When Should I See A Periodontist?
A periodontal evaluation may be especially important if you:
1. Notice any symptoms of periodontal disease, including:
such as during brushing or flossing
fit together when you bite
2. Are thinking or 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including two to three additional years of education beyond dental school. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. In addition, they can perform cosmetic periodontal procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire.
Often, dentists refer their patients to a periodontist when periodontal disease is present. However, you don’t need a referral to see a periodontist. In fact, there are occasions when you may choose to go directly to a periodontist or to refer a family member of friend to your own periodontist.