When to See a Periodontist
Anytime is a good time to see a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation. Sometimes the only way to detect periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. A periodontal evaluation may be especially important in the following situations:
If you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease, including:
- gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
- red, swollen or tender gums
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- persistent bad breath
- pus between the teeth and gums
- loose or separating teeth
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- a sore or irritation in your mouth that does not get better within two weeks
If you are thinking of becoming pregnant. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small. In addition, about half of women experience "pregnancy gingivitis." However, women who have good oral hygiene and have no gingivitis before pregnancy are very unlikely to experience this condition.
If you have a family member with periodontal disease. Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member.
If you have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis. Ongoing research is showing that periodontal disease may be linked to these conditions. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
If you feel that your teeth are too short or that your smile is too "gummy." Or, if you are missing one or more of your teeth and are interested in a long-lasting replacement option.
If you are not satisfied with your current tooth replacement option, such as a bridge or dentures, and may be interested in dental implants.