Q: How long should it take my mouth to heal from an intensive deep teeth cleaning? I had a deep cleaning on the right side of my mouth this past Thursday. The first round of shots did not fully work so I ended up needing more than “normal”. Also, as she worked the plaque from my gum line, I apparently had a lot of bleeding. It is four days later. My mouth is extremely sore and I see a “cut” near one of the back teeth. I try to take Advil every 4 to 6 hours, but I experience throbbing pain when it wears off. I am attempting to floss this side (it really hurts and still bleeds) and I am using the peroxidase solution that is supposed to help it heal. I am 35 years old and in good health. At what point should my mouth no longer ache and be fully healed?
A: I would call your Periodontist and have them schedule you for an observation appointment. They can determine why you are having difficulties. It is hard to give you a definitive diagnosis without knowing how they performed the procedure and your periodontal condition.
Q: I am 52 and recently had gum surgery on all the upper and lower teeth of the right side of my mouth. My periodontist explained that I have bone loss but did not mention anything about how deep my pockets are. I have these gaps now between my teeth that catch so much food, and I am very unhappy about it. I have to clean these areas with piksters interdental brushes at least 2 times a day. Before I have this invasive surgical procedure done to all the teeth on the left side of my mouth, I would like to know if this is truly necessary. My periodontist strongly advises that it be done, but will the results be lasting and worth the sacrifice? Thank you for your reply. (I would not be a candidate for laser surgery, since my insurance would not cover it).
A: I don’t understand why your insurance won’t cover laser periodontal surgery. Is it the LANAP protocol that was not covered? Our patients are generally covered for these FDA-cleared procedures. We have not encountered any major issues regarding coverage. I would suggest discussing your diagnosis and treatment plan with your periodontist. He or she should be able to provide you with the answers to your questions about your pocket depths. One of the major benefits of laser periodontal surgery (among many things) is that we don’t end up with the spaces and gaps you have described.
Q: Is tetracycline gel a good treatment for gum disease and what are the side effects?
A: Tetracycline is an adjunctive medication useful with definitive periodontal treatment. This is an antibiotic that is specific for killing off bacteria that cause periodontal disease. However, it doesn’t kill all of them. Warnings: Long term use could create resistance. Use with caution when taking birth control pills, excessive sun exposure, ingesting dairy products and cross reactivity with many other medications. Always read the warning labels when taking any medications. In summary, tetracycline alone is not an adequate treatment for gum disease.