When Should My Dentist Refer Me To A Periodontist?
You should visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup to ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy. While a dentist can care for many types of routine dental problems such as cavities, she may refer you to a periodontist for some conditions. A periodontist is a dentist with additional training in certain dental problems, especially the inflammation and infection of the mouth’s soft tissues such as the gums.
Don’t Delay Finding Periodontal Treatment
If you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing your teeth once a day, then you are less likely to develop gingivitis or periodontal disease. However, if you have a serious infection in your mouth, then your dentist will most likely refer you to a local periodontist. When your dentist tells you that periodontal treatment is necessary, don’t delay scheduling an appointment.
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can lead to losing permanent teeth because there is an infection in the dental roots or soft tissues of your mouth. If you have periodontal disease, then your mouth is filled with dangerous bacteria that can spread into your face’s jawbone and other facial bones.
Signs That Indicate That You Need to Visit a Periodontist
- Red gum tissue
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Deep pockets around your teeth
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- A change in your bite
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Sensitive teeth
- Chronic pain in your mouth
Specialized Treatment from a Periodontist
When you have periodontal disease, you will require specialized treatment that requires certain procedures. A periodontist has extensive training in the procedures that are required to remove bacteria from your gums, teeth and soft tissues. Removing this bacteria can help to repair the cavities in your teeth (which will also improve your breath), but a periodontist also understands how to save your teeth when you have serious gingivitis. While a periodontist will try to save your teeth, if a tooth is lost, then they may be able to insert a dental implant.
Receiving a Treatment Plan
When your dentist refers you to a periodontist, he will perform a new examination that includes x-rays to determine what is wrong with your gums, soft tissues and teeth. Before completing any procedures, the periodontist will discuss your treatment options.
If you have periodontal disease, then it is likely that you will require multiple visits to treat and remove the inflamed tissue, perform root canals or to insert dental implants. Most procedures performed by a periodontist will require some type of anesthesia to prevent discomfort.
Types of Procedures Performed by Periodontists
- Gum pocket reduction
- Dental crown lengthening
- Laser treatments
- Gum grafting
- Plastic surgery
- Dental implant insertion
- Deep cleaning
- Root planing
- Bacteria removal
- Scraping away plaque or tartar
- Prescribing antibiotic oral medications or mouthwash
- Root canals
The periodontist can treat any condition in your mouth that can affect the alveolar bones, gums, ligaments or cementum. As always, see your dentist or general practitioner to see what they recommend first.
In most cases, if you are referred to a periodontist, then you will have more than one dental problem that requires treatment. Not only is a periodontist concerned about the way that your teeth and gums are functioning, but the end goal is a mouth that is comfortable chewing as well as a beautiful smile.
This guest post is courtesy of Washington Periodontics, a known and recommended periodontist in Fairfax VA with certifications in implantology.