Periodontest Probing for Pockets - The Aftermath Question
April 16, 2019 7:59 AM   Subscribe

So I have periodontal disease and Dr. was probing and probing and now everywhere that probe went measuring pockets in my gums, I am sore and hurting.

Does this soreness go away? How? Is there a place I can talk to other people suffering from the same thing?
posted by watercarrier to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hi! Fellow periodontal sufferer here. The soreness goes away after a while, depending on how deep those pockets are. And the hard-to-swallow part is that often, if your gums have very deep pockets, you'll need to get a scaling procedure to help get them in better shape, which means more soreness.

But do not fret! With whatever procedure you need (or none at all), some regular dental-office cleanings, and a dedication to brushing and flossing in the way your dentist recommends, those pockets get smaller, and the poking and prodding gets much less soreness-inducing!
posted by xingcat at 8:04 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

I have some deep pockets and often come away from my dentist visits with some pain. I find it goes away after a few days. I’m a glutton for punishment and try to use Listerine to keep my sore mouth, well, sore I guess (not sure it’s “clean” or “disinfected”) as part of the after care. If you end up getting a graft, as I did, just follow their instructions and it helps greatly. I tried to follow them religiously and was told that my healing was better than expected, and that I was a good boy.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:13 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

Just wanted to add that searching for remedies for this has failed me, if anyone knows how to ease this pain, please post. Thanks again.
posted by watercarrier at 8:19 AM on April 16

Swishing (then spitting out!!) warm water with some salt in it can help to soothe the gums. It can hurt a bit when you first start, but it does calm them down afterward.
posted by xingcat at 8:21 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

Over the counter pain relievers helps!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:26 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]

This is probably too obvious, but Advil etc will help with that kind of pain. Also warm to hot water or tea can be really soothing.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:27 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

Warm salt water rinses can help a lot. Another thing is to watch what you're eating so you're not poking those places (or getting stuff stuck in them). I know what the usual crunchy foods are but my hygeinist also warned me off of eating raw apples (like, eating them whole, not like eating slices) because bits of the peels can get stuck under your gums.
posted by jessamyn at 8:43 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

yike! Be careful with that Listerine if it's got a boatload of alcohol in it. They make alcohol-free mouthwashes that you might want to substitute.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:48 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

I would try taking flaxseed oil. While it might not act directly as a pain reliever, many people believe that it helps reduce inflammation in your gums. See here and here, for example.
posted by JD Sockinger at 9:38 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Warm salt water and OTC pain reliever -- an anti-inflammatory. I had the same problem as you. Over time and with the correct procedures, my pockets shrunk a great deal. I now take an anti-inflammatory before every dental appointment and rinse with warm saltwater after. I feel your pain.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 9:39 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

I used to have deep gum pockets but I bought a water flosser and it has been transformatory and has made a massive difference to my gum health. I'm religious about using it every single night. Once I saw the crud it was flushing out of my mouth I couldn't then not use it. My dentist said that the probe used to measure a '5' but now it's a '1' or a '0', which I understand means the depth in millimetres the probe goes into the gum pocket.
posted by essexjan at 12:03 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Time to pipe up with my traditional reminder: you can take an NSAID pain reliever (ibuprofen, naproxen) and acetaminophen together, because they work by different mechanisms. I like to use naproxen in this combo because its dosing schedule (every 12 hours) pairs nicely with acetaminophen's (every 6 hours). Ibuprofen is every 4 hours so doesn't sync up well with acetaminophen.

The combo works great and will definitely deal with gum soreness.
posted by kindall at 7:39 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Just in case it's relevant, I had issues with my gums up to and including laser surgery on one area. It turned out that this was unnecessary, because I was (unbeknown to me at the time) having a bad reaction to a change in cholesterol medication. It was myopathy (all-over muscle pain and weakness) that caused me to complain to my doctor, but once she switched me to another statin, the pain went away AND my gums firmed up quickly and appreciably.

One thing that has helped me with my gums generally is a Waterpik. During the episode above, I could only use it on the medium setting and still might get a bit of discomfort and bleeding, but these days I put it on high and get a nice, invigorating massage that feels good and keeps my gum pockets clean of debris.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:25 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

If you try salt water, make sure you're using the right salinity. Too much or too little and it won't feel good.
posted by dancing leaves at 5:16 AM on April 18

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