Perio Protect – Is it right for you?
Do you have gingivitis or periodontal disease? There is a product on the market called Perio Protect and it’s supposedly one of the latest and greatest tools for helping you fight the battle against gum disease. But it’s not cheap. And if your dentist is suggesting you try Perio Protect, you may want to do a little homework on the subject. So before you fork over the big $$$ read this honest Perio Protect review to see if this product is right for you. Here is my experience with Perio Protect…
Why I Needed Perio Protect
I have managed to go through my entire 42 years on this planet without having one cavity in my entire life. Woohoo! But I can’t celebrate too much. Because while I have never had a cavity, I have been unfortunate enough to have something which might be even worse. Advanced periodontal disease.
I did not get this disease overnight and it’s all my fault.
In my early teens I had to wear orthodontic braces to fix my overbite and buck teeth. They were the old fashioned metal and rubber band kind and they made brushing and flossing really difficult. Ok, who am I kidding – I never flossed. Since it was so hard to clean my teeth while wearing braces, my gums started to become puffy and swollen and they also bled.
I had to have my first deep cleaning when I was 15 which is much worse than it sounds. Basically they have to inject your gums with Novocaine and use lots of noisy and sharp tools to clean underneath the gums. It’s not a fun experience.
In my mid 20s the gingivitis turned into periodontal disease. I had to endure several more deep cleanings as the “pockets” between my gums were getting worse. Then once I hit my 30s, during a routine dental check up, the dentist looked at my X-rays and was shaking his head. He kept saying “Oh my my ” over and over. I was like WHAT?! He said that I was one of the youngest patients he has ever had to have such significant bone loss. I was like bone loss? What does that mean? I was not prepared for what I was about to hear.
I have loose teeth!
No. This can’t be happening! The thought of losing my front teeth has me terrified. I have nightmares about it and what really sucks is that is a REAL possibility – not just a bad dream. I can’t afford to have implants and I don’t want to wear dentures. So ever since then, I have been brushing and flossing my teeth religiously and see a dentist every six months.
What’s even more fun is my dentist calls me a “Tartar Magnet” meaning that I have an issue where tartar (calculus) builds up on my teeth very quickly if I don’t keep it under control. I’m not going to get into what Tartar is in this post, so if you want to know more you can click this link.
Alas, they said it is often genetic. Some people have problems with rotting teeth, other people have problems with gum disease. I happen to be one of the latter and I honestly don’t know which is worse.
But my dentist said there is a new product on the market that he thinks I would be a perfect candidate for. It’s called Perio Protect and it is supposed to control bacteria and even reverse bone degeneration. I was like, this product sounds amazing! Tell me more!
What is Perio Protect?
According to the manufacturer :
Perio Protect® is a comprehensive treatment approach that combines professional cleanings with a special, comfortable tray delivery of medication that you use at home between office visits. The Perio Tray® by Perio Protect is similar to a mouth-guard, but it has a special sealing system to deliver medication below the gums. You put medication in the tray and wear it for a few minutes a day.
Medicine delivered in a tray that you just have to wear in your mouth a few times a day? Easy! No sweat! And there is the added bonus of whitening due to the peroxide medicine that you use with the trays. Sweet!
*You can not use just any trays for Perio Protect such as a mouth guard, or Invisalign. The trays are specifically designed to cover up the gum line so that the medicine gets into every nook and cranny.
But you also have to be dedicated. I was told I would have to use this product 4 times a day for 15 mins at a time. You can’t just leave it in your mouth for an hour. You have to remove the trays, rinse them out, then reapply the medicine and leave in your mouth for 15 mins each time. Every day. Suck it up buttercup, we can do this. I’ll make it work somehow.
I asked my dentist how much it would cost, they said it was not covered by my insurance (shocker) so it would cost $650 for the trays and then I would have to get the medication separately. $650 is a lot of money. But if this would save my teeth without having to get surgery or dentures, I was willing to give it a try. The Perio Protect is cheaper than the alternatives and of course better than losing my teeth!
I patiently waited to get my tax return that year and planned to use some of my refund on the Perio Protect treatment. But I had several months to wait, so during that time I went online to read the reviews and do a little research on the subject. And the weird thing is I did not see many reviews from actual patients. However, I DID see many reviews from dentists websites. That should have been a little warning sign and I should have kind of taken that into account before committing to trying this product. Hence, this is why I’m writing this for YOU!
My First Experience with Perio Protect
The first thing you need to do is have molds taken of your teeth. This process kind of freaks me out. I had flashbacks to when I had to get my braces and almost suffocated from the clay they had shoved into my mouth filling up the back of my throat, eyes bugging out of my head.
I expressed my fear to the hygienist taking the mold and she said don’t worry, this doesn’t take nearly as long. And she was right. The bottom mold was first and it was quick and easy.
But then came the scary one. The top mold.
I wasn’t going to panic. It would all be over soon…
I closed my eyes and tried to relax while breathing out of my nose trying not to think about that clay slowly filling up the roof of my mouth inching toward the back of my throat. If I would have inhaled through my mouth, it could have literally killed me! About 2 mins later, she removed the cast. And it was no good. She had to do it again. Dammit.
Try #2 – Ok, I can do this. Breath in and out through the nose. Picture myself with perfect healthy teeth. Two mins later, the mold pops off. And again it was no good. F*ck! I was starting to get irritated. But I just kept thinking to myself this is for my own good. I will not go through life with missing teeth. Here we go again…
Try #3 – Do not be discouraged. It will all be over soon. Two mins later, she pops off the mold. And again, it cracked. By this time, I was getting pretty mad. I told her that if we can’t get it right on the 4th try, that I would like someone else to do it. She apologized and said she thinks she knows what happened (whatever that means) and will get it right this time. This better be the last one…
Try #4 – Thinking happy thoughts. Beautiful white teeth…Pop! She removes the mold and thinks it will work. Thank goodness! It took all of my power and strength not to have an anxiety attack for the last half an hour.
Now I just have to go to the front desk and fork over the cash, wait 2 weeks for my trays to be ready, and have them order the medicine. Cool.
So a week or two goes by and I get a call from the dentist. “Melanie, we need you to come back in to redo your molds. The one we sent over cracked”. Are you freaking kidding me?! $#@*!!! I told the dentist that I wanted a different person to do it this time. I did not want to go through that whole shenanigan again. This time I had a different girl do the mold for me and she got it right on the first try. Thank the universe!
Another 2 weeks go by and I get my Perio Protect kit from the dentist. It came in a cute box with a little plastic case for the trays and space for the tube of Perio Gel and your toothbrush. And then I was informed that it would be another $70 for the medicine. $20 for the gel and $50 for the medicine. Every 2 months. *Headslap* I didn’t really take that into consideration. But I am committed. We are doing this!
What Came with the Perio Protect Kit
Since I was using it for bone loss, I had to get a 3oz tube of Periogel (a hydrogen peroxide-based gel used to kill disease-carrying bacteria, while promoting and supporting the reduction and the growth of beneficial bacteria), a glass bottle of Vibramycin a.k.a. Doxycycline – supposedly the magic ingredient for regrowing bone, a few plastic syringes, and some teeny tiny brushes.
How to Use Perio Protect
To use Perio Protect, you just cut the tip of the Periogel tube and put a few tiny dots of the gel into the tray. Then you shake up the Vibramycin and fill up the syringe with a very small amount and just place about 3 dots of the liquid into each tray. Then you use the brushes to mix everything together and spread it along the inside of the trays.
If you can taste the product, you used too much – which I did the first few weeks. It tastes nasty and I had to get up to spit every 5 minutes. After a while I learned that you really only need a super tiny amount of product – you don’t need to fill every crevice of the mold. Just a dot every few teeth.
The Vibramycin is kind of gross. It’s extremely sticky and when I shook it up, it leaked out from under the cap and became a gooey mess. I actually ended up losing a lot of product. This gook cost me $50. Every drop was precious! So when it came time to get the product refilled, I asked if I could get a different bottle since mine leaked. They said the only other option was a plastic one that has a little hole at the top for the syringe. This was a much better choice! You just put the syringe in the hole, tilt the bottle and fill it up. Much less mess.
I didn’t want to take the whole kit to work with me so I had to figure out exactly what time I could use the Perio Protect. What I did was use it first thing in the morning while I was getting ready for work. Then after I was done eating for the night around 9pm, I would do the procedure 3 times in a row for 15 mins at a time. It would take about an hour in total (for rinsing and refilling the trays).
How Did Perio Protect Work for Me?
After about 3-4 months of using the product I began to notice something that freaked me out a little bit. I had this brown/black gunk between my teeth especially in the back. I was like WTF is THAT?! It literally looked like I was eating poop. I still brushed and flossed twice a day so I was baffled. I thought this was supposed to whiten my teeth? What is going on?
I went home and looked at my syringes and lo and behold the tips of the syringes were stained dark brown too. It was then that I knew it was from the Perio Protect. I also looked at the plastic kit that I used to store my trays. The bottom of the case was black. OMG so gross! *Tip – If you dry your trays before putting them away this will help keep the gunk away.
Then I did a Google search and looked up “Perio Protect Stained Teeth” and other similar searches and only found one hit with a patient sharing a similar problem. Are we two seriously the only ones who experienced this?
Perio Protect 6 Month Check Up
At my 6 month dental check up, I told them about the stains I was experiencing and they said it is because of the Vibramycin. I really wish I was told about this up front. But the good news is, I didn’t have any tartar for them to scrape away and my gum pockets had been reduced.
They did have to scrape away those nasty brown stains, which fortunately were removed from a thorough dental cleaning. But the big question was are my teeth tightening up? The answer was unfortunately no. Consequently, I was told that I might have to use the product for another year (18 months total) before I would start seeing results.
I figured had already invested $650 for the trays plus $70 every 2 months for the medicine. But I was going to stick with it. I was going to deal with the stains. I was going to deal with the inconvenience of skipping my late night snacks to wear the trays every evening. I was going to keep my teeth!
Perio Protect 12 Month Check Up
Another 6 months go by. I had gotten tired of using the trays 4 times a day. Some nights I would forget to put them in until it was too late and I just didn’t have the time to wear them that long before bed. I started using the trays 3x a day instead of 4.
The cost of my medication went up also. The Periogel was up to $26 and the Vibramycin went up to $60. At my 12 month appointment I asked if they saw any improvement. Unfortunately my pockets got deep in a few spots again and I was still dealing with the stains. My teeth were still loose. But I was not ready to give up so I kept at it.
Perio Protect 18 Month Check Up
At my 18 month appointment I told the dentist that if my teeth aren’t getting any better I was pretty much done. She checked the movement of my teeth and they were still loose with no improvement.
It was then that I made up my mind. I was over it. She agreed with me. She said that she has had patients who have used the product for 2 years and have not seen any improvement in regrowing the bone. The only thing to do is to have periodontal surgery or she suggested getting a permanent retainer to keep my teeth in place.
I’m tired and broke, and a retainer would make it impossible to floss. It is not really an option. Needless to say, I felt defeated.
How Much Perio Protect Cost Me
Overall, this is what I ended up spending on Perio Protect:
$650 for the trays
$210 on medicine for the 1st 6 months ($70 every other month)
$516 on medicine for the last 12 months (when the price went up)
Total spent over 18 months = $1376
Keep in mind, this was the cost from my dentist here in Phoenix, AZ. How much Perio Protect will cost will probably vary from place to place.
- No change in bone loss.
- Reduced my gum pockets and overall health of my gums.
- Kept tartar away the entire time.
I do plan to stick with using the trays! Just this time with the Periogel only. It’s only $26 every two months and it has whitened my teeth quite a bit when using it alone. Since I don’t have to use it 3-4 times a day, the product will last much longer. I am hopeful that this will help keep the tartar away and keep my gums healthy. We’ll know at my next check up!
So if your dentist recommends that you try Perio Protect, I hope that you have found this review useful. If you have gingivitis or early stage periodontal disease, it would probably be really beneficial for you. But if you are trying to use it to regrow bone, all I can say is it didn’t work for me. I kind of feel like a sucker.
I am going to keep fighting to keep my teeth for as long as possible. I am going to keep brushing and flossing every day and visit my dentist every 6 months. But if my teeth get any looser, I’m going to go straight to a periodontist to get a quote for surgery. I’m already making plans for my tax refund. 🙁
Have you ever heard of or tried Perio Protect? What do you think of it? What are your dental horror stories? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this post and I paid for this product with my own money, but it does contains affiliate links which means I may be compensated a small amount if you click through and purchase. Full disclosure policy here.**