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Periodontics/Dry mouth, bleeding gum

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Question
Hi, in the past year I have had 2 osseous surgeries due to pockets. My dentist failed to recognize them even after I complained of bleeding gums.  I have never missed an appt and floss 2-3 x a day. I was told that I was over zealous with flossing. I went to another dentist and I was diagnosed with deep pockets. I was told by my periodontist that to only use Listerine 2x a day. I had a very hard time with it as it burns my mouth terribly. I have worked up to keeping it in my mouth for 30 seconds but it hasn't been easy. I have developed dry mouth especially at night and I'm concerned that it is from this mouthwash.  Is there another mouthwash that I can use?  My Periodontist said that Listerine is the best. Thank you for your time.

Answer
My advice is that you reduce your flossing to once a day. Instead of flossing often you should do it with great care and precision in the evening, before going to bed. The floss should glide on the tooth surface and reach all the way down to the bottom of the gingival crevices. In this way, the gums and teeth are clean for the night and have a good opportunity to recover from the day's challenges.

Since your mouth feels dry, you could, in my opinion, either stop using mouthwash altogether, or change it to an alcohol-free one (if you want to use Listerine, there is an alcohol-free variety).

It's good to have a glass of water beside your bed at night. Other ways to cope with dryness and soreness of the mouth include moistening with special gels, sprays, or oils, or taking lozenges that stimulate salivary flow.

Ask your dentist for more advice on treating your oral symptoms.

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Marketta Hormia, DDS, PhD

Expertise

I am a periodontist living and working in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where I have my private dental practice. I am an international member of the American Academy of Periodontology. I have a Ph.D degree and a long background in research and teaching at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Turku, Finland. I function as an adjunct Professor at these Universities. I have also worked as a visiting scientist at the Scripps Clinic and research Foundation, la Jolla, CA. I can answer any question in the fields of dentistry and periodontics.

Experience

Private practitioner in Helsinki, Finland over 20 years. Former researcher and teacher at two Finnish Universities.

Organizations
The Finnish Society of Dentists, Division of Periodontology, American academy of Periodontology

Publications
Over 30 scientific research articles published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals (can be found on PubMed)

Education/Credentials
D.D.S., Ph.D, Specialist in Periodontology. Adjunct Professor.

Awards and Honors
Visiting Scientist at the Scripps Research Foundation, San Diego, California, 1992-1994. NIH grant

Past/Present Clients
Dental patients, national and international. All kinds of dental, oral and temporomandibular joint problems

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