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Trial starting over Michigan inmate's bad tooth

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - An inmate who blames Michigan prison officials for gum disease is getting his day in court.

Jerry Flanory's lawsuit against three people is going to trial Monday in federal court in Marquette. He claims he lost a tooth in 2006 and suffered gum disease because he was denied toothpaste as a punishment for not attending prison classes.

The state says the doomed tooth was already loose and that Flanory had access to plenty of toothpaste.

Flanory's lawsuit alleging cruel punishment was dismissed as frivolous in 2009, but an appeals court reversed that decision. The 60-year-old from Flint was released from prison in 2009 but now is back in. Flanory is serving as his own attorney during the trial.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.