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Had semi-annual check yesterday. Hygienist (Dentist agrees) that I require "deep cleaning" due to a 5mm pocket of gums in two quadrants and 3's/4's in other two. My question is: If I elect not to have this performed right now and resume/maintain a strict flossing regimen will this help the gums and prevent bone loss, etc. If not what is going to happen to me/my teeth? I am a 49 yo male. As the present time this appears to be such an expensive procedure that should have been caught sooner as I always have 6 month check-ups, and seems as though the "deep cleaning" will be performed on my wallet!

Certainly, a dedicated brushing and flossing regimen will aid your quest for healthy gums and bone (as well as quitting smoking). Unfortunately, when pockets develop around your teeth, there inevitably are areas below the gums which are too difficult to reach with standard cleanings. Your dentist has discovered pockets in which calculus and plaque exist and need to be cleaned in the way that you mention. Without doing so, you risk more rapid bone loss around your teeth, unhealthy gums, and further progression of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, most people do experience bone loss around their teeth over the years. There is no absolute way to prevent it, but by pursuing an active regimen of cleaning, it can be slowed down considerably.


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Last revised: December 06, 2004.