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Gum pockets - confused and worried

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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Hi - I have extensive work on my teeth and visit the hygenist every 3 months and dental check up every six months. There is an area top left where I have three crowns and have always had trouble cleaning between the teeth - this is what caused the decay and crowns in the first place. The gum health on my check ups is always a bit up and down, despite using a teepee brush and daily cleaning twice a day.

I had my last hygenist appointment in January and was told I was doing well with cleaning and things look under control. This afternoon I had my check up with the dentist and was praised from my cleaning until he checked the gums. In the top left area, the gum health was not as good as everywhere else but the new issue is a deep pocket between two of the teeth (both crowns). I think he said 5-6mm and I have booked an appointment where he said he would numb the area and do a good clean to reduce bacteria that I would not be able to reach at the moment and the inflammation should go down and hopefully I can maintain the cleaning from there on in.

He did take general xrays and a specific one of the tooth with the pocket, wondering if there was something going on with the crown - it appears not.

So, my anxiety has kicked in a few hours later and I am really upset:

1) why would this pocket appear in such a short time, the dentist did say he might have missed it. Doesn't the hygenist check for these things?

2) Is there anything I can do to improve the situation before this appointment - I have read green tea is good for gum health? Is my situation too serious for that?

3) What exactly will happen - I am reading about tooth planing, gum flaps etc. I just thought he would do a more agressive clean than I could and that the gum will close better to the tooth - is that right?

4) He didn't mention bone loss - I know he checks for that in the general check up. I am freaking out thinking something is going down hill quick and what does that mean - is that tooth now more vunerable forever? Does a pocket mean there is bone loss? Would that be relevant because it is a crown?

My mind is spinning - he did say it is not serious serious, just that I am vulnerable to gum disease and we need to get on top of things and the deep clean will help. Why one tooth I wonder.

Just feel very deflated and exhausted at trying my hardest to stop the decline and had no idea I was heading for this sort of issue with my gums.

Thank you.
 
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sunnylikesunshine90

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
81
Location
Central IL, USA
1) The hygienist does check for pockets, but they CAN be missed for a variety of reasons. I know when my teeth get cleaned, the gums sometimes swell up in retalliation (They're touchy little things :giggle:) and that might make the pockets seem to be smaller than they are.

2) Your best bet would be to carry on with your typical routine in terms of brushing, flossing, etc. If you haven't been able to reach this area prior to now, chances are you won't be able to reach it before the deep cleaning either.


3) I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, a deep cleaning is a more intensive cleaning process where they go a bit under the gumline where a toothbrush typically can't reach. Once that plaque is gone, the gums sometimes tighten back up around the tooth.

4) Having a gum pocket does not necessarily mean there is bone loss (which is easily detectable via x-rays). If you were to forgo the deep cleaning, things would probably just progress and get worse, which is why he recommended getting the procedure done now before it got any worse.
 
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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Thank you - I am definately having the cleaning done. I am a bit down hearted though, I know in the past my gums were inflammed but haven't been for some time apart from the area in the top molars that I mention, this has always been very hard for me to reach and awkward spaces. My teeth are just not lined up well and never have been. I didn't think I had gum disease per se, maybe I did.

However I am just a bit downbeat that I have worked so hard to keep things clean, hygenist scale and polish every 3 months and my own cleaning and a pocket this deep has developed - it is behind my eye tooth- between that and the next one. so it's not hard to reach and I use a tepe interdental brush every night. I guess I feel a bit scared as to what might happen next with my gums despite all this attention (money) - will it be downhill in other places.

Thanks for your reply, I guess I need to think glass half full :)
 
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Spike 1969

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
689
Location
Derbyshire UK
Hi Sally

I had a similar issue where My gum health had been pretty stable for several years (mainly 0s, 1s and a couple of 2s) last year I went to see the hygienist and we discovered one are that turned out to be a 5-6) We did a deep clean, concentrating on that area to remove any build up and bacteria below the gum, and I have concentrated on keeping that area scrupulously clean; as a result some 12 months down the line it has reduced to 2-3 and I've been told with my current regime should improve further over the next 6-12 months, often these things can sneak up due to different bacteria in the mouth but can be effectively treated and sorted out before any real issues can develop.

Its good you are going regularly that way things like this can be arrested and sorted before they can get worse. Keep up the good work.

Kind Regards
 
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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Thank you Spike - your post has really helped. My 'phobia' around dentistry began when I was a child and the dentists and work I needed was always presented as I had done something wrong. This anxiety still rears it's head many years later :(

Your post helped me get back to the 'middle road' which is the reality - I can only do what I can do and I know I am doing my best and you gave me hope that things would be managed, which I wasn't told they couldn't be, but my head was telling me otherwise.

Thanks again. I am on with using a bigger tepe brush in the susceptible spaces and await the cleaning early June. I have the impression it isn't the most painless procedure, sore afterwards, but that is OK, it's the anxiety that is my issue, more than fear of pain, although that isn't great, it is there for a good reason.
 
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