She said it twice! At that moment I was finally able to relax a little.
2017 – Gum Disease Diagnosis
Last year on February 21st the dental hygienist kept nothing to herself as she cleaned my teeth. By the time she was done I was a nervous wreck.
I hadn't had my teeth cleaned for a few years and she informed me in no uncertain terms that I had gum disease. This came as a shock since I brush and floss regularly, some days morning and night. My routine is to first brush to remove food, then floss and brush again. I really thought that I was doing a great job. But apparently that is not the case… the periodontal examination revealed a lot of bleeding (of 192 position probed, 114 were bleeding – that's over half at 59%) with pockets as deep as four and five. She recommended debridement to which I agreed; however, I declined the recommendation for deep scale cleaning as I have read that it can make things worse.
It took a few days for me to recover from getting this news, but I knew the first place to visit was OraWellness.com. A few years ago they put together the HealThy Mouth Summit – which is when I first learned about them. I have been very impressed with their products and their website, they always offer amazing information about all things oral.
OraWellness offers a product that is specifically designed to help reverse gum disease. I ordered one of the applicator kits, more Healthy Mouth Blend oil and several more of their special Bass toothbrushes. One of the things I learned from OraWellness is that my brushing technique was wrong. Here is a video from OraWellness on how to brush your teeth correctly.
I started to use the applicator kit once it arrived but it is a lengthy process, taking about 20 minutes to do the protocol. I am sorry to say that I stopped using it after about a dozen times. I did continue using the Healthy Mouth Blend oil. I had stopped using toothpaste much earlier because I learned that glycerin in toothpaste coats your teeth which prevents your teeth from remineralizing.
In addition to using the Healthy Mouth Blend oil with the Bass toothbrush, I oil pulled, water pulled, and sometimes used a Sonicare toothbrush. At my recent appointment the hygienist says she likes the Sonicare and encouraged me to use it over manual brushing.
I also started the protocol called “The Secret” from holistic dentist Dr. Behm who is located in Florida. Dr. Behm says this protocol can reverse gum disease and help you keep your teeth for your whole life.
There are three steps to Dr. Behm's protocol and I only got so far as the toothbrush which is Tool #1 and floss, which is actually Tool #3. Although I purchased Tool #2 I never incorporated it and in reading the protocol again it is pretty important!! Tool #2 is the Butler Rubber Tip Gum Stimulator. Dr. Behm also recommends use of water irrigation as Tool #4, if you can afford it.
For several months I kept a gum healing protocol chart on the wall in the bathroom so I could mark off every little box of what I was doing to help improve my gums. Feel free to download a copy if you would like to track your gum healing progress.
And the last thing I want to mention which I believe played a part in my gums improving was drinking broth almost every day of 2017. Last year I hosted five broth challenges and estimate that I drank broth 300 days out of the whole year.
Dr. Alison Siebecker in her article Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease Townsend Letter states: “Calcium (broth) can be considered for use in the following deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: pain and inflammation, cramps, muscle spasms, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, anxiety, palpitations, hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies, brittle nails, periodontal and dental disease, pica, rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and any situation that creates bone loss such as aging, immobilization, post-menopause, and caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use.”
I had planned to go back and have my teeth cleaned at the 3-month mark (May 2017), but every time I made an appointment I totally chickened out. Finally in November I told the office to call me back in January and I would schedule an appointment for February to get my teeth cleaned.
Try to think of something special that you can do afterwards to put a positive spin on your visit.
I was still feeling nervous about going to the appointment so two weeks prior I decided I needed to find some way to reward myself for keeping my appointment. An online friend had moved from California to Arizona about 3 years ago but we had never actually gotten together in person, so I sent her a message to see if she she was available to meet up. She was, yay!
2018 Cleaning Appointment
Back to my cleaning appointment… After a few minutes the hygienist asked if I had been to a different office to have my teeth cleaned and how long it had been since my last cleaning? Ironically it had been one year to the day and I confirmed that I had not been to a different office. That was when she told me that my gums had improved and it was remarkable how much better they were especially considering that I hadn't had a cleaning for a year.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief and told her that I was so thankful because I had been working very hard to improve the condition of my gums. She said that I did still have some bleeding, but overall there had been remarkable improvement.
I asked for my new periodontal charting so that I could compare it with the 2017 cleaning. Before my appointment I was freaked out that there would be no improvement or that my gums had gotten worse.
When I compared the two, I was disappointed to see that most of my pockets were the same, a few had gotten better and a couple were worse. But more importantly the bleeding had improved and that means less inflammation and gum disease.
At the 2017 appointment out of 192 positions (32 teeth times 6 positions), 114 were bleeding (59%). This time there were only 64, down to 33%. That's pretty good, or shall I say remarkable! 🙂
I did not know until I started doing some research that it is generally accepted that pockets with depths of 1 mm to 3 mm with no bleeding are not considered to be a problem. However, please note that Dr. Behm states, “In healthy gums, the depth of the sulcus is less than 1 mm. If the pockets exceed 1 mm it tells you and the hygienist that bacteria are getting the upper hand, entering the sulcus, attaching to the tooth and tissue forming a biofilm, a hard layer of protection around the bacterial colony.” Source: The Secret to Healthy Gums: How to Keep Your Teeth for the Rest of your Life.
From my understanding of reading about Dr. Behm's protocol, it is possible to reduce the depth of the pockets, so I am definitely going to be working more on using his protocol.
To summarize what I did over the last year:
- OraWellness applicator kits
- OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend oil
- OraWellness Bass toothbrushes
- Oil pulling
- Water pulling
- Dr. Behm's The Secret (Tools #1 and #3)
- Sonicare Toothbrush
- Drinking broth almost every day of the year