In the 1990's at my first visit to Mountain View Family Dentistry at University Drive and Lindsay Road in Mesa, Arizona, I was told sternly that I was infected with advancing gum disease, and I was required to brush, floss, and rinse with Listerine after every meal, followed by no intake for 1/2 hour afterward. Never in my life had I flossed my teeth regularly, nor had I ever been a diligent brusher, but I served my sentence, and at the following examination, I was told my condition had improved.
Fast forward to April 6, 2010 at Bright Now! Dental at Greenfield Road and Baseline Road in Gilbert Arizona. I listened as the periodontal pocket depths were read one by one around my mouth, and I was alarmed to hear "6" fourteen times and "7" once. I had periodontal gum disease pockets 7 millimeters deep. That is over 1/4" deep!
For a few years I had been waiting for an excuse to fast for several days. The results of that dental exam alarmed me so much that I got on the internet to research gum disease cures, and bought that very day a Philips Sonicare toothbrush and a Water Pik water flosser and began preparing for a long water fast (fasting is a technical subject and a lost art not to be undertaken lightly; I had studied fasting for a few years).
My internet research on gum disease cures didn't specify fasting, but I was previously interested in fasting, and I knew it was helpful for all kinds of infections and diseases. What my research prompted me to do was buy a Water Pik and use bleach in it for a while based on the recommendations at http://www.periodontaldiseasetreatmentguide.com/ that were allegedly published by the American Academy of Periodontology in 2004. Also based on that guide I bought some Stimudent toothpicks.
My fast lasted 12 days. By the end of it I had zero acne and zero ear infection symptoms. So it's likely my gum disease was also severely weakened.
After my fast, my oral hygiene has mainly consisted of using the Philips Sonicare brush and the Water Pik (sometimes with diluted Listerine in the reservoir) once daily before an intentional nightly fast. I have had two exams since April 6, At the most recent exam the worst readings were fifteen "4"s and four "5"s. That's improvement! (December 2011 update: fifteen "4"s and one "5") (December 2012 update: "no problems" and no charge for periodontal cleaning) I'll discuss the three components of my routine below:
Philips Sonicare toothbrush
The Philips Sonicare toothbrush was recommended by my dentist. It replaced the Braun Oral B Sonic Complete brush I was using previously. I rock it around to find and brush or rock gently with particular attention to the areas of maximum sensitivity around my teeth. This is not an endorsement for the Philips Sonicare toothbrush or even for sonic toothbrushes in general. It's merely a report of what I did. But I believe brushing for two minutes was a key part of my healing, and I believe good results were easier with a sonic brush.
I use the Water Pik on about 1 or 2 power (out of ten), the minimum that will force water into my gums. I try to remember it is an irrigator, not a sandblaster. I use the nozzle that has a flexible needle-nose tip or the smallest glass nozzle to push down between teeth and gum. After I eat and brush, the Water Pik invariably flushes out additional seeds and bits of food. When I brush and water floss properly and regularly, I have no bad morning breath. Sometimes I follow the water flossing with a Hydrogen Peroxide or Listerine rinse.
Intentional Nightly FastNot just for oral hygiene, to reverse my gum disease, but for overall good health, I do my best to prolong my nightly fast between my water flossing and my breakfast. It's very reasonable to have a customary fast of 12 hours or more with nothing but plentiful water consumption. I have to confess I often feel so nice with my clean morning teeth and stomach that I don't eat until noon, prolonging my nightly fast for as much as 18 hours. Even so, I don't doubt a customary 12-hour fast (say from 6:00 to 6:00) would be effective for my mouth hygiene as well as my general health.
SwishingThroughout the day, I swished water through my teeth vigorously and frequently, especially after any snacks or meals. See also my recent experience with Oil Pulling.
Summary, I have in 8 months reduced my periodontitis from fourteen 6-mm pockets and one 7-mm pocket to fifteen 4-mm pockets and four 5-mm pockets (December 2011 update: fifteen "4"s and one "5") (December 2012 update: "no problems" and no charge for periodontal cleaning) by beginning with a 12-day water fast (I happened to have the necessary knowledge) and maintaining with a nightly sonic brushing, water flossing, and 12-hour or longer fast.
Now for a conscientious plea: Would you please consider moving all your money including your retirement from stocks and banks to a credit union? It matters.