When to See a Periodontist
A periodontist refers to a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and management of gum diseases. A periodontist also performs dental implants and a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures.
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a bacterial infection that can destroy the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss. It can be easily managed if detected in the early stage. The following are warning signs of periodontal disease:
- Swollen, tender and red gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Receding gum line that may uncover from the base of the teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Change in bite pattern
- Loosening of the teeth
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
If you experience any of the warning signs, mentioned above, consult your dentist right away. Your dentist will perform a thorough dental examination to check for signs of periodontal disease. As periodontal disease is associated with other serious health conditions, evaluation by a trained specialist is necessary. Hence, if signs of periodontal disease are identified, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for further evaluation and treatment. The periodontist will review your complete medical and dental history and use a dental probe to check the health of your gums. Dental x-rays may also be used to evaluate the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth.
Healthy gums have a pink and firm appearance, do not bleed easily, and fit snugly around the root of your teeth. If your gums become puffy, dusky red and bleed easily you should consult a periodontist as soon as possible. The earlier you seek dental treatment, the greater the possibility of reducing or preventing complications associated with gum disease.