What’s the best time to see a periodontist? The short answer is whenever you’re experiencing issues with your dental health or wish to prevent them.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating infections and diseases of the gums and jawbone. Along with problem solving periodontists can go a long way toward preventing or alleviating periodontal disease.
After all, periodontal disease begins when the toxins contained in plaque attack the soft or gingival tissue that surround your teeth, embedding in the gum, and breeding, causing infection and the formation of pockets. These pockets deepen over time, so that if treatment isn’t sought, infection can deepen and your jawbone can recede causing tooth instability and bone loss.
Scheduling a Visit with a Periodontist
You can receive a referral to a periodontist during a routine general check-up, or schedule an appointment on your own for a consultation and treatment.
So When Should You See a Periodontist?
You should schedule an appointment with a periodontist when:
- You’re referred by your general dental team or hygienist.
- You experience bleeding while you’re eating or when brushing, which is one of the most common signs of a periodontal infection.
- You experience bad breath that continues even with regular brushing and use of an alcohol-free mouthwash. This can indicate periodontitis, gingivitis or the beginning of a gum tissue infection.
- You notice loose teeth and/or gum recession, both of which indicate a potential for tooth loss if periodontal issues are not addressed.
- You have or are experiencing any related overall health issues, from heart disease to diabetes, osteoporosis or other issues that are connected to periodontitis infection that’s spread through the bloodstream.
What Does Diagnosis and Treatment Mean?
Diagnosing and treating periodontal disease starts with an extensive and careful examination of the gums, jawbone and teeth. Once diagnosed, treatment will depend on the severity of the condition.
Gingivitis/mild periodontal disease, indicated when gum pockets exceed 4 mm in depth, can necessitate deep cleaning, scaling and root planing to remove debris from the pockets and allow healing.
Moderate periodontal disease, indicated when gum pockets reach 4-6 mm usually require a more scaling and root planning that is usually performed under a local anesthetic.
Advanced periodontal disease, which is indicated by gum pockets exceeding 6-7 mm, usually are also accompanied by bone loss and gum recession. Along with scaling and root planing,your periodontist may recommend a surgical treatment to reduce the pocket depth.
Tooth loss due to periodontal disease can be treated with implants, bone grafts, or dental bridges, as necessary.
Regardless of the stage of periodontal disease, your dental team will provide you with ongoing maintenance to prevent a recurrence and reestablish your dental health.
Are You Ready to Schedule a Visit with Your Periodontist?
If you’re ready to schedule a visit with a periodontist, or simply learn more about how visiting a periodontist can help you, reach out to us today! We’re ready to help and waiting for your call.