Periodontics/8mm pocket

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Question
Hi,

I wondered if you could offer me some advice?

I had my first check up with a new dentists three weeks ago and he told me I'd need to go to the hygienist for an assessment and that I'd have to get a cleaning every three months after as it looks like I have gingivitis. I went to the hygienist today who assessed my gums before carrying out a scale and polish and some areas are definitely a lot worse than gingivitis. The lower left and upper right area of my gums have a BPE of 4 and they both have one 8mm pocket! Most of the other areas had a BPE of 2 apart from maybe one other section which was a 3. I'm prepared to stop smoking and carry out a meticulous oral hygiene routine, but I'm worried that my gums are already too damaged to allow any improvement to be made.

One of the 8mm pockets is between my last molar and impacted wisdom tooth and he said that upon probing pus is essentially oozing out so he spent a lot of time in this area. He cleaned it out using a larger instrument and then injected (it wasn't a needle but looked like a liquid dispenser) something into the pocket which was pretty painful. Considering how deep the pockets are, I thought I would need more treatment than this considering how deep it is/it is slightly infected?

I've been instructed on how to improve my hygiene and to come back for a cleaning in three months time. Will this really suffice? I'm concerned that my condition of my gums will rapidly decline and from what I've been told today, they are already diseased. I'm only 22..

Thanks

Answer
It is not possible for me to judge your periodontal situation without seeing X-rays.

From what you write it appears, however that you have gingivitis, probably local, mild periodontal disease, and an infection around impacted, erupting wisdom teeth.

I am guessing that both your 8 mm pockets are behind last molars and due to the infection around the wisdom teeth.

In my opinion, you should have your impacted wisdom teeth surgically removed as soon as possible.

Then you should return to your dentist and your hygienist. You could also make an appointment with a periodontist.

Your periodontal condition can definitely be cured, but it takes more than just going to the hygienist. You should definitely also quit smoking.

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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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