We’ve all heard of dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists, but there aren’t as many of us that are familiar with the specialty within dentistry known as a periodontist. What a dentist does for your teeth, a periodontist does for your gums and other supporting structures for your teeth, making them an important part of your oral health care regime.
What Does A Periodontist Do?
Periodontists specialize in handling concerns related to your gums, periodontal disease, and health concerns that may put you at risk for periodontal disease. Referrals to periodontists only occur in the most severe cases of the related diseases, as a dentist can typically handle these concerns on their own. From the gums to the bones of your jaw a periodontist specializes in keeping your oral health on point by treating conditions that may affect the longevity and health of these structures, and by extension your teeth.
Do I Need To See A Periodontist?
Generally speaking the need to see a periodontist will be determined by your dentist, who will suggest a referral to one of these specialists if they feel your oral health mandates it. However, there has been a growing movement to have patients develop an ongoing relationship with their periodontists to receive what is known as ‘periodontal maintenance’. This is especially suggested in cases where patients struggle with periodontal disease, whether due to severe cases appearing or simply frequent recurrences of the same types of disease. To find out if you need to see a periodontist, schedule an appointment with Forest Hill Family Dental for a consultation.
What Signs Are There That I May Need To See A Periodontist?
While your dentist is the best determiner of whether or not a visit to a periodontist is necessary, there are some signs that may indicate you need to schedule a consultation. These signs can include physical manifestations of problems to the existence of other medical conditions that may put you at risk for periodontal disease.
Typical Signs or Indicators:
- Red swollen and bleeding gums, particularly following flossing and brushing.
- Unpleasant tastes and foul breath indicating the presence of bacteria.
- Deep pockets around your gums or a receding gumline.
- Teeth feel lose or out of alignment.
- Discomfort during eating.
- Temperature sensitivity
- Genetic history of gum disease in your family.
- Smoking habits
- Having never been evaluated by a periodontists
This last one is becoming increasingly important as professionals have discovered that nearly half of those over age 30 have some form of gum disease. If you haven’t been evaluated by a periodontist contact Forest Hill Family Dental and schedule a consultation.