Seeing your dental practitioner on a regular basis is essential for optimal oral health, but sometimes underlying oral issues may be too much for your regular dentist to handle. In these instances, you may be required to see a periodontist.
A periodontist is a dental professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infections and diseases in the mouth. Periodontists need to receive more education than a regular dentist in order to train them to not only recognize certain infections and diseases, but know how to take the right steps to treat it appropriately.
Most people don’t realize that certain oral issues require a periodontist instead of their regular dentist. If you are suffering from any of the following, then you should see a periodontist instead of a dentist.
- Bleeding Gums
If your gums bleed for no reason, especially when eating or brushing your teeth, it’s very likely that you have periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infection that damages the gum and bone structure that supports your teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss or more serious conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.
If your gums are bleeding, it’s very important that you see a periodontist right away. They will be able to assess your specific situation and provide you with treatment options as well as preventative measures to take to keep it from getting worse.
Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, can also be a reason to see your periodontist. If you have the occasional bad breath moment, you don’t have to worry just yet. This really only applies to those individuals who have chronic bad breath even after good oral hygiene practices are put into place.
Halitosis can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, or another form of gum disease, and it’s very important that you get it treated right away to ensure it doesn’t become worse.
- Heart Conditions
If you have recently been diagnosed with heart disease or have experienced a heart attack or stroke, you may want to schedule an appointment with your periodontist. Studies have found a link between periodontitis and other gum diseases with serious heart conditions. While a periodontist may not be able to treat and/or cure your heart condition, they can help you treat and cure your oral issues that could be contributing to your poor heart health.
- Blood Sugar Conditions
Along with heart conditions, studies have found a correlation between poor oral hygiene and diabetes, so if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, it could be the result of gum disease. Having an infection will cause your body to stop using insulin correctly, which in turn can cause diabetes. Also, diabetes can make you more prone to infections, which could also worsen any underlying oral issues you’re having. Because of this, you want to see your periodontist so that he or she can treat your gum disease, which will help to maintain your diabetes.
- Loose/Weak Teeth
Having loose or weak teeth can be another sign of gum disease, and it’s very important you see a periodontist to get treatment before this condition becomes worse. If your teeth start to fall out, it can be extremely expensive to fix, so it’s best to have the treatment done early.