 7 days after treatment, do not eat hard, crunchy, or sticky foods (eg, carrots, chips, and gum). For 10 days after treatment, do not use floss or a dental pick in the treated areas. Your dental professional may have additional instructions.

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Safety profile of ARESTIN (minocycline HCl) Microspheres, 1 mg

Does ARESTIN have any side effects?

Patients treated with ARESTIN may experience side effects. In clinical studies, the non-dental side effects that impacted more than 5% of patients included headache, infection, ulceration and soreness of the mouth, and flu-like symptoms. The most common side effects related to the mouth were swelling of the gums, tooth disorder, cavities, and tooth pain.

Can I receive ARESTIN if I am allergic to the antibiotics minocycline or tetracycline?

No. ARESTIN should not be used in any patient who has a known allergy or sensitivity to minocycline or the tetracycline class of antibiotics.

Can I be treated with ARESTIN if I am pregnant or nursing a baby?

No. ARESTIN contains minocycline, an antibiotic in the tetracycline class. Tetracyclines should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or by children. The use of tetracyclines during development may result in permanent discoloration of the teeth. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions about ARESTIN and pregnancy.

Are there any drug interactions with ARESTIN?

Interactions with ARESTIN and other drugs have not been studied. Consult your physician about any health concerns or conditions you may have. Your physician will be most familiar with you and your personal medical history.

Will ARESTIN interact with the penicillin I take prior to my dental work?

An interaction with ARESTIN and penicillin has not been studied. Consult your physician and dental professional about any health concerns you may have. They will be the most familiar with you and your personal medical history.

If I am allergic to gluten, nuts, or red or yellow dye, can I still receive ARESTIN?

Yes, ARESTIN does not contain any gluten, red or yellow dye, nuts, or nut byproducts.

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Saving on ARESTIN (minocycline HCl) Microspheres, 1 mg

Do I need to have dental insurance to get coverage for my ARESTIN prescription?

No. If you already have dental insurance, ask your dental office or plan if there is coverage. But you may qualify for coverage under your medical insurance plan's prescription benefits.

How can I find out if my medical insurance offers coverage for ARESTIN?

There’s very little you need to do. Your dental office handles the paperwork to find out if your medical plan may cover ARESTIN. If your medical insurance does provide coverage for ARESTIN, you may be eligible for a copay as low as $0.* Learn about saving on ARESTIN

What if I don’t have any insurance coverage for ARESTIN?

Talk with your dental office; they may suggest payment options you are not aware of.

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*For more information, download the Copay Assistance Patient Eligibility Form.