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UPDATE: You have my full permission to reprint, distribute, or in any way copy and reuse this post in its entirety. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do so.

I've been putting off sharing this story for months now because I'm not wild about discussing a personal medical condition publicly. But the information I am about to tell you could have a monumental impact on millions of people's lives. If that sounds exaggerated to you, read further and you will see why.

And if you, or anyone you know, suffers from gum disease (according to the Center for Disease Control, half of all Americans do - some studies put that number up to 75%) then you need to send them this story. It will probably save them their teeth, a lot of money, and a huge amount of suffering.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with an advanced case of gum disease. I was showing pocket depths of 9s and 10s. Many of my teeth were actually loose. And it had become painful to eat certain foods.

My periodontist told me that in order to stop it from getting worse, I had to have as many as seven teeth pulled. Seven teeth! And, even with my insurance, it was going to cost many thousands of dollars.

The implications of this were devastating to me. Life-changing in some respects. As anyone with false teeth will tell you, it's not a happy situation. From limiting what foods you eat, to actually altering your social behavior - including the way you smile - losing your teeth is no small affair.

Curiously, during one of my many consultations, it was explained to me that gum disease is actually the result of a bacterial infection. So my first thought was, surely, there must be an antibiotic treatment. But my periodontist said no. Sometimes they use a topical antibiotic, like a gel, to help arrest the spread of infection, but there was no pill you could take like you would for, say, strep throat.

So, I sought a second opinion. Then another. All had the same bad news. 'There is no antibiotic treatment and we're going to have to rip out your teeth with pliar-like things and charge you big bucks to do it.' Or something to that effect.

I was incredulous. What century is this? How, in this day and age, could we be condemned to such barbary? Don't we have antibiotics for everything? Surely someone was at least working on it. So I decided to search scientific journals for "antibiotic treatment for gum disease."

Immediately, I found this: The nonsurgical treatment of patients with gum disease: results after five years. by Walter J. Loesche et al. (link)

I am not exaggerating when I say my heart jumped a beat. Could there be hope? I clicked on the link and saw this:


BACKGROUND: In a previous study involving patients seen at the dental clinic of the Detroit Receiving Hospital, the authors found that 87 percent of teeth initially recommended for surgery or extraction were spared those treatments by a combination of debridement [cleaning] and short-term usage of antimicrobial agents. The objective of the present study was to determine how long the surgery-sparing benefits of less invasive treatment would persist.

METHODS: Ninety of these patients were scheduled for maintenance therapy at three-month intervals over a five-year period. They were evaluated periodically for surgical needs by a clinician who was not aware of the nonsurgical gum treatment the patient had received.

RESULTS: The initial treatment benefits were sustained, as the number of teeth needing periodontal surgery or extraction was 0.06 teeth per patient after 1.1 year, 0.22 after 2.3 years, 0.51 after 3.6 years and 0.86 after 5.1 years.

CONCLUSIONS: A noninvasive treatment regimen for an anaerobic infection in teeth seriously compromised by gum disease resulted in a reduced need for surgery or tooth extraction for at least five years after completion of the initial treatment. [Emphasis added]

Could this be true? And who is this Walter Loesche guy? And if it really works, how come three different periodontists didn't appear to have heard of him or his work? So I looked him up. According to his bio at the University of Michigan:
He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1957, his D.M.D. from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1961, a periodontal certificate from Harvard-Forsyth in 1964, and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967.


He has published three textbooks, over 170 peer-reviewed articles, and over 50 chapters and invited reviews. He has "served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Periodontal Research, Clinical Microbiology, the Journal of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, and Anaerobe and served as president of the.

I've since learned that
"he was appointed the Marcus L Ward Professor in Dentistry and received honorary degrees from the University of Goteborg, Sweden, the University of Ghent, Belgium and the University of Turku, Finland. In 1988 Dr. Loesche served as the president of the American Association of Dental Research and received the Distinguished Scientist Award in 1994."
The more I learned about Dr. Loesche, the more I realized that he wasn't some obscure researcher, but one of the most renowned scientists in his field. And the more I learned about his published work, the more bizarre it became that none of my periodontists were familiar with his antibiotic approach to treatment of gum disease.

As I said, one of my periodontists told me that gum disease was the result of a bacterial infection. But, it actually turns out, that my periodontist probably knew that because of the work of Walter Loesche. He was the one who, more than any other, led this field of research in identifying gum disease as a bacterial infection and pioneered its treatment as such.

Regardless, I can't express how much hope this gave me. Here was a scientist with bona fides out the yahoo who claimed that he had successfully treated gum disease with drugs. I emailed Dr. Loesche at once. I explained my situation, and asked if he could recommend a drug treatment. This is what he told me to do:

* Get your teeth cleaned (in my case this involved a full scaling which I had already had done).

* Then get your Dr. to prescribe Azithromycin 500mg.

* Take one a day for 3 days. Then stop for 4 days. Then resume for 3 more days.

So I called periodontist #3 and told her about the Loesche treatment, sent her supporting documents from the Journal of the American Dental Association, among others, and her response was very positive. "I'll try anything." she said. So she wrote the script and scheduled me to return in thirty days for a progress report.

"It's a miracle!" Those were her exact words. "I've never seen this before."

As I write this, two years have passed since contacting Walter Loesche and taking Azithromycin. On my last regular checkup my dentist informed me I have no signs of active gum disease. I still have all my teeth. My pocket depths went from 9s and 10s down to 3s and 4s (still not great, but not in crisis either). My teeth are no longer remotely loose or sore. And I can eat anything I want.

This is Where it Gets Political

I find it simply impossible to believe that the periodontal establishment is unaware of the breakthrough of antibiotic treatment following the work of Dr. Loesche and others. The groundbreaking study I linked to above, which proved the superior effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, was published in 2002. There were other such studies, published in  top journals, showing similar results going back into the early 1990s.

And yet, yesterday, in preparing to write this post, I contacted eight periodontists' offices in my area. In each, I spoke to the senior hygienist on staff. And each denied ever hearing of systemic antibiotic treatment.

I personally was was quoted roughly $12,000 to get my teeth extracted. [Edit: As a commenter pointed out, you can get teeth pulled for a lot cheaper. I called my periodonist's office and his assistant suggested that price probably included bone grafts to prepare for implants and may have included some bridge work.].

My antibiotic treatment cost me $15.

Is this why none of the periodontists I saw knew about antibiotic treatment?  The tooth extraction business is big bucks. So is the tooth replacement business. Depending on which study you cite, Americans alone spend tens of billions of dollars on periodontal treatment each year - most of that getting teeth extracted and replaced with dentures etc.  

Walter Loesche, in one of his papers, spoke of not just an alternative treatment, but a new paradigm - one that replaces the barbaric method of removing patients' teeth with one that treats the underlying cause.

What Dr. Loesche didn't mention, however, was that this new paradigm threatens to practically collapse a multibillion dollar industry. If gum disease can be caught in the early stages, and treated with antibiotics prescribed by a normal dentist (which it can), then why do we even periodontists?

So while I'm not suggesting that there's some plot among the periodontal establishment to suppress the use of antibiotic treatment, there certainly appears to be little incentive for them to embrace it.

As such, perhaps it will take the power of the internet to inform patients that there's an antibiotic treatment to gum disease. And while there's no guarantee that everyone's treatment will be as successful as mine has been, everyone should at least have the opportunity to try it first. Pulling out someone's teeth should be an absolute last resort after all other treatments have been applied.

So, again, if you know someone with gum disease, and you almost certainly do, please send them this article, have them talk it over with their dentist, periodontist, or doctor, and help them save their teeth. The periodontal industry can find another way to make money.

More Information

For further information on the work of Walter Loesche and colleagues at his U. Michigan page, go here and click on the lefthand menu "Publications."

Here is a groundbreaking paper from 2001 that is not behind a paywall. According to Google Scholar it has been cited 192 times.

Anyone seeking more information may also just search Pubmed or Google Scholar for "antibiotic treatment periodontal disease" without the quotation marks.

Similarly, a normal Google search for "Walter Loesche" without the quotes will also immerse you in a sea of useful information.

Originally posted to James Hepburn on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

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  •  What a story! (159+ / 0-)
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    This is a really gripping tale, one I'm sure many people can relate to.

    My 30-ish year old cousin just had ALL his teeth removed and was fitted with dentures.  I wish I had read your diary about six months ago.  It also would have helped if I had known about his bad teeth, which I didn't until the whole thing was done.

    My grandfather also wore dentures because the army found his teeth to be bad and didn't want to spring for the dental work, so they just yanked them all out.  Can you imagine?  I always found that story kind of amazing.

    Thanks for your information.  And good for you for being so pro-active and involved in your own healthcare!!

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:41:03 AM PST

  •  And get a WaterPik (86+ / 0-)

    and put a capful of Listerine in with about 8 oz. of water in the tank. My dad did this after being diagnosed with advanced gingivitis and now has incredibly healthy gums. He's now 82 years old and the dental hygienists he sees tell him they can't believe how healthy his mouth is, especially considering his age.

    A few years ago I dated someone with periodontal disease and learned afterward to my horror that it is contagious if you kiss someone with gum disease, since it is bacterial. I suddenly developed gum issues, with some pockets measuring 5, despite years of good hygiene and a great checkup the year before. The hygienist wanted to do root scaling on my teeth, but I didn't even want to go through that, so I asked her to let me try what my dad did first.

    She suggested I also get a Philips Sonicare Flexcare electric toothbrush, which apparently is better for gum disease than other models because of the ultrasonics. Between the WaterPik with Listerine and the Sonicare toothbrush, my gums were back to normal six months later on my next checkup! Plus they feel healthier than ever before, as the WaterPik seems to make them firmer and squeaky clean.

  •  I thought anything that doesn't defend (2+ / 0-)
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    big pharma and big medicine here is considered CT

    surprised this isn't HR'ed for being thinly disguised spam

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:49:26 AM PST

    •  Sorry, this is silly. (14+ / 0-)

      Of course it's not HR'ed, because it's a smart, well researched diary and born of personal experience.  It's on a topic that obviously, many here can appreciate.

      It's a damn good and useful diary and the comments are full of info and good tips. I don't get why you couldn't just let it be that.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:29:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  things very similar have been hr'ed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and others hr'ed for far less

        very selective standards here, as usual.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:50:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Things with links to PubMed articles that were (7+ / 0-)

          later turned into official recommendations from the relevant professional association?

        •  Don't know quite what (5+ / 0-)
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          Lujane, splashy, tb mare, JesseCW, artmartin

          you're so angry about.  Is it that this isn't the perfect site? Is it that everything here, as in life, is not consistent?  

          I've been here awhile, and have not seen diaries like this Hr'd into oblivion.  Which is not to say it hasn't happened, simply that it's in no way the routine thing you want to call it.

          Again, this was a good diary, with good and important information, and a comment section I consider to be the best it gets here.

          I won't judge your passions, but I will say when you embrace anger, you miss a lot of the good.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:52:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not HR-worthy. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob, kurt, alain2112

          And it's a very good point about a useful topic.  That said, jumping straight from, "A paper in 2002 says this and it worked for me but dentists don't do it; therefore, CONSPIRACY!" indicates a profound lack of understanding of the nature of the process of going from research to standard treatment.

          A single study almost never changes treatment standards, and certainly not immediately.  A single study... calls for more study.  Long-established treatment standards for a common condition are unlikely to be altered in the absence of at least one large meta-study.  And even then it takes time for the changes to be widely adopted.

          Furthermore, the diarist's own anecdotal evidence argues precisely opposite the "dental conspiracy" line they're spreading - in that when they went to their dentist with the study:

          So I called periodontist #3 and told her about the Loesche treatment, sent her supporting documents from the Journal of the American Dental Association, among others, and her response was very positive. "I'll try anything." she said. So she wrote the script and scheduled me to return in thirty days for a progress report.
          Does that sound like a conspiracy to you?  No, it's simply ignorance of the study, followed immediately by enthusiasm.  And, FYI, I wouldn't be surprised if most dentists refused to follow the treatment laid out by a single study anyway (I'd have to see what those "supporting documents from the Journal of the American Dental Association" are).  Medical practitioners can get sued for doing something that's not in accordance with the official treatment guidelines of their industry, and as mentioned, a single study will virtually never change those immediately.  And most medical practioners also support following guidelines, not random studies, because they exist for a reason and are slow to change for a reason - when dealing with healthcare, exercising due caution is a Good Thing(tm)
          •  I understand what you're saying, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare, JesseCW, kurt

            however if you believe in "exercising due caution" then it would seem to me you would try everything feasible before you ripped out ever tooth in a person's mouth and left them with dentures for the rest of their life. A script for an anti-biotic is not going got get a dentist sued---they give scripts for far more potent drugs---pain killers---all the time.

            And while I understand that one study will not change practices, I believe it is also true that the health care industry can be slow to adapt to new ideas, and can be shown in many instances to have scoffed at ideas that are now conventional wisdom.

            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

            by StellaRay on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:08:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It can still get you sued. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              People have negative reactions to antibiotics at times.  For example, I'm allergic to penicillin.  Why would a dentist risk their practice over it by persuing a nonstandard treatment that could get them a malpractice suit?  More importantly, why should they be condemned for not wanting to risk their practice?

              Yes, it does take the health care industry a long time to change, and I'd agree, far too often it takes too long.  But that doesn't mean "conspiracy" - that means "overcautious".  And this overcautiousness goes both ways, both for making standard new cheaper methods to replace more expensive approaches, and for making standard new more expensive methods to replace cheaper approaches.  

              •  Anything can get you sued. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NWTerriD, kurt

                Dentists prescribe antibiotics all the time, it's standard after many invasive procedures, such as root canals. So imo, you are simply over blowing the risk here, which is leading you to dismiss the question of why this treatment is not better known to periodontists, or ignored by them.

                I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, am saying there's no reason to question the path you're on if it's making you big bucks.  Which is why we must all be our own best health care advocates, as this diarist was for himself.

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:16:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They could also get sued for using an ineffective (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  treatment.  The key issue is that if the treatment is not standard, they lose the ability to defend themselves against malpractice.

                  •  Not true, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    or at least WAY too broadly stated. My neighbor just had a very NOT standard treatment for pancreatic cancer.  Only one hospital in the country does it. The doctor who performed the surgery is very well respected and has gotten good results so far, but it IS a new procedure with relatively less history and examples of success. That is understood going in.

                    If doctors never went outside of the standard nothing would ever progress. Furthermore, the treatment the diarist is talking about is not a shiny new thing, it's been out there for a decade, and no one has disputed it as a feasible treatment as far as I understand.

                    We'll have to agree to disagree on this. In this case, imo, caution is on the side of the regime the diarist tried before he got all his teeth yanked out.

                    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                    by StellaRay on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:11:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Read more carefully (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare, janetsal, JesseCW, kurt

            Multiple studies. Many paper over many years. I only cited one study, but I clearly explained that there was a large body of work spanning decades.

            Secondly, I stated I don't believe there any plot but a lack of incentive to embrace new, cheaper treatments.

          •  There is no conspiracy alleged. Only a clear (0+ / 0-)

            recognition of self interest.

            Strawmen are so easy to defeat, aren't they?

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:20:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Claiming that there's clear evidence (0+ / 0-)

              that something better for patients exists but the industry is suppressing it out of self-interest is indeed alleging a conspiracy.  If that's not a conspiracy theory, then what is?

              •  Claiming that people who profit from an outdated (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                model of treatment are closed to hearing evidence of new models of treatment from which they will not profit is not alleging a conspiracy theory.

                'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.'
                Upton Sinclair,  evidently engaged in whacked out conspiracy theorizing.

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:23:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, it is a conspiracy theory. (0+ / 0-)

                  You may believe in this conspiracy theory, but you're alleging a conspiracy ("a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators ")

                  And to go back to the beginning: the conspiracy theory is not only contrary to their own anecdote, but reflects a profound lack of understanding of how things go from research to standardized treatments.

                  •  Repeating the words Conspiracy Theory over and (0+ / 0-)

                    over does not an argument make.

                    Only you have alleged any plot, secret or otherwise.  no one else.  Not me, and not the diarist.

                    It's not just that you constantly build straw men, but that you almost always choose to construct the same one.

                    "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                    by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:49:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Do you think it's spam for...a generic antibiotic? (5+ / 0-)

      For good dental hygiene?

      I admit, I'm confused.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:18:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teeth (41+ / 0-)

    Wow, so happy for you. Thanks for sharing this important information.

    It makes me wonder how many other easier/cheaper treatments there are for other health conditions. It's so hard to navigate through the quackery to find real stuff.  You did great work.

    I hate the dentist. I was to the point of needing scaling and was dreading even that, so I started flossing every single day. Before that I reported to the dentist that I flossed "sometimes," but in truth it was at most once a week. I fear I sound like a PSA, but flossing every single day, even when you're too lazy, tired or busy, can help a lot of things.  I went back to the dentist a couple of months after my improved flossing regimen and no longer even needed the scaling.

    Should be noted I've always brushed twice daily, so my hygene wasn't terrible before the daily flossing began.

    •  Other health conditions... (30+ / 0-)

      As many as 95% of heart attacks can be prevented. The culprit is the standard American diet. See the film "Forks Over Knives" on Netflix and elsewhere.

      We are living proof of this--my husband went from high risk of heart disease to being risk-free by changing his diet. It makes me so mad that people don't know about this, but it's unpopular to eat healthy.

      I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

      by sillia on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:04:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (9+ / 0-)

        Another recent mother load of profit for the medical and pharma industry is the diagnosis of Diabetes 2, caused almost entirely by lifestyle decisions, and in many cases, possible to improve or cure by changing those decisions.

        But the first thing they'll do is put you on drugs for it, which then involves appointments every couple of months to continue the prescription, at a minimum of $200 a throw.

        NOT saying Diabetes 2 isn't something to take seriously.  AM saying I know a couple of people who just said no to the drugs, changed their lifestyle, and no longer suffer from it.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:35:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  study in UK showed a _reversal_ of diabetes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          by very intense dietary changes.  better than 50% success rate I believe.  apparently you can shock your system into doing the right thing.  takes a few months but it beats the hell out of going blind or losing your feet to gangrene.

          see when you have socialist, communist healthcare they do research to find effective treatments and not treatments which will make the most profit.

          funny how that works.

          big badda boom : GRB 090423

          by squarewheel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:24:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There has been recent evidence (3+ / 0-)

          That stomach bypasses can reverse Diabetes 2 within a few days. It has something to do with the hormones produced that get out of whack, which are changed with the bypass. Doctors are beginning to get excited about it, because it could make a huge difference in treatment. A cure is far better than constant maintenance.

          Read about it in Scientific American, if I remember correctly.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:32:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on who "they" is, saying (0+ / 0-)
          But the first thing they'll do is put you on drugs for it
          doesn't speak for all or probably most doctors. Everyone I know who has been diagnosed pre-diabetic or early diabetes 2 has been given dietary guidelines and exercises and other lifestyle changes to try first.

          But that's just a few people, a few doctors. I don't know the norm.

      •  Also expensive and inconvenient. nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillia, Lujane, JesseCW
        •  Yes. Do you mean the food? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Or the open-heart surgery?

          If people clearly understood the connection between diet and illness  (as can be seen in the scientific literature) it would seem to some of them at least, that the smarter choice would be to take more trouble and expense on lifestyle. Choose forks over (surgical) knives, so to speak.

          The problem is that it's human nature to take the easier path, and the facts are not presented to patients in this way.

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:51:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Short-term expense versus long-term expense. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coquiero, JesseCW

            When the pop-tarts and other high sugar snacks are all you can afford, you eat them or you don't eat. I ate Ramen Noodle 5-7 days a week for a couple of years because that was the only way I could afford to have lunch every day.

          •  People don't have money they don't have. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lady Libertine, kurt

            Even if having that money would let them eat better, they still don't have it.

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:21:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Doesn't cost much to grow your own greens (0+ / 0-)

              or to substitute dried beans and whole grains for ground beef.

              I've been trying to implement an extreme heart-healthy diet for the past year, so I understand the (major) expense, time, and hassle involved in going all in on such a diet. But there are parts of it that can be adopted with almost no expenditure of money - no more than is spent on junky food - and only a very modest expenditure of time and effort.

              "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

              by NWTerriD on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:38:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It takes land and time to grow your own (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DRo, Seneca Doane

                vegetables.  Many poor people have neither.

                Poor people aren't poor because they're purchasing rib-eyes.  When they do buy beef, it's usually five pound chubs, at somewhere south of 2.50 a lb.  In terms of pennies for calories, it's extremely cheap.

                When people have to work two minimum wage jobs and use public transport just to feed their kids in a post-welfare (thanks McPresident!) America, it's just not realistic to think they're going to soak a pot of dry beans, or go to the grocery store every other night so that they can have extremely expensive fresh vegetables.

                How well I eat depends on my cash and free time.  When I have the resources, I eat a very well balanced diet (based on human dietary needs, not anti-meat fad religion) as close to completely organic as I can manage.

                But I've spent a few years living in cars, and nearly a year just flat-out on the street, too.  I've been at every place on the ladder from "homeless for over a year" to "creeping up on the middle of middle class".  

                It's very hard for me to restrain myself and remain polite when people start talking about gardening as some kind of solution to the problem of affordable nutritious food for most of Americas poor, if I'm honest.

                It just smacks of a famous line about eating cake.

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:16:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  there are lots, but they are routinely (7+ / 0-)

      dismissed here as 'psuedo-science', snake oil, not enough studies, but this one gets a pass for some reason

      It makes me wonder how many other easier/cheaper treatments there are for other health conditions.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:14:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good onYa (0+ / 0-)

        Via Chicago.

    •  Try the gas. It makes the dentist much more (4+ / 0-)


      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:41:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah. (6+ / 0-)

        I have a dental phobia---you'd think I'd been through what Dustin Hoffman went through in Marathon Man.  But the gas makes it all go away.

        Dentists try to tell you there'll be little or no pain, and these days, most of the time they're right. But what they don't understand is it's about more than the pain.

        It's about the sound of the drill, and the big light burning down on you, and someone poking around inside your mouth.  For some of us, it's close to unbearable.

        But the gas makes it all fine for me. Worth every dime.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:55:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gas for me too (0+ / 0-)

          I can't deal with the SOUND...  I must be gassed.

          Otoh, I need to have my remaining 6 uppers pulled.  My problem has nothing to do with gums.  My upper teeth are very brittle and eventually crack.  They have all been root canalled and capped, but the caps eventually fail as the brittle tooth underneath deteriorates.

          My lowers, however, are mostly all right.  I lost one crown on a low canine, but most of my lower teeth are completely intact.  Must be hereditary, since my father had the same problem with his upper teeth.

          "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

          by HarpboyAK on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:32:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Try a Walkman with your favorite music? (0+ / 0-)

            Some dentists offer this option to drown out the drilling noise. They'll have a selection of popular hits, or you can BYO (I like Mozart).

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:34:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  In your research did you find anything about (14+ / 0-)

    teeth that need to be extracted because of decay? I've always thought that with root canals and crowns, most teeth can be saved. But it seems that's not always the case. Like if there is infection. I wonder if proper antibiotics can clear that infection as well. I know you're not a dentist, but I was wondering if you ran into any information that would be helpful.

    The information you provided is excellent! Thank you.

    •  I'm sorry (10+ / 0-)

      I have no info on that. And since I'm sharing, I'm due for a couple fillings myself.

    •  most teeth can be saved unless fractured (23+ / 0-)

      Almost all my molars have root canals and crowns. About 25 years ago the nerves in my teeth started to go, not from decay but evidently I had a terrible dentist when I was a kid who drilled all my teeth down to the nerves.
      I am 58 and have all my teeth except one rear molar that couldn't be saved.
      Probably spent 25-35 thousand dollars over the years but they should last my lifetime and that's worth it.

    •  This sounds similar to me (15+ / 0-)

      Last summer I had what I though was a sinus pressure issue that I could feel in one of my back crowns. When it wouldn't go away and became more pressure sensitive I went to the dentist to find out what was going on. X-rays showed the root had become infected, but they didn't know if it was a via the crown - which was fixable - or if a root had cracked, which I was told would require an extraction and a fake tooth.

      They gave me a prescription for antibiotics, which I followed, and the pain went away.

      Then I went to the local university dental school for a follow up (saved a few bucks) and the teaching dentist took an x-ray that clearly showed one of the roots was splitting from the bottom. He said it couldn't be saved, would have to be pulled, and then explained the process of a synthetic post and tooth to replace it. $4,500.

      He explained how a post would be set into the bone and that it would take six months to let the bone grow around, and then a synthetic tooth would be attached to the post.

      So I thought I'd treat it like a broken bone and not use it at all for 4 weeks, then soft foods for 3-4 more weeks, and since then I've been eating anything I want for the last 2-3 months with no discomfort at all. Might be too early to tell, but it sure seems as if the split root filled w/bone and grew into my jawbone no differently than an expensive post would have.

      Antibiotics and leave it alone to heal just like a broken bone. So far so good.

      The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

      by Thumb on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:04:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am older and have a few incipient decay areas. (12+ / 0-)

      Plus some sensitivity on the surface of back molars. My hygienist said it is a result of aging and losing enamel.

      The surprise was that in response to the same question you asked she said, "why certainly, use Fluoride mouthwash."

      We don't have fluoride in our water. Turns out it does help rebuild the enamel no matter what age.

      I am fine with taking personal responsibility for this need.

      Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

      by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:13:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sensodyne toothpaste can help reduce the (8+ / 0-)

        sensitivity, (in my experience).


      •  i use crest pro-health alcohol-free with floride (4+ / 0-)

        mouthwash.  great results.

      •  Systemic fluoride does nothing for your teeth (5+ / 0-)

        It's only effective topically. (meaning the fluoride rinse is sufficient)

        "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

        by solesse413 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a little more complicated than that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, solesse413, kurt

          although you are substantially correct. Fluoride only hardens tooth enamel via topical exposure, true. However, systemic fluoride can result in topical exposure when fluoride is present in saliva. However, it will interfere with all sorts of other bodily systems as well, and it is unfortunately good for no other part of the body. The National Academy of Science published a highly useful review on fluoride's effects back in 2006. Its beneficial effects on teeth (in proper dosages) are certain. The review was in other cases unable to state what a safe lower limit of exposure is for other bodily systems but was definite that it was harmful to them.

          Saying this makes people reach for the tinfoil hat and "precious bodily fluid" references, though. It is assumed, falsely, that somewhere or other there MUST be peer-reviewed science showing it is safe, that the EPA has at some point said it was safe, and that therefore all opponents of water fluoridation are science-denying kooks (some are, but not all).

          My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
          --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

          by leftist vegetarian patriot on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:59:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only recently, Health and Human Services changed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftist vegetarian patriot, kurt

            the recommendations  for  fluoride in drinking water from 1.2 to 0.7 milligrams per liter.


            We need to be able to have real discussions about the best way to get fluoride, the best schedule for vaccines, whether we're over prescribing psychiatric meds to kids, ect ect without letting those discussions be poisoned by anti-vaxxers, the "precious bodily fluids" crowd, or the Scientologists and their belief that Psychiatrists caused the Holocaust.

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:37:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  wow. A harmless offhand comment about fluoride (0+ / 0-)

              which happens to be true, gets me compared to an antivaxxer? I've never even heard of a "precious bodily fluids" crowd and don't even know what that is. I'm kind of gobsmacked.

              "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

              by solesse413 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:26:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think he was addressing you at all (6+ / 0-)

                He was responding to part of my comment just above:

                Saying this makes people reach for the tinfoil hat and "precious bodily fluid" references, though. It is assumed, falsely, that somewhere or other there MUST be peer-reviewed science showing it is safe, that the EPA has at some point said it was safe, and that therefore all opponents of water fluoridation are science-denying kooks (some are, but not all).
                If you search DK for diaries with references to the potential dangers of fluoride, you will find that the tip jars are very often HR'd by people who assume that these diaries are anti-science, CT crap. This is largely because fluoridation has been opposed by elements of the fringe right from the beginning. They truly are kooks and make anyone standing next to them look kooky and deranged as well. The "precious bodily fluids" line is from the movie Dr. Strangelove and at least one Youtube clip from that movie will always, always, make its way into the comments. In the movie, it is spoken by a right-wing nutjob, General Jack D. Ripper:
                General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?
                Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don't think I do, sir, no.
                General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

                My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
                --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

                by leftist vegetarian patriot on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:39:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I was adding to the comment I clicked "reply" on. (2+ / 0-)

                I wasn't comparing you to anything, or responding to your comment.

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:46:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  was just trying to be brief (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftist vegetarian patriot, kurt

            not tinfoil-y. I drink fluoridated tap water every day.  :) But, I have had many issues with my teeth so I've done a lot of reading about all things dental.

            In addition, there's a recurring theme with fluoride, if you listen.  Right on the toothpaste as everyone knows, it says not to swallow it. At the dentist, when you get it after a cleaning they tell you not to swallow it. When I got my teeth scaled and they applied a fluoride rinse I was told not to swallow (and there was suction, so basically she was telling me not to swallow the small amount that would have been in my saliva).

            In the past people may not have had it in their diet, depending on their water supply, but today that is not the case. It's in all kinds of stuff, not just water. It's not really good for your bones at all.

            "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

            by solesse413 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:22:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Long dental history due to an incompetent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, kyril, aitchdee

      childhood dentist (who, thankfully, died in a car crash, may he RIP). Consequently I have very large fillings in most of my teeth.

      Like most of medicine, some dentists will treat aggressively, and some dentists will treat conservatively.

      A tooth with an infected nerve, got to be infected because the nerve itself was exposed to oral bacteria through a cavity or a cracked filling, (usually for an extended period of time).  It's my understanding that an infected nerve can not be treated with antibiotics because there is no way for the antibiotic to get into the nerve.

      The process steps to preserving an infected tooth, which a skilled dentist can do without much pain:

      1. Root canal - removes the infected root, treats the interior of the tooth with antibiotic, covers the hole with a filling. This is often an emergency procedure. But if you get regular cleanings and point out to your dentist any tooth that is sensitive, it doesn't have to be an emergency. Over years, eventually the tooth will discolor and become brittle.

      2. Post & Core - replaces the root with a little post, and that supports the mechanical strength of the root. The hole is covered with a filling.

      3. Crown - eventually needed for any tooth that has had a root canal. A crown protects the tooth from cracking or chipping during the mechanical demands of biting and chewing.

      An aggressive dentist will want to do a root canal, post & core, and crown all at once. And then that tooth is taken care of, and shouldn't bother you again for many years, and maybe never. To space the cost out over time, a conservative dentist will fold steps 2 and/or 3 into annual check-ups.

      •  Just out of curiousity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (and I'll probably regret asking)

        how can anyone, outside of, say, Hitler, Stalin, et al., 'thankfully, die in a car crash'?

        BagNewsNotes: Visual Politics, Media Image Analysis

        by ksh01 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:02:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Arabiflora, kyril

          Actually he died of a heart attack, and happened to be driving, so he crashed his car.  My parent had gone to that dentist as a child... he was a monster, but some loyalties run deeper than a child's distress.

          Nothing personal but it was his death that allowed my parent to eventually choose another dentist.  And it was only then that I discovered what good dental care involves.

          The "thankfully" in my comment was in poor taste, since it implies I was glad that he died a violent death.

          My apologies, the "thankfully" was my immense and immediate relief (as a child) that I never had to go back to that horrible, horrible man.  It took quite a few years to get over the trauma and be able to go to the dentist, without debilitating anxiety.

          I've been paying the long term cost of his destruction of my teeth for many, many years.

      •  I'm curious how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        his incompetence caused your large fillings.  If you presented with decay, he had no choice but to fill it.  I'm not sure I understand the cause and effect.  

        •  It was only after he died that we learned what a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, aitchdee

          horrible dentist he was.

          It's a long story.

          Short version is based on my experience and opinions of a later dentist about how I came to have so many large fillings.  He hurt me, a lot, such as multiple "shots" that seemed to have little effect on the pain, and then afterward my jaw would ache, sometimes for days. I always had multiple cavities. Some were understandable because my teeth were crowded. But then after he died, suddenly the rate of cavities dropped to rare. And the new dentist didn't hurt me, hardly at all.

          As you point out tooth decay must be completely removed before filling the space. One idea is that incorrect removal of decay and fillings, meant on the next visit there was decay adjacent to or under the filling, so the whole filling had to be removed and replaced. And that happened multiple times throughout that dentist's tenure.

        •  It was as if he had to keep redoing his own (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, aitchdee

          work, some of it on the next visit, some of it on the following year.

    •  I had a giant cavity in one of my back teeth. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, bigjacbigjacbigjac, aitchdee

      I love my dentist, he is so down to earth. He said it could be saved with a root canal that would cost $500.

      But he was concerned that my wisdom tooth would come down on it and then have to be cut out by a specialist.

      He said if it was his tooth he would have it pulled and let the wisdom tooth come down.

      I've had a few root canals so I went with least amount of pain, had the tooth pulled for $125 and sure enoough my wisdom tooth is coming down right where it should.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:48:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking as someone with dacades in dentistry (6+ / 0-)

      Teeth are made up of three different parts: the Enamel which is the hard outer shell, the dentin which is the softer inner part (which is also what the roots are made up of) and the pulpal chamber, a hollow area where the nerve and blood vessels (the "vital" part) live.  Any trauma can cause the nerves and blood vessels to die.  Trauma can include something as obvious as a tooth being hit to decay going into the pulpal chamber, or even removing the decay but it being close to the pulpal chamber.

      When the nerve of a tooth dies, it becomes necrotic, or gangrenous.  In other words, it's infected.  The only way to save the tooth is to remove the dead tissue inside, sterilize the chamber, and fill it so the toot is not longer hollow (and bacteria can not get back in).  This is called a root canal.  Using antibiotics to treat the infection will control the symptoms, but not kill the total infection, the only way to do that is to remove the source, i.e. clean out the dead tissue, OR remove the tooth.

      Sometimes root canals don't work.  it happens maybe 5-10% of the time.  Usually it's due to a microscopic fracture in the root.  Some teeth are not saveable because the infection has been so long-standing that the bone around the root of the tooth has been destroyed, and there is nothing holding the tooth in place.  Sometimes the crown of the tooth (the part above the gums) is so broken down it is actually bellow the bone.  Sometimes there is an obvious fracture of a root, broken horizontally from the crown.  Sometimes the bone has been lost on a molar in between the roots. Fractures are not fixable, tooth below the bone level is not restorable, and the bone loss usually means the long term prognosis of the tooth is not very the option is spend about 2 grand doing a root canal, buildup, and crown, and maybe keep the tooth for 6 months to 5 years, or just remove it now.  

      and one last note.....any time a root canal is performed on a molar, it needs to have a crown.  When there is no nerve in a tooth, it becomes brittle (just like a dead tree is more likely to break a limb).  There is so much pressure when you bite, you can literally split the tooth through the root.  So if you go through the expense of having the root canal on a molar, spend the extra and a have it crowned.

      Hope that answers your questions!

      •  How do you know a root canal hasn't worked? (0+ / 0-)

        Is their pain, infection, or what?

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:50:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had to get a second root canal (0+ / 0-)

          on a tooth.  It still hurt after the first one.

        •  Either (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You could have continued pain to pressure or touching the tooth.  Temperature sensitivity IS NOT from a tooth that's had a root canal (there's no nerve in the tooth, it can't feel temp)....the pain is caused by the infection at the base of the tooth putting pressure on the bone around the tooth.  You might also NOT feel anything, but a hole will be visible in the bone on a follow up xray....the hole is cause by infection eating the bone.

          If left untreated, the chronic infection WILL become'll have swelling into your face...this is the kind of abscess you hear about that kills people.  

          •  Thanks for the info (0+ / 0-)

            I just had a root canal and it's still slightly painful when tapped on the side, but pressure on the top is not a problem.

            I'm thinking giving it some time to settle down would hopefully help.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:14:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, give it time (0+ / 0-)

              it can take some time for the healing to occur.  Having said may want to go in and have your bite checked....even with a root canal, if the restoration you had done after the root canal is a little high, you will have some sensitivity from the continued irritation.  Also, if it's been a month or more, let your doc know....may want to get another x-ray to evaluate how the healing is going.

          •  I had a root canal (0+ / 0-)

            that didn't work. It was done by a student at the university, don't know if that was it or it just wasn't going to work period. I was in grad school and the (very good) dentist I went to said we can try another root canal for $800 which probably won't work, or we can pull the tooth for $100 and you can get a bridge when you have dental insurance. I went for the pull, and a couple of years ago got an implant with my good dental insurance. Best decision I ever made. The implant rocks and will outlast me.

            And I agree: Sonicare has reduced my cavities to zero. I used to have at least one a year.

            "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

            by zaynabou on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:27:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would say... (0+ / 0-)

              if the very good dentist said a re-treat probably wouldn't wasn't because the student did a bad job.  If a bad root canal was done, re-doing it would take care of the problem.  My guess is because he thought there was a fracture....and if that's the case, tooth isn't saveable.

              And, Implants are GREAT!  Good for you.  Spendy little suckers, but you are right, it will outlast you.

  •  Thanks very much for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been going through this crap with my dentist..have only lost one tooth to it, but the repeated requests to do 800 dollars of scaling and topical treatments is driving me crazy.

    One question.  I must be reading this wrong.  I didn't understand it -

    RESULTS: The initial treatment benefits were sustained, as the number of teeth needing periodontal surgery or extraction was 0.06 teeth per patient after 1.1 year, 0.22 after 2.3 years, 0.51 after 3.6 years and 0.86 after 5.1 years.
    It seems backwards.  Say you have a patient using this treatment:

    For 1.1 years - they need .06 teeth extracted per patient

    After 2.3 years they need .22 teeth extracted

    After 3.6 years they need .51 teeth extracted

    And after 5.1 years they need .86 teeth extracted per patient.

    •  I think you're reading it correctly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I read the results section to say exactly what you just said - after 0.6 years a patient has needed an average of .06 teeth extracted, etc. After five years the patient has needed an average of 0.86 teeth extracted.

    •  Thinking about it this way may help (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Justus, kyril, aitchdee

      Teeth either need to be extracted or they do not need to be extracted.

      So, since the evaluation must deal with whole teeth, or leave them in place:

      After 2.3 years each patient has a 1 in 5 chance that any tooth will need extraction.

      After 3.6 years each patient has a 1 in 2 chance that any tooth will need extraction.

      After 5.1 years each patient has a better than 1 in 2 chance that at least 1 tooth will need extraction.

      Annyone: Please correct me, if I'm simplifying too far.

      •  But it gets worse over time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's the thing that puzzled me.  If the treatment was working, shouldn't it get better over time?

        •  Think of the treatment as an intervention (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The treatment interrupted the gum disease, or slowed the progression of the gum disease, but the treatment itself wasn't on going.

        •  The study reported: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          An initial treatment that included 3 aspects:  1) removal of diseased material, 2) temporary treatment with antibiotics, and 3) time (for the body's own immune system to respond and repair the diseased gum tissue).

          Gum disease doesn't develop overnight. It takes a long time, and there are preventive steps that can reduce the likelihood. Most important, regular screenings can help to catch gum disease in the early stages.

          Whatever conditions or habits originally lead to the development of gum disease may still be in play to some degree, so a second or third treatment may be necessary at some point in the future for a some of the teeth.

          An alternative way to think about the study:

          Recognize that the reported results are averaged over all the participants, and over all the teeth that were treated.  The treatment may have worked completely for many participants, BUT not at all for a few number of participants.

          From the reported results we can’t tell whether the treatment was a partial success for all the participants, or a total cure for some participants, and a total failure for a few of the participants.

          The diarist gave a personal account of a single treatment leading to total remission of the gum disease, with apparently full recovery of healthy gum tissue, SO FAR.  He/she has avoided losing their natural teeth.  Whether the treatment is a permanent cure remains to be seen.

          •  I suppose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            those numbers need a lot more information wrapped around them to be meaningful at all, which makes me wonder why they're included in that way.  I understand everything you're saying about gum disease, the time factors involved, the fact that ongoing treatment is necessary, etc.  But I don't understand how this set of numbers is supposed to support the idea that the treatment works (without further explanation).  For example, if they also had a control group not undergoing this treatment that showed worse results over the same time period, that would say something important.

            From the reported results we can’t tell whether the treatment was a partial success for all the participants, or a total cure for some participants, and a total failure for a few of the participants.
            Or a slower failure for all the participants, or (not knowing what the norm would be), a complete null for all the participants.

            It could be that everyone else reads this and knows or assumes the numbers would be far worse without the treatment, or that it's impossible to stop the decline and just slow it down a bit.  I didn't make those assumptions, because the diarist says his situation actually reversed after the treatment, so I expected to see improving numbers, not degenerating ones.  I'm probably picking nits..those numbers aren't the most important part of the study, anyway.  It just struck me as odd that the abstract would say

            87 percent of teeth initially recommended for surgery or extraction were spared those treatments
            , and then post results showing that over time, more teeth needed treatments than at the beginning.
            •  But the numbers couldn't improve, because once (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, Clues, LilithGardener

              anyone in the study has lost any tooth the average number of teeth lost has increased. The only way the numbers would go up is if they started gluing teeth back in.

              •  Good point, but needs more info (0+ / 0-)

                to see if that's what they really mean.  I assumed they were counting fresh at each checkpoint, but it may bee as you say and they kept a running total.

                •  They're describing a running total. When they say (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clues, LilithGardener, CalNM

                  "For 1.1 years - they need .06 teeth extracted per patient, After 2.3 years they need .22 teeth extracted" they're saying for the first 1.1 years the average was .06, and for the first 2.3 years (overlapping with that first, smaller period of time) the average was .22, so the second set of numbers is covering a larger period of time and includes the first period. If they were counting fresh, they'd say something like "for the first 1.1 years .06 teeth per patient were extracted, after the second 1.1 years .22 teeth per patient were extracted." They wouldn't use that method, though, running total is pretty standard from what I can remember of my brief brush with majoring in medical science.

            •  ONLY 13% of problem teeth were eventually removed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greengemini, kurt

              @ Clues: This conclusion in your comment is not correct:

              , and then post results showing that over time, more teeth needed treatments than at the beginning.
              The comparison set is a time zero, 100% of problem teeth would be surgically treated or extracted. And because the disease is IN THE GUMS, over time, additional teeth might also develop problems and need to be extracted.

              You excerpted from the abstact:

              87 percent of teeth initially recommended for surgery or extraction were spared those treatments
              That means that ONLY 13% of teeth that were initially recommended for surgery or extraction EVENTUALLY had to undergo surgical treatment or extraction.

              The summary conclusion is that A SINGLE episode of the treatment is not a cure, but is a HUGE improvement, since 87% of teeth were SAVED, and still viable after 5 years.

  •  Here is another website with resources (10+ / 0-)

    Including links to material to convince and edumacate dentists as to appropriate periodontal disease treatment. I found this one when dealing with my own issues I wrote about above. I actually had some Amoxicillin available to me for free (sent to me by my dad, who had an allergic reaction to it when prescribed it for another health issue and had to switch to something else), so I used that to follow the protocol at this website, in conjunction with the WaterPik etc.

    The only thing I didn't do was use the povidone iodine, because the bottles I found in the drugstore said "for external use only" and that it was toxic, so I was a little leery of using it without a dentist's or doctor's supervision. And in my case, I didn't involve my dentist but did my own self-care, since I had the antibiotic available to me.

  •  29 y.o (39+ / 0-)

    with Dentures. Have had a lifelong battle with my teeth for a variety of reasons. Until the day that mouth/dental care is treated the same way as healthcare, many many people will suffern. A good portion of dentists are scammers, quick to do the most expensive option, or remove teeth/tissue that does not need gone.

    Any sane politician would be fighting for dental-fairness, and they would win by a landslide. When yo have a toothache, it is a medical issue. When you cannot eat, it is a medical issue. When you cannot go to work, it is a medican and economical issue.

    I could rant on this forever. And have posted several diaries about my experiences. 29 with dentures (while I do have a better standard of living when it comes to eating and not being afraid to smile) is not a fun thing.

  •  Question (14+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary. Everything you wrote makes sense to me except one thing: your loose teeth no longer being loose. My understanding is that teeth mobility is a function of the bone loss precipitated by gum disease.

    So, do you know the treatment actually resolved this problem? Once free of infection, did your body actually build new bone?  

    •  Another factor (17+ / 0-)

      that my hygienist showed me with some pretty graphic photos, is that when you have those periodontal pockets like the diarist described, your gums recede further and further (this also happens somewhat with age, and thus the phrase "long in the tooth" used to describe old people), plus they gums are weak and tend to bleed easily. By restoring health to your gums, they are back up higher around your teeth and are nice and firm. I witnessed this in my own mouth.

    •  This is a good question (17+ / 0-)

      Contrary to popular belief, there is evidence that once infected plaque is removed (regardless of method) and healing begins, bone will regenerate. Here is just one such study. Also note that these researchers are not using antibiotic treatment and have nothing to do with WJ Loesche.


      A clinical trial was undertaken to test the hypothesis that periodontitis can be cured and that bone regeneration occurs in infrabony pockets in patients maintained on an optimal standard of oral hygiene.

      The material comprised 24 patients with advanced periodontal disease. After an initial examination, the patients were randomly distributed into one test group and one control group. All the patients were given instruction and practice in a proper oral hygiene technique, and then subjected to periodontal surgery using the modified Widman flap procedure. Following treatment, during a 2-year period the patients of the test group were recalled once every second week for professional tooth cleaning. The control patients were recalled once every 12 months for prophylaxis.

      The results showed that all osseous defects of the patients of the test group were refilled with bone. The control patients, on the other hand, could not maintain a high standard of oral hygiene, and exhibited a progressive deterioration of the periodontal tissues during the postsurgical observation time.

      I don't think that bone regeneration explains my case though. After reading your question I tried to reach my periodontist and my dentist. Both were away from their offices. But an assistant at my periodontist's office suggested that several factors may be responsible for the observed tightening including healing of ligaments, and gum tissues resulting in tightening around the teeth.
      •  There are two aspects of physiology (12+ / 0-)

        that support this as possible. If any area of the body needs repair, it won't happen until any non viable tissue is gone. Infection, necrotic (dead) tissue or any other matter that doesn't belong. This is the main focus of wound care, get the wound base down to clean healthy tissue, keep that moist, maintain adequate calories and quality of nutrients, the body will fill in really big wounds.

        The bones are designed to be broken down and rebuilt - daily. They store minerals that the body pulls out during the day as needed. Especially magnesium, potassium and calcium that are needed for muscle contraction and relaxation. In the evening when muscle activity has slowed down, the body starts redepositing the minerals. Late evening and night cramps are due to the deposition going a little haywire. Any calcium and mag supplements you normally take would be best split from am or mid day and evening or bedtime.

        Magnesium is very important for gum health. If you have gum disease, check it out. The interesting piece here is that Fosamax has been found to be really bad long term for preventing fractures. Because it doesn't allow the bone to give up the minerals, they aren't remodeled - which promotes flexibility and strength. So we have elderly folks sustaining spontaneous fractures, which are difficult to heal.

        The worst place has been the jaws. The manufacturer has been quite aware of all this. It has been dubbed 'jaw rot', which refers to the breakdown from the failure to rebuild and the antibiotic resistant infections. Bone infections anywhere are hard to conquer. These destroy the jaw bones so much some victims can't even use dentures. It affects speech and all the other things the mouth does for us.

        On what to use for maintaining the normal oral flora and chemicals. Enzyme products like Biotene are generally recommended for dry mouth but the enzymes help the other normal functions of the fluids too. Problem has several parts. Fresh foods are not used as much in many diets, the naturally occurring enzymes are easily broken down, there are fewer on the plants and we don't chew our food as long as we need to. The digestive process begins with getting enough saliva loaded with oral and plant enzymes mixed in the food.

        It really does raise the fury level when you realize how corrupted our health care system is.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:14:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fosamax and calcium (6+ / 0-)

          Just so you don't get branded with the CT label, here is an ABC news report on this side effect of fosamax

          Interesting, the story reports that Merck and the FDA were not all that quick to make this side effect known to the public or the general medical community. Who could ever imagine Big Pharma put profit over public health. HMMM, ABC news must be CT too....

          On calcium, most supplements are carbonate based (which derived from limestone). That source has poor bio-availability.  Plant sources, leafy green vegetables, broccoli are best dietary sources in terms of absorption. If you go supplements, there are whole food based options (often algae based) available. Pricier but much more effective.  

          •  Fosamax has been coming down in the (5+ / 0-)

            medical community for over a year. I think there is a lot of embarrassment and anger at being duped. Personally I have a hard time calling it a side effect. It was an incredible fail in the mechanism of action, which we have known the biochemistry of for a LONG time. Basically they had to have known what would happen over time. And made their $$$. Now we will find what the legal fees come to.

            At least Dr. John Ioannidis, who says that as much as 90% of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed, has been able to get places like Stanford and Harvard to get onto the problems. The Fossamax kind of shit will help more to get informed and pay attention.

            I got interested in nutrition and health 52 years ago, age 8. It has been a big pillar in my nursing care and career. I do a lot of the plant sources and the most bioavailable supplements I can afford.

            I'm already CT, on the one that-must-not-be-named. Dad was an R&D scientist in building materials, FiL was wing commander for SAC ~ 59 - 79. Transferred from Army Air Corps after they got him out of the German POW camp. When you get to the accredited professionals and published scientists, they have real scientific hypotheses - no asinine lay theories.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:35:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bone regeneration (7+ / 0-)

        Thanks for the link. I did some additional googling and it appears that at least some segments of the dental field are starting to do treatments along these lines with the goal of bone regeneration.

    •  I was wondering that, as well! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

      by solesse413 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:13:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Getting paid for procedures rather than cure (25+ / 0-)

    Is how this becomes the "accepted practice."

    Money, money, money for doing more is the cause.

    The incentives need to be changed, and it can't be when we have for-profit dental care.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:11:58 PM PST

    •  Seems to me you went to the wrong Dr (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Womantrust, donaurora, aitchdee, DRo, 4Freedom

      Don't know if a PCP would prescribe that antibiotic, but they have no dog in the fight.  "No skin off his teeth" if you don't get teeth pulled.  My teeth are so bad, I've been thinking about having them all pulled.  Just can't afford it.  Been seeing ads on TV about implants in one day.  That seems amazing to me.  Again, no money to do it.  But if I can get my PCP to prescribe the antibiotic and follow some of the practices, maybe the bacteria will be killed and my mouth may heal itself.  All the teeth that have broken off won't come back, but maybe it will stop.  Worth a try.  I haven't gone to a dentist in years because they took me in their office and lid out their plan to fix my mouth.  It would have cost $25,000 15 years ago.  I kept going for 5 more years, getting scaling and such, but one day I went into the office and they looked in my mouth and laughed.  The dentist started listing the cavities in my mouth and the hygienist had to go to multiply pages.  I finally said stop and walked out, never to return.  Clearly they were not interested in making my teeth better, they were more interested in the big plan.  

      "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

      by dangoch on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:34:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How awful! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, Babsnc, 4Freedom

        Sorry you experienced that kind of demeaning treatment. No excuse. I wish that dental practitioners of all stripes who treated their patients with scorn and negative judgement experienced professional penalties and in some cases lose their right to practice dental "medicine".

        Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

        by donaurora on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:40:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's an author, Ramiel Nagel, who studied (0+ / 0-)

        dentist Weston Price's information about curing tooth decay naturally.

        That would be a lot less expensive and painful than the dental work.

        You can't go back and rewrite your past, but you can use your past to create your future. ~ Ray Lewis

        by 4Freedom on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:59:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  if you live near a community college (0+ / 0-)

        or tech school that has a Dental Hygiene program, they often have clinics where you can get inexpensive preventive care.
        Dental Hygienists in some states are allowed to "initiate patient care in a setting outside of the private dental office
        without the presence of a dentist. These policies enable dental hygienists to practice in community settings and
        reach a variety of patient populations." often, this means the care is less expensive.

        Also, "The practice of dental therapy, which is understood to be the provision of a number of basic restorative services by
        a mid-level provider, has been recognized in a number of countries for decades. However, the first “dental
        therapists” in the United States began practicing in 2003 exclusively at Alaska Native American health facilities
        under the auspices of the Indian Health Service. Six years later, Minnesota authorized state licensure for a
        Bachelors educated dental therapist and a Master level advanced dental therapist. Dental hygienists with the
        appropriate undergraduate preparation are eligible to complete a Masters level program at Metropolitan State
        University and hold concurrent licensure as a dental hygienist and advanced dental therapist."

        Metropolitan State U has a new dental clinic, where DH students do simple fillings and extractions on a sliding fee scale:

  •  WOW (25+ / 0-)

    I just had a tooth pulled in early December 2012 and I have an early form of periodontal disease for which I am currently in the process of getting my teeth cleaned if by some fluke they start telling me I need more pulled (something I don't expect) I am going to be prepared.

    Thank you for posting this and for spreading the word.

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:14:40 PM PST

  •  the problem is most likely (11+ / 0-)

    that you were seeing a periodontist.  they're in the business of finding things to charge you for.  I have had gum disease, mostly around areas where I have had crowns or bridges done, and my dentist routinely did a scaling and abridement as part of a regular cleaning protocol.  Never been to a periodontist - and believe me, I won't be in a hurry to do so if they are all so clueless!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:19:02 PM PST

  •  this makes me wonder... (8+ / 0-)

    ...what other stuff they want to take out of people first, and then ask questions order to...make more profits.

    This certainly confirms a suspicion if mine...that today's health care system is primarily focused health.

    Congratulations to you and thank you for this valuable information...and for your courage to fight and forge on.

    •  Your judgement is correct. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      After all, in the US we have the highest health care costs in the industrialized world, but rank dead last for health of population on many many markers. Where do yo think all those health care dollars are going w/o getting proper treatments and/or cured? Into the pockets of doctors/big pharma that standardize the most expensive care, when better and cheaper alternatives exist in many cases.

      Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

      by Babsnc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:13:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  About a year ago... (6+ / 0-)

    I had a scaling/root planing procedure done on my teeth.

    To keep problems from reoccurring, I use an Oral B/Braun electric toothbrush twice a day (brushing at least 2 minutes each time), I floss twice daily, and use an interdental toothbrush for where I can't reach to floss.

    Also, I get my teeth professionally cleaned four times a year.

    So far, so good.

    I'm glad you found something that works for you, but here's something to keep in mind: Azithromycin damn near killed me.

    About five years ago, I was prescribed it for a bout of pneumonia/pleurisy. It did clear up those issues in short order, but I had a horrible abdominal reaction to it, and I know never to take it again.

    I bet I'm not alone in my reaction to powerful antibiotics.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:22:47 PM PST

    •  I guess everyone is different (5+ / 0-)

      This is the only antibiotic I can take at all. Have an allergic reacion to all the others.  Funnily my dentist did not want to give it o me when I had an infected tooth as he said it was not very effective for dental infecions.

    •  hygienist told me to stop using my electric brush (4+ / 0-)

      i had been using the orbital kind, the Oral B, but she said it was polishing my teeth too much.  my teeth were too smooth as a result.  she made that observation right about the same time i was noticing that one of my upper front teeth had become a bit translucent on the biting edge.  i went back to a manual brush.

      i had used the sonic brushes before but i didn't like how the brush heads got so gunky, so i thought i would try the orbital.  it makes me wonder, though, if electric brushes really do cause too much wear on the teeth over time.  especially considering the abrasives that are inherent in toothpastes.  do you want to abrade you teeth a few hundred times with a manual brush or 20,000 times with an electric when you brush your teeth?  over a lifetime i can imagine electric brushes being a source of problems in tooth longevity.  these newer, more powerful electric brushes are a recent phenomenon.

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:02:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had really bad gum problems but roughly 15 (14+ / 0-)

    years ago my dentist put me on an antibiotic regimen. So it wasn't completely unknown as a treatment in some areas. I won't speculate as to why it didn't become more widely used but I'm very glad it worked for me and you.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:24:23 PM PST

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    While I am happy for you, I have a serious question - over something that made my "Suspicion Meter" twitch.....

    $12,000 to extract 6 teeth?????????

    I had 20 teeth extracted for my full dentures in 2004 - under general anesthesia. Never felt a thing - No pain or fuss - and the total charge was less than $1200 - and I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country!!!

    What does your peridontist do - give you a 60 inch HD television and free pet food for a year??????? :D

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:28:08 PM PST

    •  Hey GayIthacan (8+ / 0-)

      That price was quoted to me without insurance. I just called my 1st periodontist to refresh my memory about what that quote included. His assistant told me that price probably included bone grafts that would have been necessary for implants. I had not remembered any of that. She didn't have the exact quote, so she was merely guessing. I asked her if the quote could have included the implants themselves and she said it was highly unlikely since, at their office, each implant costs $2800. She did say it may have included some bridge work. She didn't know.

      So I could edit the diary to explain all that, but that is the price I was quoted. What do you think?

    •  Depends on what all was done (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not, kyril, aitchdee

      Two and half years ago I had to have a lot of work done, including 4 extractions and 6 implants. Cost as much as a fancy new car, roughly 5 thousand per tooth, and I have dental insurance that provided some coverage. After many years of a partial plate, and several years where I couldn't get a proper fit for a new plate, I'm VERY happy with permanent teeth!

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:03:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My periodontist wants me to keep my teeth, so (15+ / 0-)

    my experience is just a little different, but the outcome is the same. I had an acute case of periodontal disease (my only health issue) and 12 years ago at the age of 50, I found a great periodontist who believes in antibiotics and keeping all of my teeth for as long as possible!! Thanks for posting this and letting people know that you can get treatment and you can keep your teeth. I use a Waterpik and a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, and my teeth and their pockets are in good shape. I do get my teeth cleaned 3 times a year, but that's a small price for keeping my teeth.

  •  I have been down your path (11+ / 0-)

    I did have 3 extractions. Two were caps that didn't work etc. The first one healed properly but the next two (done on separate occasions) had bone implanted to "help recovery." I believe this bone helped create a site for continued bacteria growth. I have had to engage in self-diagnosis because no one would give me the time of day.

    I got a complete run-around from the health care establishment. Meanwhile I had pounding in my head, throbbing, had to take any antibiotics I could get to keep the the infection from getting serious. I felt like I was dying.

    The infection had gotten down under my teeth and because I brushed well with an ultrasonic toothbrush there were no obvious pockets.

    My lymphatic system was fighting it and my arms and body were swollen with what I believe was lymphatic fluid. I think this because I lost 10 lbs. (about 7% of my original weight) in a month after I started a treatment from a herbalist with little change in diet (just a bit healthier).

    Dentists (and I saw a few) would typically not even look in my mouth. They would scan an X-ray and then tell me I had an invisibly cracked tooth before the extractions and that it was all in my head afterwards.

    After the last 2 extractions the infection continued. I could feel a seam where one of the teeth had been where food could get down to the bacteria. The bacteria were in hog heaven as they were anaerobic and completely protected from air with a constant supply of food. After 5 months and several appointments including elaborate bone scans I went to my friend's herbalist in desperation. He looked at my whole body. Commented that I barely had a pulse and got me on the right road. The initial improvement was major but I don't think I really got the bacteria until recently. Even now I wonder if there are still some lurking there.

    By the way, just to prove what a crank I am, I think it may well date back to high school when I had my orthodontic braces removed. Apparently too rapid movement of teeth can stretch ligaments that sheath your tooth roots....

    In the end I have a much lower regard for health professionals. I would comment that they believe following heuristics for treatment (quick little rules of thumb - if this/then that) is often confused with actual scientific observation and deduction. There is practically no testing or real investigation. Patients own experience is rejected out of hand.

    Anyway, wish I had seen your diary earlier - it might have helped. When I still had the teeth, especially the last two, would rise up in my mouth after eating and throb and hurt and I felt it was them or me so I was happy to get rid of them.

    best wishes  for you and your teeth!

    the future begins

    by zozie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:33:10 PM PST

  •  too late for me (20+ / 0-)

    I sure wish I hed know about this a couple of years ago. I have four teeth missing on the top and four missing on the bottom on the same side. My quality of life has really changed. I can only eat on one side of my mouth and I try not to laugh or smile too much. I would need some implants and then bridges and I just don't have an extra $12,000 for the implants and god knows how much for the bridges.

    •  Check on foreign dental clinics. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mexico and the Caribbean islands have any number of competent, experienced shops that offer that work at half or less the price.

      Yes, they want cash. Do your own financing.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:19:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also posted this way up in the thread, but (0+ / 0-)

      I wanted to make sure you saw it, so I'm re-posting here (I hope that's not considered spamming)!
      if you live near a community college or tech school that has a Dental Hygiene program, they often have clinics where you can get inexpensive preventive care.

      Dental Hygienists in some states are allowed to "initiate patient care in a setting outside of the private dental office without the presence of a dentist. These policies enable dental hygienists to practice in community settings and reach a variety of patient populations." often, this means the care is less expensive.

      Also, "The practice of dental therapy, which is understood to be the provision of a number of basic restorative services by a mid-level provider, has been recognized in a number of countries for decades. However, the first “dental therapists” in the United States began practicing in 2003 exclusively at Alaska Native American health facilities under the auspices of the Indian Health Service.
      Six years later, Minnesota authorized state licensure for a Bachelors- educated dental therapist and a Master level advanced dental therapist. Dental hygienists with the appropriate undergraduate preparation are eligible to complete a Masters level program at Metropolitan State University (MN) and hold concurrent licensure as a dental hygienist and advanced dental therapist."

      Metropolitan State U has a new dental clinic, where DH students do simple fillings and extractions on a sliding fee scale:

  •  I'm allergic to all of those antibiotics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, kyril

    I don't have gum disease, but if I developed it I wouldn't be able to take any of the antibiotics mentioned here or in the articles linked to.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:50:15 PM PST

    •  You could use raw garlic. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Research if you ever have the need.

      This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

      by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:47:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. I'm rubbing raw garlic on my gums (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can't even eat raw garlic in food. It burns my gums and there is nothing wrong with my gums. lol

        O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

        by Kevanlove on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:29:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you could research a bit. One can put the (0+ / 0-)

          juice on, as example, soles of feet or other skin area, where capillaries will pick it up and carry around the body. Interesting to smell when breathing out, after applying to skin, which shows it's reached the lungs.

          Just discussing, in case useful for anyone.

          This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

          by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:49:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're allergic to erythromycin ??? (0+ / 0-)

      You'd be one of the first.

      That was the original antibiotic used against gum disease.

      It's what is used to control algae in fish tanks. Dirty cheap.

      G_d's gift for killing strep, too.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:22:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  About 30 years ago... (11+ / 0-)

    ... I was diagnosed with gum disease. The dentist sent me to a periodontist who I did not like (he yelled at his office staff in front of me), so I got a second referral to another periodontist, who didn't recommend extraction, but went with surgical root planing. This is a really ugly procedure where they peel your gums all the way down to the jaw, clean the roots of the teeth then sew the gums back together.

    Periodontist 2 did a sloppy job of the surgery -- my gums didn't heal correctly because the margins weren't cut right (or something). My general dentist was going to send me back to Periodontist 2, but I said no way, because not only did he do sloppy surgery, he was a lecher (made comments about my large bust while I was trapped in the chair). So, I got a referral to Periodontist 3, who re-did my surgery, including adding an experimental bone graft to repair a place where my jaw was eroded, and this time it healed nicely and everything was hunky dory -- except, Periodontist 3 said that I would probably lose my upper molars in less than 10 years because what he had done would probably slow down the progression, but not stop it.

    Thirty years later, I still have those upper molars. Last year, I had to have a bridge re-done (I had the bridge before the surgery -- no teeth were extracted because of the surgery) because the bone in the spot were the bone graft was done had started to erode again. (The bone graft was not predicted to have a life as long as 30 years -- it performed better than expected.)

    Over those 30 years, I've alternated for cleanings between my general dentist and the office of Periodontist 3 (who has left the practice, but I still see one of his associates). I get cleanings three times a year rather than the normal two that people who have never had gum disease get.

    In the last two years, my overall dental health has improved as I started using a commercial mouthwash that claims to inhibit the gingivitis bacteria. It seems to work, my dentist says he's seeing less plaque and significantly, less plaque between my teeth.

    But, the bottom line is, it took me three tries to get a competent periodontist who treated my gum disease without extractions -- and it worked.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:55:13 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this. I had 4 teeth extracted last (7+ / 0-)

    year - they wanted to pull 8.  

    I have a variety of problems but gum disease and deep pockets are certainly near the top of the list.  

    I managed to get one implant last year while I was still working, but now being unemployed, I've hesitated to call the dentist even for the latest tooth that had a piece chip off.  The plan for my teeth was to replace them all with several implants - at a cost of 23,000.  

    Once I have a job and insurance again, I will def. try to get someone to write this scrip!

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:56:59 PM PST

  •  Well, I had perio about a year ago (5+ / 0-)

    And I let it get out of control because I was very busy at work, and that year the Sherman-Minton bridge went down between Louisville and Southern Indiana, which mean that going to work was suddenly a 90 minute ordeal for a 12-mile drive.  Since I lived on one side of the bridge and worked on the other, I pretty much gave up on trying to get anywhere like to a dentist, and by the time I got back my bottom front teeth were screwed.  There was no saving them, but it sure as HELL didn't cost me $12000 to have them pulled.  More like $180.

    And I had both scaling/planing AND antibiotics, which have arrested the disease, and my pocket depths have improved dramatically.  I just saw my perio yesterday and I'm all 3's and 4's now.

    And I agreed wholeheartedly with my dentist about the teeth needing to go.  There is nothing left of the bone down there.  One of the teeth was irretrievably loose, and when he took them out he was able to pull them with his thumb and forefinger.  They would not have lasted long on their own.

    One thing you didn't mention is that perio leads to bone loss, which cannot be fixed except maybe with grafts.

    My perio treatment was actually quite cheap, and I got out of this thing with a partial ($280), $800 worth of cleanings, and of course the minor cost of the teeth being pulled.

    I am now transitioning back to my regular dentist, with in-between visits to the perio.

    So, this is not a black-and-white issue.  

    •  you have dental insurance? (4+ / 0-)

      or 100% self pay?

      My perio treatment was actually quite cheap, and I got out of this thing with a partial ($280), $800 worth of cleanings, and of course the minor cost of the teeth being pulled.
    •  Please see my update for that section (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Libertine, aitchdee

      I had to call the periodontist who quoted me that price to see what it included. His assistant said it probably included bone grafts and maybe some bridge work. She couldn't or would be more specific. I have updated that section to clarify this point.

    •  I think upthread someone said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that bone loss COULD be reversed... in their experience.

      Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by ceebee7 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:54:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my experience, yes, bone regenerated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I had a molar infect, and the dentist couldn't see any problem, and the pain was referred to another part of my mouth.  By the time the correct tooth was found and the root canal was done, the bone had retreated from the infection.

        The periodontist showed me an x-ray and pointed out the retreated bone, and I exclaimed with worry, "Will it grow back?"  He laughed and said, yes, just like when you break a bone.

        That was many years ago, and the tooth, with crown, is fine.  

        But last year, I stopped taking Fosamax after TEN YEARS!  My dentist explained that the change in bone structure in my jaw, caused by Fosamax, would make any future invasive dental procedures inadvisable due the increased risk of infection that could destroy bone in the jaw.  

        Must be very careful with dental hygiene and keep my fingers crossed!

  •  Great diary! (10+ / 0-)

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    When I was 24, I was told by a dentist I needed to have my impacted wisdom teeth out right away...or else I was going to have big trouble with them.

    I'm still waiting for that big trouble 30 years later.....

    A few years ago, we found an amazing dentist here in Dallas. He gives you the whole range of your options and always starts with what you can reasonably expect if you decide not to do anything. Sometimes, not doing anything is actually your best option!

  •  I have bad teeth... (8+ / 0-)

    Most of it stems from decades of albuterol treatments as well as frequent prednisone use due to asthma/COPD. Apparently albuterol kills the enamel and then the teeth die. I have had some gum issues, but I'm on antibiotics often enough for lung issues that it seems as soon as it starts to get bad, it improves again.  I'm also taking calcium supplements which seem to help. I can't afford a water pik right now, but I'll put it on my wish list for the future. Right now I have to be really careful brushing my teeth because sometimes they fall apart under brushing, and flossing is right out. I can tell which teeth are about to go because they become almost see through over night, and then pieces just start falling off.
    Being without dental coverage and well beneath the poverty line, there isn't a lot I can do about it. The clinic will only deal with half my teeth because my lower teeth all have the roots wound around the nerve too much.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:00:16 PM PST

  •  Makes sense. (7+ / 0-)

    I haven't had the antibacterial medicine, matter of fact, I haven't been able to proceed with my perio care because I have no insurance and I have to pay cash and I'm quite poor.

    But, when I was able to save and pay for dentistry two years ago, I paid for all my fillings and the dental students used me for their root scaling and planing final exam which enabled me to get it done for free.

    Since I had that cleaning done, my mouth tastes different and is 100% cleaner. I know I have to follow up but the bacteria that was removed from my mouth slowed down the deterioration of my gums. My pockets were only 3s and 4s which aren't good but they haven't gotten any worse. The treatment you write about here would be perfect for someone poor like me.

    It's understandable that the planing alone wouldn't be enough. This is great news, actually, especially if the pills are only $15.

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:08:51 PM PST

  •  I was a faithful flosser ... (11+ / 0-)

    but about 10 years ago I suddenly had serious gum problems and ended up requiring some gum grafts--not fun. I had been using a floss called Glide, which was popular, but now I know that floss shouldn't be smooth; it should have a coarseness that scrapes the sticky bacteria off the teeth. Now I use Thornton 3 in 1 Floss, which does a great job. The concept of brushing or scraping off the sticky bacteria, or plaque, on the teeth and under the gums is pretty simple, yet many people don't grasp it and use dental products that don't do a good job of it.

    •  I try to find the unwaxed floss for that reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It seems the waxed leaves wax on the teeth, and I can't get them clean with it. It also has a smell I don't like.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:19:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only (0+ / 0-)

      floss I use is Tom's of Maine Flossing Ribbon (bought online).  The others are worthless.

      But I will look into that Thornton floss.

  •  Similar Story.... (9+ / 0-)

    After braces with 4 extractions messed up my mouth, I have fought periodontal disease. I ended up having surgery on my upper teeth and they had to remove one due to a bad infection. I kept the rest, but was unhappy with the periodontal surgery. Since then I have refused to do the bottom surgery. I see my dentist 4 times a year for cleanings- I pay for two and my insurance company pays for two. I have had topical antibiotics. I use a proxi brush after every time I eat. I use a Sonicare tooth brush. 10+ years since my surgery, my teeth are doing great. My dentist is really amazed that my two front teeth and one beside them are still in my mouth, because I killed them in an accident 37 years ago. They are a tad loose, but all my teeth have tightened up. My pockets are under control. I plan to keep all my teeth.

    I am in control of my dental and health treatments. I never get forced into anything. My dentist does not force me to do anything. He has been wanting me to cap two teeth, that will probably crack one day, but they feel fine and so I will not mess with them.

    Good diary! Important information for everybody!

    Signature Impaired.

    by gttim on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:30:45 PM PST

  •  I left the veterinary world in 2003. (20+ / 0-)

    By then vets had been treating cats' recurrent gingivitis/periodontal disease with clindamycin for years, including the technique of "pulse dosing" the first five days of the month to lower bacterial numbers.  However, there is no major false teeth industry for pets, so I reckon I shouldn't chalk it up to greater wisdom or virtue on their part...but I still can't help but be amazed that human periodontists haven't even heard of something that veterinarians have been doing for their patients for years.

    More than once I have heard people tell human medicine horror stories and come to find out that if they'd had the same treatment as their dog or cat, they'd been better off.

    Not that veterinarians are perfect - they are not.

    Perhaps the insurance industry has pervaded veterinary medicine by now (It was starting when I left the field) and a "run up a big bill" mentality has infected vets; I don't know...but one thing I do know from when I was in the field, the fact that services were quoted to the owner and the owner was expected to pay directly out of pocket, no third party involved, did a lot to keep treatments simplified.

  •  Antibiotics saved my teeth too. (18+ / 0-)

    My dentist sent me to a periodontist who gave me an estimate of $1450 for each of the four quadrants. I had already lost one tooth due to bone loss. I'm a little sensitive about my white trash heritage, so wasn't okay with having missing teeth. I went to get an implant and that dentist told me I didn't need to loose any more teeth. The regimen was this: deep scaling of the entire mouth, immediately followed by 10 days of both amoxicillin and metronidazole. The pockets closed up, bone grew back and I never had to get the thousands of dollars of periodontal work that wasn't even guaranteed to work anyway. Two and a half years later, the pockets started to come back. Another dose of antibiotics and I've been good for another couple of years. It was like a miracle.

    •  Bone grew back? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What part of your treatment do you attribute your bone growth to?

      Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

      by donaurora on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:20:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The dentist who gave me the implant (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        donaurora, sfinx, aitchdee, DRo

        was also a microbiologist. He explained it to me this way: the scaling disrupts the matrix that the bacteria live in, allowing the antibiotics to be effective. The bone is constantly dying off and replenishing itself. The bacteria blocks the replenishing from taking place, so it slowly recedes, leaving the teeth to become loose. Getting rid of the bacteria allows the bone to restore itself.

        When I asked my regular dentist why he and the periodontist didn't know about this, he said the standard practice was to do  the time consuming and uncomfortable scaling procedure one quadrant per sitting, usually over the course of a month. By the time the fourth quadrant was completed, the first quadrant would already be reinfected. What made the difference was to spend the time needed to complete the entire mouth at once so the antibiotic could knock out all the bacteria.

  •  That's just weird (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, mrkvica, oceanview

    I've been seeing a periodontist for 25 years. No pockets as deep as the ones you had but plenty of fives and sixes when I started. He NEVER suggested any extractions. In fact I don't recall ever taking oral antibiotics, though I was required to use Peridex periodically at the beginning. There was a root-planing involved as well as a skin graft to deal with severely receding gum in one place. But that was all. Not cheap of course but nothing like $12,000 either.
    Incidentally my periodontist is a really great guy. One of his teachers retired and decided he was bored so he is now working as a hygienist in the same office. He's the one I see for cleanings (I alternate between their office and the dentist). And HE'S also a great guy.

    On the whole I've been fortunate when it comes to health care. I've liked and trusted the people I've seen, and believe me I have seen plenty of doctors over the years. I'm pretty high maintenance.

  •  Proper Brushing Technique is really important,too. (4+ / 0-)

    I have soft teeth, and my share of cavities and so forth, and over the years of my overly intensive brushing back and forth across the teeth I wore down the enamal, and the softer area just below the enamel at the gum line.

    A couple of years ago my dental hygenist showed me how to angle the brush correctly, and use an up and down motion to clean the teeth and get the brush between the teeth better,  and use the floss and the little 'christmas tree shaped brushes, nd my regular cleanings have been going really well.  

    I also had some flouride varnish  treatments along the gum line to harden the teeth, and so far, so good.   She recommended using a mineralizing mouth wash keeping up the flossing, and using a 'sensitive' toothpaste.

    So much truth to the saying "and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."   There are u-tube videos of proper brushing techniques -- its worth a review.

  •  About 20 years ago I was (5+ / 0-)

    getting my dental treatment from a dental clinic which catered to union members.

    One day my dentist told me that I was developing periodontal disease and sent me to a speciialist at the clinic. He did a procedure on me wherein he cut away my gum. Then he scraped my teeth down to the root and he inserted a gummy substance around my teeth and closed up the gum.

    This was excrutiating - he could onlt do one quadrant of my mouth at a time. I would be spitting blood for the rest of the day. I wasn't allowed to eat solid food for days after each procedure.

    But I guess that it worked. Twenty years later and my teeth are mostly all 2's and three's. The only teeth that hit five are crowns, which can be tricky to maintain.

    Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

    by OIL GUY on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:40:04 PM PST

  •  It is a real challenge to keep your teeth healthy (4+ / 0-)

    Flossing is a real chore. Daily. Tooth and gum maintenance is worse if you don't have dental insurance however it is not that expensive if you look around on the Internet for a good deal.
    In the meantime, I use a little bit of plain baking soda every time I brush with my toothpaste.
    And I rinse with one part peroxide and one part water for one minute.
    You have to stick to a daily routine to avoid gum disease and hopefully cavities.

  •  THANK YOU. This is too ironic! (10+ / 0-)

    I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to you for writing this diary nor how utterly bizarre it is to see it.

    I just started a new job after months of part time work where I could barely pay the bills and still buy food afterwards. I've been trying to get proper dental care since early last year and have been running in circles in vain attempts to get answers.

    Lo and behold, your diary appears--at the same time that Los Angeles area buses are running a series of televised shorts on the bus about how to save lost or broken teeth!

    I think the universe is trying to tell me something. I will be checking back here and reading all the comments to see if solutions and programs are available for someone in my situation, too.

    Thanks again for posting this. Glad things worked out for you.

    I wasn't so lucky years ago and have been struggling for years since to get my lost teeth fixed/replaced. IT IS SO DAMN EXPENSIVE! :(

  •  they have a water flosser (8+ / 0-)

    my kid's (soon to be) orthodontist highly recommends this Water Flosser, he says its even better than regular flossing.

    Excellent diary, wish Id heard this stuff a few years ago. Too angry to say much more here, heh. Boy, what a racket.

    Sending on to a few friends. Thank you.

  •  Thank you!!!! (10+ / 0-)

    My husband is slated to have all his teeth removed at the end of February - I've already put out a call to his DDS to ask if we can try this first. (And if the guy says no, we'll go find someone else!)

    West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

    by blonde moment on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:02:07 PM PST

  •  My husband gets his teeth (6+ / 0-)

    cleaned/scaled every 3 months.  Has had a depth of 11 in one place!  It's better now, but I will definitely have him read this.

    Thank you so much for this information.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:04:13 PM PST

  •  the problem is (6+ / 0-)

    that deep scaling cost many hundreds of dollars.  I can't afford that.  I just took a Z pack 250mg for a sinus infection.    I hope that helps my similar situation.  I think I need to get the deep scaling done before the antibiotic treatment though.  My dentist had informed me of this treatment process.  When I can afford the scaling, I'll get it done.  Hopefully it won't be too late to save my teeth!

    People before profit - Tommy Douglas

    by horn tech on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:07:35 PM PST

    •  trya dental hygiene school like carrington college (0+ / 0-)

      If you have one in your area they will do srp for free and give you the antibiotiic arestin for free and only where needed.  They dont seem to be interested in making money....yet.

  •  It is being used for appendicitis too (4+ / 0-)

    There is new evidence that antibiotics can prevent the need for an appendectomy (given via IV in the hospital with watchful waiting and caution). The antibiotics reverse the appendicitis.

    Great diary, thanks.

  •  I came to this 'cause I'm stubborn (7+ / 0-)

    "Surgery" -- extraction -- means bucks to some dentists that do their own procedures (my conclusion). "The prognosis for that tooth is bad," I've discovered often means "Let me take it out now since I don't think you'll be able to keep it forever, and, I'll get paid in this billing cycle rather than sometime in a year or two or down the road."

    Whatever.  By resisting, I did discover that an acute infection, abscess, or even when the gum bacteria get particularly aggressive, that gum disease could be treated with antibiotics in the short term just by insisting upon it. Then I've found that active probing & cleaning of pockets with those plastic picks, plus flossing, and twice-daily sloshing with antiseptic mouthwash (per directions) is just something I have to do because of my genetic inclination in order to keep the original equipment.

    Fortunately I've found a dentist that met my resistance to extractions with a quarterly scaling (deep cleaning) that my insurance will pay for, and which has arrested the retreat of bone supporting "doomed" teeth ... and because of this treatment I've been able to keep a couple- or three teeth that had been targeted for removal.

  •  This is a great service. Thank you! nt (6+ / 0-)

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:11:52 PM PST

  •  If you don't mind (8+ / 0-)

    I'd like to tell my story, since its relevant and shows how very good they can be too. Im not at all trying to say you are incorrect, of course. My situation was different. But anyway.

    I had a problem, where my teeth didnt grow enamel right. They rotted, no matter what. When I first went to the dentist -- that is, my family dentist -- they didnt know if they could save half my teeth.

    So he set up an appointment with a periodontist. After extensive examination, he determined he would only need to remove two teeth, and they were teeth beyond saving. I knew that going in.

    And he was right. In a sense. Most of my teeth had to be... ground down to the gum line which yes is exactly as horrible as it sounds. But in the end, it was worth it because I have functioning teeth now.

    ...Anyway, im getting side tracked. The point was the level of amazing work they can do, especially when normal options do not exist. This all cost a hell of a lot but it was like...Really bad.

    I have Amelogenesis imperfecta, if you want to look it up. I'll spare linking the pictures.

    Again, im sorry for going a bit off-subject, but I rarely get a chance to praise this profession as much as I should. And I just wanted to add a story with a less...bittersweet ending, you know?

    The only Bug-type Pokemon that can learn the move Fly - Volcarona and Genesect - Are not Flying types.

    by kamrom on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:15:42 PM PST

  •  Try Xylitol - it is a natural sugar (6+ / 0-)

    It helped my gum disease.

    It is either in mints or in gum.

    It is sorta expensive and high end versions cost even more.

    We changed to getting treatment by dental students at our local dental college. After they clean the teeth, the periodontist comes by for a review. I mentioned Xylitol for about 4 years until any of them had heard about it.

    Here is some info

    Systematic use of xylitol helps to reduce the accumulation of dental plaque. Heavier plaque deposits favor the development of gingival problems, in part by shielding the deeper plaque layers from natural cleansing actions. More dangerous “anaerobic” germs are allowed to thrive.

    With long-term xylitol consumption, the bacterial populations tend to shift into less damaging “communities”. The 5-carbon structure of xylitol cannot be utilized by oral bacteria to form the sticky polymer meshwork that holds the bacterial biofilm together. Consequently, the “xylitol plaque” tends to be less sticky, less acidic, less inflammatory, and less harmful than ordinary “sucrose (sugar) plaque.”


    I just did a simple search using

    xylitol for gum disease

    to get this

  •  There is a time-release antibiotic called Arestin (4+ / 0-)

    which is applied after a root planing procedure which worked wonders for a couple of teeth of mine that had developed fairly deep pockets.  Since having it done a couple of years ago, the pockets have either stabilized or improved.  It's kind of pricey but worth it if it improve the health of the tooth.

  •  Thank you for an important diary. Over the years, (12+ / 0-)

    I've come to believe that many of the dental health community are struggling to increase their profits at our expense.   After all, as prevention and treatments improve, they are necessarily stuck with a declining base of people/teeth to treat, so those they do treat must provide sufficient profits to keep everyone in business.

    Not trying antibiotics on a bacterial infection just seems dense doesn't it?  I mean, decades and decades after common diseases have been defeated with antibiotics and the only solution to gum disease is to revert to the medieval practice of "pliers and yank?!"

    My own dentist in the US has become just a bit high. The exams and cleanings are "normal priced" for today, but any repairs or otherwise are just astronomical.  

    He wanted to do 8 crowns, plus 6 more later, for a total cost of .... nearly $32,000 !!!  That's a CONDO in some cities and a NICE new car everywhere.  Is a boat-payment coming due?

    I went to my long-standing Mexico dentist instead.  UCLA educated, US practice for 20 years, moved back home where life is simpler and people are more easy going.  

    His expert evaluation?  Molars:  2 crowns right away ($600 US) and probably 2 crowns later ($600 US).  Then 2 up front due to wear by a bad bite ($650 US).   Total = under $2000 - less than 1/15th the price.  And that includes a retainer which has corrected my bite and made eating so much more pleasant.

    And before you start thinking it is all poor materials and cut-rate methods, many of the crowns used in the USA are made in this same Mexican city.  Molds arrive via FedEx, crowns are expertly hand-crafted in the factory, then FedExed back to the dentists in the USA, where people are charged 10-15 times the price for the exact same item.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:33:15 PM PST

  •  Super duper diary and thanks for putting aside (7+ / 0-)

    your personal feelings of embarrassment for the benefit of what looks like tons of other folks.

    Fortunately I have a great dentist, go for cleanings twice a year and had to two implants last year with insurance b/c I broke two teeth below the gumline and there was no way to save them.

    I use the SuperSmile teeth whitening system but if I do veer off of that I use Tom's of Maine toothpaste b/c it doesn't have a lot of the nasty chemicals that others do.

    I use those little Xmastree-shaped "flossers" too.  I keep them everywhere: home, office, travel...And I use them like mad after each meal.

    One more thing to share FWIW: I also take an Amazon Rainforest herb (nutritional supplement) called Camu-Camu which I'd read could help - MAYBE - with my bleeding gum issue.  That was 10 years ago and since taking it I never had another bleeding gum problem.

    Side benefits of Camu-Camu are: lowered overall viral load, super high value Vitamin C source, great energizer...

    Thanks again for sharing!

    "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:34:38 PM PST

  •  I just sent this to all my friends. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, oceanview, nomandates, aitchdee, 4Freedom

    If  you can even save one tooth you are a hero.  I bet you just saved thousands.  Thank you for sharing!

  •  dedicated flosser now (5+ / 0-)

    and I get them cleaned 3 times a year now after years of neglect. Stable so far at 62 and only lost 1 molar.

    neglect = periodontal disease

    BTW - read that perio also leads to heart disease

    Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    by PHScott on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:39:14 PM PST

    •  It can. The bacteria that causes periodontal (0+ / 0-)

      disease can infect the pericardium,  the tissue around the heart. A young athlete who dropped dead on the basketball court years ago died from such an infection.

      The supplements CoQ10 and probiotics have been shown to help periodontal disease.

      You can't go back and rewrite your past, but you can use your past to create your future. ~ Ray Lewis

      by 4Freedom on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

    It is too late for me. I always thought we should be more advanced on this issue and that it is about the money.

    But thank you for many of my family members who may benefit from this information.

    I hope everyone reads this.

  •  re: (7+ / 0-)
    So while I'm not suggesting that there's some plot among the periodontal establishment to suppress the use of antibiotic treatment, there certainly appears to be little incentive for them to embrace it.
    Thanks for this diary.
    You may not be suggesting a plot but at the very least, as you say, there is incentive to keep patients from finding alternative self help measures to avoid super expensive periodontal treatment.

    For example, there's something called a  sulcabrush:

    My husband's periodontist used to give one to him after each visit.
    The he stopped giving them out and instead would give him some cheap toothbrush.

    So we checked out whether we could buy the sulcabrush on line - yes - amazon and others carry it.

    If one's gums are in reasonable shape, the sulca brush should be used to do the scraping of plaque around and just under the gum. Occasionally, one finds that the gum will bleed where the sulca brush is used. That's a tip off that the gumm needs a good workout there with the sulca brush because it's starting to develop one of those pockets. The sulca brush keeps the gums healthy.
    I spoke to the guy in Canada who invented it and still manufactures it. He said that the periodontal industry started finding it an impediment to their business and stopped distributing it, etc.
    Fortunately one can buy it.
    It's not expensive and there are replacement tips. It's like a pointy toothbrush that gives the gums a real good message.

    I would recommend it to everyone, especially us older folks whose gums seem more vulnerable to the pockets that threaten the teeth.

    Also, some dentists love to do expensive implants.  
    I wonder, If one needs a root canal, isn't the best implant the tooth with the root canal if it's in condition to remain in the gum. After all it's already there and is better than a foreign object?
    I'm not a dentist obviously - just have had experience with one dentist drilling on the wrong tooth years ago and pointing to a diagram that had a tooth circled (the wrong tooth) and finally taking me back to the chair and drilling on the right tooth and hearing me say "I'm only paying for one tooth being drilled" since the other one didn't need any drilling. (I never went back).

    And also had a root canal from a dentist that failed.
    Fortunately went to an expert here in Houston who redid it:
    David Cervantes and Terry Ott.
    They both teach at Baylor I think it's Baylor or University of Texas here in Houston.
    Excellent pain free root canal.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:47:49 PM PST

  •  Jeez... Wish I'd known about this... (5+ / 0-)

    THANK YOU for this very informative and enlightening diary!

    I started being treated for gum disease in the 80s... dentist sent me to a periodontist... he did scaling and warned me that I'd have to floss a lot... Which I didn't... and I continued to be plagued by painful gum infections.  Ultimately I had gum surgery on upper left and lower right quadrant... following that, the worst teeth finally had to come out, some of them maybe because I changed residences and used a new dentist, who mockingly referred to the periodontist's treatments as "heroics."  Every time I had an infection, I went and had the tooth pulled.  Now I have 9 original teeth left and wear an upper and lower partial (when in public -- hate wearing it, but have to) and as a result can eat most normal meals with natural teeth that I still have (if I'm eating alone)... altho steak is a problem, as is biting, since I have no upper front teeth at all.  

    Full disclosure -- In the 80s I bottomed out with drinking and had to join A.A. and get sober, which took about 9 years... and altho I'd been warned repeatedly, the last thing that came to mind nightly as I passed out in bed was NOT "I probably should get up and floss..." (!)   I'd always been lazy about tooth care, didn't even brush much as a child... and my dad was too cheap/misinformed to send me for check-ups, let alone regular teeth cleaning as a child/young adult.  But I never dreamed that the medical establishment would ever prefer billings over patient comfort, including appearance... BTW, the periodontist turned out to be politically a very far right guy who'd lecture to me about the terribleness of abortion, of all things(!!!) while I was prone in the dentist chair with my mouth open wide and he was invading it with sharp instruments.  After years of treatments, I finally got fed up one day with his politics and gave him a piece of my liberal mind about his views.  That was the last I saw him.  The new dentist (also politically conservative, but also a fellow-member of A.A.) has calmly extracted each new tooth that became infected, one by one, and now I live with the upper and lower partials.  Also, he had me sign a Release prior to each extraction.  And he also ALWAYS advised me not to postpone the inevitable and go ahead and get 'em all out and have full dentures fitted.  

    A newer dentist who has pulled my last two teeth and updated my partials told me to rinse once a day with Colgate Peroxyl (which contains hydrogen peroxide) and NOT RINSE after I've spit it out... I've had no infections since (couple of years)...  

    In 2000, following the previous dentist's most recent extractions, that dentist told me that within five years I'd need full dentures (which would have meant I wouldn't have been able to eat any solid foods w/o dentures being in place).  13 years later, I'm still able to eat with teeth I have left, as mentioned above.

    This is a fucking scandal... but not too surprising in light of much information the last few years regarding the medical establishment's interest in billing over preventative practice and alternatives short of pulling teeth... not to mention the number of surgeries in other medicines which are more and more reportedly not medically necessary.

    I know more than a few people who've trusted their medical practitioners and have regretted in light of additional information which doctors/dentists keep to themselves.

    I was raised to trust doctors, and have had mostly excellent medical care.  Can't say that, though, about dental care.  Sure, some of it my fault, but I'd have a lot more teeth left if this diary/information would have been accessible to the masses 20 years ago.

    Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by ceebee7 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:48:52 PM PST

  •  Great news. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, nomandates, James Hepburn, aitchdee

    I have been in treatment for 10 years for periodontal disease. It is under control but I have had 3 surgeries, 2 extractions and 2 deep scalings. As I said I have been stable now for a few years but I still have to get my teeth cleaned 4 times a year which I really don't mind. At least I know my teeth are staying healthy.

    Yes, the motive must be money as it does not make sense that the dental schools would not teach a treatment using anitbiotics. The implant technology is amazing though if you end up needing it.

  •  Thanks for the diary! (4+ / 0-)

    I have a problem and no money to take car of it.  I walked out of a dentist office in December when the dentist wanted to pull a bottom crowned front tooth.  Who wants to have front teeth missing? (I also have four top front teeth,  also crowned, that are loose, so I investigated getting them all pulled and a set of false teeth.  Can't afford that! Seems I have been spending constantly on on tooth problem or another and at this point I'm living on SS only and cant find a way to take any steps, as even getting false teeth is so costly these days when you add the cost of pulling  teeth.  My mom had hers pulled and it was inexpensive when she did it years ago, but that is not the case today.

    Do you have any suggestions for finding someone who will provide the prescription?

    Do you have a packet of information you might share towards finding someone?

    I have no one to turn to at this time.  Thanks for your help!

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:14:09 PM PST

  •  Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    42, nomandates, James Hepburn, aitchdee
  •  Thank you for posting this, I'm struggling with (4+ / 0-)

    early stages of gingivitis now and having only moderate success against it. It's a huge relief to have all the hopeful information in this thread. I'm going to buy a waterpik and ask my dentist if she's heard of your procedure asap!

  •  The health care industry in the U.S. is a racket! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Hepburn, roseeriter, aitchdee

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  •  My periodontal pockets went away after I started (6+ / 0-)

    taking Vitamin D. My dentist just kind of blew it off, but really, that was the only thing I had changed. I couldn't believe he didn't find it remarkable that after years and years of pockets that they were suddenly gone.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:33:58 PM PST

  •  My dentist did this! (6+ / 0-)

    She said my pockets were a bit too deep (but no loose teech).  In two separate sessions, she numbed me up, gave my teeth a thorough cleaning (deeper towards the roots than usual), packed the pockets with a topical antibiotic (I forget which one), and sent me on my way.  Three years later, my teeth are doing quite well.

    Great diary, thanks for posting.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:37:45 PM PST

  •  Properly implemented, ACA should help (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, nomandates, aitchdee

    A major part of the health care cost savings in the Affordable Care Act is the implementation of standards for evidence based health care.

    Doctors, dentists, etc. will no longer be able to ignore scientific evidence of the best care in favor of those most profitable.  Those who continue to practice this kind of medicine will hopefully have difficulty in being reimbursed for outdated and expensive care.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:46:47 PM PST

  •  Try $50k (6+ / 0-)

    That's about where I'll be at in August when I'm done.  10 total implants (4 on the bottom and 6 on top - they're $3k a piece themselves) and 'permanent' dentures over titanium that are screwed into the implants.

    I'll have them permanently... but now I've been told that every 3-5 years, I'll have to get "re-treaded"; the denture will wear down and I'll have to get them rebuilt.  Considering that new they are $10k, I'm sure the retreads are going to be around $3-4k each time.

    I wish I could have seen this diary 3 years ago.  I could have the BMW to drive instead of chew with.

  •  I have chronic low vitamin D (4+ / 0-)

    and a connective tissue disorder. While being on indigent dental where the only treatment for cavities is extraction. Not really much of an option.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:48:03 PM PST

  •  2 other things you can do for your teeth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    donaurora, nomandates, aitchdee, 4Freedom

    COQ10 and CHEWABLE Vitamin C.

    The COQ10 is for gums AND your heart (and good for all sorts of things once you hit your 40s since your body stops making so much of it.) It's a little expensive insofar as supplements go but if you can afford it, it's very worthwhile. Lots of lit out there about it.

    CHEWABLE vitamin C, on the other hand, is very cheap. I take two each morning after brushing my teeth and make sure I crunch with each of my back molars (my trouble spots.) Lots of folks take vitamin c, but you're not maximizing it if you aren't letting it coat and penetrate your gums before it goes down the hatch.

    My gum disease pretty much went into remission after I began this regime. I was not as bad as the diarist but my dentist predicted a dire future that could be slowed, not stopped. That future never happened and I still can't get my dentist to admit it's because of the above. That was in my early 40s. In my 50s now, have a few crowns but technically I still have all my teeth. (Crowns came in my late 30s.)

    Something else I've been meaning to try is called "threading." It's a process whereby every day you take a spoonful of olive oil and squish it through your teeth (kind of like a cross between chewing and gargling but it happens in the mouth, not the throat.) If any does that, I'd love to hear about it.

    •  Didn't read down far enough to see that (0+ / 0-)

      CoQ10 had already been recommended. Adding the C helps many things besides just the gums.

      You can't go back and rewrite your past, but you can use your past to create your future. ~ Ray Lewis

      by 4Freedom on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:21:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Around 10 years ago I went in for a dental (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, nomandates, aitchdee

    checkup and cleaning, and they advised that I do an SRP (Scaling and Root Planing), which is sort of a combination deep cleaning under the gums and inspection of the condition of your teeth and gums and such.

    What they found wasn't good. Because up till that time I never flossed, only brushed, decay had set in and I was in the early stages of gum disease. If I didn't start flossing immediately and make sure to brush properly and get my teeth cleaned twice a year, I'd probably lose teeth, and since I have a benign heart murmur, it could be even worse (i.e. I could die from infection).

    Thankfully, I had a good dentist and he didn't try to convince me to get any teeth pulled (except for my wisdom teeth--what's up with that since they don't seem to have impacted my molars too much, yet every dentist I've ever seen suggests I have them pulled). He suggested that I follow his advice and see him in a few months (which was going to happen anyway as I needed other work done like root canal and some crowns put it).

    Long story short, I've been flossing daily ever since, and haven't had any gum problems, and won't need to have any teeth pulled. Point being that with proper care and early intervention when called for, you often don't need expensive and invasive procedures that are overprescribed and unnecessary, that just make dentists rich and you poor and inconvenienced.

    This country's health care system needs as much of an overhaul as does its health insurance systems. Both are failing most Americans.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:53:26 PM PST

    •  Depends on your individual situation, though. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, IvoryWine, aitchdee

      I floss religiously--seriously, I've developed elaborate rituals and am on the verge of adding in incense and blood sacrifice--but my family history is very prone to gum disease, and it hasn't been enough to keep gingivitis away. Everyone's mouth is different.

      •  True (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The general point though is one, take care of those teeth, and two, don't assume that what you're told is the final word.

        Trust your gut, floss your teeth. :-)

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:01:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dentists are surgeons. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, DRo, nomandates

    It's as if MD's were only trained to perform surgery for everything - everyone has known for ages that periodontal disease was bacterial, and MD's would have learned to treat it medically decades ago.

    They just don't think that way and it isn't part of their training.

    If altar boys could get pregnant, contraception would be a sacrament.

    by tiponeill on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:07:33 PM PST

    •  Dentists know it's bacterial (0+ / 0-)

      And actually treating perio disease with antibacterial agents is common.  The problem is, it's a naturally occurring bacteria in the body...just like the bacteria that causes decay is naturally occurring.  

      This is the first I've heard of an oral antibiotic protocol, however.....worth researching.  Having said that, I doubt the antibiotic actually kills it off....just controls it better...again, something worth researching.

  •  Paul McCartney's dad advised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoonerG, aitchdee

    Paul on his 21st birthday to get all his teeth pulled and get dentures to avoid problems.  Luckily, Paul thought the advice was ludicrous and ignored it.                    

    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

    by betorah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:11:19 PM PST

  •  Pulling teeth is really the cheap and easy option. (0+ / 0-)

    Over half the adults over 50 in WV have no teeth. Apparently the reason is that many coal camps used to provide free dental care to families of miners. Once a tooth is gone, it will never again trigger a dentist visit. Of course that isn't the best option for quality of life or overall health.

  •  I have the same issue. My hygienist wanted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schnecke21, aitchdee

    me to start coming in for 2-3 month cleanings. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't cover but 2 per year, and after paying all my medical bills and copays, along with 25% of my income to insurance premiums, I just can't afford it. Still have most of my teeth so far, but it's been a a battle.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:29:37 PM PST

  •  Dental industry is scary, expensive, complicated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, aitchdee

    Thank you for posting your story.  I have spent thousands on periodontal treatment, and now bridge work, and have thousands more to go. As we all now dental care is not included in health care insurance- which deserves a whole other thread. The expense of "standard" treatment is what leads many of us to dire situations with our teeth and oral health.

    I wish I had done your research which basically follows common sense and logic. I will read and present the studies to my periodontist. Implant surgery is now on my "to do" list and it sucks.
    My periodontist, prothodontist, and oral surgeon all told me that advanced periodontal disease had one option- tooth extraction. This involves all kinds of trauma, expense, and heart ache. I feel duped. These are all professionals at the top of their field.

    That said, this is really great info. and I'm happy for you. I can't wait to have this conversation with my dental team.

    Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

    by donaurora on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:08:00 PM PST

  •  Having taught doctors and dentists all my life (5+ / 0-)

    I am not surprised!  We have some good people out there but there are also those who look for the $$$ to get their next yacht.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:13:50 PM PST

  •  Thank you for posting this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Hepburn, aitchdee, 4Freedom

    It will be a blessing to many.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:22:51 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the info (6+ / 0-)

    I never had any problem with my gums until I went to a dentist who stuck needles all around in my mouth and then said the fact that it lead to bleeding meant I had gum disease. He had me hold a mirror up and then prodded my gums with his needle and when there was no bleeding he did it even harder and that was the proof I had gum disease. I had never had a problem with my gums bleeding before that, not even when I vigorously brushed my teeth.

    Now my gums hurt quite frequently and bleed spontaneously. I'm pretty sure he GAVE ME a gum infection. That probably sounds paranoid, but I had no problems before that free consultation and have had lots of problems since. I thought I was getting a free cleaning and evaluation. He never did a cleaning, just prodded my gums and then tried to sell me $20k worth of dental work.

    •  He was measuring (3+ / 0-)

      your pocket depths.  That wasn't a needle, it was a perio probe.  There are 6 measurements taken around each tooth, it tells the dentist where your bone levels are.  The numbers you want are 2s and 3s....4s indicate inflamed gums, and 5s or higher mean you have bone loss.

      Having said that...bleeding CAN be an indicator of perio disease....but only in conjunction with your measurements and x-rays.  

      I would strongly suggest you get a second opinion.  If you do have periodontal disease, you need to get it treated.

    •  I had a dentist like that, cruel with the poker (5+ / 0-)

      into the gums and teeth. Made it hurt, to make it seem urgent to do thousands of $ of treatment. Sadistic. Claimed I had to do it right away. Didn't explain it well, and made it physically painful, horrible.

      I didn't return to him, and went to a different dentist years later, he explained the issues more calmly and kindly. Not as urgent, but as good things to do, and poked around without causing any pain. They have really good equipment these days so they can make it uncomfortable, but not painful.

      I agree with Ivorywine about the procedure your greedy sadistic dentist did and the diagnosis. My suggestion is to find another dentist, a 2nd opinion. I asked friends and folks I knew when shopping for a dentist. You can find one that way recommended to you as having integrity and being kind and not torturing when examining you.

      If it's not an urgent cavity, but gum issues, that is to be taken seriously, and you can try things folks recommended in this diary and get the recommendations from your new dentist of what to do for it. It shouldn't be something, in my opinion, requiring immediate spending of lots of money, but something your dentist can help you plan for incrementally as needed. But it would be best to get that checked out with a 2nd opinion.

      Best to you, and blessings.

  •  bravo! you have helped a lot of people. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Hepburn, aitchdee, 4Freedom

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:34:18 PM PST

  •  Ugh! In my younger years, I thought that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Hepburn, aitchdee

    brushing with an extra-stiff brush was a good thing.  Not so.  I may need to refer back to this post in the near future.


    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:43:22 PM PST

  •  For-profit healthcare at its best (or worst). (4+ / 0-)

    None of this should be a mystery to any of us. The entire healthcare industry need to be socialized (to remove the profit-motive).

  •  A freelance dental hygienist I knew (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkjohnson, aitchdee

    in the Boston area told me that out of the almost 50 dentists she had worked for over the years, she would only go to one of three, herself.

    She said that when the majority of dentists do sloppy work, the patient has no idea-- they just figure when problems crop up again later, "I've always had trouble w/that tooth".

    Befriend a dental hygienist who sees how the docs actually work!

  •  Ok, Diaries like this scare me (10+ / 0-)

    I've spent over half my life in dentistry.  I've had the pleasure of working for doctors who truly care about their patients and their dental health.  

    On the plus side, I am very interested in what you said about the drug therapy, and plan on bringing it up with my doctor and having him research it.  But I want to bring up a couple of items that are unclear in your post, and then bring up some items that concern me from the comments.

    First of all, It is unclear to me whether this drug protocol simply stops the progression of the disease, or rebuilds bone.  From what I'm reading, it stops the progression of the disease.  You spoke about your perio numbers going from 9s & 10's to 3s & 4s...that  is awesome, BUT that can happen just by getting your gum tissue shrinks, and the pockets become smaller....but more of the tooth is exposed.  so the lower pocket depths do not by themselves indicate regeneration of bone...the only way to diagnose that is by seeing the x-rays.

    Simply stopping the disease WILL allow you to keep your teeth longer.  I am not going to argue with that AT ALL.  I think, if this works and you have stumbled on to it, fantastic.  Seriously, I've been in the business (working general dentistry, not perio) since 1982.  BUT, this isn't a cure all.....the study states implicitly (and you indicated you complied) that this is part of a complete treatment protocol involving scaling and root planing ("Cleanings), routine perio maintenance (follow up cleanings), and diligent home care (effective brushing and flossing).  So the patient HAS TO take an active part, AND continue seeking active care with a dentist.

    I need to make a clarification here.  I cringe when I hear people (even dental professionals) talk about "cleaning" when dealing with a patient with periodontal disease.  A true "Cleaning" is called a "Prophylaxis Procedure"....note the term "prophylaxis"...yes, make a joke about condoms now.  The word means "Preventative".  When the average person without periodontal disease is getting a prophy ("cleaning"), they are getting a procedure designed to help PREVENT periodontal disease, it involves removing calculus above the gum line.  Once you HAVE periodontal disease, You require active treatment (Root Planing and Scaling, where the pockets of bacteria are not only cleaned out, the root of the teeth are literally planed or smoothed off to make it harder for tarter to adhere, because now the calculus is below the gum line), and after that, there follow ups are no longer prophy's , but "Perio Maintenance"'s much like a regular cleaning, but the pockets are always cleaned out, and they usually happen every 3-4 months as opposed to every 6 months.  The point is to control the bacterial growth, as the bacteria builds up, the bone loss occurs. part of an over all protocol, this antibiotic sound fabulous.  However, as I was reading through the comments, it seems that some people think the antibiotic itself is a cure all....I do not believe this is the case, not does the study intricate it.  Traditional treatment for perio disease still seems to be indicated...but honestly, sometimes it doesn't work.  This, to me, seems like something worth looking in to.

    Again, I want to stress....a dentist, alone, can NOT stop gum disease.  There HAS to be active participation from the patient, not just in excellent home care, but in coming to their maintenance visits.  I can't tell you the patients that get the initial root planing done, then don't follow through on their maintenance....and get mad at us, either because we keep calling to get them in, or because, after they don't see us for 2 years and they've lost bone and some teeth ARE NOT saveable, they blame us.  It's like going to a mechanic who tells you "If you don't fix this oil leak your going to have a cracked head, let's do it"...any you put him off until the head cracks, then you're mad at the mechanic.

    So, thank you for the diary, I'm interested to follow up on it...if it works I think it would be a huge benefit to our patient....because, contrary to some of the opinions on here, you dentist IS concerned about your teeth and they do NOT want to remove them unless there are no other options.

    •  sigh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoonerG, DRo
      "The penalty for being poor'll cost you double."
      Health care, including dental care, is still not affordable, available & accessible to all in this country.
      •  I'm not going to disagree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But that's not the subject of this diary.

        Having said that...Dentists are small business owners (unless you're going to a corporate owned place...)  They are there to make a living, and need to be paid.  If they are not, they don't have a practice, because I know NO dentist who does not owe big bucks in loans for school and practice purchase.

        •  dont take it personally (5+ / 0-)

          of course dentists are there to make a living and I dont expect they should comp some percentage of their services to poor people or whatever. But there is, in my opinion, an inherent problem in the fact that health care in general is a "for profit" business (as you say) that adversely affects the health of an awful lot of people who simply cannot afford to buy it.

          And thats not your fault. But neither is it mine.

          I think it does have a lot to do with this diary but Ill spare you the rest of my rant, heh. I do appreciate the many other valid points you've made in this and other comments here.


          •  I didn't take it personally (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lady Libertine

            Actually, I agree with you, how we handle health care in this country is appalling.

            BUT, this particular diary was about treating a specific disease.  Believe me, I could pen a rant about the need for single payer healthcare AND dental care (something that is almost criminally overlooked), but that would take away from the point of this particular diary.


    •  Last point first (8+ / 0-)

      You don't know my dentist or my periodontists. So you simply cannot make that assertion. It is only by coincidence that you are correct. My dentist, the one I have now, is one of the good ones. I cannot say that about my previous dentist or any of my previous periodontists. I didn't include this in the diary because it would have been a distraction: But none of my periodontist have adopted antibiotic treatment with their patients, even after seeing first hand with their own eyes the result. This includes the periodontist who called it "a miracle."

      Face it. There are a lot of unethical doctors.

      As to your other good points, yes, I could have gotten a lot more technical and while I did mention debridement (in the abstract I cited) and scaling in Dr Loesche's instructions to me that I paraphrased, I did not bother to fully emphasize it  and other post treatment practices as much as I could have. Instead, I suggested discussing this treatment with a professional who I am sure will provide all the emphasis that you rightly point out is necessary for success.

      I chose not to for this diary because I know that 1. no one is going to get Azithromycin without talking to a periodontist or dentist first. And 2. any dentist or perio is going to emphasize those things most sufficiently. At least one would hope.

      So the purpose of this diary is not to reiterate conventional practices but to provide information on something that, at least to most patients, is new and not sufficiently offered.

      But your comment is welcome and I have actually stressed these points somewhat in comments and a couple of private messages to me.

      I would remind you that people can't just go and buy Azithromycin or Metronidazole.  It has to be prescribed by a professional. And ALL of the studies I cite make very clear that debridement is essential for success.

      So I don't see a big problem with DYI periodontal treatments in the near future. But again, these fact that you raise can't be emphasized enough. So thank you for your comment.

      •  I think the study is interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but I also think that some conclusions are being made that may or may not be true.  

        As stated, I plan on bringing this up with my dentist to see what he knows (and if he knows) anything about it.  I'm sure it will lead to some research.  

        I would like to know A) What other studies have been done?  B) how often does the Rx protocol need to happen?  once and done, or is their follow up?  C) any long term indication of drug resistance?  D) Any problems RXing Axithromycin for this usage?  Dr.'s are limited in what they can prescribe for what problems.  E)  Is the bone loss arrested, or is their regeneration?  F) What were the parameters of the study?  How advanced was the periodontal disease?  G) Is there indication that the RX has killed the bacteria off, of just got it under control?  At what point will periodontal disease become active again...or will it?  H)  What happens if the patient DOES NOT follow up with their dental visits?  

        Dentists are scientists, they need to see clinical results, not just rely on anecdotal stories.  I'm NOT saying what you have gone through isn't real, I'm just saying that for a Dentist to make something part of their protocol in treatment, they need to view it as being well vetted.

        I do take a bit of offense at "Their are a lot of unethical Doctors".  Not knowing about something does not make a doctor unethical.  You accused me of making an assumption because I don't know your dentist.  Well, you don't know that "a lot" of doctors to make that statement either.  I do know many dentists, and while there are some bad ones out there, the vast majority of them are very concerned about their patients, and doing everything they can to help them keep their teeth.  

        But the danger I see is in your last statement "I don't see a problem with DIY Periodontal Treatment in the future".... Part of the specific protocol of the study WAS follow up perio maintenance, which involves cleaning in the pockets.  According to the study, these were done on 3 month time frames.  This CAN NOT be done with brushing and flossing alone, a hygienist is required.

        Periodontal disease is something that has to be managed, like diabetes.  I am interpreting what I'm reading by you implying that at some point the actual treatment by the dentist will be taken out of the equation.  Maybe that's true, but nothing I see in the study indicates that.

        Having said that, congratulations on finding something that is working for you.  I hope that you do keep your teeth as long as possible, maybe even the rest of your life.  At some point, I would love to know if follow up x-rays show regeneration of the bone holding the teeth in place.

        •  In the time it took you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, DRo, greengemini

          to express your skepticism, you could have answered all your questions and more. Here, here, and here.

          •  I'm not sure those studies support (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            what you are saying.

            This study says that there is NO significant difference in bone level gains between groups treated with the antibiotic and the groups treated with only SRP (Scaling and Root Planing) and PM (Perio Maintenance).

            This study indicates that there is some resistance of oral pathogens to antibiotics, although it also appears to be somewhat regional.

            This study relates to post-implant infection, but it also indicates that over a 6 month period, there was no difference in the results of SRP with OR without antibiotics.  

            This study says outright, "Scaling and root planing with adjunctive systemic azithromycin provides little additional benefit compared to placebo in reductions of major subgingival periodontal pathogens."

            I could go on....and frankly, the next study in the group DOES indicate that the drug could be a benefit to advanced cases of perio disease IN CONJUNCTION with traditional methods...but specifically says more research is needed.

            I'm stopping there.  My biggest concern here is the cause and effect issue.  Did your disease stabilize because you became much more diligent in having it treated and in home care?  Frankly, every study you cited indicates that.

            I'm really not trying to pick on you, or pick what you're saying apart, but I feel I need to, because it IS dangerous.  Every article you quoted actually indicates that the difference being made is because of the traditional treatment of perio disease, and while there may be some advantage to using an oral antibiotic, the manual removal of the bacteria is what is truly making the difference.

            So now, we have a whole bunch of people who will be calling dental offices saying "I want antibiotics to treat my gum disease", because that's what your post implies, and they will TOTALLY miss the whole "Scaling and root planing and follow up" part.......and when the offices don't know what they are talking about, and try to tell theme they need traditional therapy, they will assume all dentists are crooks and just want their money.....which was also implied.  And they won't go back, or try to get antibiotics in other ways, and long story short, they WILL loose their teeth because the problem wasn't fixed.

            I know this, because we deal with it frequently.  I've dealt with patients who come in with a raging abscess, an infection so acute that there is pus draining, and when we say "Root canal, and it's so advanced even that may not work" the patient INSISTED that by rubbing some of some bizarre concoction he got off the internet on the site it will go away.  And we KNOW it won't, and, in fact, has the potential to kill the patient (yes, I said kill.....when you here about some one who died because of an infected tooth, this is what they're talking about) and telling the patient that has no effect.  They don't believe us because they saw something on the internet.

            So, your post IS dangerous.  It does not fully explore the problem of gum disease, it gives a false sense of treatment, and reinforces in people that their dentists are just out to get them.

            •  I think this comment is really helpful, you give a (0+ / 0-)

              clear explanation of the articles and the dentist-patient relationship from the dentist's point of view. However, I must say that I think James' diary is also great. Even if the oral antibiotic treatment isn't as broadly applicable as he'd hoped, the message that you need to read up on your medical problems and get second opinions and try all non-invasive approaches before you go for the surgical ones is really valuable. The paranoid distrust that it's so easy to develop for dentists--there's just no way to feel entirely rational towards someone whose job is to hold you down and hurt you--is certainly a bad thing, but being an active, informed patient is good.

            •  I didn't cite those studies (0+ / 0-)

              I merely was showing you how to search Pubmed. The "group" you refer to is the search result for for a search on Pubmed of "Azithromycin periodontal disease" without the quotation marks.

              I see that I must explain everything. Or are you just working an agenda. I mean, you clearly selected studies that you feel contradict the findings of Loesche et al while ignoring others that do not.

              This indicates a bias on your part.

              You said that you were offended by the criticism of dentists who ALL want to see us keep our teeth. Not exactly an objective perspective is it?

              Then you constantly ignore what I wrote. I clearly stated that my periodontist said my results were a "miracle" after merely 30 days post treatment with azithromycin. And yet you're now insinuating, or outright claiming  that my results must have been because I was "much more diligent in having it treated and in home care."

              Have you ever seen a patient go from 10mm pocket depths to 4mm in 30 days? And if so, was it a result of more diligent home care?

              Please. You've shown your hand.

              •  My agenda (0+ / 0-)

                Is a realistic approach to dealing with dental issues.  I have over 2 decades of hands on experience in dentistry.  I understand the mechanics of the disease.  I have NEVER said that it's not possible for antibiotic therapy to be a benefit, but it does not appear to be the magic bullet you seem to be saying it is.

                The study you just posted does indicate that "Within the limitations of this study, the adjunctive use of systemic azithromycin in the treatment of P. gingivalis periodontitis demonstrated significant clinical and microbiological benefits when compared with SRP plus placebo."  In real terms, what that means is that, according to the study, there was about a 1/2 mm more of pocket depth reduction in the drugged group as opposed to the placebo group, after 6 months.  There was also about a 1/2 mm of gains in clinical attachment levels.  This is NOT bone levels, it's the ligament that holds the tooth in between the tooth and the bone.  

                Periodontal disease is about Bone loss.  There are soft tissues involved, and when those tissues are healthier, they DO attach to the teeth better, making them more stable.  Will this allow you to keep your teeth longer?  Yes, it will.  Does it mean you will never loose your teeth from periodontal disease?  No, it doesn't.  It may significantly lower the odds, but even in Dr. Loesche's study, 13% of the patients lost teeth, with antibiotic therapy.  Now, the results are still incredibly effective, but it was not antibiotic therapy alone that accomplished this.

                I am thrilled your pocket depths have gone from where they were to where they are.  And will agree that it very well could be because the antibiotic has affected the bacteria and got an active infection under control.  But, according to that study, your results are atypical.  You had 5 to 7 millimeters of improvement, in the study, 15 patients had an average of less than 1 mm improvement.  Your personal results did not occur during a clinical study, there are many unanswered questions, sorry, even though it happened to you (and I am not doubting you in the slightest) your results are anecdotal.  Perhaps, because your results have been so dramatic, your dentist should write up a case study and publish it.  Before and after x-rays would be very informative.  They would show whether your pocket depth decrease was due to tissue shrinkage (which I suspect, but in all honesty don't know), or increase in clinical attachment levels, or increase in bone levels.

                From a practical perspective, if you can slow the progression of the disease, then you WILL keep your teeth longer.  It sounds like that has happened.  It is absolutely worth looking into from a dental perspective.  As I said before, anything we can do to help patients keep their teeth is worth exploring.  

                My concern, though, as stated, isn't in what you are saying happened to you (I'm honestly thrilled about that), it's the suggestion that all anyone needs to keep their teeth a few antibiotics.  I'm not saying it might not help, what I am saying is that the clinical studies do not indicate the experience you had is typical, and it is dangerous to tell people that "This" will save their teeth, and you know more about it than their dentist.  

                Absolutely, bring it up to your dentists.  Ask them, if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it they are familiar with oral antibiotic therapy.  But understand, it is part of a comprehensive treatment regime, not a treatment by itself.

                And as an aside, yes, we DO see pocket depth reduction after root planing and scaling, however, I will admit, you're are extreme.  I would again encourage you to ask your periodontist to write up your case for publication.

        •  Oh, and please re-read my post carefully too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoonerG, aitchdee, greengemini

          You appear to have missed a whole lot of information. Like the fact that there are many studies and that the case I made extends far beyond "anecdotal stories."

          Best regards

    •  you are a machine - you require maintenance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, IvoryWine

      spending time on your maintenance

      teeth cleaning
      down time
      eating right

      are all harder the less money you have - and you absolutely need maintenance.

      and dental maintenance is part of it.   I'm sure it's very variable among people, but I'm generally amazed at how little maintenance your teeth need for you to be able to keep them your whole life.

      unfortunately - you need a good dentist to help you, and you have to know what that maintenance is...

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:32:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  After WWII my mother, who was a WAVE (8+ / 0-)

    was told she needed all her teeth pulled and should get dentures. She was in her 20's.

    Fortunately, she got a second opinion. The dentist treated the gum disease and she never lost a single tooth!

    She died at age 88 1/2 with all her natural teeth.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:09:57 PM PST

  •  I'm so happy for you! (5+ / 0-)

    And I so appreciate you sharing this with us! Dental stuff is my bane. I don't have gum disease but I've had terrible luck with my teeth and it is a miserable state to be in. We didn't go to the dentist much when I was a kid and by the time I got my own job and my own insurance, my mouth was a mess. Years of work and tons of cash later, things are under control but I have to stay vigilant. Thank you so much for adding this to our store of knowledge!

    Get old and do lots of stuff in the process. Half of the fun is trying everything out. --Noddy

    by Debby on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:47:53 PM PST

  •  frauds all over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    years ago readers digest investigative reporter did expose
    on dentists in different states. It is available here:

    a four year old's mom authorized 4 cavity fills and after sedated her daughter came out with a mouth full of silver here
    is her story

    and pic

  •  I've never heard of Dr. Loesche before (5+ / 0-)

    but I'll bet money that my periodontist has.

    I've been fighting perio disease since my late 20s, started out in very bad shape (because I didn't realize that I had a problem), was told by my first periodontist that I'd be lucky to keep my teeth for 20 years, and 37 years later still have all but 4.

    I had a lot of periodontal surgery (not extractions) years ago, but now I get treated with antibiotics if I get an inflammation. Sometimes topical (Arrestin), sometimes oral.

    BTW, the tendency to develop perio disease is very heritable, so if your parent or grandparent had it, you should be extra-vigilant about oral hygiene and checkups.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:29:21 PM PST

  •  You may have already saved one person (6+ / 0-)

    My uncle was told about a month ago that he would need a full extraction. He's been struggling with depression, and is recently divorced, so the prospect of losing all of his teeth has been a major blow. I was skeptical to begin with because the practice he goes to is one that advertises their dental implants heavily on TV, and just seem very profit-driven.  I emailed this to him and will call him tomorrow just to make sure he checks it out. If nothing else, you have offered small ray of hope for someone in a very dark place. Thank you so much for writing this!

    You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

    by SwedishJewfish on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:05:47 PM PST

    •  I really really hope it works for your uncle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish, Amber6541

      Sounds like he's got it bad though. It's worth a try though I guess. I'll be thinking of you and him.

      Cheers mate.

    •  get 2nd, 3rd and on, opinions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish, worldlotus, kurt

      and trust your instincts re that "skeptical to begin with because the practice he goes to is one that advertises their dental implants heavily on TV, and just seem very profit-driven."

      Shop around and get multiple personal recs from friends, family.

      I had one guy (dentist), rec'd by a friend even, who turned out to be ... uhm, Ill just say he was more interested in fattening his wallet than in giving me quality care. Thankfully, my instincts kicked in and I never went back to him.

      We have this tendency (especially us older folks, lol) to trust medical & dental providers to give us their best expert medical recommendations. Sad truth is we have to scrutinize and be on guard for bogus b.s. Gah I hate that.

  •  Microbes often at fault (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Amber6541

    I've heard that our bodies contain more alien than native microbes, and they are frequently at fault for conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and so on.  You have probably also reduced your chances of heart disease.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    by chloris creator on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:31:14 PM PST

  •  Candy (0+ / 0-)

    Many decades ago, when my dad was a teenager, he read some articles about how harmful candy is for the teeth, so he stopped eating candy and never had a cavity. He told us children once in a while about his decision, but never insisted we stay away from candy. So we all have had our share of dental troubles, but not him.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:33:09 PM PST

  •  Kept my teeth too! (6+ / 0-)

    I was in a very similar situation.  I had 4 loose teeth and practically all my teeth had pockets between 4 and 10.  The first three periodontists I went to wanted to pull them.
    Then I found Dr Kwan in Oakland,CA.
    He recommended a deep cleaning (scaling) along with an antibiotic, 4 cleanings a year (instead of one) and just as important, on top of daily brushing, using a waterpik to get your teeth clean where a brush can't reach and get some water up under the gums as well. 10 years later, I have practically no pockets and have kept all my teeth.
    The 4 loose ones are splinted, so I can eat things like ice, and corn on the cob or whole apples, but that's nothing compared to losing teeth.
    For people in the SF Bay Area, I would definitely recommend him and for people outside, I would certainly keep this in mind and look for a like minded periodontist.

  •  This is highly informative (4+ / 0-)

    Too late for me though. I resisted for a couple of years until too many teeth had fallen out, then I had them all taken out and now have dentures. But if I had known this about 5 years ago I could have saved my teeth and a lot of money. I hope this news spreads fast. Thank you for telling us there's a better way.

    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. -Carl Sagan

    by howardfromUSA on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:22:17 AM PST

  •  I Swear By Stimudents..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, aitchdee, greengemini

    My teeth are really close together, & floss frequently gets stuck.  That never happens w/ these plaque removers.  They don't break & come 25 wooden flat picks/package.

    The only store that has them tho is Rite Aide.  I have great checkups every 6 months, & I'm 67 years old.  

  •  Thank you so much, Jsmes Hepburn! (5+ / 0-)

    Almost 20 years ago, a dentist wanted to rip out all my teeth and was astonished that I refused.  "You have full coverage now," he said.  The most disappointing aspect to me was that he was an Alaskan native doctor.  So much for helping your people when you get a break...

    I'm with full uppers and a "flipper" downstairs.  My stepmother told me, practically on her death bed, to "hang on to those lower teeth as long as you can!"

    That is what I told my native health service dental people, and they have put me on quarterly scaleings.  Unfortunately, my usual hygienist was in remote villages for my last visit and the hygienist only gave me the glamour type of cleaning.

    I want to figure out how to print your article so I can take it to my doctor and to my hygienist next time, probably in March.  When I tried to print a KOS diary years ago I couldnt do it, but times change and I'll try again.

    Alaskan natives would benefit tremendously from this news.  Elders have notoriously bad teeth, but children have a chance.  This is very important for native health, which is not out to profit by gouging teeth out, insofar as  I know.

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:45:14 AM PST

    •  To print this out use cut-and-paste (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janetsal, Gustogirl, worldlotus

      into a word processor such as Word or word Perfect.

      A long cut-and-paste is easier to do if you start with a left-click in front of the first word ("I've). Then scoot down to the bottom and do a shift-left-click after the last word ("money.") That SELECTS the full text of the article. On my screen it turns black ! Control-"c" copies all of it. Then after opening Word and getting a new BLANK document, control-v does the paste for you.

      You can also do cut-and-paste for the title and author info, but I usually just hit ENTER a few times at the start and type it in. Be sure to SAVE the Word version. You have to do formatting to show blockquote fields (the indent feature with Word, combined with italics) and you also have to copy-and-paste images individually for diaries that have them. Easier to give images their own lines than to try to do embedding, though that's pretty when it works properly.

      Good luck !!

      In Word you can tailor the lay-out and include such as text from comments.

      Trying to print directly from web pages is worse than a chore.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:48:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Metronidazole + omeprazole = C. Difficile (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, greengemini


    I was given metronidazole treatment for gum disease and developed C. Difficile.

    I was using omeprazole at the time and it appears there is a risk of the combination allowing this horrible awful result.

    Be careful out there.

    My gums did show improvement with metronidazole but it was short-lived.  I continue to struggle with it.  I would be willing to try again with proper care for side effects.

  •  Have hot listed this for future reference. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, Crabby Abbey, worldlotus

    There was also a helpful diary on Alzheimer that I saved in case.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:39:20 AM PST

  •  Good diary !! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My understanding of this is that the condition of the bone and the lower parts of teeth are the critical factors.

    If the bone is gone or the teeth have shortened significantly with decay pockets, then extraction is indicated.

    There are also bar bridges ("Maryland bridges") that connect teeth from the inside, using a metal bar (in a drilled channel in the teeth themselves) and modern light-activated glue. (Glue's the generic word. Not accurate technically.)

    There's a lot to be said for keeping teeth.

    But if teeth are in bad shape, you are risking infections that turn to abscesses. A deep infection can kill you. Quickly. Or cause stroke.

    There's more involved here than teeth.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:55:21 AM PST

  •  Americans have been indoctrinated to the notion (5+ / 0-)

    that dental care and eye care are somehow separate from health care.  I have often had employee health insurance that didn't include dental/eye care or if it was offered it would be an additional, separate charge.  

    As a veteran I currently am availing myself of the VA Hospital for my health care needs.  But guess what?  They will not give a vast majority of veterans dental care unless it's a severely abscessed tooth that is causing a life threatening infection.

    So it doesn't surprise me at all to find this information you have so graciously provided.  I have long believed that dentistry and optometry were held apart in order to generate higher revenue.  Dentists are good at removing teeth but experts at extracting money.

    Do not become intoxicated with the excessive exuberance of your own inexhaustible verbosities...

    by SoonerG on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:03:47 AM PST

  •  My favorite scene in Star Trek IV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, Crabby Abbey

    Was when Dr. McCoy becomes shocked that some poor old woman in a hospital has to go through invasive surgery to cure an ailment that only requires a few pills.  His comparison of 1980s medicine to "witch doctors" was quite hilarious.

    Chris Rock said it best: "They ain’t curing AIDS. They ain’t never curing AIDS. They ain’t never curing AIDS. Don’t even think about that shit. There ain’t no money in the cure. The money’s in the medicine."

    So yeah, there are probably many decades-old research papers that found non-surgical means to cure many of the ills that plague us.  But it's not in the economic interest of the medical establishment to recommend these.

    Here's another anecdote for better teeth: stop eating wheat.  I've been wheat-free for about a year now, I've lost 20 pounds and in my follow-up appointments to the dentist, the hygienist noted that my teeth looked more unusually clean than she's ever seen them.

  •  The simple phrase "health care industry" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Crabby Abbey, greengemini

    shows that health care, just like everything else, has become a racquet.  It's not about health care, or your personal well-being; it's about profit.  Yay capitalism.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:11:50 AM PST

  •  dentist! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    I absolutely hate going to them !

    I won't state the last time I went to one because I would be taken to the wood shed by at least  one kossack !

    LOL  imagine that !

    I do have a loss tooth, been that way since I can't remember when.

    •  Modern dentistry is actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not that bad.  If you are a baby boomer, you probably have terribly traumatic memories of going to the dentist.  I know my mom does.  But they really can numb you up well now, and it's not as barbaric as it used to be.  They even numb your gum before they use the needle so you don't feel that!

      You should ask your friends for a recommendation, bite the bullet and go in for a deep cleaning.  You'll need one as you haven't been.  But ask them to numb you so you won't feel it.  Most will.  

      Please go.  It will be worth it.  

  •  Thank you so much for taking the time to research (6+ / 0-)

    this and to write all this up and post this here.  I had gum disease many years ago and had to pay a lot of money for skin grafts.  The grafts receded over the years and while I do not have gum disease now, my gums remain a worry to me.  I feel so fortunate to have read this diary.  It makes me feel so much better for the future and I am going to pass this information to my dentist next time I go in for a cleaning and will ask her point blank if she would be willing to prescribe antibiotics if my gum disease came back.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:15:19 AM PST

  •  This is a great diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, worldlotus, kurt

    Hotlisted because this is super useful information, as well as everything shared in the comments.

    My personal dental story:  I had to have all four of my wisdom teeth extracted when I was 19 because my mouth was too small for them to come in and they were all impacted, some worse than others.  So I had the surgery, which went well, although after two teeth my dentist suggested we stop and continue later.  I was like "Aw hell no finish this now!" so he did ask I asked and took them all out then.  All four had to be cut out, not just pulled, and the whole ordeal took five hours.

    The bad thing was, and call it an odd set of circumstances I suppose, is that I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  I had no idea at the time, that since my body doesn't have collagen that recovering from dental surgery is extremely difficult.  I was swollen so bad the swelling went down to my sternum and it was painful to breathe.  I bled for a week, couldn't eat or drink anything for nearly two weeks, and couldn't even turn my head because my neck, head, and chest were swollen so badly.  I couldn't take pain meds, because when I took the Vicodin he prescribed it made me puke.  The other was 800mg tablets of Ibuprofen, which you can't take without food or risk stomach bleeding.  I was miserably for three weeks when my mother started covering me in ice to bring the swelling down.  My dentist was worried, but we had no idea at the time that Ehlers Danlos could cause these complications.  It wasn't something I learned until two years later, and everything I was reading that EDS patients experience with dental surgery was like a checklist of everything I went through.

    Any kind of dental surgery has risks you wouldn't think would be associated, so I tell everyone I know to review any medical conditions you have with your dentist to double check that there won't be any adverse side effects.  I don't blame my dentist, he's awesome, and EDS is a rare disorder, I don't expect him to know about it.  Plus he was young then (and still is), he had just joined the practice to take over for the dentist who was retiring.  So live and learn, I suppose.

    "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

    by Silvia Nightshade on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:23:23 AM PST

  •  Dr. Mark Manhart also has a treatment method (6+ / 0-)

    Dr. Manhart is a Dentist in Omaha, Nebraska, and created a treatment for gum disease using calcium compounds in the 60's. I was told that I would need periodontic surgery by my dentist as early as 1994. Once I found out that, not only was the surgery ridiculously expensive, but it would also not take care of the problem permanently(they said I would probably have to have it done again in another 3 years), I started seriously investigating other options. I found Dr. Manhart and went to Omaha from San Francisco in 2000. After receiving the treatment, I went back to my dentist who told me, "Wow, things look great! If things continue to look like this, you're not going to need surgery after all."

    Always Seek Other Alternatives To The Medical Ones

  •  my situation was just as bad, with the dentist (6+ / 0-)

    suggesting referral to a specialist who wanted $2000 up front.  Found another dentist who did a series of deep cleanings, put me on short term antibiotics and gave me antibiotic mouthwash to use 3 times a day.  Did not lose a single tooth.  The deep cleanings clear out the pockets of infection while the antibiotics zap the bugs.

    Warning: ignoring gum infections can land you with a case of endocarditis and perhaps death.  Any sort of systemic infection is nothing to ignore (I have suffered from several over the decades)  

  •  THANKYOU!! (5+ / 0-)

    My teeth thank you!

  •  I wish my dad had heard of Walter Loesche (6+ / 0-)

    His dentist pulled 18 (!!!) teeth in one sitting. The thinking behind it: "your teeth are so far gone, we might as well get rid of them and fit you for dentures."

    My father was miserable with dentures. I remember him disappearing in the bathroom after each meal and gluing those suckers back in. His quality of life improved considerably when he got implants.

    One of my deepest regrets in life is that I wasn't able to save him from that horrible dentist.

    261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

    by MaikeH on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:19:54 AM PST

  •  In the meantime (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, cactusgal

    don't forget to floss and use an antimicrobial mouthwash!

  •  I've just gone through the first stage of (6+ / 0-)

    LANAP, a treatment for gum disease involving a laser that many (not everyone, though) claim is less painful and has a better record of success than traditional gum disease treatment. The procedure came to $6200, with my insurance paying close to $2000 (good for dental insurance, I suppose). I had no pain during or after the procedure; the only thing I took afterward were a couple of Motrin, and I'm not sure I needed those. I go back for the right side in a couple of weeks.

    Could I have gotten by with the treatment described in the diary? Maybe, if I had known enough about it to mention it to my dentist or the periodonist he referred me to. I had some 10-sized pockets, but my teeth weren't loose and I wasn't bleeding, so maybe it would have worked. I just don't know, and from what I read about LANAP before having the procedure, it sounded reasonable. Making decisions like this when it doesn't seem like an emergency is always a bit of a crap shoot (Do I need it or not? Will it work or not?). At least I finally made a decision on something they insisted I needed since 2009. I definitely kicked that can down the road.

    If I don't see you, for a long while, I'll try to find you, left of the dial.

    by mithra666 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:05:26 AM PST

  •  I believe this strongly: (4+ / 0-)

    Americans are used and abused, charged usory amounts for everything from cell phones to cable TV to banking and nearly all consumer services, including utilities.  I know this to be true because I have travelled and lived in Europe and Asia.  Somewhere along the way, the American culture became an exploitative system in which the middle class and the poor are literally abused by so many corporations and governmental systems.  Fees and hidden costs are out of control.  The legislative bodies who control and check these outlandish charges in other developed countries are failing Americans.  I regret not having emigrated to France or Costa Rica many years ago when I was younger and healthier.  This country is in big trouble and the workers and middle class & the poor are downtrodden and abused in so many ways.  Even wages have been stagnant for decades, while all costs are going through the roof.  It is a sickening and pathetic situation for the people of my country.

  •  Ever had a doctor make you come back for labs? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey, DRo

    After labs, made you come in for a second appointment just to tell you that your lab work came back fine? Yeah, it wasn't to look into your pretty eyes. They charge for every visit. Many doctors are taught how to keep patients revolving through the door.

    And it's not just that leading research is ignored - many practitioners just choose to stop learning. Churn and burn the patients. When medicine stops being an art and science and becomes your business.... just stop already. You're violating your oath.

  •  Of course, we would still need periodontists. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey

    Just about 1% of them.

    "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

    by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:43:25 AM PST

  •  You may have saved me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:46:16 AM PST

  •  Yep! It's a racket (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey

    Years ago I had to have a root amputation, something that is rarely if ever done now days. I suspect for the exact same reasons as you've cited.

    The amputation took place in the mid 90's and that tooth is doing fine to this day.

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:55:15 AM PST

  •  Wish I had known this earlier... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey

    maybe I would still have feeling in my lower jaw from a botched surgery.

    I won't go to a dentist!!!

  •  Thomas Kuhn would applaud you. (5+ / 0-)

    He is also vindicated by your story. The power of paradigms cannot be underestimated. They are not simply motivated by money (though that is a factor), but people are taught one way of thinking and they are invested in it. Paradigms are never overturned lightly. They are always going to put up a lot of resistance.

    The first doctor to suggest cleaning medical instruments used on cadavers before using them to birth babies was ran out of the profession. There will be blood in changing this paradigm for sure. I'm glad your blood wasn't spilled in the cause.

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:26:25 AM PST

  •  My quick dental story (8+ / 0-)

    Four years ago I had major teeth problems.  Thought I had better get any infection and bad teeth fixed.  Saved up money and went to 1st dentist, he said ‘Your upper teeth are too far gone to save, but for $8k I can save your lowers.”  2nd dentist, “Your lowers are too far gone to save, but for $12k I can save your uppers.”  3rd dentist, “All but four upper and six lower are too far gone to save, but for $18k I can make it easy for to have dentures.”  4th dentist “Unfortunately the teeth I can save will not anchor dentures.  Go see my ‘friend’ the oral surgeon.”  Who wanted $7k to pull all my teeth.  This went on thru 8 dental practices and 3 oral surgeons.  I was so confused that I went with the first oral surgeon.  He pulled all my teeth and his ‘friend’ fitted me with crappy fitting dentures, for $3.5k.

    Fast forward 18 months.  Still had sore mouth, still had pain, still felt like crap - like I had an infection.  I ignored it until I had to go to eye doctor because I had vision issues like I needed new glasses STAT.  Eye doctor examined me, sat me down and she said, “Your script really changed a lot.  Before we fill this please go see your doctor.”   See my regular MD, he talks about my health and what I am feeling, orders blood work.  Whoopsie!!  My sugar levels were 4X normal.  I am a diabetic now and probably was for YEARS.  That is why I didn’t feel good and part of why my teeth were in such bad shape.  Everyone of those dentists and more importantly the oral surgeons should have told me to get checked for diabetes.   My eye doctor saved my life!

    So moral of the story – if you have ANY sort of major tooth issue that is widespread in your mouth --- have your blood sugars checked using the hemoglobin A1c test.  It gives the doctors a multi month picture of your blood sugar levels.

  •  Flossing is one of the cheapest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, ceebee7, Naniboujou

    most effective "good health' practices going. Keeps those gums pink and healthy.

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:31:14 AM PST

    •  I agree... Just hated like hell to do it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Naniboujou

      Didn't help that I had an unusually sensitive gag reaction, and every time I tried to floss I'd spend most of the time retching in the bathroom basin... Obviously couldn't do it at my desk, which I've seen some people doing.

      The dentist I wrote about (above) I believe is a good dentist, he just pulled too many of my teeth, once we got started in that direction.

      He'd also playfully say, "It's not necessary that you floss ALL your teeth -- just the ones you want to keep."

      I realized early on that flossing thoroughly daily is very effective.  Just wouldn't do it.

      Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by ceebee7 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:56:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you James, from the bottom of my pockets! (4+ / 0-)

    Not sure how you knew I had a dentist appointment this morning.  Or that I had been worried for weeks because two of my teeth seemed loose.

    I went in today armed with your article and sat down fully expecting to hear, "yank em."  But, no.

    For now, we will do splints.  And I'm pretty happy about that.  And they had heard of these antibiotics and other treatments.  

    I think I'm in good hands.  And I'm pretty sure you're an angel sent from heaven for this really timely (for me) information.

    Eat up!!!  

  •  Sometimes it is a cultural thing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, worldlotus, Naniboujou

    My sister married a really smart guy who put himself through college- dual PhD/MBA.  But he had grown up in the environment where the attitude towards dental care was eventually you will just need dentures, so why go to the dentist until it's time to pull them all out?

    Needless to say, my sister told him that was crazy (after she got over her stunned shock since in our family going to the dentist was sancrosanct).  She then dragged him to a dentist who specialized in people never went to the dentist.  If you met him and talked with him, you would never guess that he never went to the dentist until like his 30's.  It just goes to show how deeply embedded you can absorb attitudes as a child that carry over into adulthood.

  •  A friend went for a $49 Dental come on special... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Crabby Abbey

    primarily to get his teeth cleaned.
    He had NO DENTAL COMPLAINT!. His teeth were not hurting him.
    That office's dentist told him he had a tooth abscess and tried to talk him into having the alleged abscessed tooth pulled.
    My dental experiences thru many past years always involved
    responsible dentists who advocated trying to save teeth.

    •  I once had an abscess that gave me only some (0+ / 0-)

      slight, untraceable twinges until I got on a plane, at which point the pressure shift did something wonky and it became the worst pain I had ever felt up to that point. Really stunningly horrible nerve pain, I couldn't keep up a conversation, but until it went nuclear like that it was fine. Just because something doesn't hurt yet doesn't mean it never will!

  •  Same Experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis (5+ / 0-)

    You have inspired me.  I hope to publish a diary on this in the next few days.

    Suffice it to say for now that I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1990 and told that I'd be in a wheelchair within 10 years.  Rather than accept this prognosis and the toxic treatments used by most conventional rheumatologists, fortunately my research uncovered the work of Thomas McPherson Brown, a rheumatologist who pioneered the use of antibiotics in treating RA.  And even more fortunately, he was located very close to my home!  Unfortunately, he was dead . . . but one of his partners was continuing his antibiotic approach for those who asked.

    Long story short, I took the treatment, after several years of much reduced symptoms went into remission, and now, over 20 years later, I am not only not in a wheelchair, I can run 12 miles at the drop of a hat!

    The wonder drug in my case was minocyline (a variant of tetracycline), which is remarkably nontoxic, with few side effects.

    Anyone suffering from RA should look into this.  As I said, I intend to post a diary with more details shortly.    

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:56:02 AM PST

    •  this medical practitioner concurs! (0+ / 0-)

      I learned a lot from a wonderful self-directed woman who came to me and said, please read this [McPherson's book] and treat me.

      I did read the book, and I did treat with the antibiotic protocol, and she went from a walker to hiking 6 miles. It took more than a year and a lot of weekly IV antibiotics as well as oral antibiotics but she got better.

      Now I am in the world of lyme and see and hear the most incredible stories (book worthy)... This week I had a young woman get a tick bite, got sick. Along with a host of other symptoms, she developed new onset OCD and fear/paranoia that was disabling. After a month of azithromycin it went away and never returned. In the medical world that is amazing.

      Sub-clinical infections are going to continue to be found as major factors in many chronic illnesses that currently have no known cause.  Those at the forefront will continue to endure the ridicule and wrath of the status quo.

  •  Thank you for this diary. You have NO idea (4+ / 0-)

    how much I appreciate this.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:13:26 AM PST

  •  treating people worse than cats (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sort of surprised that they didn't try antibiotics first (not completely as I've taught medical students).  

    It is standard protocol with cats, who can quite often have very bad gum disease, to give them a course of antibiotics after cleaning, in the hope that some of the teeth can be saved. It doesn't always work, but it's not exactly an expensive treatment and when it does, it's worth it.

  •  HELP - i have one pocket of 9-10 and (5+ / 0-)

    i was scheduled to have dental surgery to fix it, but due to my recent dx of a fib-flutter  i have been put on coumadin (blood thinner) for a cardiac ablation in March.  then i have to stay on it for a month afterward the ablation.

    i, too had the scaling done, but that was done about a yr or so ago... and have my teeth cleaned every 3 months.   the pockets around of a few other teeth are 3-6

    i would like to print out the links about Loesche's studies in your diary and give them to my dentist and periodontist.  But there's no link to the treatment  of Azithromycin 500mg:
     Take one a day for 3 days. Then stop for 4 days. Then resume for 3 more days.

    is there a link you found in your search of Loesche to the treatment that i can also print out?  THANKS!

    (i read this diary before i left to see my anti-coag doctor -- i mentioned the treatment to him - and he said Azithromycin is ok to take w/ coumadin.  )

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:26:48 PM PST

  •  Thank You (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, greengemini, worldlotus, DRo

    Incredible timing for me to read this. Your sharing of this story will save many teeth and lots of dollars!

  •  too bad I didn't see this in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    I listened to them when they said they had to go-  ALL of them.

  •  I see this all the time... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, greengemini, donaurora

    Doctors still cling to treatment protocols that are 20+ years outdated and put their patient through an emotional roller coaster needlessly. They would rather use something out of a text book than use a much newer, updated evidence-based treatment.

  •  THANK YOU. This is excellent information (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, worldlotus


    by raincrow on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:10:54 PM PST

  •  I have had two teeth extracted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not for periodontal disease (I did have mild gingivitis) but because those two teeth had gaping holes in them, and I could not afford the restorative treatment.  They were far back molars,  Extraction was $150 for the two of them.

    Fortunately, the upper molar was replaced by a wisdom tooth in the course of a year - the tooth descended and erupted properly, and slotted neatly into place alongside the molar in front.  My dentist had never seen that happen before, but she was grateful that she'd told me I didn't need to bother with wisdom tooth extraction!  Saved me a future implant.

    So, I'd also add, don't let them take out your wisdom teeth unless they absolutely need to, either.  If they're not impacted, growing in sideways, or at risk of overcrowding your existing teeth, hold on to them.  You could find a use for them someday.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:36:25 PM PST

  •  I have emailed this story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, worldlotus, Earth Bear

    to every one I know. It's that important.

    Thank you for posting it.

    ...and who, disguised as rambler american, mild mannered commenter for a great Democratic web blog, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.

    by rambler american on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:04:38 PM PST

  •  I swear by my Water Pik (0+ / 0-)

    Put a capful of Dr. Tichener's in it and it alone can make my teeth feel clean.....

    But at almost 50 years old, my dentist says my gums are in excellent health.

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:18:23 PM PST

  •  Where are the dentists? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, donaurora, Naniboujou, DRo

    I scrolled all the way to the bottom just because I was curious what sort of rebuttal you would get from a dailykos dentist, expecting there would at least be some explanation of why in some cases their colleague might have gone directly to removal...


    Where are the dentists. Or all they all Republicans?

    "Stare at the monster: remark/ How difficult it is to define just what/ Amounts to monstrosity in that/ Very ordinary appearance." - Ted Hughes

    by MarkC on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:01:11 PM PST

  •  coconut oil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My friend was told she was going to lose all her teeth.  She started "oil pulling" with coconut oil.  Swish a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes daily. It's a medium chain fatty acid that breaks down the cell walls of bacteria.  Spit it out into a paper towel to get rid of it.  It clogs the drains.  Then rinse your mouth out with clear water. Make sure the coconut oil is organic and labeled virgin coconut oil.

    Google "oil pulling" to learn more.

    Said friend still has all her teeth and no decay or gum problems.

  •  thanks for this well thought out diary, very use- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ful and informative. I think you have just saved a lot of teeth and money for a lot of people :-)

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:56:03 PM PST

  •  What strength of azithromycin (0+ / 0-)

    did you take? And you only took it 6 days in all?

  •  Hotlisted and thanks (0+ / 0-)

    Have the same problem and have just been living with the pain so I wouldn't lose my teeth. Thanks so much.

  •  This diary is not accurate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First of all, they do not pull your teeth because you have gum disease. They pull your teeth because you have had severe bone loss as a result of gum disease that makes the teeth hopeless -- you cannot reverse the bone loss even if you cure the gum disease. Severe bone loss typically takes a decade or more of ongoing ignored gum disease.

    Second of all, treatment with medication is not that uncommon in very severe cases. But the problem is the bacteria will grow and grow again and you can't just get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth with a course of antibiotics. The bacteria grows on the surface of your teeth - a place not sufficiently reached by systemic antibiotics. This is the problem with teeth.

    Finally the gum disease is caused by a myriad of different bacterial and fungal strains and cannot simply be hammered out by a single antibiotic. Many of these things are resistant or not affected by a single antibiotic.

    The standard treatment is scaling and planing, and I can tell you from experience, it works. Not pulling teeth, that is only with irreversible bone loss.

  •  as a health journalist this does not surprise me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've covered health and the integrative and conventional medical model for two decades- and reading your experience brings up two responses.

    First this does not surprise me; and

    Second, why do medicine and dentistry overlook that the teeth are in the head which is part of the whole body?

  •  Thanks for this diary -I will share this info. nt (0+ / 0-)

    Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

    by CA wildwoman on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:33:39 AM PST

  •  WARNING! (0+ / 0-)

    The prescription may have cost the diarist $15, but he apparently had insurance to cover the rest of the cost.  Without insurance, it'll be closer to $50.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:47:58 AM PST

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