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Dentistry/Periodontal disease


Hello. I go to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. My pockets have always been 2's and 3's and are now 4's. My dental hygiene has not changed. I bought a water pick and soniccare toothbrush. I am really upset this has happened. How soon should I go back to see if they are getting better?  Can they improve?  Should i go see a periodontist instead of my dentist?  Thank you.

Hello Cindy,
Thank you for your question. It sounds like you are very diligent with your oral home care. Good oral hygiene is very important to keeping gum disease away, but there are other factors at play. For example, general health (ie- diabetes and other conditions which affect the immune system), social habits (ie- smoking), and genetics. These factors might not be applicable to your situation, but I'm mentioning it just in case.

If you are seeing that signs of gum disease are progressing, you should try to improve the factors which you CAN control... improving oral hygiene, making sure that any health conditions are controlled as much as possible (for example, diabetics should try to improve their level of blood glucose through diet, exercise and possibly medications), and reduce any social factors which contribute to gum disease (ie- smoking). The one factor which cannot be controlled (yet) is the genetic factor. Perhaps someday, we will be able to adjust any genetic predisposition for gum disease-- and other diseases as well), but for now, we really can't change that....

So, my advice to you would be to control the factors that you can, try to improve your oral hygiene, visit a periodontist, and follow any treatment recommendations. Once any signs of active gum diese are treated and eliminated, seeing your dentist every 3 months for a periodontal evaluation and cleaning is a good idea.

Best regards,
Joseph Zelig


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Joseph Zelig, DDS


Dr. Zelig is a board-certified Periodontist and is an expert on dental implants & treating patients with Dental Phobia. Dr. Zelig can answer any and all questions you have about complex dental problems, dental implants, gum disease, treatment of gum recession, and IV sedation dentistry.


Dr. Zelig has personally placed several thousand implants with excellent success and has worked with many dental specialists and educated them on full mouth reconstruction, esthetic dentistry, and Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Zelig is a coauthor of a book on Dental Phobia, "The Fearless Smile: Overcoming Dental Phobia"

American Academy of Periodontology, American Board of Periodontology, North-Eastern Society of Periodontists, American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

I received both my dental degree (DDS) and my certificate in the specialty of Periodontics from New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Zelig graduated among the top 10% of the graduating class. As a result of outstanding academic achievements, Dr. Z was elected into the membership of Omicron Kappa Upsilon- the national dental honor society. In addition, Dr. Zelig has lectured to general dentists and specialists on periodontal treatment and dental implants. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology which recognizes periodontists who have made significant achievements beyond the educational requirements of the specialty. Board-certified periodontists have been examined by a panel of internationally respected peers and has been awarded Diplomate status. By successfully completing this challenge, Dr. Zelig has demonstrated a robust knowledge of periodontics, Continued professional development, Critical review of results of therapy, and interest in providing the best, most up-to-date care.

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