My poor gums : ( Please HELP. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 01-10-2006, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A recent visit to my periodontist revealed that my poor gums are in an awful state of gum disease. I have some pockets of 6 mm in my mouth!
The periodontist gave me a rinse to clean with...innous fluoride (sounds scary) and wants me to come back for scaling next week. They want to put Arestin into the pockets of my gums.
I am desperately researching some alternative therapy/treatments...homeopathy, dietary supplements (I am vegan but had gum issues before I became vegan), herbal medicine...anything!
Please help...I welcome all suggestions.

Mel
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#2 of 11 Old 01-14-2006, 04:08 AM
 
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Hi Mel. I am a dentist, and with pockets of 6, you can physically not clean them yourself. Without seeing your radiographs I am going to assume that you have buildup with in those pockets, and if you do you cannot clean it off with just a toothbrush or floss. The buildup is adherent (this was changed from not adherent...editing mistake) to the tooth structure. It needs to be mechanically cleaned off with instruments that the dentist or hygenist uses. This is not as bad as you think though. They use little instruments with sharp edges and scrape against the tooth, and scape that buildup off the tooth (there are other methods of doing this as well). Once this is done, I would recommend you be seen 4-6 weeks after that initial appointment, to see if the pocketing has improved. If it has, then I would recommend you see a hygenist to have a cleaning every 3-4 months.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-16-2006, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU so much for your response!
I am definitely getting the scaling and planing done. The dentist is also recommending Arestin implants in 4 areas of my mouth. These are costly and admittedly I have a bit of reservation about Arestin since it's a form of tetracycline and I've heard that the use of it is not really well researched for pregnant/nursing moms and I may conceive soon.

Tell me about Arestin...would you recommend it? Can pockets of 6 mm heal without the Arestin therapy (scaling/planing only)? Is there an alternative therapy?

Thank you!
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#4 of 11 Old 01-18-2006, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all,
I just wanted to report back.
Thanks to some important info given to me by momof1cutie
I knew the questions to ask when I saw my periodontist again. It turns out that antibiotic is usually a secondary line of defense against gum disease...scaling and planing being the first.
When I presented this research to my periodontist, she admitted to me that she prefers to do it that way (using antibiotics as a secondary method) but the dental office prefers to offer antibiotics along with scaling and planing.
I won't even get started about my opinions about why that may be

Momto1cutie pointed out to me in a pm that gum disease needs to be taken seriously, especially so for pregnant women or women who might become pregnant.
I researched her claim and found this:

http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.baby.htm

I also found research that confirms that scaling and planing statistically has great success in helping pregnant moms with gum disease carry their babies to term:

http://www.perio.org/consumer/pregnancy-news.htm
(This article also points out that use of the antibiotic has little effect)

Thank you so much Momto1cutie! Thought I would spread the wealth of info!

Mel.

P.S. Got my scaling and planing done yesterday with no Arestin therapy. Now I go back in a month to see how I've healed...I'll report back then too.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-18-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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YAY, YAY, YAY!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am. Good for you. I have heard of quite a few dentists offering arrestin at the first SRP session. I really have an issue with that, being that **most** people with moderate pockets (which is what you wrote that you had), and in the absense of other disease, with proper oral hygiene (ahhh, the dreaded flossing rears its ugly head ) can improve the pocketing. Anyways, yay for you and no antibiotics.

PS Keep up the flossing
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#6 of 11 Old 01-19-2006, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Flossing as I type....
Some of my pockets were more serious....6mm....I go back in a month and if they haven't improved, then we'll discuss a 2nd line of defense then.
You're right...I have a problem with the antibiotic therapy being aggressively advocated from the start in the absence of other infection.
I am glad that my perio was honest when I knew the questions to ask.
Thanks again!
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#7 of 11 Old 01-23-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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i recently saw my dentist who said my gums were in pretty bad shape, not quite that bad, i think he said some pockets of 4mm. It hurts to floss, he said that was because i wasn't flossing correctly (wasn't going down hard enough because it hurts - kinda a catch 22) Anyway, He recommended I get a waterpik and use that every day and it should improve my gums. They are designed to help clean out pockets and you can get a special attachment which lets you get even deeper. So you might look into doing that as well.

ETA - I don't think the waterpik will remove build up, but regular use is suppose to prevent additional build up I think and I think your gums benefit from the massaging sort of action which reduces the pockets.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#8 of 11 Old 02-17-2006, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I went back to the periodontist today who says that although some areas of my mouth improved after scaling, I still have some pockets of 4,5,6 in my mouth. This time she did not recommend the Arestin because as she said, she "does not recommend a treatment unless she think a patient will get good results". Funny...because she recommended the Arestin right off the bat the first time she saw me (based on the office protocol she later admitted)
It is also no coincidence that all of my deepest pockets are surrounding a metal crown, porcelain crowns with metal "underlays" and heavily filled teeth (amalgam). She says that because the body doesn't heal well around those metals, those metals could actually be aggravating the tissue and making it difficult to heal/harbor bacteria that causes the gum disease.
I am so skeptical and at a loss right now...I just want to totally ignore this situation but I know I can't.
I want to have all of this problematic metal areas taken out of my mouth but I don't want them replaced by something equal or worse. Some of these crowns are in areas that are visible when I smile and I am not emotionally ready to take on gaps in my teeth if I go without crowns. I guess I could just have the back crowns taken off and the teeth extracted. She was worried about that and said it may destroy my tooth structure.
I just don't know what to do. I wish I had a dentist who was also biologically and ethically oriented. Don't even know where to start looking but I will.

Any input is kindly appreciated.

Mel.
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#9 of 11 Old 02-21-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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Hey there...it is me again. I saw your post...has it been 6 weeks already?...wow how time flies. Anyways, I am not surprised that your pockets did not decrease around your crowns. What happens is that our body likes a buffer zone between the margin (where the crown meets the tooth) and the bone that holds your teeth in. Do you get what I am saying?...Without this little buffer zone (average of about 3 millimeters) our bodies make this buffer zone...and therefore the pocket increases. Now remember, I have never seen your radiographs and this is not a diagnosis (I feel I have to add that crapola...LOL) but it sounds like that your body did just that. I would not recommend you have those teeth extracted, because it could change your bite, and depending on what tooth you have extracted, it can cause a host of other things to start happening to other teeth as well.

Here is a question for ya...are the pockets just around your crowns or do you have pockets elsewhere? It could be that you have a metal allergy.

My recommendation is to be on a 3-4 month hygiene recall schedule (because you cannot get to the bottom of those pockets no matter how good you clean) and then the hygenist can help you keep those areas clean. The periodontist probably didnt recommend antibiotics because of the pockets being around your crowns. Antibiotics aren't gonna make that better, KWIM? Try also to keep these areas clean. Floss once a day and make sure you are getting as deep as you can. You will just have to be prudent in your oral hygien now. Good luck.
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#10 of 11 Old 03-01-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Could someone tell me around how much it costs to have the scaling & planing done? Also would a water pic improve receded gums, or would it damage the gums worse? I too was told that I have a few teeth that have receded areas, and they said that I would have to get surgery to rebuild the gum line. Which I in no way want to do. So then I saw this thread about scaling & planing. I also heard from someone boasting that barley greens help, what that is is beyond me. I am concerned about these procedures, dental rinses as to whether they are safe for nursing mommies.

Renee
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#11 of 11 Old 03-01-2006, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My scaling/planing was about $300 with insurance. I don't know what it costs out of pocket. They also wanted to use the antiobiotic implant, Arestin. Based on the reading I was doing about this antibiotic, I personally would not use it while pregnant or nursing. There hasn't been much research but it is a tetracyline and that is not recommended during pregnancy or for young children. Plus, based on the info I got I'm not sure that it's even wise to use it on the first round of scaling/planing or even how affective it is.
As for the rinses, I don't know. Maybe momof1cutie can help : )
Good luck to you...I know how stressful this can be.
Here I am in a healthy and athletic body with horrible gums : (
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