Dental Health Expert Forum
Periodontal pockets
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Periodontal pockets
Is it possible to close periodontal pockets of 4mm using regular toothbrushing and flossing?
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I am not sure that the pockets that are 4mm. can be eliminated but I think they are maintainable.I certainly would not like to see them get any deeper.Your age comes into play here. The younger you are the more aggressive I would be to try to eliminate these pockets.Your perio condition should be closely monitored.
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yes
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I agree with Forum-DDS-JB.  You should be able to maintain the pocket and possibly eliminate it with good home care and regular professional care.  If the pocket increses to 5 mm then have the dentist treat it.  I have seen many 4 mm pockets resolved with good home care and regular prophylaxis.  The biggest challlenge the profession has is patient compliance.
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For years (decades!), every time I went to my dentist, he would stress daily flossing and massaging my gums with stimudent.  Brushed daily, but rarely flossed.  (One roll of floss would last for a year!) I was a bleeder.  Look at my gums and they would bleed. Fortunately, the my pockets were mosts 2's and 3's, maybe a few 4's.  I was told that brushing and flossing was most effective on pockets 3mm or less.  After that, a dentist or perio may have to treat them.

Recently, for some unknown reason, I started to brush(ultarsonic)and FLOSS after EVERY meal or snack.  Within a week most of the bleeding stopped.  After less than a month, no more bleeding, not even a trace of a pink in the sink. Dentist is amazed at how health my gums are, though not surprised at the results.  No matter where he poked, result was the same: No blood!  The gums had tightened up and the depth of pockets reduced.  

If only I had started this relationship with floss when I was young!
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