Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Reversing My Gum Disease Using a Water Pik

On April 6, 2010, my dentist told me I had one 7mm deep gum pocket and fourteen 6mm deep gum pockets. That's an indication of advancing periodontal disease.

I was so alarmed that I went out that day and bought a Water Pik and a Philips Sonicare sonic toothbrush. I also made final day preparations to wrap up my food projects and start a 12-day fast from everything but water. Since then I have almost unfailingly used the sonic toothbrush, the Water Pik, and nearly always either Listerine-type or a Hydrogen peroxide type mouthwash every day to begin my intentional nightly fast.

Since then I have also been very aware of the dental health implications of my nightly fast and everything I eat without a subsequent cleaning. To further reduce the amount of time my teeth spend bathed in a solution of food, I recently have changed a lifetime habit of abstaining from water after eating. While I still try to minimize the amount of water I take in on a full stomach, I have begun to sip and swish repeatedly after eating. I've been very happy with the effect this has on my dental and oral hygiene.

The effect of all these changes in my habits (note that I am using the toothbrush and Water Pik only once daily, using no floss, swishing after eating, and intentionally abstaining from everything but water for many hours nightly), has been noticeably better smelling breath, and a December 2011 exam result of one 5mm deep pocket and fifteen 4mm deep pockets , probably meaning my pockets have shrunk by an average of 2 mm depth in 20 months. (December 2012 update: "no problems" and no charge for periodontal cleaning)

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